What are average costs to replace an air conditioner coil and condenser in the US?
May 11, 2009 11:47 AM   Subscribe

What are average costs to replace an air conditioner coil and condenser in the US? And, should I stay with R22, or change to R410A?

My air conditioner is leaking coolant in the coil (which is in the attic). An HVAC person came by today to add coolant, and he advised I replace the coil since there is a leak.

He also recommends that I consider replacing the condenser. Currently, my air conditioner uses R22 coolant, and he recommends I stay with that. I understand the environmental concerns about R22, and why environmentally I should change to R410A.

Are there any good reasons to stay with R22?

To replace a Goodman coil (parts and labor), is $1300 - $1500 a fair price?

To replace a condenser that uses R22, for a 2-ton air conditioner, (parts and labor) is $2100 a fair price?

If I replace the condenser with one that uses R410A, what is a fair price for parts and labor?

Any information is helpful, since I know nothing about HVAC. I thought I could find this information myself, by calling around for quotes, but I'm not having much luck (they all want to come to the house, and I just want a general price range).
posted by Houstonian to Home & Garden (5 answers total)
Best answer: We have a split central AC system. We replaced the entire external (condenser/compressor) 2-ton unit last spring for $1700, including haul away and disposal of old dead unit.

We're in Boston.

People sucked with the quotes over the phone. Try to find someone who will come out for a free estimate...
posted by jerseygirl at 12:11 PM on May 11, 2009

Response by poster: I'm not sure if it makes a difference, but for clarity: I have a split central AC system, and the coil and the condenser (parts that may need replacing) are in my attic.
posted by Houstonian at 12:21 PM on May 11, 2009

Best answer: We used to use a ballpark number of $1500/ton installed price for package units on commercial buildings. This is in San Diego. $2100 for 2 tons sounds relatively reasonable, but YMMV.

I don't know of any good reason to stay with R22, but there are several good reasons to switch. Wikipedia says it best:

"Air conditioning manufacturers will no longer be allowed to sell R22 equipment as of January 1, 2010. In the aftermarket service business, the allocation rights for producers who manufacture R22 will be cut each year making the remaining R22 supply potentially smaller than the service demand for the product. This could make R22 scarce in the future, and drive prices to consumers higher." Citation needed, but it makes sense to me.
posted by zompus at 1:07 PM on May 11, 2009

Best answer: In Houston I paid more than that for both portions of my AC repair. I went with ARS, who charges out the ass, but it was Labor Day weekend and the other folks were closed.

I have heard bad things about Goodman, but specifically about their bad ducts. They tended to leak air after an unforgivably short time, like 10 years. Does your repair job include checking and replacing bad ducts?

I have not heard of an argument in favor of replacing the R22 with the newer Freon, except for saving the environment. I want to have someone else try it for a while before I adopt it. I also have the impression that the deadline for changeover is 2020, but do not have a citation.

When I had my condenser replaced it was the middle of a sweaty Houston summer. The guys worked 7 hours to remove the old one and build a new one. I placed a lawn sprinker on the roof, to cool the attic for them. I assume it made a difference. I tipped each one $20, but I am not sure that this is enough, condidering the conditions they had to work in.
posted by Midnight Skulker at 2:05 PM on May 11, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks, all!
posted by Houstonian at 5:11 PM on May 11, 2009

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