Author Topic: Replacing My Heat Pump - Are These Quotes Normal or Insane?  (Read 3603 times)

cdiggs

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Replacing My Heat Pump - Are These Quotes Normal or Insane?
« on: December 04, 2014, 12:24:44 PM »
My wife and I live in the suburbs surrounding D.C. and are getting estimates for a new heat pump and air handler for our home.  Our existing units are 30 years old and have reached the point where it makes sense to us to replace them instead of putting a lot into repairing them.  Because of how old our current system is, even new builder grade units would likely operate at roughly twice the efficiency of our current unit.  We have received four estimates so far ranging from $5,500 - $9,000 for 2.5 ton builder grade and mid-grade electric heat pumps and air handlers if we pay cash.  The price goes up if we want to finance regardless if the financing is offered at 0% or at some other rate.  As far as brands go we've received many estimates for Trane and some for American Standard and Carrier.

Are those estimates normal for other parts of the country too or are we paying thousands more because of where we live?
« Last Edit: December 04, 2014, 07:39:30 PM by cdiggs »

The Architect

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Re: Replacing My Heat Pump - Are These Quotes Normal or Insane?
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2014, 12:29:07 PM »
Sounds legit. The heat pump itself can range all over the place, but google says $1.5k-5.5k+ no problem just for the unit. Depends on tonnage - more tons = more money.

whydavid

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Re: Replacing My Heat Pump - Are These Quotes Normal or Insane?
« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2014, 12:42:37 PM »
I paid about $6400 5 years ago for a mid-range, 5-ton Trane unit, installed. 

Given that this was 5 years ago, we were in the midst of a recession that really wiped out HVAC companies around here, and I live in the Phoenix area where labor is cheap anyways, I'm not surprised that many of your quotes are higher than this. 

If you want to save money, make sure the contractor does what is called a 'Manual J Load Calculation' to actually size the unit correctly.  Many contractors will just size the new unit the same as the old one...without taking into account whether or not the old one was sized correctly to start with or if you have done any improvements/additions to the home that would increase/decrease the need for heating and cooling.  If the contractor doesn't know what this calculation is, or refuses to do it because they've "seen a bunch of houses this size in this area and already know the right answer," tell them 'no thanks' and call a real professional.

cdiggs

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Re: Replacing My Heat Pump - Are These Quotes Normal or Insane?
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2014, 12:53:22 PM »
Thank you both!  We currently have a 2.5 ton unit and every company so far has sized the new unit the same as the old.  We haven't had any additions placed on the house and live in a planned community so I would hope that that increases the odds that the units were sized correctly when the homes were built.

neo von retorch

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Re: Replacing My Heat Pump - Are These Quotes Normal or Insane?
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2014, 02:14:01 PM »
My quotes ranged from $4300 to $5700, I believe. I went on the expensive end to get a 10 year parts / 10 year labor warranty on a 15 SEER Trane unit. (Most of the quotes were for 5 year with 13-14 SEER.)
« Last Edit: December 04, 2014, 05:16:43 PM by neogodless »

cdiggs

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Re: Replacing My Heat Pump - Are These Quotes Normal or Insane?
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2014, 02:39:05 PM »
Wow neogodless.  How many years ago was this and do you live in/near an expensive city?

neo von retorch

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Re: Replacing My Heat Pump - Are These Quotes Normal or Insane?
« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2014, 03:17:06 PM »
Just checked my records - July 2008. Came to almost $5800 total. Not really... Harrisburg, PA

The Architect

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Re: Replacing My Heat Pump - Are These Quotes Normal or Insane?
« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2014, 03:32:18 PM »
Just checked my records - July 2008. Came to almost $5800 total. Not really... Harrisburg, PA

Tonnage?

neo von retorch

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Re: Replacing My Heat Pump - Are These Quotes Normal or Insane?
« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2014, 03:39:25 PM »
Just a 2.0.

AccidentalMiser

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Re: Replacing My Heat Pump - Are These Quotes Normal or Insane?
« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2014, 04:02:31 PM »
To answer your initial question: Yes, they are both normal AND insane.

MrsPete

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Re: Replacing My Heat Pump - Are These Quotes Normal or Insane?
« Reply #10 on: December 04, 2014, 07:37:22 PM »
We paid about $5500 two years ago. 
That included installation.

cartechguy

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Re: Replacing My Heat Pump - Are These Quotes Normal or Insane?
« Reply #11 on: December 05, 2014, 07:30:15 AM »
When I was living in VA I had good luck with Bishop heating and cooling give them a call.  They put a few heat pumps in for me at a few of my rental properties and they were VERY FAIR and honest!!

Scandium

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Re: Replacing My Heat Pump - Are These Quotes Normal or Insane?
« Reply #12 on: December 05, 2014, 08:23:59 AM »
Sounds about right. We live in MD, north of DC and paid about $8k for a Carrier unit, including replacing the air handler (and some furnace stuff?). I don't remember exactly what they did but a lot of the old system had CFCs so had to be replaced. Not sure about the size but we don't have a particularly large house

You can get a $300 tax rebate, plus we got a rebate from BG&E of about  $200 I think.