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  1. #1

    Condensor and Evaporator Coil Replacement - What Options Are Really Necessary?

    Current system:
    Year: 2004
    3,100 sq ft 2-story house
    York - 3.5 ton - 11 seer compressor
    York - evaporator coil
    York - gas furnace

    No cold air on 2nd floor. Technician confirmed freon level ok. Determined some bearings missing from blower wheel, causing damage to motor. As a result motor was stopping and lines froze up. Replaced blower wheel and motor. Cold air resumed.

    1 month later no cold air. Technician determine freon levels were too low. Performed leak test and determined leak in evaporator coil.

    Option #1: Replace coil
    Option #2: Replace coil & condensor
    Option #3: Replace coil, condensor, & furnace

    Think we are going w/ option #2 as condensor is 8 years old and uses R-22 freon. From what we understand, if condensor breaks, will most likely need to replace coil again as option #1 will need to convert coil from R-10 to R-22 and will not be compatible w/ new condensor.

    Trane - 2.5 ton - 11 seer compressor
    Trane - evaporator coil
    Trane - thermostat
    Square to round metal transistion
    Metal Y
    Extended warranty (10 year labor)


    • Is it ok to downgrade from a 3.5 ton to a 2.5 ton compressor though we are upgrading to 13 seer from 11 seer?

    • Is an extended warranty really worth it? It costs about $$$$, plus we must perform routine maintenance, such as yearly A/C check-ups, otherwise the warranty is void. The yearly check-ups will runs us about $$$$/year.

    Our thinking is that in 3 years, we would have paid a total of $$$$ for warranty and check-ups and if something happened, can use the money we have spent on the warranty and check-ups on repairs instead.But are unsure if we are just seeing the whole picture.

    • Do we really need a new thermostat? Our existing 5 year-old programmable thermostat works great. Will not getting a new Trane thermostat void the warranty?

    • Do we really need yearly system check-ups?
    Last edited by jpsmith1cm; 08-20-2012 at 03:50 PM. Reason: pricing

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Western PA

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    That's pretty young to be replacing the whole system. I'd suggest replacing the coil and deal whith the whole thing in another 10-15 years. At that time 410A might not be the refrigerant of choice.

    Lack of maintenance can void quite a few warranties,not just extended ones.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    If you are replacing ,seer rating is like mpg and tonnage is capacity i would not downn size unless a load calculation is performed .or you might get hot on the next hot dayes .at 8 years old i would put a coil in it

  5. #5
    We were considering replacing the condensor in addition to the evaporator coil as we were told the condensor has an average lifespan on 10 years and ours is currently 8 years old.

    We were told that if we only replace the coil now and the condensor goes in say another year or two, then it's possible a condensor compatible w/ R-22 freon will not be available and we will have to go w/ an R-410A compatible condensor and then wind up having to replace the coil again as the coil will not be compatible w/ R-410A.

    Is this true or is the average lifespan of a condensor longer than 10 years? We weren't worrying about the furnace as we were told the average lifepsan of a furnace was 15-20 years.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Depends on where you live. In our area the average AC life is closer to 20 years. I've read that salt water areas can see half that but have no personal experience there.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Indianapolis, IN, USA
    Model # of Yorkie?

    Going from 3.5 ton to 2.5 ton new one? Not an 11 SEER unless used. Everything now starts at 13 SEER.

    Somebody needs to maintain the unit. If you keep the coil washed out, drain flushed, filter clean, you may not need to pay a tech annually.

  8. #8
    My mistake. The existing system is 3.5 ton/11 seer and the quote for replacement is for a 2.5 ton/13 seer.

    York model# of current 3.5 ton/11 seer condensor is H1RA042S06D and model# for quote of 2.5 ton/13 see Trane condensor is 4TTR3030D.

    The technician we are considering confirmed that they performed a load calculation. The other companies we received quotes from never measured, just looked at the specs for our current system.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Anderson, South Carolina, United States
    If they took the time to do a load calc and then downsized I feel pretty confident they know what they are doing. If they will stand behind it then I'd go with them. In my county there are 2 companies that do load calc on every replacement, so IMO you have found a gem

  10. #10
    I live in NC and am not sure of the average lifespan on a condensor in this part of the country. All I could really find info about was the average lifespan in general, which seemed to be anywhere from 8-10 years to 10-12 years, w/ 10 years being the most common answer I found.

    Should I not worry then about replacing the condensor if it is 8 years old and I live in NC?

    Should I consider the extended warranty? Worried that there will be some reason that Trane will deny a claim when the time comes for a repair.

    Should I consider the suare to round metal transistion and metal Y to help reduce static pressure?

    Should I consider the new thermostat they are trying to include (for a significant fee) if my existing programmable thermostat works fine?

    Also, the compressor in the suggested new condensor does not have an anti-short cycle timer. I need to verify whether my current thermostat has one but even if it does, not sure that if this option failed on my current thermostat during a power outage and as a result the compressor shorted, if this would void the Trane warranty.

    I truly appreciate everyone's feedback. These repairs represent a significant amount of money for our family and we want to make the best, educated decision that we can and not make one based on pressure or sales talk from the A/C company.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    NC Sandhills
    Most people say 10 years simply because most warrantys on major parts are 10 years. Most people get a better deal changing out a entire system than they would getting one part changed now and another a few years later, but 8 years is to early to change out if you have not had any problems with it especially if its still under warranty. The average I see is over 15 years in a single family home. The price of refrigerant can be an issue as R22 has more than doubled in a year and is only going up, but most leaks are in the evaporator (inside coil) and if you replace the condenser unit later it will be precharged with R410 and the evaporator should be able to be converted to R410 with a fairly simple txv change out if equiped. Most modern digital thermostats have a short cycle/power loss delay, and Trane (or any other major maker) will NOT void your factory parts warranty if you do not have a maintainence agreement or extended warranty. Personaly I would just change out the evaporator coil.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    They person telling you 10 years as a average is the salesman ask him how long the new one will last. Unless you live by the ocean if it don't last 15 years it was not any good

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