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Replace just central A/C or both A/C and furnace? #5448249 06/07/20 10:41 AM
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Leo99 Offline OP
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My stupid A/C for my upstairs is leaking refrigerant again. It's a chronic problem and I just paid to have it filled with 4lbs and it's leaking again. It's 5 years old but don't know where it's leaking. Leak test is about a thou. plus repairs. It's been a money pit. I'd rather put that money towards a whole new unit. Estimate I have for the Legacy series Bryant 3 ton is $5300 for the A/C, line set, and coil. It's $10,000 to replace everything with a new A/C unit and furnace. 92% efficiency furnace and 14 SEER on the A/C. Furnace is 17 years old. I'd only get the A/C replaced but every time I don't for full replacement on this HVAC, it winds up costing me more in the long run with repairs. Any advice?


Without data you're just another person with an opinion. W. E. Deming


2004 Corolla 125,000 miles
2004 Rav4 399,852 miles (RIP)
2015 Camry 101,000 miles
2020 Rav4 6,000 miles
Re: Replace just central A/C or both A/C and furnace? [Re: Leo99] #5448250 06/07/20 10:45 AM
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CT8 Offline
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Re read your post . Get a good contractor.


2015 F150 2.7
2018 F350 6.2
Re: Replace just central A/C or both A/C and furnace? [Re: Leo99] #5448251 06/07/20 10:47 AM
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bullwinkle Offline
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$1000 just for a leak test?? I need to switch to HVAC!! If it's only 5 years old, and leaking refrigerant that fast, a dye application and/or a decent leak detector should find it easily. What manufacturer is the furnace?


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Re: Replace just central A/C or both A/C and furnace? [Re: Leo99] #5448260 06/07/20 11:08 AM
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JMJNet Offline
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Sounds like it is not installed properly or something like that.

Most AC system have 10 years warranty, I am not sure what brand you have.

Yes, I agree with CTS, get a good contractor.
Sounds like leak test for $1000 is a rip off.
Try to find a company with an owner operated (means the owner do the work himself) for this kind of things but make sure they are good.


  • 2017 Toyota Sienna
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Re: Replace just central A/C or both A/C and furnace? [Re: JMJNet] #5448262 06/07/20 11:18 AM
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Leo99 Offline OP
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Originally Posted by JMJNet
Sounds like it is not installed properly or something like that.

Most AC system have 10 years warranty, I am not sure what brand you have.

Yes, I agree with CTS, get a good contractor.
Sounds like leak test for $1000 is a rip off.
Try to find a company with an owner operated (means the owner do the work himself) for this kind of things but make sure they are good.


I had that guy install the lemon unit. This new contractor is better.


Without data you're just another person with an opinion. W. E. Deming


2004 Corolla 125,000 miles
2004 Rav4 399,852 miles (RIP)
2015 Camry 101,000 miles
2020 Rav4 6,000 miles
Re: Replace just central A/C or both A/C and furnace? [Re: Leo99] #5448264 06/07/20 11:25 AM
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Jimzz Offline
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Yea my dad did HVAC and biggest issues most systems have are due to age, 10+ years, or bad install.

Try to find a smaller HVAC shop, not the large ones that run coupons and "last minute" deals.

Personally I would replace all, esp since you are up north so a 90%+ will save money over time. But prices seem a little high. Shop around more but stick with a 90%+ system though.


yup
Re: Replace just central A/C or both A/C and furnace? [Re: Leo99] #5448266 06/07/20 11:25 AM
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E150GT Offline
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Get a new contractor.


1984 Mercedes-Benz 300SD - 100k
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2016 Mazda6 Touring 6MT - 81k 5w30
2006 Buick Lucerne CXL 3.8 50k 5w30
Re: Replace just central A/C or both A/C and furnace? [Re: Leo99] #5448267 06/07/20 11:27 AM
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DBMaster Offline
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I'm willing to bet the leak is in your evaporator coil. I bought my house new and had that happen after a mere four years. If it's the system that came with the house and your house was built by a tract home builder remember that they put together systems with cost in mind. The better coil mine was replaced with has lasted 20 years so far.

Re: Replace just central A/C or both A/C and furnace? [Re: Leo99] #5448292 06/07/20 11:51 AM
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walterjay Offline
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Sounds like you are getting ripped. Try another contractor. If you get to the point that you may want to replace it at least try a leak sealer that can be injected into the refrigerant. Nothing ventured, nothing gained with that one.

Re: Replace just central A/C or both A/C and furnace? [Re: Leo99] #5448352 06/07/20 01:53 PM
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WyrTwister Offline
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What I read is , never use a leak sealant , unless you are prepared to rip the old system out , and replace it . If the sealant messes up the system .


Wyr
God bless
Re: Replace just central A/C or both A/C and furnace? [Re: Leo99] #5448432 06/07/20 03:33 PM
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Kruse Offline
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Originally Posted by Leo99
It's 5 years old but don't know where it's leaking.


When the industry went from R22 to R410-A, the manufacturers had a lot of problems with coil leaks. The local places around here replace them under warranty, or I guess I should say they USED to replace them under warranty.
Now the manufacturers seem to think that if you've got this many years on your system, it's due for replacement anyway. As noted, if it was registered when new, it should have a 10 year warranty, unless it's a no-name brand.
$1000 for a leak check? Any good HVAC tech should have an electronic leak checker and should probably find it in less than 15 minutes.

Re: Replace just central A/C or both A/C and furnace? [Re: Leo99] #5448439 06/07/20 03:42 PM
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Use an electronic sniffer with the fan turned off or unplugged. Stick it in the evaporator section and you will hear it make noise if that is where the leak is.


Don't waste your time on a slipshod repair.
Re: Replace just central A/C or both A/C and furnace? [Re: Leo99] #5448444 06/07/20 03:53 PM
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LazyDog Offline
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Get a smaller guy asked him to pressurize the system w/ nitrogen and do the leak test with a sniffer. Out be easy to find this way.

More than likely the coil has a whole the line set not to common unless they get puncture by a nail or screw.

If you do get a new system asked him to install a Cabinet with Coil and any future repairs or inspection are more easier w/ out removing the furnace.

Re: Replace just central A/C or both A/C and furnace? [Re: LazyDog] #5448574 06/07/20 07:12 PM
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Leo99 Offline OP
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Originally Posted by LazyDog
Get a smaller guy asked him to pressurize the system w/ nitrogen and do the leak test with a sniffer. Out be easy to find this way.

More than likely the coil has a whole the line set not to common unless they get puncture by a nail or screw.

If you do get a new system asked him to install a Cabinet with Coil and any future repairs or inspection are more easier w/ out removing the furnace.


The smaller guy that installed it used the sniffer twice but couldn't find the leak. I cheaped out when I had it installed and went with R22 and reused the old coil and line set. I'm not going back to the owner operator that installed it. The new contractor suggested leak testing the A/C unit, line set, and coil separately with an overnight pressure hold. The coil is in a separate cabinet now that is on top of the furnace. Who knows how much longer we'll be in this house. Retirement is on the horizon and the house is a lot bigger than we need. Decisions, decisions.


Without data you're just another person with an opinion. W. E. Deming


2004 Corolla 125,000 miles
2004 Rav4 399,852 miles (RIP)
2015 Camry 101,000 miles
2020 Rav4 6,000 miles
Re: Replace just central A/C or both A/C and furnace? [Re: Leo99] #5448583 06/07/20 07:25 PM
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