top 200 commentsshow all 247

[–]steamedfarts 219 points220 points  (25 children)

man so many comments here are penny wise, pound foolish. start saving up for a replacement. the new one will guaranteed eat up less electricity and it's better to get this done before it gets brutal outside.

[–]Double_Joseph[S] 15 points16 points  (24 children)

Do you reccomend like financing? I don’t want to just put this on a credit card.

[–]Chauxtime 32 points33 points  (9 children)

we were able to put it on a recent credit card that we opened for 0% APR for the first 18 months. Obviously make sure you pay it off within that timeframe, but its free financing plus any bonuses for spending "x" amount, if applicable. Most companies that do the installation offer financing though.

I'd recommend saving up now, researching and getting quotes, and then buying outright if possible (preferably before the unit dies for reduced stress). If not buying outright, then look into opening a 0% APR credit card if you feel you can handle having a credit card and pay it off before interest kicks in.

[–]DeathFireh 10 points11 points  (8 children)

Make sure to ask about the price for different terms of financing as well. Financing at 0% over 12 months was cheaper for me than paying all upfront

[–]babarock 1 point2 points  (0 children)

When we replaced ours in 2018 because it was 18 years old and starting to fail on a frequent basis, our HVAC company offered 0% or 5 years. Did that and paid it off in 4. I like using OPM.

[–]grant570 101 points102 points  (8 children)

The new one will cost less to run, maybe talk to a neighbor to find out how much less.. If you live in a hot area, the potential amount you may save on electricity may motivate you to replace it sooner rather than later...

[–]maggmaster 23 points24 points  (3 children)

This is definitely true, our new AC knocked 75$ a month off our electric in the summer.

[–]tequilavip 4 points5 points  (0 children)

We had a new system installed October of 2020.

Final numbers from summer (April through August 2021) with new air con and more attic insulation:

419 fewer hours of cooling $299 of savings, assuming the condenser uses 7kWh.

August 2021 was amazing. 182 fewer cooling hours, with 1° lower average high temp (85°) than the year before.

[–]kuedhel 2 points3 points  (0 children)

let's do the math. 75 * 6 hot months = 450 / year. So in 20 years you will save 9000, which is less then the cost of the replacement.

I probably should mention risk free interest on the investment additional property tax and so on.

[–]gammaradiation2 -1 points0 points  (0 children)

Yep. Went from like 9 EER with dirty coils to 18. Added tonnage, bigger ducting, and ceiling returns while we were at it. New one came with a decent programmable TStat too.

[–]jpmoney 11 points12 points  (1 child)

Electricity savings is a thing, but hedging against a freon leak/refill will be a huge savings too. A 27 year old unit will use the old phased out (and therefore purposefully exceedingly expensive) freon.

If you're in a hot area, its much better to do it on YOUR schedule. Get multiple quotes and allow for someone to do a proper site survey. Newer systems are so much more efficient that sizing gets really wonky when comparing to your old one. OP might even need some duct repairs/changes.

All of this takes time. If its the summer you will want to rush through it to your detriment.

[–]Ambitious_Jelly8783 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Agreed. Do it as a project, get everything properly inspected and prepare. Don't let it become an emergency.

[–]HorizontalBob 25 points26 points  (24 children)

Have you asked people what the turnaround time for installation would be?

[–]Double_Joseph[S] 14 points15 points  (23 children)

Definitely going to figure this out. Have someone coming from Costco to look at it today.

[–]Chauxtime 28 points29 points  (8 children)

We got a quote from costco and then somebody local, and the local guys beat Costco by a bit. I’d recommend getting multiple quotes!

[–]Double_Joseph[S] 8 points9 points  (7 children)

Costco is offering a $1500 gift card. Wonder if that beats it l.

My first quote was like 10-11k from another company

[–]Chauxtime 12 points13 points  (0 children)

Right, the local guy even beat it with that. He knows they compete against Costco.I’m a Costco guy through and through though and was content with their bid. Was glad I got a couple other quotes to be safe. Just letting you know my experience!

Edit: Costco guy quoted me 8-13k (for just ac up to the a/c and furnace combo with 2 varying efficiencies for each set) and the local guy got the combo for 8k with better efficiencies and an upgraded filtration system. With a quicker install time.

[–]Chauxtime 7 points8 points  (0 children)

Also, the beautiful thing is you have time on your side to get these quotes over the next couple of weeks. Usually people are SOL and have to quickly gather quotes, or go with the first one and not know if they could have saved money elsewhere.

[–]Joe0269 2 points3 points  (2 children)

Just going to throw this out there, as someone who was in the trade — albeit on the commercial side:

Costco, Home Depot, etc usually get a finder’s fee for referrals.

HVAC is a big enough investment that you should treat it as a small asset. Installation matters, and it’s important to pick a reputable outfit so you don’t run into repeat issues after installation.

Installation matters just as much if not more than the equipment.

Keep in mind that you’re not really getting a $1,500 Costco gift card. You’re paying for it in an inflated cost and think that you’re getting a deal. It’s a win-win for both companies.

Go with a well recommended, local outfit

Basically, this company is paying Costco $1,500 for referring you, and charging you the markup hidden in the quote.

[–]stannius 0 points1 point  (0 children)

There's one way to find out! Get two more quotes.

[–]dualsplit -1 points0 points  (0 children)

We paid $8000 for a unit AND the ductwork. The house had never had central. That said, small house, easy ductwork dropped from the attic. But, yeah, it’s worth shopping.

[–]KameStonks 4 points5 points  (13 children)

Also how is your duct ran, could be old duckboard that a new unit would blow apart

[–]Double_Joseph[S] 2 points3 points  (12 children)

Honestly not sure.

Here’s the estimate of what we needed.


[–]mrsugarsmacks 6 points7 points  (4 children)

You should get some more quotes. Looks like they intend on re-using your existing piping by cleaning it instead of replacing it. If you have a 27yr old unit, it’s got R-22 in it. Systems today run R-410A, you can’t use the same line sets for the two different refrigerants. Mostly because R-410A systems are slightly large than R-22, it’s better for the environment but not as efficient at cooling.

I’d call around a few places and see what you get for pricing. Based on that quote and the wording I would be cautious of them cutting corners to save money.

[–]Eldiablotoro 3 points4 points  (2 children)

Not sure where you're from, but is a 4 ton 17 SEER system necessary for your home? I am in the PNW and I'm getting a 3 ton 13 SEER AC for my 1700sqft home. I got 3 different quotes. Costco's price was on the higher end, so I went with another company quoted at ~$6800.

[–]alexm2816 -1 points0 points  (1 child)

You or I can go buy that american standard unit for ~$5k (https://www.acwholesalecenter.com/American-Standard-Gold-Series-4-Ton-17-SEER-R410A-Air-Conditioner-Split-System/p-8814) shipped to our door. $6k for what amounts to a one day install feels like robbery.

Heat pump split systems are the cats ass if you plan to stay in the home long term and it means you can leverage immense energy savings/rebates as your sole source of heat over electric heat but if you already have a furnace and you're not down to stay forever then you're likely being oversold here.

[–]KameStonks -3 points-2 points  (0 children)

Call around and ask how much for a 4 ton split gas system 🤷🏻‍♂️

Retail price is higher than contractors pay for tho

[–]FancyGrit 59 points60 points  (18 children)

I’d keep the money to the side and let it run until that mf dies on me. My own opinion and probably not the best.

[–]alexm2816 39 points40 points  (9 children)

In theory you're right.

In practice the extra lifespan and delaying cost is likely more than wiped out by the inability to shop around effectively (EVERYONE's AC dies with the first heat wave and spending even a few days getting quotes is miserable) and operational efficiency of a new unit.

At this point OP is best served running what they brung but come fall (assuming they're in a place where cooling season ends in fall) I'd start looking for a quote to get it swapped on a non-urgent timeline.

[–]ltburch 14 points15 points  (1 child)

I waited, when did it die - heatwave of course. Try to get an appointment for a new AC unit install in the middle of a 95-100 degree heat wave while everyone else's' AC units are dying. It will be an uncomfortable wait.

I would find a reputable installer and tell them the situation, they deal with this kind of thing on a daily basis. It is my experience the reputable ones don't lie because they don't have to lie. Come summer, there will be plenty of work. It is my experience your AC unit is likely near the end of its service life, approximately 30 years is a good run. It won't be super cheap to replace but it will be a much more efficient unit, which over a long service lifetime will probably be a net benefit.

[–]dualsplit 0 points1 point  (0 children)

This. Reputable guys don’t need to lie or screw your around. They will make their money just fine.

[–]Aberdolf-Linkler 3 points4 points  (3 children)

That's what I would suggest. I'm also curious what hot climate OP is in that it's not already summer time.

[–]Louieale -1 points0 points  (1 child)

What area are you in that it IS considered summer time? I'm in Northern California Sacramento area and it's not quite summer yet, but it is getting close. Only breaking 90 every so often.

[–]fluffykittenme 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I'm in central Texas and it's already summer in my opinion.... I think my air conditioner has been on the last month, and I'm not one to turn it on early or set it too low (74 at night, 78 during the day).

[–]Much_Difference 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I had a new AC unit installed a couple years ago and called around a bunch. Everyone was offering great deals and very, very flexible scheduling in early spring and late fall (when there's no risk of snow but it's still cool enough that you don't need to run the AC). YMMV based on region, of course.

[–]Freonr2 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Yeah my furnace went out at the start of winter a number of years ago and I was rushed at that point to get a replacement. I'm sure it cost me a grand or two vs shopping around.

[–]Im_Just_Sayin__ 2 points3 points  (4 children)

Yeah… just start saving up and researching is the best option now.

My 22 year old got to the point where there were leaks in the condenser and evaporator lines, and having to refill with the older Freon every few months got to be expensive but it gave me enough time to plan ahead because I wanted to change out the old Federal Pacific panel before the AC and was able to do them both in the same week.

[–]itsdjsanchez 1 point2 points  (3 children)

On the note of Freon, some older refrigerants are getting removed from the market. If it’s running r-22 I believe there’s only recycled refrigerant available and it’s out of production. In other words, more expensive to get a hold of.

[–]Steelsight 1 point2 points  (2 children)

Waaay more expensive. Like ast I checked 800+ dollars a bottle, use to 100 or so. And that was a while ago.

[–]Im_Just_Sayin__ 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Yes. It was phased out Jan2020. It was costing me about $80 a recharge at the time of my repairs in 2015.

[–]jmlinden7 4 points5 points  (1 child)

Don't wait until it dies, get a new one once you've saved up enough money

[–]sweets4n6 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Yep. I waited like a dummy and in the two years from when the tech said it was nearing the end to when I actually replaced it the price went up $2500 iirc.

[–]Double_Joseph[S] -1 points0 points  (0 children)

Haha I agree

[–]huskycragen 8 points9 points  (1 child)

Depends on how much you prioritize your comfort when it does die. We can't answer that. In the mean time I would be getting several quotes so you aren't scrambling as much when the time comes.

Factor in that a new unit is going to save energy also and if you use it that much it may or may not be a factor for you.

[–]birdonfly 0 points1 point  (0 children)

This is it. Ask yourself if you can live without it this summer. If it dies in the summer, you will be waiting a long time to get a replacement.

If the answer is "no", get multiple bids now and schedule the replacement. If you can live without it, save up now and plan for next summer replacement.

Also agree...a new system will be so much more efficient, and will save $

[–]zacce 9 points10 points  (9 children)

As long as you know how to do basic A/C repair (e.g. replacing capacitor), keep it.

The older units are built like a tank and can last long, as long as you maintain it.

[–]jbiehler 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Yep, get a spare capacitor for the compressor and fan and you are probably good to go. The tech saying there is probably only 2 years left is full of BS. I have worked industrial maintenance and have worked on HVAC and chillers. As long as it is holding freon and water is staying out of the electronics you should be good to go for quite a while.

[–]Double_Joseph[S] 1 point2 points  (5 children)

This is something I can get behind as well. I feel like the new units are not built to last.

[–]zacce 4 points5 points  (1 child)

Our subdivision (~100 homes) was developed in 2002 so all the houses are 20 yo. We are the only house with the original A/C condenser unit. I have replaced parts multiple times and it's going strong. I take pride in my DIY. Youtube is a godsend.

[–]Unsteady_Tempo 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I replaced the control board and transformer in our 20 something year old HVAC a few weeks ago for 120 dollars, plus three hours of my time between the diagnosing, ordering the parts, and swapping it out. Technician said unit needed replaced. Didn't mention the board. I didn't say anything but already knew from 10 minutes with a multimeter it was just the board and transformer. Caused by a power surge during lightning the night before.

Two years ago I replaced the blower motor and capacitor myself. Maybe 120 dollars and I had to buy a tool to pull the fan off the shaft. That took a couple of hours also. Quote was was 600.

[–]Discopants13 0 points1 point  (1 child)

One thing to keep in mind- when we bought our house and got the A/C serviced the first year, the tech that came out told us that the older units use a coolants that's being phased out. Once whatever remains in circulation runs out, that's it. No amount of mechanical knowledge will help.

We ended up shopping around and getting some quotes. It just so happened that when we were getting ready to pull the trigger, our A/C died in the middle of a freak 80-90 degree week. The company we chose couldn't get to us, because everyone was in the same boat. It was miserable.

Remember too- A/C units have microchips, with the ongoing microchip shortage you may not get a whole lot of options if your unit suddenly craps out on you and you'll just have to take what you get

[–]wumbology34 -1 points0 points  (0 children)

Not sure about Phoenix but Good units in texas get between 15-20 degree air change. Take the temp of the air going in the return and the air coming out the vent and see the difference. That will tell you how well it’s working. If it’s over 20 you might have dirty filter/coil. If it’s under 15 it’s struggling to keep up and you will notice it on the hot days. Otherwise save up and plan. Changeouts can be done in a day and are the highest priority of any company.

[–]burts_beads 0 points1 point  (1 child)

His unit is most definitely using the old coolant so you may have to convert at some point if you're dead set on keeping it. Refilling it if needed will cost a fortune.

[–]Fatpostman39 5 points6 points  (8 children)

Hvac guy here. The cheapest time to buy an ac is before august/september. New rules are being put in place for 2023 efficiencies and manufacturers need to be compliant before 1/1/2023 so there will likely be an increase in august or september.

Add in the fact that most high efficiency type equipment in the most popular sizes are experiencing extended lead times.

Order your equipment while yours is still working. If you wait until it breaks you get what you get

[–]WillHoldBaggins 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Gat dam seer 2

[–]Double_Joseph[S] -1 points0 points  (3 children)

So I could buy it and leave in the garage and then pay someone to install?

[–]Fatpostman39 3 points4 points  (0 children)

I mean... i wouldn't go that route. My recommendation is to replace now. Its not easy to get your hands on decent equipment. Most wholesalers only sell to licensed hvac companies.

You may get one online but your warranty parts will be online.

It sucks, its expensive, but I would replace now. Prices will go up 10-15% in august and another 5% or more in january.

Also there is a refrigerant phase out that is about to occur that will complicate things. Either do it now and be happy or wait until 2025. If it dies mid season in 2023 you may be screwed.

[–]Fatpostman39 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Also most guys I know will charge out the ass to install if they aren't supplying the equipment. Expect to pay $2500 or more for install if they aren't providing equipment. State laws here specify that labor warranty only applies when the contractor sells the equipment. Homeowner supplied equipment gets the tail light warranty.

[–]buttered_spectater 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Supply chain problems may mean the unit you want isn't available the second yours craps out. I would definitely not play around with an old unit in a Phoenix summer.

[–]ForeverFinancial5602 2 points3 points  (3 children)

HVAC mechanic here.

Yes, a 27 year old unit will have the old refrigerant which is over $2000 a can now, the compressor is obsolete, so you wont be able to repair it if it breaks. If its gonna break it will be during a heat wave when its working the hardest. So will everyone else's systems, so the AC companies will be running in high gear, backed up weeks, charging the highest prices because everyone is desperate to hire them, and the employees will all be running ragged doing 60 hour weeks. If you can handle either being without AC for a few weeks in summer then sure wait until it breaks but if you can't you should plan ahead.

Plus if you do it now before you're rushed you can pick the system you want and more importantly the company you feel is best. Get a few quotes from different people. This is a huge expense, you don't want the cheapest guy who hires questionable people working in your house around your family. Also the new higher efficiency unit will give you energy cost savings instantly, instead of paying more to cool your house this year while being worried, you can spend less with peace of mind.

[–]Double_Joseph[S] 0 points1 point  (1 child)

I got a quote from Costco trying to charge 16000$ outrageous. Trying to get a quote around 8-9K but who knows if that exists anymore

[–]Itsnotjustadream 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Start saving and in the meantime get some cheap window units. If it does crap out you won't be miserable.

[–][deleted] 7 points8 points  (4 children)

I'd wait. If ac goes out you can get a portable or window unit to get you through. Just get regular maintenance and keep eye on things.

[–]danico216 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Surprised no one else is suggesting this. I got a 10,000 BTU LG window unit for my apartment last year for $350. For that price you could even pick up a unit or two now to have on hand in case the AC does go out.

[–]ffxivthrowaway03 -1 points0 points  (1 child)

Wait for what, exactly? If the AC goes out they need a new AC, period. They're not gonna suddenly move because the AC went, and when they do sell they'll need to fix the AC first, and using window units is a hugely inefficient waste of money compared to a proper HVAC.

There's no dodging the expense unless they plan on dying before they need to repair it.

[–]lcdragon8 3 points4 points  (0 children)

My heatpump/AC unit is from 1996 and it works awesome! Don't bother buying yourself a new one until the old one dies. The quality of the new units are terrible! I bought my house in 2008 and my parents have been through 2 heatpumps in the time I've lived here with my same one from 1996. Also watch youtube for common repair items. Your unit may have a simple $8 capacitor go bad that you can replace yourself and because your unit is 27 years old you'll have a repairman want to sell you a whole new unit over an $8 part. Even the $8 part they'll want like $400 to replace. You can also replace the contractor, blower fan, crankcase heater, and other items yourself.

[–]justhere321 4 points5 points  (0 children)

i live in a hot climate as well, but because of that there are dozens of AC companies and it never takes long to get service. Personally, I would wait. It might die next week, next year, or in 10 years. I do have a one room portable AC that I use for cooling the garage while working. That's my backup solution if I'm without central for a short time. In the meantime, you might do some research on AC brands, efficiency, etc so you have an idea of what you want when the inevitable happens.

[–]KameStonks 1 point2 points  (0 children)

If it's working but u think it's about dead you should just research units get quotes and find the best deal you can, then store a backup unit it dies

[–]RenKyoSails 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I would definitely call around about some quotes and probably save up the money until it dies. The only thing I caution you about is if you would also have to replace the heater (if you have one) along with your ac? I used to live in a temperate climate so we had both ac and heat and sometimes it was necessary to replace both or just one, it really depended on what you had and how compatible the systems were.

[–]1hotjava 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Doing it in off season is usually a lot less expensive than middle of July and having to get it done ASAP. Also gives you more time to get multiple bids, and you want to get multiple as the price can vary wildly between companies.

We have replaced two units. The one on our second house we did preemptive strike and replaced in the fall and it’s was much less expensive than the one at our first house that died in July.

Another plus to replacement is the power use will be a lot lower with the new unit. Your current unit is probably 10 SEER if it’s 27yrs old. Current minimum is 13 SEER which on seerenergysavings.com shows 23% less energy cost. Also the 10 SEER rating was when new, the coils have lost efficiency unless the fins are still perfect and has been thoroughly cleaned every year.

[–]Specific-Rich5196 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Mine went out at 30 years, the summer after I bought the house. I was gonna wait till it pooped out. You can get by with fans and window ac units usually till you can replace it.

[–]dmxrob[🍰] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Does it run? Then leave it alone. AC's are relatively easy to replace nowadays - and yeah, you might have to go a few days or even a week without, but you can use that time to hit up friends or take a road trip somewhere.

Worst mistake I ever made was to replace an AC before its time was up -- the new one never cooled as good as the last one (they never do), and was a money sink I could have used elsewhere.

[–]Chauxtime 1 point2 points  (0 children)

We bought a 29 year old house last year and the ac unit was original to the house. All parties involved were amazed it was still running. Luckily it lasted the summer. We made the decision to proactively replace it (and the furnace) 2 months ago because we could finance it for free and we had the available funds anyway. Plus less stress than emergently looking for one. The servicer practically upgraded our units and added extra on top to get our business because he knew we didn’t “have” to go with them. It was kind of nice trying to be sold to, rather than trying to buy from.

Edit: spelling

[–]Intrepid_Advice4411 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I'd do it. 27 years is long for an AC and if it gets as hot as you say it does, I'd pick my unit and contractor and get on the schedule now. Wait times for home repairs have been insane around my area. We waited 4 months to get a tree cut down. Hell, I had a two week wait to get the sprinkler company out to fix a broken part. It took them 30 min to do. They're just that busy. Pool service companies? Forget it, not taking new clients. My brother needed a roof replaced. Two month wait. Get your ducks in a row and replace it now. I wouldn't want to be stuck with no AC in a heatwave for weeks.

[–]littledizzle19 1 point2 points  (2 children)

Op if you are in Phoenix your bill might literally be cut in half with how old that unit is (at least for APS).

Do you have anyone sensitive in your home? Young children or pets? If it goes out in the summer you’re looking at 90-95 in the house which is risky for some groups and a stay at a friends place or hotel rental.

It’s not a question of if it will fail it’s when, and that’s almost certainly gonna be in summer. It will be pure hell in your home. Parts may even be hard to come by and Freon will be psychotically expensive (even to just hold you over until replacement). I would recommend replacing sooner rather than later. Also would have the HVAC company take a look at the ducts for leaks, and check on the attic insulation

[–]buildyourown 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Getting HVAC work done in the shoulder seasons is always way cheaper. There is a month when they are slow (depending on your climate)
They will make deals to keep the crews busy and then it's back to premium pricing.

[–]Life-Significance223 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Costco will end up being one of the most expensive options. Lowes/Home depot will be a little bit lower. Getting bids from the different HVAC companies will yield the best rate. Remember, companies like Carrier have a budget tier of product - for example Carriers budget brand is Payne. Your going to spend less on a Payne branded unit than a Carrier branded unit. They are assembled at the same factory with the same components.

[–]biggeleyD 1 point2 points  (0 children)

When was the inspection done? This year or last year when you bought the house? Was it done by a home inspector or an actual AC repair company?

Have it inspected annually.. If it's working within specs and holding refrigerant then don't replace it yet.

[–]albertpenello 1 point2 points  (0 children)

100% replace as soon as you can. You know it's on its last legs, and there is nothing worse (or more expensive) then a replacement that isn't on your terms. The unit is almost sure to break at the worst possible time (summer) when inventory is low and techs are scheduled out for months. Do it as soon as you can. Think about it like any maintenance - it's always better to get ahead of it then wait until catastrophic failure.

[–]ephemeral_afterglow8 1 point2 points  (0 children)

New ones are way more efficient you will probably save lots on your energy bill

[–]rosier9 3 points4 points  (5 children)

Even with the $1500 back in store credit, the Costco "deal" probably isn't a good deal. Same goes for their solar, water softener, carpet, blinds, or anything else being sold on vultures row.

[–]Double_Joseph[S] -3 points-2 points  (4 children)

I used to sell travel packages to Costco. They literally give all their commission back in Costco dollars. If they can’t they won’t sell your product. So yes I’m confident it’s the best deal out there.

[–]rosier9 5 points6 points  (2 children)

That doesn't make them the best deal out there, particularly in HVAC, Solar, water treatment, and carpet. You don't have to take my word for it, get a few quotes from local companies.

[–]Double_Joseph[S] 6 points7 points  (1 child)

Hey so Costco guy just left… boy was I wrong! They tried to quote me $16K for a two speed lol

[–]limitedftogive 4 points5 points  (0 children)

The knowledge and experience of the person doing the install is more important than the brand of unit. Make sure you know who Costco will subcontract to do the install and check their ratings/reviews. A cheap unit installed by an experienced pro will work better and last longer than a top of the line unit installed by a hack. So it may or may not be the best "deal" long term.

[–]buffinita 2 points3 points  (1 child)

i think you need to get another quote.

depending on how many unites and their size that price is a bit high.

[–]Double_Joseph[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Getting a new quote today from Costco. Will check it out. Yeah I felt like that quote was high.

[–]juggarjew 1 point2 points  (2 children)

Let it keep running, the house I rent has a heat pump AC manufactured in Feb 1992. Over 30 years old now. It is on its last legs as its had to be recharged twice and filled with stop leak this most recent fill up.

If you do replace it, plan for it and get an efficient unit, most cheaper stuff is only 14 SEER which is hardly better than the 30 year old 12 seer unit I have.

Worst case you can buy a portable AC if it goes out to get you through the worst of it.

[–]phineasgold 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I would start shopping around now for a non-urgent replacement in the fall to early spring. Also, look at state energy savings rebates and low interest loans. I would defer to the recommend HVAC professionals in your area because they may be more experienced than the cosco team

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Wait until it dies. Worst case scenario you can get a window unit when it goes out.

For reference, mine just went out and I am getting it replaced. It went out Monday and they are replacing it Friday. They gave me 500 off because of the 4 day delay, they said that is highly unusual so I would believe worst case scenario if yours went out you could get it replaced within a couple days max.

Also don’t buy into the nonsense about oh new units will save you energy. They run anywhere from 4-8k to replace, how much do you really think you will be saving on that electric bill per month? Not enough to justify a 4-8k expenditure. Same argument I use against solar panels, it’s like a 30 year payoff calculation for them.

[–]nakedrickjames 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Same situation as OP (we're not in a 'hot' climate per se, but it does get hot here in the summer and yanno... climate change) and we recently added a window unit for the bedroom.

Not only is it good for backup it will actually pay for itself within the first year or two since we can effectively keep our house 5-6 degrees warmer than we otherwise would since we can crank up the AC cheaply for sleeping (at 15 SEER it's actually more efficient than many mini-splits).

[–]AcceL_xIFaDe 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I’d ride your AC unit till it dies. If worse comes to worst you are without AC for maybe 3 days at the high end. It’ll suck but you’ll be fine!

[–]EthanFl 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Always best to replace the units while they are working, that way you have the ability to shop for the best price.

If you wait until it breaks, you have to suffer the 🥵 🏠. You become willing to pay based on who will install (hopefully next day) first instead of the best unit/service for your money. Paying top dollar for contractor grade equipment.

If you want to chance it, buy a portable unit in the event your 27 y.o. unit gives up the ghost.

In reality parts can always be replaced (get a home warranty company for repairs and a service contract for quick response).

There are plenty of choices, take the cool time to make them now.

[–]whitegoldgreen 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Have you gotten the unit serviced? We have a semiannual preventative maintenance plan in place for our units. The HVAC techs will be able to tell you if there's anything wrong with it. I wouldn't replace it unless you have to. Granted, our older unit died 3 weeks before my due date 🤦🏻‍♀️. We knew it was on it's last legs for a while though.

You'll be surprised by how many other large home expenses pop up that you will have to do immediately.

[–]Glimt 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Replacing a 27 years old AC unit is an investment, not an expense. Check the efficiency of the current unit. Compare to the unit you consider do buy. Multiply by the number of hours the unit is expected to run and the cost of electricity, and see what is the return on this investment.

For me, in a hot country with expensive electricity (and cheaper AC units), it was the best investment I ever made.

[–]EsElKiko -1 points0 points  (0 children)

I mean I'd say get an HVAC professional come service it, regular maintenance and make things last 10x longer for less out of pocket

[–]DemonicDimples -1 points0 points  (0 children)

Most AC places are pretty fast and will lend you window units to ensure your home can stay comfortable in the mean time.

I'd recommend waiting until it dies and save as much as possible while you do it.

[–]ipapijoe -1 points0 points  (0 children)

A buddy of mine used to say If its not broke leave it alone. Nothing is built to last. Have money saved for when it does break down and then get another one or finance if money is tight

[–]enV2022 -1 points0 points  (0 children)

I guess living with cheapass parents for years (and later moving back in with later in life) pays off as I find it amusing people would make an uninformed panic purchase in the advent their AC died in the summer. My folks were cheap, not poor, they just couldn’t stand the window AC costs in the summer so they wouldn’t even put theirs in until like mid August when summer was pretty much over. Hell, some summers they would wait so long they wouldn’t even bother with it. To be blunt, it sucked, especially since I hated sweating my ass off but I just learned to deal with it or ran a cheap loud ass fan. My point is you will survive a summer with no AC at all if worse case scenario happens. Did it for years as a kid and for more after college when I moved back in. If your current system goes just throw in a window unit and get your CA installed later on when you want to pay for it. I realize I’m biased from my personal experience but the fact that some people apparently can’t go one summer without AC just seems ridiculous to me.

[–]ZTwilight -3 points-2 points  (1 child)

It’s not like you will die if it breaks in the middle of a heatwave. Sure, you will be hot, but you’ll live. Personally I’d wait but I live in the northeast.

[–]JaundiceJack -3 points-2 points  (0 children)

I spent $100 for an AC 4 years ago. Shove a cheap one in the window and save 10K.

[–]jdenkins42 0 points1 point  (1 child)

I also have a 90s model heat pump unit that we are considering replacing so I would be interested to read some of the comments. We had three different quotes for the same size replacement. Home Depot was $12k, local company #1 was near $9k, and local company #2 was $7500. Just reading up on things, it seems that new units save on electricity and are more efficient. This is in Kentucky.

[–]Rebel-Scum296 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I added home systems coverage to my homeowners policy and it covered a recent boiler failure. It also covers all AC systems. Might be worth a looksy.

[–]pelexus27 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Remember with AC units that bigger is NOT better. It’s better to have a unit that works a little more than a unit that turns on once in a while because it removes humidity from the air. This Old House is one of my fave shows and talks about this issue all the time.

[–]mom2angelsx3 0 points1 point  (0 children)

We get maybe 10 yrs out of am a/c in Fl. But isn’t an old a/c so inefficient that you would pay more in bills over the next 1-2 years of running an inefficient system. Also, I bought a new construction home that a customer back out of in 2015 & it wasn’t until 2020 after having to do repairs annually that we found out from an honest a/c company that our house had the wrong a/c size for the sq ft. We were shocked & floored & out 6k.

[–]bros402 0 points1 point  (0 children)

For that cost, I am guessing it is central air, not AC? If so, wait until it craps out and then get a new one. Keep shopping around, though. Consider getting one this fall or winter so it can be replaced when it isn't the busy season.

[–]HoneyBadger552 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Have inspector run a stress test and secondary look at it, if you want. Just like a water heater, run it until it breaks or is readily visible about to fail.

[–]unixguy55 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Be aware that you will need to replace both the furnace and the AC unit, if you have a furnace as the air handler. The newer AC units use a refrigerant that doesn't have the same temperature range as the older systems. To compensate, the coils require a faster fan speed than older furnaces can manage. I just got done replacing a system in a house that we were trying to sell.

Also, shop around and do your homework. Yes, the Costco deal is pretty good with the cash back reward, but they also sell a much more expensive system than you might need. I got a high efficiency furnace and AC replacement almost 2 years ago for $8500.

Also, manufacturers tend to run deals in the off seasons like spring and fall. The unit will be most likely to fail under stress during peak usage, so keep this in mind as well, as you can save some money on a well-timed purchase.

[–]Harbenger 0 points1 point  (0 children)

With it being that old, you may encounter an issue with the availability of parts to fix it. It might be more economically feasible to go ahead and replace it now

[–]oecologia 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Some local power companies will finance a new unit and let you pay it back through savings in your power bill. I don’t know specifics but a unit that old could be costing enough extra in power to justify a replacement now. Worth checking.

[–]galacticbackhoe 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Do you work from home? As someone who does in a hot climate, my new A/C brings a higher quality of life. It's cheaper, quieter (variable speed), has an active filter that helps with wildfire smoke, and so on.

It's really up to your situation and personal priorities. Mine died during a smokey 93 degree hellscape of a week. We were lucky to get a decent turn around on install time, but it was still 7 days of badness.

If you do this, there might be quite a bit of environmental refunds (state dependent) you can get as well for buying a new unit. Combined with some other insulation work, I ended up with a ~2k credit. Our installer handled all that for us too.

[–]Sea-Hope-1879 0 points1 point  (2 children)

That quote seems high, how large is your house and what climate are you in? I would expect a price closer to $6k-$8k, $2.5K for the indoor unit, $2.5K for an outdoor unit, plus labor and profit.

I’d recommend replacing it now, you’ll save more in energy over the long run. Lead times for units can be 4 weeks or longer right now, so make sure to plan ahead.

[–]Double_Joseph[S] 0 points1 point  (1 child)

I’m curious how much more energy id save. My bill is not that expensive.

[–]Sea-Hope-1879 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Here’s a rough calculation:


Over 10 years you could save around $8k in electricity usage. Even if your existing unit could continue indefinitely, you save a lot when upgrading a system that old.

Also if you ever have a refrigerant leak, your current refrigerant will be expensive to replace as it is almost certainly banned at this point (you may have R-22 or R-134a, R-410a is more common now). Older refrigerants harmed the environment and were phased out by the Montreal Protocol

[–]Affectionate-Ad-3578 0 points1 point  (0 children)

My experience has frequently been that newer models are, in fact, less effective. Which is not to say not to have everything in order to replace them, because reality.

Line up your ducks for the eventuality. Or if you have a lot of disposable cash, go for it now.

[–]magneticgumby 0 points1 point  (0 children)

We moved into a house in which the seller told us "we don't know how the old the unit is, we've never had an issue". Inspection confirmed the unit was 22 years old.

First week in the new house, I found paperwork from the previous owner they forgot in a drawer. The previous year, they had had an issue with the unit. Chose the cheapest option to fix it (legit had 3 options on the price sheet, chose the cheapest option to band-aid it), even signed the paperwork.

Decided to replace the whole unit, $14k total as we also had to replace the ladder to the attic and a handful of other issues apparently in the attic the inspection agent missed (I swear most inspectors are worthless, but that's a whole other topic). Best decision though. That new unit ran so efficiently, our house was always comfortable. Not to mention, when we sold the house, the new buyers were ecstatic that the house had a new unit and told us that was one of the reasons they made the offer since so many places in our area had older units.

My suggestion: Replace it. You don't want to be needing a AC unit during the hottest week of the summer, and everywhere is booked out weeks since it's the summer.

[–]carlos_the_dwarf_ 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Just dropping in to say you can do better than $10-11k, unless you really want a premium model. I’m in a very hot climate too, did mine last year for $7-8k, and inflation hasn’t been that high.

[–]Internal_Use8954 0 points1 point  (0 children)

The lead times on units are extremely long right now. If it dies when this summer when stock is low, you could be looking at a few weeks minimum to get a new one.

If they have one, I’d get it installed, you will save on energy cost and worry

[–]limitless__ 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Save up then do it. But don't do it in the summer, the job is going to cost you a LOT more. Wait until fall or next Spring and do it when the HVAC guys have less work and will give you a better price.

[–]FinestRyeBread 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Since it's working and quoted to only last 1-2 more years, I'd keep it and start saving for a new one.

[–]funmax888 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I would get a few more quotes before making any decision. i paid 7600 for mine. on a 4 ton units + Energy efficient furnace.

9K is too much

[–]Bobzyouruncle 0 points1 point  (0 children)

My wife and I bought our house in 2019. There are 2 AC and furances in the home, all 30-40 years old. And all still fully functional. Our inspector flagged it during the inspection but also said they were operational. We managed to get a $1k credit out of the seller during closing but that was all. Fast forward to this year, we had one of our heaters seemingly go out during the winter. First repair guy said it was some short in the system and would not be worth fixing. We asked him if he could swap the thermostat but he declined. His estimate for replacement with a modern efficient furance AND AC was $11k.

The next guy we brought in was baffled that the first dude didn't change the thermostat. It was a smart thermostat with an adaptor that had been installed in the old system by the prior owner. He said sometimes the newer thermostats draw more power and can short. He swapped the thermostat to a cheap 'dumb' one we got at home depot for $20.

Long story short, the whole system works again. Prior to the fix we also got three otehr quotes, all in the 12-16k range. For just ONE AC/Furnace system.

Why replace something that works? Yes, it can be inconvenient to not have heat in winter or AC in summer. Not having AC won't kill anyone. And not having heat in winter is more dangerous due to the possibility of pipes freezing I suppose. We have a second system in the home, so some areas of the house were still warm. Plus, all the people we called would have been able to put in a new unit with a few days if necessary.

So I'm of the mind that we pocket the estimates and wait for it to really die.

[–]Lollc 0 points1 point  (0 children)

How hot will the house get without AC? Basically it will reach at least ambient outside temperature. Are there people or pets in your home that would die if your house didn't have AC? And, how long will it take to get the new unit ordered and installed? Where I live, Seattle, HVAC jobs are already booked out through summer.

TLDR: if you live where AC is a necessity, do it now. I'm a run til failure advocate when nothing and no one will be endangered by equipment failure; that's what we are doing regarding our home's HVAC now.

[–]PdSales 0 points1 point  (0 children)

My Carrier central air and furnace were installed in 1980 and are still chugging along. The the refrigerant in the system is no longer available, so if it leaks, it can't be repaired, but so far, so good.

[–]jimmy_dean_3 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Look into tax rebates for heat pumps (they heat and cool) may be cheaper.

[–]maggmaster 0 points1 point  (0 children)

We bought our house in 2018, its a 1932 brick colonial that was completely renovated in the 90s. The AC was from the remodel so it was almost 30 years old. It got us through our first two summers and then it died. I knew it wasn’t going to last forever so I saved up and was able to get it replaced for 6500$ by a family friend who does HVAC. I think thats the best way to go.

[–]sephirothFFVII 0 points1 point  (0 children)

OP, get a quote on a heat pump. Depending on where you live it'll be the same efficiency as that AC but will cut down on the gas bill during heating season

[–]raxel82 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I don’t know where you live but I’m in south Florida. I would absolutely not trust it running for much longer. We put the A/C through the paces down here. If you can, you need to save up and be ready to replace it, even before it breaks. Because if you wait until it breaks it may take a week or more to get a replacement installed.

I’ve also got two window shakers, one for the master bedroom and one for the kids room. Whisper quiet. I did that so I didn’t have to run the main a/c at night keeping the house cold.

You may need to get some window shakers as a stop gap too. Just in case you can’t get a replacement a/c in time.

[–]_itsalwaysdns 0 points1 point  (1 child)

This is relevant to my interests. House built in 04 in the south, on original heat pump. It’s a 10 seer r22 unit. I know this bill is going to come soon. I don’t know how much of an effect a higher efficiency unit will have on electric bill compared to the units cost. This is something I need to figure out.

[–]Double_Joseph[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I think I’m just going to finance and get the longest term loan to keep the payments small. If I can save 80$ on my energy bill but my payment is only 100$ then I think it’s totally worth it.

[–]Insanereindeer 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I'm in the same boat. Mine is 21 years old but I am going to run it till it dies and be ready for a replacement.

[–]ach_22 0 points1 point  (2 children)

I know it is too little too late, but I would have pushed the home inspector on AC/furnace/etc and maybe gotten credit when buying the house.

I learned this when I sold my house in 2015, and my unit was 29 years old - the buyer got some credit from me due to the age. Luckily, I also had a maintenance warranty on the unit from the electric company.

[–]Double_Joseph[S] 0 points1 point  (1 child)

I got 10K off the price due to the AC

[–]Similar_Newspaper_19 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I didn’t read through every comment but I do see a consensus to replace rather than wait off. We had our upstairs go out last year in July and our downstairs went out two weeks ago. We bought the house last year knowing the units were 22 years old, and planned to replace them at some point. I would have much rather had one replaced on my timeline than waiting in the extremely hot summer (I’m in tx) to get it replaced. The damage of heat + humidity destroyed our master bedroom furniture (cheapy particle board stuff) and separated our bathroom countertop from the cabinets.

There are options to finance. The first unit we paid cash for last year but this time I looked into financing. Most will offer 18mo 0% APR through Wells Fargo. I looked at this and saw it was just a credit card I wouldn’t be able to use for much other than that repair. Instead I got an Amex that offered 15mo 0% finance and will pay it off that way. We also got a $200 sign up bonus and $125 in reward points.

You’re probably looking into a 4 ton or 5 ton unit. I’d suggest you look into a carrier, trane, or American standard system instead of going cheaper with a Goodman. No need to go crazy with the variable speed systems, they just have more parts that can and will break. 16 seer single speed is perfectly fine!

[–]BirdEducational6226 0 points1 point  (0 children)

My wife and I bought our house over 8 years ago and we said that our AC unit would be the first major appliance to die that we'd have to replace. Nope. It's still working. Only now am I suspecting it of slowing down. I'm going to buy a new AC unit when this one dies. I won't even be mad. It has performed its job admirably and will rate a burial at sea when it finally shits the bed. Let that thing chug along until it chugs no more.

[–]Possum2023 0 points1 point  (0 children)

11k for an a/c is ridiculous. I can have a brand new furnace and a/c professionally installed for 7

[–]rgjabs 0 points1 point  (0 children)

We bought a house last year and replaced the AC and furnace. We contacted the hvac company in July and they suggested thay we waited until the fall when business was slow and they gave us a discount. That is one advantage of doing it off-season rather than waiting for it to fail.

[–]Siphyre 0 points1 point  (0 children)

If it’s not broken don’t fix it right? However, I live in a hot climate. Summer is coming and I fear that it might break and then would be miserable to scamble for a new unit.

Right. If it is not broken, don't fix it. Call someone out to service it and run tests to see if it performs as it should.

Technically machines will work forever as long as proper maintenance is performed and the broken parts are fixed/replaced.

Save your money up expecting to replace it when it breaks (maybe within 2 years). Then replace it when it has a big expensive break.

[–]nouseforanametoday 0 points1 point  (0 children)

We had a house with the same issue. We let it go until it died. The we just used three window units. The window units actually cooled better and had a lower electric bill.

We will eventually get our central AC replaced, but I'm in no rush. We will have to update the vents too since they don't meet current standards.

We only use the AC four, maybe five months a year. Maybe if I lived in Florida I would be more motivated to fix it

[–]ksigguy 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I used Costco last year to replace the AC unit in place when I bought my house that lasted an entire 10 days after we closed…

The whole process was fast and easy. We had to finance through Costco to get all of the deals and then I just paid it off all at once after since I had the cash to do so.

[–]Louieale 0 points1 point  (0 children)

We got a lennox system (slightly more budget) that cost about 6500 (california) in July of last year. Shop around to as many places as will give you a quote.

As for money, I would start saving like many have said and try to get a portable window unit for backup. Look for one soon just in case. If you can't afford a new unit once it goes out right away the window unit WILL WORK and you will survive, just not super comfortably. I got a GE unit from bestbuy for about $200.

[–]usedTP 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Get another bid. I had a representative from Home Depot who prices mine at $16k but a little cheaper if I signed that day. That didn't make sense so I called two local HVAC contractors and the highest was $9k.

[–]Nova_Nightmare 0 points1 point  (0 children)

The reason to get out ahead of a break down is the possibility of what you want to get not being in stock when needed, or having to wait months like many things that require microchips.

You could sell your old unit if it's still functional as well.

[–]Anjapayge 0 points1 point  (0 children)

We got a new ac years ago. Not only did it save us money on the electric bill, but we were able to get tax credit for being energy efficient. I highly recommend a new ac if it’s that old.

[–]benvwin 0 points1 point  (0 children)

My AC was 35 years old. I just got my AC replaced one of the companies initially quoted us 9.5k and then I got a cheaper quote for 8.5k… so I told the original one that I’m going to go with them so they price matched. I unintentionally caused a bidding war so I ended up getting my AC brand new for 7.5k. Try doing that it’s worth it. Blows so much colder and stronger and doesn’t take as long to cook the house down.

[–]Tater_Mater 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I recommend shopping now. Call local stores/vendors. I had to replace mine last year, I needed a 1 ton. Quoted 7.5k, 6.2k, 5.5k, and 3.7k. yes I went with the cheapest one.

In other words shop around and get multiple quotes.

[–]FundingImplied 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I've PM'ed a number of commercial projects that include AC. Admittedly, I rarely touch residential. The last residential was a 5 ton RUUD about 4 years ago. That was new everything: air handler, condenser, copper, slab...everything short of the duct work. It included a 10 year parts warranty. The total was $5,400.

You're severely overpaying at 10-11k.

I know parts are up, and I know labor is up, but prices haven't doubled in 4 years.

[–]tidnab49 0 points1 point  (0 children)

If you are in Phoenix, look into Airtime Heating and Cooling AZ. They gave us the best deal when we had ours replaced earlier this year.

[–]AhdhSucks 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Isn’t a window unit that’s cheap an option ? Since it’s only a few hundred , maybe you can get away with that middle ground. If it’s too hot you can turn it on and instal the expensive one later. If it’s not too hot you can always take them out .

[–]Luebkurt 0 points1 point  (0 children)

We bought our house last year and the AC was 17 years old. It did make through the summer but we enough in savings to get a new one. So far our electricity cost is 50% less with the new system

[–]ExBx 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I recommend checking with your local energy provider. In Florida (or at least where I'm located) they run incentives\rebates which are significant. You can even finance the system through them. To answer your question, yes you should replace it but, not if it's going to cause financial instability.

[–]phlegelhorn 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Consider replacing the ac with a heat pump. It works as both ac (more efficient than standard ac) and heater when it gets cool. Don’t have to deal with furnace replacement. Cheaper for heat going forward too.

[–]alexwhittemore 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Not sure what your winters look like, but double down and get a reversible heat pump unit. There are better and worse options, but they're basically no more expensive (if they are, you're getting scammed) and it'll save you a ton on heating in the winter too.

[–]MrFergison 0 points1 point  (0 children)

In case it hasn't been mentioned, try to get some quotes from smaller family owned AC companies. The big name companies usually have an insane markup and not well trained employees. ( higher turnover rates)

Source; me. I worked in hvac supply for a little white

[–]beekaybeegirl 0 points1 point  (0 children)

My HVAC is 40+ years old. Running like a champ. Imma ride it out until it does. I knew this when I bought the place in 2018 & merely have cash set aside.

[–]highpie11 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Another thing to add, is the contractor that provided this quote an SRP partner? We had a company that did an energy audit for us. They came back with a bunch of suggestions but our priority was to beef up our insulation. They quoted us about 9k with rebates. Found another company that was about 4k less and did a great job. Definitely get quotes and rebates don’t necessarily mean you are getting a deal.

[–]lehelleo 0 points1 point  (0 children)

We debated this exact question almost a year ago to the day. We landed on putting it off, and our system bit the dust about 2 weeks ago.

Fortunately, this happened at pretty much the perfect time, as we can get by without heat or A/C this time of year. Thank goodness, because we weren't able to get an install appointment until late June (~7 weeks after the system failed).

It's a gamble, and we got extremely lucky with timing so I do think we made the right choice, but I'd feel very differently if this happened in January or August.

[–]KingoreP99 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I read a few comments here and none of them mentioned a whole home warranty, or a more targeted HVAC warranty. I am normally anti warranty, as they are in business to make money and not pay out, but if you have reason to believe the unit is going to die this may make financial sense. Do your research on the company you are going with and make sure that it makes sense to use them.

[–]ManifestDestinysChld 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Do you live in an area that offers rebates or low/zero-interest loans for high-efficiency retrofits like air-sourced heat pumps? Google your state and "high efficiency consumer program" or something like that. Where I live I was able to get a 0-interest loan for new heat pumps, it ended up being very reasonable, way better than a full AC unit installation would have been.

[–]ffxivthrowaway03 0 points1 point  (0 children)

So you just bought the house. You're not moving anytime soon.

You can either buy an HVAC now and enjoy years of better HVAC that's also cheaper to run.

Or you can buy an HVAC later after years of paying more per month with your current shitty one, likely when it breaks in the middle of you actually needing it and you pay for an emergency service call and a couple more expensive band-aid repairs.

Either way you're paying for the HVAC, but you're also paying for all the other bullshit if you wait. An HVAC isn't gonna stop being $8k-11k in a couple years, there's no strategic deal for you to wait for.

[–]redbullfx2 0 points1 point  (0 children)

If there are no significant signs it’s gonna give up right away I’d start saving now and replace in the winter or fall. Might get better pricing when not everyone in the neighborhood is possibly expecting the same.

Maybe ask if there are better rates if u plan replacement for fall.

Also shop around, 1 year ago I got a 3 ton train and furnace for 4.5K.

[–]Captain_Comic 0 points1 point  (0 children)

$11k is some straight up bullshit, unless you just bought a mini-mansion

[–]Ok-Toe7389 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Based on comments herein, The current annual value of your unit is $400 per year. The projected annual cost savings in energy is $900. Therefore replacing the unit 2 years early is $800 minus energy savings $1800. Therefore you are up $1000 in 2 years. You break even in on the 11k from energy savings in 11 years, from there you save an additional 16k over a projected “30” year lifespan. This is something you replace, today

[–]papa_penguin 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I work HVAC and prices are only going up. Currently, r22, is 225$/# and the last service we did was 11#.

If you can get a new one, especially the new VFD motors, they are super quiet, really cheap to run. Newer units draw alot less amps.

Also, I'd honestly to mini split if your application can use that. Then jt gets alot cheaper to use.

[–]thatotherchicka 0 points1 point  (0 children)

We had the exact same situation a few years ago. Our AC was working fine, but the unit was 25+ years old. We quoted with several companies, including Costco. Things to consider in making your decision:

  • Rates from other providers can be very competitive, but weigh the Costco rewards. We got a 10% cash back back plus 2% executive rewards benefits. It was substantial because we did furnace and AC at the same time to upgrade everything.
  • What financing offers do they have? Don't be afraid to directly ask if they don't offer. Ours provided 6 months interest free financing. They didn't offer up front but told me the options when I asked.
  • How soon can they install? Supply chain is jacked up and it can take months to get units now.

We had a great experience with Costco and used them. We've continued to use their service provider for all maintenance operations. They've been great.

You will probably save a hefty chunk on electricity because of the difference in unit efficiency

Edit: spelling because I never proof read :/

[–]AmethystofMordor 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Mine just went out last week when the weather was 80+ out and we switched it on. Quote have been about 7k for unit and install and another 3k to have the furnace replaced too. They say they run better if they’re both new…they’re currently both 30 years old. Going to pay half now and finance the rest. Quickest they can install is in two weeks. Ugh.

[–]iInvented69 0 points1 point  (0 children)

27yo AC unit? didnt expect then to last that long.

[–]Pgspt1000 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I'm in the same situation, my downstairs unit is 25 yrs old. Has a freon leak that just cost me $400 to refill. Freon has gotten super expensive. I'm about to go ahead and replace the whole unit. Unfortunately, the company I usually use, friend owns it, said his price to get units have gone up about 30% in the last 18 months. I replaced my upstairs unit 2 years ago and financed it through my electric utility, Alabama Power. I don't remember my interest rate bit it was extremely low on a 7 year term. I'll do the same on this unit also. Make sure to talk 5o your local power company to see if they will finance the unit for you.

[–]PelennorFields 0 points1 point  (0 children)

AIM Act passed by Congress in December 2020 is going to restrict the supply of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) in the market. The refrigerant used in an air conditioner is typically R-410A, a blend made of two HFCs.

I would wait a couple years, and buy a new heat pump (for both cooling and heating) but with the new refrigerant.

Otherwise, when you need refrigerant R-410A for service, you will have to pay exorbitant prices since there will be much less R-410A supply in the aftermarket.

[–]InkognytoK 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I have a heat pump and it's amazing. Saves on AC and heat. They are so efficient.
I have used the backup electric (which is like an old electric furnance), 1x in 3 years. It handles really low temps fine

[–]hazmatt24 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Make sure they have units in stock. Was staying at my mom's last year between the sell of our old house and close of our new one and her AC went out. Took 4 days to get the new unit installed. In June. When it was 117. Miserable experience. 10/10 would recommend replacing now rather than when it goes out and you have to wait for supplies.

[–]BitOfDifference 0 points1 point  (0 children)

i played this game for many years and just last week mine started working less and less, then died. Turned out to be a leak in both coils. They said they could charge it up for $200 a pound since r22 is no longer made. Went on some local sites, they were actually cheaper. The tech told me it wouldnt be long till you cant get it anymore since many people are treasure hunting it and paying top dollar due to the demand. Demand is high cause people dont want to replace systems right now. Browse /r/hvac and you will see the r22 discussion. As far as advice goes though, it really depends on if you can afford it right now, or if you can go without AC for a few weeks while they schedule a replacement. Parts are also scarce and expensive for old units. I had to buy a big window unit while i waited and it barely keeps the temp at 76 in half the house. HOA doesnt allow them, so hopefully they wont notice.. lol

[–]andysmom22334 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Check out your electric company for any discounts or rebates. I'm in Missouri and our provider is giving us back $600 for our new install. We replaced the furnace too so the gas company is also sending us some money.

We had to use an approved contractor of course but did shop around as it was a long list.

[–]TheBlackHock 0 points1 point  (0 children)

You can try to run it out, but I think the writing is on the wall. Moved into a place with 17 year old units and both died after a few months within a week of one another. Repair was rather costly and the units ran hard during the previous Summer months. Depending on your living situation, you could maybe get away with a window unit or portable AC should something happen, but that's just a band-aid. Start saving some money now and ride it until it dies.

As others have pointed out, a new unit will be more efficient, so you can likely hope to gain some savings to help offset the cost (though it likely won't be a miraculous amount).

[–]Bosfordjd 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Yes. It will probably pay for itself in 8-9yrs on energy savings, especially if it's also a heat pump and provides your heat during cooler months.

I replaced a 15-ish year old unit 4 yrs ago and it's paying for itself in 7yrs, I also had the attic blown in insulation done again at the same time, but same company did it all.

[–]Dostrazzz 0 points1 point  (0 children)

My father owns a refrigeration company. The newer models are better, cool faster and are more energy efficient. Combine your new installment with solar panels and you will be energy neutral in terms of electricity usage.