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Question DetailsAsked on 6/29/2017

do I need to replace my AC coil if I'm replacing the condensor>

my AC went out, a technician came out, states the problem is the condenser & will need to be replaced. I called another company to get a price on a new unit, quite expensive but was told I would also have to replace the coil and that has a $2100 price tag apart from the new 5 ton unit. So I want to know if the coil is a MUST to replace, is it better to get a new unit or just replace the faulty condenser?

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1 Answer


Condensor to some people means the condensor coil (radiator) only - to others that means the entire outside unit (compressor, TXV valve, Condensor, cooling fan). Condensor (radiator) itself should nto be too hard to find a replacement for -total outside unit usually tougher to find one that matches the indoor coil rating.

Depending on how old your unit is you may or may not be able to get a new outside unit if the compressor is what gave out, though those are sometimes replaceable too, though at almost certainly about half the cost of a totally new unit or more.

IF compatible outdoor parts/unit are available, no you do not have to replace the indoor coil, though if it is getting old (over say 5-8 years) it may go out soon too so that pushes your decision towards a totally new system. If compatible outdoor unit parts are NOT available, then the interior coil needs to be replaced too, for the system to operate as it is designed to. It is illegal to install a new system without ALL components being as rated by the manufacturer to obtain the stated SEER rating, so you cannot just take a comparable tonnage rated new outdoor unit and pipe it into an existing coil if they are not comparably rated.

I would say something is VERY wrong or confused about the quote on the new unit coil - first, new systems come complete with coil (have to be, by law, to be SEER rated as a system), and $2100 for a new coil (unless that was an installed cost) is way high - they run about $400-900 retail price, so $2100 would be a ridiculous markup (though not unheard of) if that was for the coil itself. $2000-3000 is in the range for a totally new 5 ton unit cost, INCLUDING evaporator coil - but not including installation, so that $2100 number sounds out of whack to me. So I would say you need a few more quotes on condensor replacement only, and also on total system replacement - I would get both from several vendors so you have the info to make your repair/replace decision.

You can find a lot of previous questions about the repair / replace decision and issues like R-22 unit repair or replacement (due to the ongoing R-22 phaseout driving gas costs up), and the economics of replacing older systems and getting the benefits of higher operating efficiency and a new warranty versus avoid the capital cost of a new system and just repairing what you have - look under Home > HVAC link under Browse Projects, at lower left.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD

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