Hi, my AC went out and I decided to replace the unit. I live in
Sanantonio, Texas and it gets hot here. The guy gave me a lists of
quotes and I am thinking about getting the Trane XL19i system. It is
supposed to be top of the line. The total price he quoted me is $
9130. That covers everything, heat pump, ai handler, installation and
taxes. Does this seem like a reasonable offer for this unit? It is
17.90 SEER and my old unit is 10 SEER. My current electric bill is
about $250 a month. What type of savings would I there be?
There are many variables in the pricing of replacement units. I don't think
you will be disappointed with the performance of that system as long as it
is sized and installed properly. Be sure that a load calculation is done to
guarantee you will be comfortable and satisfied with your energy savings.
Installation workmanship is the determining factor in choosing a contractor.
Ask for references if you'd like, just be sure you're getting a quality
installation to go with your quality system.
Hi, thanks for the information. This is probably a dumb question but I
am going to ask anyway. What is does load calculation mean? The
contractor is one of the better ones around this area. Don't think he
will try any short cuts like those damn builders do.
A load calculation in your case is a Manual J residential heat gain/heat
loss. This is an assessment of the construction of your home, insulation,
windows, doors, etc. to figure the necessary sizing of heating and cooling
equipment. A properly sized unit will provide far better comfort. Too many
contractors just replace the unit with the size that's there and this may or
may not be correct depending on the situation, therefore you may have the
oppertunity to be more comfortable than before and not know it.
For that outrageous price, he'd better throw rose petals beneath your feet
for duration of the warranty.
It's "up to" 17.9 SEER, pal. "Up to", they say, like mpg for a car going
downhill. These units are made to satisfy the customer who wants to blow
more money than is remotely justifiable.
I am confused now. I thought 17.9 SEER is top of the line and would
save me money in the long term. I know it is expensive but isn't it
the best energy efficient rating on the market? The price is only
$1569.00 more than a 14.0 SEER. I also like the ten year parts and
labor warranty. Why do you consider the price outrageous? I called
several different reputable contractors an they were all within $200
of each other. Do appreciate your opinion though even though you
The SEER numbers are very complicated. This is so you can't possibly
make a valid comparison or do your own measurements. Moreover, the "up
to" qualification makes it meaningless.
There is a declining return on improved efficiency, and in the upper
ranges the results are contingent on questionable assumptions. The
salesmen will have you believing that you can just about run these
things off flashlight batteries.
Well, who wouldn't. But any warranty on any product must be discounted
heavily for durations longer than a year or two. Ten years is an
eternity when it comes to enforcing contracts.
Now you didn't tell us the size of the system. But a change-out of a
typical household system, you are buying no more than $2K wholesale of
goods, and in a competitive market the retail mark-up and installation
could reasonably double that and keep the contractor happy. At the $9K+
you report, either this is way more than a typical system, or you're in
an area run by colluding trade interests with government monopoly
enforcement (and doesn't the harmony of +/- $200 on a $9K job kinda make
you wonder about that?).
On Tue, 25 May 2004 05:08:00 GMT, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
Good grief, you think that's bad. I had a Sears creep stop here.
Have a ton and a half on the roof, Duct and lines are all there.
Just wanted the unit and he said the handler would need replacing too.
Said 4,500.00 ought to do it. I said goodby.
A few window units do just fine here.
That "creep" in this case might have been high, but hes right about
replacing the air handler. If the outside unit is old enough to require a
replacement, and you expect to get what you pay for, you have to replace the
air handler and lineset many times.
That doesn't tell me anything. I am not getting a KMART special. This
is the most efficient system on the market. You get what you pay for.
I could have hired someone with 20 years experience to install a cheap
brand at lower price but that would not have saved me anything during
the long term. This unit will pay for itself in time. I checked around
and I am not getting screwed. That is certain. You don't know what you
are talking about. Where did you get your license, out of a cracker
jack box? If you can't provide helpful advice than don't give any.
On Tue, 25 May 2004 15:31:32 GMT, email@example.com wrote:
I have to apologize for that last post I sent. I got a little testy.
Funny thing happened, as soon as I wrote that message I received a
call from Converse A/C in Sanantonio. They quoted me $7519.64. That is
$1610.36 less than the one I was going to go with. I haven't signed
any paperwork yet so I am not locked in. Waiting on a call from one
more contractor. Have to make a decision soon because it gets hot
Thanks for your help,
On Tue, 25 May 2004 15:55:43 GMT, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
No problem, having to spend that much money would stress anyone out. A
lot of AC companies try to make as much money as they can during the
summer months so they justify the high markup. On the other hand there
are a lot of guys out there whose morals keep their prices within
reason. Changing out an existing system is easy for anyone with a
single years experiance. With the exception of the new duct
transition, everything is pretty much in place already(ie ductwork,
electrical,drainage). It's not rocket science.
The service people on the other hand require a lot more experiance, if
I could find a few more good guys, I would'nt be working weekends.
And there are a few that price their services at what they are worth. The
mechanical end of this business isn't rocket science, the business end of it
apparently can be sometimes.
If you don't evaluate the entire system including the ductwork when
performing a change-out you are doing your customer a disservice. Bottom
line is, as the OP stated, you get what you pay for and a thorough job is
worth paying for. My morals are in line and my prices are fair, I apologize
for the rant, it's just that it seems everyone wants to scream that a price
posted here is too high or too low when they know so few details. Spend
more time evaluating your actual job cost and profit margin instead of
blowing off about other's making or losing money.
If you think it takes 2 grades of technician for installers vs. service,
it's obvious that you are the low-baller in your area. I don't send hack
techs out to install a unit just because it may or may not be easier, if
they don't understand the operation of the system well enough to service it
why should I trust them to install it properly? I work weekends when I want
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