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So in the wonderful heat late last week, we noticed our A/C wasn’t working great. It would try to cool, and then after 15 minutes or so the saver switch would shut it off (stupid saver switch, I need to disable that thing…). However in years past, it could usually catch up in that time, so we had someone look at it on Friday.

They found our 17 year old, Payne A/C unit was low on R22. They couldn’t say how low, and didn’t recommend topping it off. As it could take up to 5 lbs at $85 per pound and no idea of how long that would last since there was already a leak. And that a leak wasn’t worth chasing down on that old of a unit because none of the new parts support the R22, so it would be futile and wasted money. I opted to top it off and see how long we can last and luckily it only took 1 pound. That being said I am looking into a replacement…

I got a quote from them for $4k for a 16seer mid-range model (new outdoor unit, evap coil, etc). My electric company only gives me a rebate of $100 for a 16 seer or greater unit. However, I can get a $500 rebate on a heat pump, and half-price electricity on it through a metered use program. However, he said he “cannot find an indoor unit for my equipment to pair with a heat pump”. He also said heat pumps aren’t really worth it in MN unless you’re on propane, the payoff is too long. This particular company also offers a 17 seer AC Unit that has a 2 stage compressor, but I was told that is a significant price increase as well.

Can I expect a new AC to last me another 17 years? Or are they built to be disposable now just like many major home appliances?

Our furnace is a 7 year old Carrier Performance 96, that seems to work well. It was replace 1 year before we moved in. So while the old owner got the 10 year warranty, we only got the 5 year transfer warranty and of course last year had the inducer motor go out… Do I need to stick with a Carrier AC unit to get them to perform well together or can any of them really work together?

Does anyone here run a heat pump or a 2-stage A/C unit that could offer some comparisons? $4k feels like quite a bit for a “mid-range” unit, and they are about 1 month out on installs right now, but maybe thats the going rate now. Any insight would be appreciated, thanks in advance.

George, any insight?