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a/c help

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by finishthehat, Aug 9, 2007.

  1. finishthehat

    finishthehat Active Member

    We've got a five-ton, ten-year-old central a/c unit here in a muggy, hot part of the country. (2,400 s/f house.)

    All of a sudden it's not working that well -- set the thermostat for 72, say, and by the end of the afternoon the indoor temperature is 80 (according to the thermostat; it actually feels cooler than that).

    We haven't had any major problems with it in the two years or so we've been in the house. We had a (pretty reputable) service guy come by, and he says the thing is simply old, and it can no longer keep up with the effort it takes to cool down the house. There's some leakage, he says, but sealing it won't do all that much.

    Does this sound right? And if I have to replace the thing, what am I looking at, in terms of total cost, time and pain-in-the-assedness?
  2. KG

    KG Active Member

    It could just be your thermostat going bad. They are simple to replace.
  3. TigerVols

    TigerVols Well-Known Member

    Sounds very right; sadly, I speak from experience.

    My 7 year old system is on the brink. Had two different firms come out and both gave the same diagnosis: needs a new compressor ($1,400) but should probably go ahead and get a 15-rated unit that cools quicker, more efficiently and with much less energy use. Cost: 12,000 bucks. Ugh.

    Call SEARS Home Improvement (800 4 My Home) and they'll come out and give your system the once-over. I can't recommend them enough.
  4. finishthehat

    finishthehat Active Member

    Yeah, this guy said replacing it would be in the ballpark of $12,000 or so.

  5. Big Buckin' agate_monkey

    Big Buckin' agate_monkey Active Member

    GOD GOOD! $12,000! Shit, I'm never owning a house. I'm doomed to apartment life forever.
  6. Flip Wilson

    Flip Wilson Well-Known Member

    We replaced a heating/AC unit a couple of years ago, and it was about $4,500.
  7. BTExpress

    BTExpress Well-Known Member

    Replaced my entire unit (indoor and outdoor) a few weeks ago for $3,200.
  8. Platyrhynchos

    Platyrhynchos Active Member

    Ten years isn't all that old for an a/c unit.
    I'd try changing the filter and recharging the freon before thinking about a replacement.
  9. finishthehat

    finishthehat Active Member

    Not the filter, and I don't think it's the freon. We've got someone else coming out tomorrow for a second opinion.
  10. Brooklyn Bridge

    Brooklyn Bridge Active Member

    12-grand???? wouldn't it be easier to go to HomeDepot/Loews/localelectronicstore and get a couple of small ones for 2 or 3 different rooms and put a ceiling fan in the kitchen. A LOT less money.
  11. EStreetJoe

    EStreetJoe Well-Known Member

    I guess I lucked out. The heating/AC system in the house I just bought is 20 years old and knock on wood the AC portion is still running great. Hopefully the same will hold true for the heating system come the winter.
  12. KG

    KG Active Member

    I'd start saving for a new one of both though. The cost to run a new one is much less. I rent, so I don't have much of a choice. I'm not going to ask my landlord to replace the furnace, because he's already giving me an outstanding rate and doesn't flip out if the rent check doesn't arrive precisely on time.

    I feel totally blessed to have him as a landlord, so even when he offered to have the furnace replaced instead of fixing it since it's been in the house since probably the 70's (it was only a $30 part to fix it) we told him not to worry about it. There's no reason for him to put that much into it when we don't need it.

    Here's my tip for the winter (assuming you have a gas furnace). I have three of these http://www.nextag.com/Holmes-HEATER-SWIRL-GRILL-545365353/prices-html --one in the bedroom, one in the living room and one in the kitchen. They don't raise my electric bill enough to notice and last year, the first year I had them, I hardly had to even use the furnace. They really do work that well. If you're going to use the high setting it will roast you out of a small room.

    They're safe too. If they fall over they turn off, but even if they didn't, you can put your hand on the front without burning it. They're cheaper and easier to find now than they probably will be when it gets cold. The price on the link is kind of high though. I believe I spent about $25 for mine at Wal-Mart.
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