Thursday, August 11, 2005

Replacing A Home A/C Unit

It's one of the big-ticket home repairs I dread:

Replacing our central heat 'n' air system. "Replacing Your Air Conditioner"

The unit in our home right now is still doing a nice job. It was installed in 1992, I'm told, and aside from a repair back in 2000 or 2001, we (thankfully!) haven't had to do much to it at all to the ol' ComfortMaker.

One expense that, so far, I've had no problem shelling out over the years is the maintenance contract / service plan on our central-air system. I was pleased to see that Consumer Reports agrees with me: "A service plan that combines regular inspections with discounts on repairs and a labor warranty is worth the money," they said in a report from July 2003.

I pay the company $51.50 every six months, and they come to the house and do all sorts of fun stuff to the heat and air units — things that, aside from swapping out the filter, I'd really rather not do.

Coming up with the money for replacing our now-13-years-old unit is something I have considered. Obviously, that's what savings are for. It's one of the many reasons I wish I could find ways to set aside more cash than I already do. I have no earthly idea what a new system will run me (1200 sq. ft house), but I'm willing to bet that the cost is pretty stout. Consumer Reports tells me to expect around $3,000 to replace old central-air equipment. Honestly, that figure seems low to me. I was also hoping to find some CR reliability ratings on central-air systems; alas, I couldn't find any online. (I do have a subscription.)

Anybody else been through a central-air system replacement, and have worthwhile info to add?

— Posted by Michael @ 2:24 PM


$100 per year sounds expensive. I can get a check-up from the Heating and Cooling place on my ancient boiler/radiator system for less than that, and we only do that every five years or so.


I replaced mine 4 years ago for $3000. This is for a 1790 sq ft home. I could have done it a little cheaper by getting the same size unit as it had, but that unit's capacity was really for a 1500 sq ft home. I got one capable of cooling a 2000 sq ft home so it wouldn't have to work as hard as the old one did. My electric bill found immediate relief as the new unit was more up to date and didn't have to work as hard to cool the house.


My house is 2200 sq ft and I was just told last week that to replace my A/C and Gas Furnace combo would be $6000. Our current unit is 30 yrs old and a total POS. Luckily, we use the swamp cooler most of the year.

Anonymous Anonymous
, at 9:32 AM, August 13, 2005  

I was just told last week that to replace the 30 yr old A/C and gas furnace combo on our 2200 sq ft house would be around $6,000. Luckily, we use the swano cooler most of th year.

Anonymous Anonymous
, at 9:36 AM, August 13, 2005  

I'm having similar problems with my AC, instead of shelling out $2500 to get my AC thru the wall, I have decided that I am just going to sweat through the rest of the summer.

NYC Money


Just replaced our 3 ton ac unit with a 4 ton. Also replaced furnace. Our home is 2100 sq ft. Cost was $4300. Not bad. :)

Anonymous Anonymous
, at 9:10 PM, August 15, 2005  

buy the highest SEER rating you can afford. most brands use the same parts but offer different warranties. check for rebates from your utility company, contractor, and manufacture. multi speed condensers are more expensive and costly on repairs - and not all techs have the knowledge to service them. invest in a good digital thermostat(more accurate)and keep a constant comfort temp.


do not upgrade to more than a half ton of your current system capacity.a larger system will cool faster but will also cycle more often and create more humidity and condensation in the dwelling leadind to microbial growth. an A/C uses less energy running constant compared to one that cycles frequent - any motor uses more power to start than it does to run/operate. off the subject, but a common mis-understanding. A/C's should be sized to the heat load of a building it conditions and not the sq. ft.(ie. windows, exterior walls, insulation value, ceiling height.......)


Our 1989 A/C heat pump system went out this summer. We had the whole thing replaced for our 13,000 sq ft home for $6,400
I already see the huge difference with the unit and expect a lower electric bill because of it.

Anonymous Anonymous
, at 4:46 PM, June 18, 2009  

oops, I mean 1300 sqft home. Our home is a small 3 bedroom ranch. We paid $6,400 for the complete Unit and programable thermastat.

Anonymous Anonymous
, at 4:49 PM, June 18, 2009  

Just priced mine out for 2 story 1.400 sq ft town home. Bout 6,000.. repair was going to run 2,800.. I had 4 bids this was the cheapest with the longest warrenty on the system. American Standard is the new. The old one, I don't even recognize the company. Builder put in a cheap system... 3 of my neighbors have had to do the same thing this year and last.

Anonymous Anonymous
, at 2:34 PM, August 20, 2009  
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