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Old 08-09-18, 12:00 AM   #3
MN Renovator
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$2600 for what type of unit though, a 13 SEER builder grade unit without high/low pressure switches? The cost to install also usually will need a new 240v electric run with disconnect box to the outdoor unit plus the lineset running towards your air handler. Add permitting costs too. If you have a simple install with an easy to reach electric service panel and an unfinished or otherwise easily accessible basement and air handler for the lineset, I could see that cost being reasonable. Usually that's about the cost of replacing an existing unit though, I would have figured another $500-1000 more. For a new condensing furnace and 1.5 or 2 ton 16 SEER AC unit(with pressure switches, not builder's grade) with new disconnect box and lineset, my expected quote is around $6k after tax credits. This includes haul away of the old equipment and evacuation of the R22, which they will probably reuse and make money by selling to someone else regardless of the legality or contamination risk to the equipment it might be put into.

My personal consideration was to leave my existing unit in place and do a DIY mini-split install of a very high SEER in my bedroom placed in a way where I could leave the door open and have it shoot through the door across the hall and essentially cool the upstairs with natural convection making the whole house reasonably cooler at the same time and using the old 8.5 SEER junker on the hottest days similar to how more heat strips get used with heat pumps when they are over their capacity. After that consideration I've had housemates move in and they run computers 24/7 and heat up the lower half of the house, so the central A/C makes more sense now plus the electrical cost is split between the housemates so I'm less motivated by cost to do it now. Once they eventually move out, I figure that just having the bedroom cooling is probably enough since I spend most of my time in the bedroom including using the computer, reading, and watching movies and tv. Usually I don't mind if it's hot in the house as long as I keep the dew point below 55 in the house, it's sleeping that I feel the need for cool air. If I sell the house, I'd likely take the unit with me.
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