Last night Mission Air Conditioning (yes we also do furnaces too) was called out to a home in Oak Forest area of Houston just outside of the Heights. The Furnace was not properly heating the home. The home is probably 50 years old but was remodeled 3 or 4 years ago. It looks great. New counters, upgraded appliances etc. All great until you look a little bit under the hood.
The HVAC system was a 12 year old 4 ton Goodman Air Handler and Condenser. This kind of setup provides electric heat instead of gas as the fuel source. For smaller sq foot homes and backhouses this can be a good option but is typically more expensive to run than with a gas fueled furnace. You see a lot more of these types of systems with a Heat Pump Condenser attached where the air conditioning basically works in a reverse cycle and warms the home instead of cools. Not the case here.
Now it is not so much the type of system that was at issue. It is the condition and trajectory. If you are buying a house bare in mind that typical life span of an air conditioning system in Houston TX is 10-15 years. This system being 12 years old will more than likely need to be replaced soon.
If you can, you should always try to negotiate the cost of a new air conditioner OFF of the buying price of house. That is, in the case that the air conditioner(s) has hit it’s expected mechanical life of 10-15+ years.
Those that don’t can be hit with paying for one of the most expensive appliance replacements of their life time. A new high efficiency system will typically cost from $8,000 – $15,000. This all depends on Size, Efficiency, Setup, additionals like ductwork and insulation etc.
RESOLUTION: For this customer they were very fortunate. There was a small wiring issue dropping communication between the thermostat and the air handler preventing the heat from turning on. All that was needed was tracing and reconfiguring the wiring so that correct communication occurred between the thermostat and air handler. The total call took just over 1 hour to complete and customer only paid standard service fee for the repair.