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Regan Land
Regan Land, HVAC Technician
Category: HVAC
Satisfied Customers: 525
Experience:  15 years of experience, NATE Certified, Licensed HVAC Contractor, Certified IAQ Specialist
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How much would it cost to install a 3.5 ton, Trane xb14 air

Customer Question

How much would it cost to install a 3.5 ton, Trane xb14 air conditioner ? Roughly ?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: HVAC
Expert:  Regan Land replied 3 years ago.

Regan Land :

Hello. Welcome to JustAnswer.com. My name is XXXXX XXXXX X'XX be happy to assist you today.

Customer :

ok

Regan Land :

Are you only replacing the air conditioner, or the indoor heating section and cooling coil as well?

Customer :

The unit that is being replaced is from 1998 so I am not sure I need a new coil and fan unit ?

Customer :

Could you give me both prices ?

Regan Land :

Sure, so it's an electric heat air handler, correct?

Customer :

gas

Regan Land :

Okay, thank you. With the new refrigerant that's being used (R-410A), you'll need to replace at least the outdoor unit and the cooling coil. For that you'll likely be looking at about $3,000. To replace the gas furnace will likely add about $2,000-3,000, depending on what efficiency furnace you would want. To get an Energy Star rated system (to be eligible for the tac credit), you'll need to replace all the components. Of course, pricing can vary by region and difficulty of completing the job.

Customer :

Do they really save that much money(in your electric bill) ?

Customer :

Do you think they are worth it ?

Customer :

Should I get the extended warrenty ?

Regan Land :

That depends on what you have now... Since it was installed in 98, it's at least a 10 SEER. I can give you an idea of what you can expect to save... what state do you live in?

Customer :

maryland

Regan Land :

Okay, do you know your current electric and gas rates by any chance?

Customer :

.97 cents per kilowatt/hr

Regan Land :

What I would need is the total cents/kwh after all the distribution fees, etc. National average is aroung 15 cents per kwh, which I can use if you aren't sure.

Customer :

ok,, go ahead and use 15 cents

Regan Land :

Okay, and I'll also use 107 cents per therm for the gas rate. I'll also assume your current system is a 10 SEER and the gas furnace is an 80% efficient furnace.... unless you know that something is different, that is

Customer :

no, go with your numbers

Regan Land :

Okay, just a sec

Regan Land :

If you were to go with an 80% variable speed gas furnace, you will likely get around 15 SEER out of that XB14. Based on this, you'll save a little over $300 per year (aprox 15 year ROI)... If you go up to a 16 SEER and 90% gas furnace, you'll be looking at a yearly savings of about $515 (10 year ROI). That doesn't sound all that great, but the system is at about the national average for life span, so you'll likely need to look at replacement soon. You will also increase the value of the home by aroung 10k by replacing.

Customer :

Not going to sell the house any time soon and I am concerned about the repair costs of the complicated high eff. unit. What would it cost to replace a 10 seer 3.5 conventional outside unit(only) ?

Customer :

If I got the high eff. unit would you get an extended warrenty ?

Regan Land :

Likely around $2,000... the problem is that they can't manufacture outdoor units with R-22 refrigerant.

Regan Land :

I typically do recommend the extended warranty

Customer :

So I don't have any choice but the high eff. unit ?

Regan Land :

Doesn't cost too much, and covers all parts and labor for 10 years

Regan Land :

13 SEER is the minimum... the XB14 is a base 14 SEER. Replacing the outdoor unit and coil is the least I would recommend.

Customer :

And what would this cost ?

Regan Land :

That was the aprox 3k mentioned above

Customer :

whoops, just found it sorry. I was thinking about doing now for the tax credit as I am not sure it will be offered next year ?

Regan Land :

There have been rumors that it will be available next year, but nothing from the EPA. If you go for the tax credit, you'll need to replace all components and rating will have to be 16 SEER minimum (and 13 EER).

Customer :

O.K. maybe I will wait then cause last year we had a "booster capacitor" installed to help jump start the compressor. This worked but the tech. told us the compressor might be sticking or it could be from the power company messing with the power as we are in a "peak rewards" program where they give us a rebate for giving them the right to shut down our compressor during peak demand periods. What is your favorite brand ?

Customer :

air conditioner brand ?

Customer :

Are there 2 rebates ? One from the EPA and one from ?????

Regan Land :

I'm a Lennox dealer, and have had a lot of luck with them. Trane is my second favorite.

Customer :

Are you suggesting the rebate this year is greater than next year ?

Regan Land :

There are local state rebates that are periodically available (as well as utility company and manufacturer rebates), but I'm not real sure about Maryland

Regan Land :

No, I'm just not sure if the EPA will offer tax credits next year.

Customer :

To replace all the parts(for rebate) is probably going to be 6-7K verse $3K ; not real sure the rebate/cost savings is worth the extra expense ?

Customer :

not including a warrenty

Regan Land :

The current tax credit is 30% (up to $1,500), so if you spend $6,500 on a new system you'll get $1,500 back. Now your only talking 3k vs 5k which, in my opinion, is worth it.

Regan Land :

The new equipment will have a 10 year all parts and 20 year heat exchanger warranty, so the extended warranty really only covers labor (and refrigerant, filter/drier, etc in the case of a coil or compressor change out).

Customer :

But you still recommend the extended Warrenty ? What about a 2 stage Copeland compressor ? Have you heard of these and are they more reliable ?

Regan Land :

I would still recommend the extended warranty as long as it's at a reasonable price (around $600 or so). I've just seen it pay for itself time and time again, and I've seen customers wishing they went ahead and purchased it when it's too late. The 2-stage Copeland Scroll is probably the best 2-stage compressor out there. They are much more reliable than the old recipricating 2-speeds.

Customer :

What manufacturer do you recommend that uses the Copeland ?

Regan Land :

Lennox... Trane makes their own compressor, but it's essientially the exact same thing as the Copeland. Carrier uses them as well, but only in their high tier equipment.

Customer :

I think American Standard uses the Copeland ?

Customer :

Do you think the Lennox/Trane compressor is just as reliable as the Copeland ?

Regan Land :

American Standard is a Trane with a different tag and different color. Both are owned by Ingersoll Rand, and both use the same components.

Regan Land :

Lennox uses Copeland... Trane/American Standard compressors are as reliable as Copeland.

Regan Land :

Lennox and Trane designed the 2-stage Copeland Scroll. Tranes compressor is almost an exact replica thats painted orange

Customer :

Ok. I think I have thought of everything ? Any other comments ? You have been very helpful !

Regan Land :

Nothing off the top of my head... except the installation is just as important as important (if not more) than the manufacturer. Be sure to use a well known contractor to do the installation and remember that cheaper isn't always better.

Customer :

OK. Not sure how to rate the installer ? Guess I just go with a company that has been doing it for a while ?

Customer :

Angies List ??

Regan Land :

Check with the BBB and other accreditation sites (yes, like Angies List). Also, ask your neighbors and friends who they use. Get more than one bid and be sure to sit down with each contractor (preferably at their place of business at some point). Choose the one you feel most comfortable with.

Customer :

Sound good. Thanks Again.

Regan Land :

Also check the newspaper for "Best Of" results.

Regan Land :

No problem, thank you! Best of luck to you!

Customer :

OK bye.

Regan Land, HVAC Technician
Category: HVAC
Satisfied Customers: 525
Experience: 15 years of experience, NATE Certified, Licensed HVAC Contractor, Certified IAQ Specialist
Regan Land and 7 other HVAC Specialists are ready to help you

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