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advice on 20yo AC units in Houston replace or not?

advice on 20yo AC units in Houston replace or not?

Old Apr 8th 2018, 3:49 pm
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Default advice on 20yo AC units in Houston replace or not?

We just bought a house with two 20 year old Rheem units (North of Houston). The inspector found one issue. The temperature difference on the downstairs coil is 13 degrees and should be between 16/21. Apart from that both units are working.

Inspector says life expectancy is 15/20 years for the area. Should I replace now or try and get a few more years out of the current units? Being a cheapskate I find it very troubling replacing something that is working.


Having only rented in the past I have not given AC much thought.

Thanks all.
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Old Apr 8th 2018, 4:00 pm
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Default Re: advice on 20yo AC units in Houston replace or not?

Did you close before discovering this issue? If you can still negotiate a fix, I'd do that. If you can't I'd wait and see. The downside is that you will use more electricity to keep the house cool as the A/C is not as efficient as it should be. Also we replaced a 26 you old Rheem A/C which had a SEER of 12 with a new high efficiency carrier that had a SEER of 23.
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Old Apr 8th 2018, 6:02 pm
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Default Re: advice on 20yo AC units in Houston replace or not?

Seller gave us a fair discount in lieu of a number of items raised by the Inspectors report, including AC. I am happy with that.

So you got 26 years use from Rheem..Thanks.
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Old Apr 8th 2018, 6:20 pm
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Default Re: advice on 20yo AC units in Houston replace or not?

As someone who lives in Texas. Replace it now before it breaks down - because you know it will break down when it's 105F and you can't get a thing done about it for weeks.

Also, if it's that old, the refrigerant will be R22 refrigerant which is now banned and eye wateringly expensive to top up your unit.

I'd get a new unit and you will have good air con when you need it and no worries for a few years at least.
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Old Apr 8th 2018, 6:25 pm
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Default Re: advice on 20yo AC units in Houston replace or not?

Are the units packaged units or split with compressor outside and air handler inside. If packaged units you could even consider buying online as the install would be very simple if you are the handy man DIY type.
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Old Apr 8th 2018, 6:41 pm
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Default Re: advice on 20yo AC units in Houston replace or not?

If it aint broke don't fix it. We replaced our old unit at work and we've had nothing but trouble from the new one so you're not guaranteeing anything by replacing it now. If it does crap out you can always camp out upstairs with the working unit whilst the broken one is replaced.

Last edited by SpoogleDrummer; Apr 8th 2018 at 7:35 pm.
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Old Apr 8th 2018, 7:14 pm
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Default Re: advice on 20yo AC units in Houston replace or not?

We live in a mild microclimate here in LA so our two units were 30 and 45 years old. The AC's were running just fine, but it was the furnaces that went bad, became dangerous and could not be repaired. So, we had to replace the entire systems.

We found the quotes varied widely, so shop around.

BTW, our summer power consumption dropped by a lot.

p.s. Some home owners insurance policies give a discount for updated systems. Ours did - but then our HVAC had been a fire hazard, so that made sense.

Last edited by S Folinsky; Apr 8th 2018 at 7:18 pm.
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Old Apr 8th 2018, 8:29 pm
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Default Re: advice on 20yo AC units in Houston replace or not?

"The temperature difference on the downstairs coil is 13 degrees and should be between 16/21"

This . Your a/c unit will be ineffectively cooling and running pretty much non-stop when it's hot.

When I replaced my older unit for a heatpump my electricity bills almost halved in the summer months. More importantly, the house was cool without the unit running all the bloody

I got the indoor handler and the outside compressor replaced ( ducting was fine) and with a 3 ton heat pump the cost was just under $5k for trane units.
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Old Apr 8th 2018, 8:52 pm
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Default Re: advice on 20yo AC units in Houston replace or not?

If you go down the replacement route your power company may offer rebates.
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Old Apr 8th 2018, 9:07 pm
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Default Re: advice on 20yo AC units in Houston replace or not?

replace. Did the sellers give you any docs about the maintenance of the the units. As PF says doing repairs will soon add up and the new units are much more efficient. Also when they do break down in the summer, which they will if they are that old, the heat is unbearable. We replaced our last year after 15yr, 2 units as we have 4000ft to cope with and our bills are much better. I am surprised that they have survived that long to be honest. 10-15 is the normal lifespan of units in Austin. With the added humidity in Houston, I would imagine, they work even harder there.
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Old Apr 9th 2018, 3:31 am
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Default Re: advice on 20yo AC units in Houston replace or not?

Replace now.

2 reasons, first the price to replace in spring and fall are always lower and second you will be very uncomfortable with an inadequate a.c. in the summer in Houston! Been there, done that.

Also electric bills will be much lower with a newer style unit.
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Old Apr 9th 2018, 3:43 am
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Default Re: advice on 20yo AC units in Houston replace or not?

So that'll be Texas posse all telling you to replace!
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