Thursday, June 28, 2012

Ding dong, our A/C is dead

So, we thought our 70s A/C unit would just last and last forever, but we've been told our compressor no longer...compresses...so instead of finding a new compressor for this old unit (most likely over 1k to find that part), we need to just replace it.  
A very reputable company in our city gave us a quote of $3880 for a new Rheem unit, 3.5 ton, 16 SEER, single stage - a nice middle of the road unit.  Rheem and Trane are at the top of Consumer Reports for air conditioners.  
We also have a mutual friend that installs HVAC and would give us a much cheaper price, but he can't get the top brand units because they only sell large quantities to big companies.  He can get us smaller names made by the same manufacturers, like Payne (owned by Carrier)...
Then I did some research online and found that there are wholesalers that sell A/C units on ebay for great prices with free shipping.  
I'm considering getting the Rheem unit on ebay and having our friend install it.  From what I can see on the manufacturer websites, as long as you register your purchase within 90 days of receiving it, the warranties will still apply no matter who installs it or where you purchased it.  Has anyone purchased such a large item on ebay?  Or do you have any recommendations on A/C brands?  

7 comments:

Deb said...

Ugh - a new baby, a heat wave coming and no A/C? Can you stay somewhere until it gets installed?

Good luck!!

Elisa @ What the Vita said...

No rec's, but I write a lot for HVAC companies and I would suggest that you make sure to get the right size of AC -- too big, you will pay too much in utilities, too small, it'll overwork itself and your home won't feel comfy. I hope your friend will size your home as part of his services other than installation?

Kristin said...

We installed a new Amana 18-SEER unit (along w/ a furnace) when we bought our house 3 years ago and have been very happy with it. Our electric bills are SO MUCH LOWER than the previous homeowners' (w/ a 20-year old unit). We like it pretty cool in our house (and live in Atlanta) and I think the most we've paid for electric in the summer is around $170 for a 2300 SF house. It definitely pays off getting a more efficient unit. Also, we have a lifetime warranty as long as we own the house, which is nice.

Sara @ Russet Street Reno said...

Deb - our current A/C still puts out some cool air, so it's about 74 degrees inside the house. Not that bad, we can deal until a new one comes.

Elisa - the company that gave us the estimate measured our house and determined we were in between a 3 and 3.5 ton, so to go larger is better. Thank goodness we had them come to talk to us, so we could find out what size we needed.

Kristin - wow, that's good to know that the energy bills are so much lower with a new unit! I hope that happens for us, too.

Rachel@hammeringourwayhome said...

What a time to lose the AC, yuck! We just had a new HVAC system put in. The AC unit is a Haier. We've been pumping it the last week and it's been great. We have Rheem products inside (water heater, furnace) but haven't tested them out much yet (we don't have a shower in...). All systems we got are supposed to be 92% efficiency (or something like that), so if that's important to you it might be a good choice. Good luck hope you find something quick!

RLJohns said...

I installed a Heil furnace and A/C which is made by Carrier and I love it! The A/C is whisper quiet! Especially compared to my old aqua green unit installed in 1985, it was 2 years older than me!

Kim @ NewlyWoodwards said...

Ugh. I hate big purchases like this. They aren't fun or sexy. Nothing like that sexy beast of a kitchen remodel. ;).we didn't even think of buying the unit online, although it seems so smart to me. Ryan ordered our fireplace wood burning insert online and installed it himself. The savings was incredible. Good luck!