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Thread: What to do??

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    78
    Hi again,
    We have been having problems with our air conditioner keeping our house cool so had someone come out to check it out. Found out the majority of our duct work has collapsed and deteriorated. Getting bids now to have them all replaced. Of course every contractor wants to include a new HVAC unit as ours is 14 years old. I really dont want to spend that extra money right now. I know we will have to replace it eventually but why spend that kind of money when nothing is wrong with the one we have now. I know the energy difference would be great, but still with kids driving and in college money spent better elsewhere right now. We would like to see first what kind of difference in keeping the house cool with the duct repair. Does anyone have any recommendations or opinions on this?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN, USA
    Posts
    33,415
    Makes sense to me. Don't have to replace equipment just to fix ducts. Only issue could be is if they have to pull the equipment out to get under it, such as a downflow furnace on a slab. Then all you'd be paying for is the furnace, you'd have the labor cost already. But if that isn't the case, don't replace!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    OK
    Posts
    2,144
    BaldLoonie is right on with this one. I agree, no reason to replace equipment unless it has to be removed to access ductwork. Unless.....Is your ductwork located in a slab foundation? If so, it usually has to be moved overhead to replace and that may require replacing the furnace if your current one can't be converted from downflow to upflow. Otherwise, as long as the ductwork is being replaced, make sure the contractor is using manual D and properly sizing the new ductwork. I wouldn't assume the old stuff was right.
    Never knock on Death's door. Ring the bell and run, he hates that.

    Views expressed here are my own and not neccessarily those of any company I am affiliated with.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    78
    I have no clue if they would have to move any equipment. All the duct work is in the attic, a/c unit outside on a pad and furnace in the garage.

    Thanks for the help

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    78
    Otherwise, as long as the ductwork is being replaced, make sure the contractor is using manual D and properly sizing the new ductwork. I wouldn't assume the old stuff was right.

    Coordinatesales,
    My house use to be only 1350 sq feet. We added on 350 feet 14 years ago, when we also upgraded our air system. We were told we were getting a 3 1/2 ton unit when we found out later that we only got a 3 ton unit. So our unit is also a bit undersized. After educating myself here lately, I realize that none of our duct work was changed to accomodate the bigger air unit. All that was done was add duct for the new room. Wondering now if that had anything to do with the failure of our ducts after only 19 years..what do you think?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    628
    After just 19 years I would be concerned too.

    How did they fail, and what makes you think you found out right away and not that they were leaking two weeks after install?

    ************** Are you sure the contractor is suggesting you need everything replaced and not just giving you an opportunity to do it now all at once if you choose to?

    Your looking at a fair amount of cost to replace all the ductwork, but the test of how well the job is done will be made with your old equipment, so I can understand if the contractor would like to be able to stand behind the whole system.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    78
    danglerb,
    Thanks for your reply.

    I too am wondering now how long it's been since the ducts started going bad. Last Sunday though was the worse problem we had. It was in the low 100's outside and I couldn't get my house cooler than 81 degrees even though the thermostat was at 78 degress. We have never been able to cool, during the day, the house lower than 78 degrees,ever.

    As far as what the contractor is telling us, yes they are all suggesting replacement of older system saying it isnt going to last much longer. Also we have a new law here in CA where anytime a new unit is put in it is now mandatory to do duct testing for leaks, and if the leaks exceed a certain number, then they have to be fixed before inspection can be passed. So in the long run if I replaced the unit now, I would save having to pay for the inspection in the future, as it is going to be done with the new duct replacement anyway..so I do see that point of it. However I hate the thought of spending that kind of money on a new system when mine isnt broken..who knows maybe I will get another 5 years out of it!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Derby City
    Posts
    3,957
    angy, finally a contractor with a crystal ball, i.e. "it isn't gonna last much longer." If the guy telling you that is 80 years old, then who knows, you might get another 20 or 30 years out of it. lol. baldloonie was right on unless the ducts were integral to the equipment which doesn't appear to be the case.

    would updating the system be a good investment at this time? probably.

    is it a pre-requisite to making the duct repairs. no.

    that should answer it. all the best, John.
    Everyone has a purpose in life..........even if it's to be a bad example.

    Seek first to understand, before seeking to be understood.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    894

    John hit it on the head

    if reliability is important, then pursue estimates on an entire replacement.

    if money is an issue, only due what is affordable.

    you can always have a system installed when this old equipment dies on labor day, thanx giving, or xmas eve.

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