Repaired HVAC

Despite a lot of great advice to the contrary, I opted to have the heat exchanger replaced this week on the gas pack (HVAC) unit on my new house instead of getting a whole new HVAC system.

A couple things really made this decision for me:

  • the AC side of the gas pack (I was told by the experts) is in amazingly great shape.
  • I am trying to conserve cash at this point in time.
  • I had a technician come out and tell me that I should get a new system with the whole sales pitch. I asked him to show my why - he pointed out a couple pieces of rusting sheeting metal that held a sensor at one end of the unit and said he didn't know if he got get that anymore; if it broke, I would need a new unit. After questioning him further - he admitted we could just make the part by shaping a piece of sheet metal if need be in the future.
  • I kept thinking about my capital investment analysis class back in graduate school and while I never formally put the numbers together I recognized I only needed to keep this unit less than 6 more years to get a good payback on the repair and I know these units can last 20+ years. One of these days I'll have to crunch the numbers and see if this was a good decision.
  • I just put a completely new system on my other property a few years ago and I think it makes sense to spread out the replacement schedule for future cash management.

In the end it was $2,001.01 to replace the heat exchanger on my 12yr old Carrier gas pack. The technician cleaned the AC side of the gas pack for no charge after I asked him how I could clean it myself.

Now I can focus on rebuilding my cash position.

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Comments (2)

Good Luck, hopefully it works out. For as much as I advocated a full replacement of the system I would probably have done the same as you. When you're in a cash strapped situation there isn't too much you can do.

Nice! Way to pressure the guy after he told you he might not be able to find a piece of sheet metal bent in a certain direction.

I'm up against the same dilemma with my wifes car. It's old, and we're having to fix or replace some hefty components every once in a while, but it sure beats shelling out the cash for a new one.


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