bad evaporator coil on a 45 yr old furnace

Greetings. I have just been told my AC is 95% dead on freon and the leak is in the evaporator coil. The furnace is a lennox, 45 years old, the AC is a lennox 12 years old. 2 repairmen have checked it out, and indicate the AC has no leaks. Last repairman said to replace the coil I would need to replace the furnace, because it is too old to get compatible parts for, I live in a condo and this is a closet unit. Quote for everything was 5600. (new lennox furnace g61mp 36-71), coil, recharge of ac et al.
Is this bogus or reasonable?
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On Sat, 02 Oct 2010 17:03:04 +0000, tavikat wrote:

Price is reasonable.
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On 10/2/2010 1:03 PM, tavikat wrote:

I'm sure you are not interested in hearing about how to spend even more $$ right now, but I sure would hate to invest in a replacement evaporator coil for a 12 year old compressor that runs on an obsolete refrigerant (freon).
I'm not a HVAC expert, but I believe that evaporator coils are engineered to provide service for specific refrigerants and are often built to work best with specific sizes and types of compressors. Your 12 year old AC system is probably much less energy efficient than a newer system, and it is questionable how many more years of life you have left on your compressor unit. Once it goes, you will replace it with a compressor that does not use Freon and the brand new evaporator coil you put in now (into the new furnace) may not be compatible with the new compressor.
If you have the $$, replace your compressor at the same time you get the new furnace installed and get a new evaporator coil that is best matched to the new compressor.
Three years ago we replaced a 10 year old Freon compressor with a unit using "puron". We also swapped out the evaporator coil for one specifically designed for the new compressor. The replacement compressor was actually slightly smaller (in cooling capacity) than the old one. However, with no changes to our thermostat settings, and adding no insulation to the house, our interior humidity is about 8% lower in the summer and our electric bill dropped by about 25% even though the cost per kwh went up and the following summer was warmer.
By the way, the best way to determine if you are paying too much or not is to get at least 3 bids from different contractors for the identical items, ensuring that each bid includes haul-away of existing removed equipment and has the same length of guarantee for labor and parts.
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I'm sure the $5600 was for the COMPLETE ac unit and furnace.

And the real question is, is it NECESSARY to replace everything??? Adviseable, likely. Necessary? Questionable. The "A" coil is likely in an "air handler" module - or simply in an air duct - which could likely be changed/modified to accept an available coil assembly to get the whole thing back working fo about $2000.
If the furnace dies next year, you get to spend the money all aver again. Likewise if the outside unit (compressor/condensor) fails. (so yes, likely "adviseable" to replace the whole thing at once.
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responding to http://www.homeownershub.com/maintenance/bad-evaporator-coil-on-a-45-yr-old-furnace-549035-.htm tavikat wrote:
snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

The quote most decidely did NOT include a new ac unit. I was looking in to the non freon solar ready units tho and I am appalled that NO ONE has any prices on line for the furnaces or ac units, so you pretty much are at the mercy of your knowledge and how much the contractor thinks they can ream you for. >.<
The coil is inside with the furnace, the ac is on the roof (i'm in a condo) I am trying to ferret out whether I can fix this without replacing the furnace, but due to the age of the furnace i dont think I can?
The contractors explanation was that the newer coils are long (my current one is 14 inchs tall) and the newer furnaces are shorter, so a new coil with my old furnace wont fit the space - does that sound feasible? I really wish I had a contractor in the family so i could get the straight dope.
a 2k fix sounds great to me, however if it is a patch, I'd rather bite the bullet now and get the tax credit.
I hate not knowing at least the exact $$ i am dealing with in parts so I can compare with sound information. When I asked him point blank what the exact cost of the furnace was he said about 1950 - so im paying 4k in labor? Oh No, we also have to provide the coil, freon for the old unit etc etc etc. I know they need to make thier money, but why can't it be in black and white? The only reason I can see for them not disclosing prices, is so they can charge whatever they feel I will pay. I am getting the feeling a coil is in the 1k area on price and if I need to replace the ac in the near future I will be paying that 1k again to get a compatible coil.
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But a smart thing to do.

You can find the prices of furnaces easily, but you won't find any prices for installation as they can be so different. Not every contractor will ream you either, you just have to find a reputable one.

Can and should are different things. Give the age of both and the availability of much more efficient units, replacing is the smart thing to do. You may be surprised at the payback. If you replace the coil and not the condenser, you won't be getting a tax credit either.

What they are telling you is true. The freon must be removed. Lots of little things will be needed in the course of doing the work too, some that are not known until the job is started.
The only reason I can see for them not disclosing prices,

I'd be more concerned about getting screwed by my Avon or Tupperware dealer than the HVAC guy. Talk about high markups. How about disclosing the cost of your goods when you go to a Tupperware party? Do you do that?
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wrote:

Slightly different situation.
You don't need to know the HVAC man's COST on the equipment - you just want to know what portion of tYOUR cost of the job is the furnace, what portion is the coil, and what portion is labour and incidentals.
That is not unreasonable to ask - but MANY HVAC companys will NOT break it down.
A 2 1/2 or 3 ton A-Coil, complete with the case or "air handler" is worth about $700, tops.
see Hamilton Home products unit at:: http://cgi.ebay.com/NEW-HHP-Air-Conditioning-Evaporator-Coil-2-1-2-3-Ton-/380149478178?pt=Air_Conditioner&hash=item5882acb322
Ameican standard for half that at: http://cgi.ebay.com/American-Standards-Air-Conditioner-Conditioning-Coil-/300470472491?pt=Air_Conditioner&hash=item45f56f8f2b
A 3 ton compressor/condenser - 13 SEER - is about $900. - and that's a Carrier - not an off-brand. http://cgi.ebay.com/3-Ton-13-Seer-Carrier-Air-Conditioning-Condenser-New-/110593535146?pt=Air_Conditioner&hash=item19bfe36caa .
Some of the HVAC guys around here were offering AC for $800 with the purchace of a new gas furnace, installed.
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On Sat, 02 Oct 2010 20:33:34 +0000, kel4avon_at_yahoo_dot snipped-for-privacy@foo.com (tavikat) wrote:

Inside the "furnace" or the "air-handler"? My daughter's Lennox LOOKS like the AC is part of the furnace, but it is two parts - and if she had no intention of installing AC they would have installed the furnace with ductwork all the way to the "furnace" without the additional "air handler". If, in the future, she needed to replace the AC unit and the new one didn't fit the "air handler" it could be replaced with custom duct work with the evaporator coil mounted in it - same as the older AC unit is installed on my new Tempstar. Here in Canada, where things are generally more expensive, the complete furnace and AC unit, installed, including all new ducting in the basement due to totally relocating the furnace, cost $8000 with DC variable speed fan and high seasonal efficiency AC. It is a condo as well, and the condenser/compressor unit is pad mounted at ground level.

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On 10/2/2010 12:03 PM, tavikat wrote:

The price is inline with most HVAC companies but you might ask around to find someone who knows how to actually repair the system. Most of the HVAC companies would rather sell you a new unit rather than repair what you have. I use a stop leak product from Cliplight Manufacturing for tiny hard to find leaks. It has worked well for me and my customers. It's not a cure all and whoever uses it must determine if its use is appropriate for the system with a leak.
http://preview.tinyurl.com/lby8fz
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On Sun, 03 Oct 2010 02:07:31 -0500, The Daring Dufas

The Cliplight product is one of the few that actually DOES work as advertised.
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