msrp for more efficient ac?

Hi...
Don't know where else to turn... We're looking into replacing the burnt-out whole-house ac unit and have been getting several quotes. The frustrating part is that some installers are downright hostile to even giving quotes for the higher efficiency models (even the level needed to get the tax credit); they just say "oh, that's not worth the money".
A couple have given use quotes going from SEER 13 to 14 at about $1000 (Sears, oddly, is only $130 from 13 to 14 but $1000 for going to 15). The Trane rep said that 13 to 14 was $1000 but Trane needs SEER 15 to qualify for the tax credit.
I've emailed some of the manufacturers directly trying to get msrp on the various units because the installers seem so uniformly against quoting anything higher, but I haven't gotten any responses from then either.
Anyone have any idea what the msrp differences should be as you go up the SEER scale? And what is this bit the Trane rep is saying about Trane needing SEER 15 to qualify instead of 14?
Thanks -mark
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I'd keep trying, I keep hearing how difficult and expensive it is and my experience was the opposite. 2 years ago, I had the local carrier dealer in and he set me up with 18seer , and a 96% efficient gas furnace, Infinity series, 4 ton each, + 5 ton coil, top-shelf thermostat and Autumn Air filter, turn key for ~ $5400. That included tearing out my old one, but not removing it from the property, I got ~ $30 scrapping it at the recycle yard after taking it apart and separating the metals, I kept the squirrel cage fan. My ducts were up to par so I didn't need anything outside the furnace closet (except the outdoor unit of course) They did run a duct to the master bath which was really needed.
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Sounds like I'd love to live where you guys are :) The Trane guy said $10,000 for a 13 SEER (ductwork already in place). The Sears (Carrier) guy said $7350 for a 13 SEER, $7480 for a 14, $8350 for a 15. The Rheem guy said $5500 for a 13, $6900 for a 14 - and he wouldn't quote anything above that...
-Mark

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Don,t know where you live but I paid 1800.00 installed for 13 seer which is what we require in Manitoba Canada. Got a Keeprite am really pleased with it as we have had a heat wave here Mark Modrall wrote:

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Mark Modrall wrote:

Well, that makes de-selecting them as a vendor/installer you want to deal with easy!
...

I don't think there really is such a thing as an MSRP--installers are locally owned businesses and deal with their own overhead structure based on their own situation and what their supplier costs are. I'm sure you'll have absolutely no luck in getting any manufacturer to give you actual cost information.
Look at the DOE site on the tax breaks, not all Energy Star rated units are eligible for the tax break and just because a unit is rated at SEER 14 alone doesn't mean it will qualify, either, from one of the other vendors. This guy, at least, was being straight up about that. The others may not have lied about whether their units were/weren't, but they surely may have left you w/ an impression that might not be so.
The reason for the quoting lack of inclination is that when one looks at the differential cost for a unit that does comply/qualify, one will find that it will be significantly more expensive (the $1000 is probably on the low end and I'd check that one out throughly before relying on it being so) and they simply know from experience that darn few they go to the bother of quoting will actually go that route.
The DOE site also has a list of qualifying units so you can double-check. You could then ask representatives from the various manufacturers for a specific unit that might help.
I don't recall the exact amounts, but ISTR that when I looked some time ago it seemed that the actual credit was pretty miniscule. This was some time ago when we were thinking we were going to start in on the remodel shortly which for various reasons got delayed so it's been long enough ago I don't recall the actual figures/formula. I just remember thinking it wasn't going to be enough to really affect the decision. W/O actually looking up the data on the credit again, I'm guessing that most folks look at the incremental cost, compare it to the credit and see it just isn't that much of a gain over a good-quality, high-efficiency unit but that isn't actually quite up to the requirements of the credit.
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dpb wrote: ...

That isn't written to reflect what I was trying to say very well--I was trying to get at I think for many installers they just have had the experience that potential customers look at the differential to what actually qualifies for the credit and almost universally turn it down so they think they're wasting their time in giving out yet another quote that won't be accepted, anyway.
Also, you don't say where you're located, but if you're in an area that is particularly hot right now, all installers are undoubtedly totally swamped (so to speak) and it's a sellers' market. In that case, you are probably also simply experiencing the effects of work overload. They _should_ continue to treat every potential customer like it was the only one they'll ever see for a month, but in August in St Louis (to pick a location at random), there are simply not enough hours in a day for any even semi-competent shop to keep up so they're going to do as much as possible to shorten the time taken per call, even if it is just the sales guy.
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We're located in Massachusetts. We've gotten quotes from Sears in NH and 3 from local guys... It's been really frustrating; the only guy who even knows what SEER stands for or seems to have any idea what systems qualify for the tax credit is the one who bid $12K (about $5k more than anybody else). He's the Trane guy.
I've been poking around the IRS, DOE, energystar sites. None of them will explicitly say what systems qualify. They point you to ceehvacdirectory.org which is supposed to be a search engine for the tax rebate but it's just about the crappiest site I've ever seen. If you search by vendor, it says "11834 results, showing 1-10" but you can't page through. If I enter the model numbers I got from the bids, it says there are no results.
Rheem's website is nice because they post which models are eligible and the accreditation form. But our Rheem rep, while the cheapest, is the most incompetent and now looks dishonest to boot.
-Mark
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Me wrote: ...

...
...
I'd go w/ dealer over price as the _primary_ criterion, certainly, as a selector. You can earn more money but you may be stuck w/ a lousy vendor/supplier. I'm fortunate to have a local fellow we've known "since forever" and I just call him...when he's ready (as in 'good 'n ready') he'll show up and do what he thinks needs done. When he's done, I'll start hasseling him to send an invoice (which he never will) so I'll have to guess what he spent on hardware and time and send him a check. Six months or so later I'll call his wife and ask here to find the check and deposit it...
Anyway, I hadn't looked at the ceehvac site since that last search--it appears that it hasn't been updated since then, unfortunately. It doesn't have a scroll arrow/bar, that's true, but there is a "Next Page" button at the bottom of the page and you can download the entire search results to a csv file and search it more easily locally.
Unfortunately, the fact it doesn't appear to be being update limits its usefulness--I wasn't aware of that problem.
I did see look quickly for the tax credit info--seems like the maximum credit for central A/C is $300 which is something, but not humongeous. I remember thinking (and still do) that it really didn't seem like a _major_ incentive. As I see it the rule for the full credit (and I don't know whether there's any partial credit allowance or what--I didn't really research the rule, just looked at a summary DOE poop sheet) is
Central AC --EER 12.5/SEER 15 split Systems -- $300 EER 12/SEER 14 package systems
which would imply the Trane guy wasn't wrong and possibly the others either were trying to blow smoke or (more likely) really just don't know the rule. Iirc, anything over 13.5(?) qualifies as "Energy Star" so the differential between those systems and the SEER 15 can be pricey, so I think my previous "guess-work analysis" is probably not too far off the mark. Most folks aren't going to spend the $1-2 k additional to save $300 when they're laying out several thousand and the kids need braces and they're hocked to both paychecks already... :)
I do think the vendors have to supply a certification statement that the unit meets the requirements and I thought there was a requirement from DOE/IRS on what units were acceptable. Did you poke around the IRS site by any chance or look for the specific bid models on those vendors' sites? I agree, however, finding that information shouldn't be that hard. (I didn't ask my guy that question--he probably doesn't know, either, though :) )
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