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Question DetailsAsked on 3/2/2015

Approximate cost of replacing AC. My house is a 97 built and I have a leak in my upstairs AC.

My options
1) get coil replaced and refilled $1500 + cost of refill
2) entire new 3 ton AC with 16 seer lenox was quoted about $12k

This is in Texas and wondering how these costs compare

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Voted Best Answer

I had thought BayAreaAC would have jumped in here, but since he has not I will take a shot at it, sicne this has been sitting 6 days or so:

Assuming the leak is in the evaporator coil and cannot be brazed, then the $1500 cost for the evaporator coil replacement sounds in the normal range. Refill cost, assuming the R-22 (Freon) itself might run say in the $250-500 range, so ballpark $2000 plus or minus for a repair. With the realization that any future leak will cost probably $500 - 1000 range for the Freon since it is being phased out, and that your unit is pushing 18 years old so at or slightly beyond the normal life expectancy for an HVAC system, it might come down to a question of how able you are to pay for a replacement system now, and how long you plan on staying in the house. Certainly, you can't count on your unit working for a lot more years, so if planning on staying in the house indefinitely then it would be a question if the repair might keep it going another say 2-3 years to pay for itself - might, or unit might give out the next week making that money a throw-away.

I would say $12,000 for a 16 SEER replacement sounds like it is terribly high to me - certainly get at least 3 bids total aso you can compare, because for $12,000 I would have been expecting an extremely high efficiency unit - which in my opinion is generally not worth it. I would expect about half that amount give or take for a suitable replacement, so I would say shop around some.

You can see lots of prior questions with typical pricing, discussion on the R-22 Freon phaseout and consequences of repairing an R-22 unit, etc in the Home > HVAC link right below your question.

Answered 5 years ago by LCD

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