Central Air Conditioning Cost in 2020 – Buyer’s Guide

Staying cool during the sweltering heat of summer takes power. A fan helps, but doesn’t quite cut it. Portable air conditioners and window units are decent for a single room use.

via Red Star Air

For the whole house, you’ll want a central system that can maintain steady temperatures in multiple rooms. Central AC delivers on power, yet there are many units to select from in the current market. Our buyer’s guide will walk you through the primary considerations such as the appropriate models, installation costs, and other relevant factors to help you make the most informed decision.

Cost

In the current market, you can expect to spend between $4,500 and $8,500 for a full installation (replacement) of a central system. The national average cost for a basic installation is just under $6,000. This includes a new central AC outdoor unit and evaporator coil (split system), professional installation, any required building permits, and the workmanship warranty from the installer. It is assumed that most of the required ductwork is already in place.

The numbers provided above translate to a licensed HVAC contractor installing the most feasible central unit for your home. The installer’s expertise draws upon many factors, not the least of which is evaluating your current ductwork strengths and weaknesses, along with how well your home is insulated, and will therefore retain the cool energy in your home.

via US Veterans Home Services Inc.

Did you know? When added to an existing forced-air heating system with the existing ductwork already in place, a new central air unit for a typical 2,000 sq. ft. home will cost between $4,500 and $6,500 to install.

Continue reading

How to Mix Concrete – Step by Step DIY Guide

There are many great projects a DIY person can do without the assistance of professionals. Some examples include the following:


* Making your own decorative concrete patio
* Pouring supports for fencing
* Pouring steps
* pouring small slabs for sheds
* Making your own decorative pathway stones
* Pouring a small sidewalk
* Making cement ponds
* Pouring your own support columns for a porch

concrete-patio Image credits: Concrete Network

The list can go on and on. You are only limited by the scope of your imagination. Keep in mind that concrete can also be colored, so decorative work can be done even from a plain concrete.

Origins of Concrete

Dating back to the time of Ancient Egyptians, cement (one of the parts comprising concrete) was used in structural formation and as a binder for stone. The Egyptians used a limestone cement and it worked well, but it took weeks to cure properly.

Although concrete has been in existence for a long time, its widespread usage did not really gain popularity until the time of the Roman Empire. The Romans created a blend of cement that rivals what we use today. If you look at the ancient buildings structures, many are still preserved in a wonderful shape, which is more than 2000 years after their construction.

The aqueducts, the Parthenon, and many other ancient buildings were made in whole or in part with the use concrete. Unfortunately, shortly after the fall of the Roman Empire, the formula for cement was lost, and was not until 1824, when Joseph Aspdin created what is now known as Portland cement. Today, concrete is used more than any other man-made building material in the world.

Concrete Mixing Tips and Good to Know Facts:

Concrete is not flexible, therefore it has zero tensile strength. When it comes to impact or load weight, concrete is very strong. In order to strengthen concrete, a material known as a re-bar can be used. Re-bar can be made of steel rods, or a steel mesh, which when properly set in concrete, gives it a much added strength to a project such as a sidewalk, pouring of a concrete slab, or a support column.

Concrete is a somewhat porous material, so it is recommended to apply a concrete sealer after a full cure (about 3 days) for a longer project lifespan. When pouring a sidewalk, or slab, it is important to cut in expansion joints. This gives room for the concrete to expand and shrink without cracking. Expansion joints can be added once the material is slightly firm. You can use a thin straight edged piece of metal, or wait until the cure, and then use a tile saw.

Preparing a strong foundation for a concrete pour:

When laying a slab, sidewalk, or a concrete step, make sure you prepare the location in order to provide a firm foundation for the concrete. Dig down about 6 inches deep, and lay a layer of about 2-3 inches of crushed stone in the bed. Then pack it down as firmly as possible. You can tamp it, or rent a roller to assist you in this process, or if you have enough room, you can actually drive your car’s tires over it.

Concrete Mixing and Pouring Project – Proper Planning and Preparation Tips:

The bigger the project, the more help you should have. You cannot delay the curing process of the concrete, so once it sets, you are all done. A good rule of thumb is to have one extra person for every five bags of concrete you plan to mix.

To give you an idea of how far an 80 pound bag of concrete would go, a one yard of concrete is approximately 48 bags of cement. This can provide enough concrete mixture to cover a sidewalk that is 21 feet long, 4 feet wide, and 4 inches deep.

Concrete Mixture Area Coverage and Prices:

As you can see, 1 bag does not go very far, and it is a lot of hard work mixing that much. Many concrete companies require a 2 yard minimum for delivery, and concrete mixture prices will range based on your location, but a ballpark price is $400.00 for 2 yards of concrete delivered.

Continue reading

Central AC Unit Costs

Top 10 Best Central Air Conditioners in 2020: Costs by AC Unit

There are plenty of cheap central air conditioners, but there is more to value than low price.

On the other end of the spectrum are high-priced, high-performance ACs with variable capacity cooling and communication technology. They’re not what anyone would call a value choice either.

The sweet spot in the middle is where quality and reasonable cost meet to provide good value for the money. You’ve got a good selection of central air conditioners that are considered an excellent value.

Climate must be considered, too, because a value air conditioner in Jackson, Mississippi is not the same as a value AC in Jackson, Minnesota. We’ll explain why.

via Hamilton Home Comfort

Covering all climates, below are the top 10 Central AC options:

1. Day & Night Performance 17 N4A7
2. Rheem Classic Series RA17
3. York LX YCG
4. Goodman GSXC18
5. Day & Night Performance 16 N4A6
6. Rheem Classic Series RA16
7. Goodman GSXC16
8. Rheem Classic Series RA14
9. Day & Night Performance 14 N4A5
10. Goodman GSX14

Continue reading