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BillyHvac, Journeyman HVAC Tech
Category: HVAC
Satisfied Customers: 22679
Experience:  Endorsed for unlimited heating, cooling, oil burners, boilers, refrigeration, hydronics
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Please advise me on a new HVAC system in Atl, GA. I have a freon leak (old R22) and system

Customer Question

Please advise me on a new HVAC system in Atl, GA. I have a freon leak (old R22) and system is 15 years old. 3 contractors all suggested I replace instead of repair at cost of at least $1,400.
Ground floor 1,300sf condo with a garage underneath. QUOTE 1: Trane XR14 2 Ton 14 SEER Heat Pump with Hyperion TAM4 Air Handler, 5kw heat strip, Honeywell WiFi TStat, remove/reinstall water heater - replace shark bite fitting with proper ball valve (I agree), 10 year warranty, Manual J Load Calculation, new equipment pad, new vibration isolation pads, new ACR copper tuning, 500 micron vacuum, pressure check with Nitrogen, remove existing equipment, air tight plenum transition, mastic seal supply/return, clean work area, install auxiliary condensate drain pan, 2 safety float switches, 10 year labor & parts, Ductwork Analysis and Quality Control Audit after install for $5,960 OR same as above but change TStat to Trane XL824 and add Variable Speed Air Handler QUOTE #2 $6,860
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: HVAC
Expert:  BillyHvac replied 2 years ago.
before we get started...can you tell me if the leak was found?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
No, it would cost $230 to perform a leak test. The system has leaked for the past 2 years and only had to refill with @ 2lbs R22. It is completely void of R22 now.
Expert:  BillyHvac replied 2 years ago.
there is quite a game going on with empty threats of r22 and cost. There are many replacements for r22 (r421 being one)that are a direct changeout....AND the price of r22 is being inflated by contractors to sell equipment.
I currently pay $300 per 30lb jug. Yet places are selling for $50 lb with a cost of $10 per pound.....but on to the unit...if you are ready to replace anyway the repair doesnt matter. I just let people know that a true service company saves equipment like this everyday.
Now the own opinion..stick with the package that does NOT have the variable speed motor. They are more probe to breakdown than standard motors. And once warranty is over...the motor is $600 by itself.
I speak from a service point of view...I have many more variables fail than standard. Ask any questions you need to as I give advice based on 15 years of record keeping for breakdowns
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
At what repair cost would you decide to replace as opposed to fixing?
How about the equipment itself? Is the pricing fair? Do the systems (heat pump & air handler) match? Any other advise? This is a big investment.
Expert:  BillyHvac replied 2 years ago.
The repair :
if the unit is losing freon that fast it is possible to find a leak quickly. $90 buys an hour and with the electronic leak detectors, leak solution and dyes the leak is generally found in the first 10 minutes. If the leak is anywhere except the indoor coil face and condenser coil face (the parts that look like radiators) then it is repairable.
Your unit is 2 ton so it holds less than 5 lbs...even at 100% mark up that is 5 X $20 = $100.
Leak check -$90
Repair - $180 (allow 2 hr)
5 lbs r22 @ $20 ea = $100
Total repair = $370.00 Now lets say everything is twice as much...$740.00
I see this everyday from contractors who sell equipment. It is easier to make a sale than a repair.
Now the equipment. It is a great product (I am Trane Dealer also) and your price is not too bad. It is a matching system and with all the extras it is very acceptable. I do like that they do a manual J as that is a sign of accurate system.
All in all....if you are ready to replace, that is a great product at a good price.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
If the repair is about $400, then I'm certainly willing to risk that amount... Perhaps my unit can run for another 5 years or more. Can you recommend 2 HVAC company's in Atl, GA? I have been with Reliable for about 2 years and they want to charge me $230 for the leak test, 8lbs of R22 x $99 per lb = $792 plus the TBD cost of the repair.
Expert:  BillyHvac replied 2 years ago.
99 a pound!!
wow...I thought $50 was bad. But you can see with a quick copy and paste below what the r22 is to anyone with a epa card to purchase
I cannot recommend a contractor in your area as I have no personal experience with them.
This may be worth calling around and asking what the r22 is per pound.
I feel for those who get hit with this..I am afraid all you can do is call around and inquire.
It is not my intention to sidetrack away from replacement...but my company specializes in FIXING and REPAIRING instead of sales of new. I just wanted you to be aware of the "situation".