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Texan_ACHelp

@sbcglobal.net

Cost of Replacing an Evaporator Coil

My AC system has needed freon each year for the last two years - usually beginning of season it is almost empty so I know I have a leak.

I have had 2 companies out - neither did an official leak test, but both said it was the evaporator coil. I have a box plenum that is almost always the source of leak - and no oil or anything on the condenser unit.

So I got a quote to replace the evaporator coil with a 3 ton trane 4TXF-H, new supply plenum, transition, access door, secondary pan and float switch, primary drain run, liquid line drier, vacuum and charge for $2150.

I have called and got another quote for $1750....both seem rather high to me but I am being informed that the labor and cost of these all aluminum systems is much higher? I am in Houston, TX.

Can someone tell me how bad I am getting ripped off?


Msradell
P.E.
Premium
join:2008-12-25
Louisville, KY
Those phrases don't sound terribly unreasonable. Because of all the new EPA requirements that they have to complete drawdown, the Freon and recover it before opening the system, etc. there are a lot of things that they have to do that are not actually in the quote. Just wondering, why are they installing an all aluminum system?

Also, how old is the rest of the system? Depending on age, you may be better off replacing the entire system to take advantage of some of the efficiency gains in the new units.

TheMG
Premium
join:2007-09-04
Canada
kudos:3
reply to Texan_ACHelp
Wouldn't all-aluminum be cheaper since there is no copper (which is relatively expensive compared to aluminum)?


Evap_Houst

@sbcglobal.net
reply to Msradell
The unit is about 10 years old. They are recommending the all aluminum system with an expansion valve so that when the condenser unit fails they can just replace that with a high efficiency system easily.

Both said there wasn't too much savings in doing it all now versus evaporator now and condenser later.

I am thinking the cost of these parts is only about $800 is that about right?


Texan_ACHelp

@sbcglobal.net
reply to Msradell
They are recommending all aluminum so that I can use a high efficiency condenser unit when the condenser coil/compressor fails...and the old systems are tough to get and with the labor cost isn't worth it?? this is all according to them.


Msradell
P.E.
Premium
join:2008-12-25
Louisville, KY
All of the high-efficiency units I've seen have copper, not aluminum, which makes sense, considering copper is a better heat transfer material. Maybe it has something to do with the type of refrigerant the units they are proposing use. It may be corrosive to copper.

I also don't understand how they are saying that there wouldn't be a significant savings doing everything now. When you come back and replace the compressor at a future date, you're going to have to draw down the system and recover the refrigerant, leave the system under vacuum to dry it out and then refill with new refrigerant. All of these steps are quite labor-intensive and would be avoided if everything was replaced now. Also, you would have a more efficient unit and the corresponding energy savings.

switchman

join:1999-11-06
reply to Texan_ACHelp
If it was me, I would just replace the entire system to the new coolant and be done with it. If your compressor is 10 years old, it will probably be going out in the next 2-3 years.


DGriff

@embarqhsd.net
reply to Texan_ACHelp
Get a couple of more quotes, sounds to me as if they are doing some things that may not be necessary, in addition to the coil. If they did not leak test, the leak could be in a valve, copper weld or c/u coil. Be careful. A reputable company, would at this point give you a free second opinion with a courtesy leak check.