Our condenser has stopped working and needs to be replaced. We really need a larger unit but cannot afford to replace the AC and furnace. Can we get a new, larger condenser and not replace anything else? If not, why? Can we replace all of the AC parts with a larger unit and not replace the furnace? If not, why? And is there a good reason that an HVAC company will not install a new condenser that I buy online, or is it just because they want me to buy their more expensive one? One more... can I replace the condenser and not replace any other parts, or do I have to replace more? How hard is it to replace the unit ourselves? Thank you in advance for help. It will be getting hot really soon in California, so we really need this taken care of fast, but we have limited funds and also need a new water heater.
Very helpful response. Thank you. I am not sure about what all is in the attic because I have not been up there, but I know that there is a portion outside and a portion in the attic. The guy that came out didn't even look in the attic and just told us that we have to replace both in order to upgrade the size. I have seen units online that appear to have two parts and are just AC and units that have two parts with the attic part being larger and they are AC and furnace put together. Hoping that our's is the former.
Thank you very much for the info about the electric company. I will look into that as well.
One part outside and one part inside = a split system. You should be able to replace one without the other changing. Here's the thing though - if you upgrade the size of the AC you may then also have to upgrade the furnace. More of a reason to keep them compatible to each other for how they operate and are controlled. But still, it should be possible to increase the A/C while keeping the same furnace.
Since it seems that your ideal would be to get a bigger A/C unit while keeping the same furnace, maybe you should talk to the H/A guy again, or look for another and specifically ask if it is possible to just change out the A/C and if so, what that would cost.
You're still going to be stuck having to hire a mechanical contractor to do the work but it never hurts to shop around and get a couple of quotes.
This thread is almost my exact situation, just don't need a larger unit. Split unit almost 1800 sq ft, believe the compressor is 2 1/2 ton and over 20 yrs old. Still works just not real efficent.
I assume that the refrigerant would have to be changed out to a newer version. Would that be a problem?
At 20 years old you are certainly throwing good money after bad. Get a new unit. It will be so much more efficient than the old that you will have a fast payback period - probably only 2 to 3 years. After that you'll just have lower utility bills.
you can't just change the refrigerant. the oil used in R11 systems turns to gum with the newer formulas, and will kill the compressor. it's just about impossible to get it all out. also, the nozzles inside the tubing need to be replaced to make the new stuff work.
it's really a package deal if you don't want the old machine to fail real soon down the road, and then you have to replace it all.
spend the money once and be done.
sig: if this is a new economy, how come they still want my old-fashioned money?
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