HVAC -- Ductless versus Central Air Upgrade ???


We're converting our 300 sq ft garage into a family room. Trying to decide between a running $2,000 worth of duct versus buying a $4,000 ductless mini-split system. My preference is to go duct and tap into my central air.
But I am worried that it will be too warm in the summer. I've got a dual-zone system. 1.5 ton for the 600 sq ft upstairs and 1.5 ton for the 600 sq ft downstairs. Calculations show we have almost exactly 300 sq ft capacity left downstairs. It will be close.
Another thought: My Armstrong central air system is 13 years old. It may be getting close to the end of its life. I am thinking about going duct, and if it is too warm next summer, upgrading the end-of-life Armstrong to a higher tonnage.
My question: How much does an average system replacement cost? I want to replace both the condensor and evaporator coil.
Can you give me parts and labor seperate? I've got family in HVAC that can do labor free if I provide enough beer.
Thanks,
Chris
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com says...

Why so much for the ductless? I installed my own 12,000 btu mini-split for around $650 three years ago. It works perfectly, easily cooling over 600 square feet.
I bought the unit with all the insulated lines on eBay, there are lots of vendors. It is pre-charged and set up for easy installation. You say you have family members in the business, should be a piece of cake. You need a 2" hole cut in the wall, a dedicated 120 vac circuit and a place ti set the outside unit. After the electric line is in, it takes only a few hours to install and set up.
--
MacD


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says...

Present price wholesale material on 1 1/2 ton roughly $2000.00 mark up 50% =$3000.00 two people half day $ 1000.00 well it looks like in bracket of $4,000.00 Sorry not cheap!

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Thank you for that response.
A contractor came in to quote a ductless price (which, BTW, was $3K installed for a no-name import that didn't even come up on a Google search). I asked him about cost of replacing my central and he quickly threw out $8K.
But I've been reading on the Internet that it can be done right for under $5K.
So I am asking around to find out if $8K is realistic, or just a contractor trying to "encourage" me to go ductless.
Thanks
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You're shopping in the wrong places. There are plenty of them right now on eBay in the $500-$800 price range for 9,000 to 12,000 btu systems.
--
MacD


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Between $500 and $8000

Part: between $250 and $6000 Labor: between $250 and $6000

Buy a case of beer and give them a call. We can't see the unit, we can't see what has to be done to replace the units. How much does a new car cost? How about a used car? Get the idea?
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Your family isn't likely to care what some usenet people think. Call them directly.
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To answer the question about "why don't I just call my family"?
(1) I am pulling a permit to do the renovation. Family may not be able to pull a HVAC permit.
(2) I am willing to spend a thousand or two, NOT to have to deal with family. I would rather do business with a stranger. Then I can rip them a new one or hire a lawyer if something goes dreadfully wrong.
(3 My Dad is an old-school duct man, and doesn't do system install & service. He doesn't know anything about ductless minisplits, and hence he doesn't agree with me getting one. My cousin is an install & service man, but doesn't do duct. My cousin is an a-hole. Both live 2+ hours away.
I am just weighing all my options. Going with family may be difficult.
Thanks
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On Thu, 11 Sep 2008 14:09:21 -0700 (PDT), wrldruler

If it is a long run, I'd just do the mini split, after finding a better price on one.
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