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putting central Air in an older house. How much $?

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Alter, Jul 24, 2007.

  1. My sister has an older (circa 1930) home with radiators for heat and no central air. It's a beautiful place and she's updated everything except the hvac system. She's now looking into updating the home's hvac system and she asked me how much such a thing would cost. I have absolutely no clue how much it costs to redo the hvac in an old house but I'm a man and can't admit it when I don't know stuff like that ;) so I figured someone here might have a clue and I can pass the info on to her.

    The house is 2 stories and around 1800 square feet plus a full basement (another 900 square feet in the basement is finished). Can anyone give me a rough ball park estimate as to how much she should expect to pay (assuming one zone and good but not great quality equipment, also assuming that the duct work that needs to be installed can be used for both heating and cooling in case she wants to go that route)?

    If it matters, the house is in SW Ohio (south Dayton suburbs).

    Edit: I'm not sure if she wants 2 zones or just one. Also, I'm not sure if wants to stick with the radiators for heat or convert the house to forced air heat since she'll need to have duct work installed for the cooling.


  2. ParmaBass

    ParmaBass Kiss The Converse

    Probably between $4000-$5000. We have a similar sized house and just got this done 2 years ago. We got a new furnace, A/C and all the duct work done. We had about 8 different companies come out to give us quotes.

  3. I just purchased a condensing unit and a coil for my parents home and total cost $850.00 not installed. same unit about 7 yrears ago was 400 everything is now i think 13 seer
  4. I've been in HVAC in Columbus for 27 years, mainly estimating & selling jobs like your sister needs. 1 zone only!! Trust me on this, not a big enough structure to zone. Price would depend on what she wants. Is she still going to use boiler/raditors for heat? Is gas available? The duct system should cost $1,200.00-$2,200.00 depending on how difficult job is. A/C range from $2,300.00 for an R-22 (old freon) to $3,000.00 for R-401A (new freon)for a 2 1/2 ton, that's normal for 1,800 sq.ft. In an old uninsulated one she may need a 3 ton. Add $200.00-$400.00 to that guess. If she keeps boiler for heat she'll only need an air handler to power duct system. An air handler is what electric furnaces are now. Basically a box with a fan & a space for a coil,either heat pump or A/C, & a space for electric strip heaters. Cost could range from $1,900.00- $3,400.00. If she wants heat from new system add $250.00-$400.00 for electric heaters in air handler & with electric only she should get a heat pump instead of A/C. Heat pump will add $300.00-$500.00 over cost of A/C. If she can get gas, a gas furnace can run from $1,350.00 (80%) to $3,900.00 (95%, variable speed blower, 2 stage heat). She can expect to pay $5,000.00-$8,500.00 total. If she is planning on staying in the house for more than 10 years she should buy R-410A freon as R-22's cost has tripled in past 3 years & will continue to do so & if she can get gas, the highest efficiency furnace she can afford. I don't know any Dayton HVAC companies so I can't give you a referral. Metal price increases has hit HVAC equipment hard. The day b/4 Katrina hit, a 30' lineset between A/C & coil could be sold for $100.00, 2 days after that same lineset costs $200.00. What a poke!!! I thought they don't mine or smelt copper in La. it must be used as a shipping point. Wrong, 95% of copper mined in the world is from Utah. The price of copper went up cuz they could screw us!!!
  5. Wow, thanks guys. I think she'll be really happy to find out that this won't cost her an arm and a leg. I'll pass the info on to her so she'll have an idea what to expect when she starts bringing people in for estimates.

    My thoughts were she should probably go ahead and modernize the heat as well (I believe she can go with gas heat) especially if she can get it all done in the $8000 range that seems pretty reasonable (of course it won't be my $$$ ;) ).

  6. Bass_Hawg

    Bass_Hawg Certified Hawg Master

    I have an old old house. Built in early early 1900's I think.

    We have little over 1750 square feet. Total cost was just under 16 grand. This was eveything. AC and Gas heat. Duck work, furnace labor and eveything. I got quotes ranging from 3000 to 19,000. We went with EDs heating and cooling cause they were very reputable and respected our request. they were very carefull when installing and did a great job of cleaning there mess.

    I am satisfied with my system and it does a good job heating and cooling my house.
  7. Make sure the contractor does a Manual J - this will give you the size of the unit needed. A unit too large can waste fuel. Depending on your sisters income, she may qualify for the Home Weatherization Assistance Program (HWAP) which could insulate her home and possibly help with the furnace. She should call the Community Action Partnership of Dayton at 937-341-500 and ask for the Weatherization Department. At least ask them if they could recommend any contractors that they use. All work done is inspected by well-trained agency staff and if contractors do poor work, they are no longer used.
  8. Micro_Mini_Angler

    Micro_Mini_Angler live-2-fish

    YEA, i am getting it too, but a buddy from church is doing our, we are getting a r-22, he is doing it for about $1,800 hope this helps you
  9. Iam telling you i can get brand new ac units for 850.00$ you will have to find some =one to install. The guy did my parents for 300.00 took him 3hiurs or less. Dont let her get taken to the cleaners crooks around every corner
  10. Micro_Mini_Angler

    Micro_Mini_Angler live-2-fish

    yep, u never know who is telling the truth these days