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Question DetailsAsked on 6/4/2017

Hi. I had my Lennox serviced recently and was told I need to replace the coils ($3,100 ). Help!

The rate I was quoted is: $3100 to replace the coils. $5800 to replace the coils and the condenser.

Here's the details from the a/c service call:
I performed a one time cleaning. Found blower run cap is rated for 7.5 and reading 6.8 this is weak and should be replaced blower amps are 6.3 I blew out drain line also checked coil I found multiple leaks in evaporator coil. Informed home owner. Also I washed condenser coil and checked electrical run cap is rated for 50/10 and reading 45.62 this is weak also informed home owner that fan motor has need replaced. Also unit is low on r22 due to the age and also using r22 I informed home owner that we would need to give her a quote.

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1 Answer


Those run capacitor readings would not seem real low to me for capacitors which have seen a bunch or service, compared to the "new" values - but not knowing what the rating is supposed to be for the motors (fan and compressor)it is hard to say if they are low enough to really need replacing - though even if so, typically should be about maybe $200-350 charge combined to replace those so not a major part of the proposed cost.

Does not say WHY fan motor needs replacing - so hard to tell if it really needs replacing or not.

You say both coils need replacing - but I don't see on the listing that he found any leak in the condensor coil - only the evaporator coil.

Assuming your unit's evaporator coil is no longer under warranty (can be from 1 year to lifetime depending on make and model - check owner's manual - if under warranty that probablyi saves you $500-1000 range in evaporator coil replacement cost), I would say that quote would be in the range - maybe a bit high - for that work, including some makeup Freon - he did not say how low on freon it is, if way low then with the gas replacement cost the $3100 is probably in the normal range.

Oops - I see he said $3100 for the coils (plural) and $5800 for coils and condensor. The condensor is one of the two coils assuming this is a central air system, not a mini-split system (the indoor evaporator or cooling coil, and the outside condensor or excess heat radiatior coil which the fan blows over would be the two coils) - is it possible he meant or said the coils and the COMPRESSOR for $5800 ? Replacing both coils is a major investment if this is an older system (say over 7-10 years), but replacing both coils and fan and compressor leaves you with almost nothing old - the tubing, filter/dryer, TXV valve and not much more, so you will have prtetty much replaced the system - typically at a much higher price than a totally new system.

If he meant $5800 for the two coils and fan motor only - NOT the compressor - that additional $2700 would be a real red flag to me - even if it included the fan motor and condensor coil and compressor the total sounds quite high to me overall, so a second opinion might be in order before committing to a major expenditure (either for repair or total system replacement).

Anyway, you need first decide if you trust this diagnosis or want a second opinion and quote, for probably about $150-250 - which would be my approach, telling the new guy you have a repair estimate but want an entirely clean diagnosis - not telling him what the other guy found. Then, look at the quotes for repair cost (assuming the second guy comes in with similar repair list) versus total new system cost, including the fact the new system would have a new system warranty and undoubtedly also some annual energy savings due to higher operating efficiency. And also presumably lower refrigerant gas costs in the future because it would not be an R-22 (Freon) unit - would motst likely be an R-410a refrigerant unit because Freon is being phased out under global warming regualtions, and as a new unit should not have leaks for a decade or so whereas the old system would likely be more prone to valve or tubing leaks.

For $3100 the repair/replace decision might be a close call - for $5800 unless a real big house (so say 5 ton or larger unit) or very high efficiency unit I would be surprised if a totally new unit was not as cheap or cheaper, and almost certainly a better economic decision long-term - especially if you live in a high electric cost area.

You can find a large number of previous similar questions with answers addressing typical evaporator coil replacement cost, the economics of a higher efficiency unit and how to estimate your system lifetime energy savings with a higher efficiency unit, etc - click on the Home > HVAC link under Browse Projects, at lower left.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD

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