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Question DetailsAsked on 2/20/2017

What is the usual cost for an evap coil replacement on a Rheem 410-A HVAC?

I have a 7 yr old Rheem R-410A Was told the evap coil needs to be replaced. Was quoted $1,786 for a 3 hr job. I live in southern NJ is this reasonable? Is this typical for this brand? Should this have been noticed when I had my fall maintenance? Just very disgusted about the entire situation. Heating bill is through the roof. Should I just look into another HVAC not that I have $$$. Just seems too much. Please advise, thank you.

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You can find quite a few similar questions with answers in the Home > HVAC link under Browse Projects, at lower left. Some responses also address the repair versus replace issue and economics - though generally if over about 10 years old that is an issue you should consider, and if over about 15 and certainly if over 20 years if the budget will bear it, replacement should certainly be in the picture - both because the unit is almost certainly on its last legs, but also the energy savings from the higher efficiency are more significant with that old a unit. Whether the unit has been running with very low refrigerant comers into the picture too because the refrigerant circulates the lubricating oil around in the system - lose a major part of your pressure and the compressor starts heating up and wearing faster, so if the gas basically bled off most of the way (or totally) and the unit kept operating or was shutting itself off because it was overheating you might have severly worn or smoked the compressor. Generally, checing the oil in the filter/oil separator will show if the compressor was "smoking" hot - the refrigerant will be dark brown or blackish.

General consensus seems to be that about $1000-2000 is the normal range for this these days - with $1200-1600 seeming to be about the predominant price range so yours is at the upper end - but you are also in a generally (if near urban area) in a higher cost area. Depends of course on manufacturer (yours is a low-end unit), whether going with OEM or aftermarket coil, and coil accessibility. Typically in the very rough range of half the cost of installing a totally new A/C system.

You could of course contact other Heating and A/C (your Search the List category) companies for bids for comparison - though you would have to be sure that the scope is comparable between contractors. For instance, does the price include replacing refrigerant (and how much) and adjusting TXV (control valve) to bring operating function into the optimal range, and replacing the filter/dryer canister filter (or entire unit if disposable type).

I presume the contractor told you (and hopefully demonstrated to you) that the coil actually had a leak or was badly corroded - not that he made the assumption that the coil was bad without actually testing to show that was the problem - an all too common shortcut by some HVAC techs.

You talked about heating bill through the roof - if you meant electric bill from the A/C, it will use a great deal more power (sometimes doubling your electric bill or more) if the refrigerant has leaked down. If you actually meant "heating bill" as you said - then unless this is a heat pump rather than an air conditioner, unlikely there is a relation between the two issues. Heating unit could need cleaning/adjusting - or your issue could be ducting, house insulation or air leaks, etc.

If it is a heat pump (so provides cooling and heating both) then if it was low on refrigerant gas that would affect the heating side too - if the heat pump is not efficinetly pulling in heat from the outside, then your auxiliary heating unit in the air handler would be operating to make up the difference. Sometimes gas-fired so not much less efficient than a normal furnace, but if electric heating element to provide heat when the heat pump cannot keep up, then your electric bill would skyrocket.

Obviously, if gas fired heat pump auxiliary heater or gas-fired furnace then your gas bill would primarly reflect more heating demand - if electric element than the electrci bill would be what goes up, both due to the heat pump running a lot more trying to turn nout the heat, and also because of the electric heating element operating to make up for the heat not being produced by the heat pump.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD

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