My Air Conditioner Sucks

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Chuck, Jul 18, 2006.

  1. Chuck

    Chuck just the messenger

    My home turned 8 today, but my A/C decided to go out.

    It sucks.

    Of course, not changing the filter in a year or washing the outside unit in over a year, might have been a factor. For the past week, the high has been 100 to 105F.

    In other words, if my Insight was treated the same way, it would probably be getting 42mpg and have 15K of repairs.

    I might start a new website:
  2. AZBrandon

    AZBrandon Guest

    Been there.. similar situation, although with mine it was just the heat exchanger fan on the outside condenser that burned out. Definitely no fun to have no A/C in the middle of July in the desert.
  3. krousdb

    krousdb Defiant NX-74205

  4. Hot Georgia

    Hot Georgia Well-Known Member

    We bought our house new about 7 years ago. Last fall the heatpump stopped functioning. A friend of ours knew someone in the business so we asked him to stop by.

    Without turning a screw he told us the compressor had ran low on coolant and we needed to replace the whole outside unit.
    He said we were lucky it went out in November, as a new law Jan 1st requires a more efficient unit to replace the old one, and It would have been twice as expensive. He gave us a $1,500 - 2,000 estimate. He suggested that if I wait past the 1st I'd pay alot more.
    When I said I'd think about it he mentioned "Pay me now or pay me later" :eek:

    We wanted a 2nd opinion so we called a local AC repairshop.
    Two guys came out to check it over. 10 minutes later he told me the starting capacitor went bad and $59 including labor to fix. That got it running again and he verified the pressures are correct for my unit.

    Been running great ever since. :rolleyes:
  5. Chuck

    Chuck just the messenger

    Hope I'm Fixed for Awhile...

    My humor got a little edgy.

    The timing of this A/C failure is not good, as I can't just totally turn it off while at HybridFest.

    Dallas will get to 96F at noon, then go up to a weektime high of 105F. By Thursday, hopefully the highs will not reach 100F, although still close.

    The unit is eight years old and I have not treated it well. It's important to replace the air filters monthly and wash the outdoor unit every six months - have not done that. :eek: The wall unit also reads a temperature six degrees warmer than the air actually is. :eek:

    My gut feeling is it's not going to last much longer - hope it will last at least another week, preferably the rest of the summer.
  6. Kyo

    Kyo Man in Black

    sorry to hear about this misfortune.

    Can you not consider the rain as washing the outside unit for you ;)

    How caked up was the filter when you took it out? I am sure your house isn't super dusty, so, If it wasn't horrible, I can't see it killing you unit (although I am no a/c expert). At most I would think it would just cause more back-pressure to the fan, like closing a couple vents, but I wouldn't think the major components would suffer.

    You can replace the wall unit rather cheaply :D Just go to a store, pick one up and put it up there. They have some nice digital ones, even ones with an indigo backlight when you press a button so you can read it at night without having to turn a bright light on. It is very easy to replace, just turn a couple screws, hook up a few wires and you are done. The wires are color coded, and usually labeled as well. Hope that helps with that. (oh, and it would probably be wise to kill the power source ... I didn't, but I don't want you to risk your safety!!!)

    If the unit is only 8 years old ... how long of a warranty did it have? Some a/c units have quite a long warranty these days. It does seem like a premature failure. I would take Hot Georgia's advice and get several opinions on what is the root cause of your problem, a cheap easy fix is always much better! (just change the filter and spray the unit off before they come out :p ) I will be hoping for the best for you!!!
  7. lakedude

    lakedude Well-Known Member

    Back when I had income property I had trouble with Rheem as well..??..

    However my home unit is also a Rheem and it is very old and still kicking. Luck of the draw?

    BTW having a $100 window unit is a fantastic idea, even if you have central air. You can use it as a backup or to keep one room cooler than the rest. I've got my central unit OFF and just keep the master bedroom iced down. Got phone, internet and TV in the bedroom.
  8. Mr. Kite

    Mr. Kite Well-Known Member

    Our home did not have AC when we first bought it. We spent two summers without AC. For the third summer, my wife was working from home quite a bit and we decided to get central AC. We bought an energy efficient model that qualified us for a $350 rebate from Xcel Energy. The unit and install ended up costing us $1950 after the rebate. It was a 3 ton Goodman with a rating of 13 SEER.
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2006
  9. psyshack

    psyshack He who posts articles

    A/C's take a beating.

    I installed a 12 seer Carrier package unit 8 to 10 years ago. Its worked very good. Only problem Ive had was the combustion blower on the heater went out. Since i work in the indrusty on the water side. I called the Carrier dist. down the street from my office. Got the new part for $77.00. took me all of 30 mins. to install it.

    As for maint. I clean the return air filter every two months or so. I buy the demi perment filters and cut to fit. I pull the filter out, run the vacume cleaner over it, then throw it in the tub with some simple green or purple stuff, rinse and throw it back in. For the unit itself. It being a package unit, meaning the A/C and heater are in one box setting outside Its easy to do. I take the top off, spray the condinsor coil and evap. coil with purple stuff, then hose it out. Force water through the condensate drain. Then I check the heater out to make sure its clean. Dont want cobb webbs, dirt dubbers and wasp nest in the wrong places. Check the gas connection. Make sure the wiring is still in its right places and away from heat sources.

    I checked on the price of a new Trane unit this summer. Again I get this stuff heap cheap because of my discounts and I install myself. Looks like my next unit will be about $2500. It will be a 15 seer, two speed unit at 4 tons with a 120k btu heater.

    Im also looking into doing radiant hydronic floor heating. Seeing that I rep these products I can buy it all at cost. But would want to maintain a small forced air back up heater.

    A forced air heating and cooling system, be it a package unit or a split system has a 10 to 15 year life cycle. Common warrentys on compressors are 5, 10, 15 and 20 years. The warrenty's more times than not only cover the compressor, NOT labor, gas and other parts that are needed when changing out a compressor.

    If you have a split system,,, which most folks do have. Meaning the condensor is outside, with the air handler, evap. coil and heater inside. You might beable to just replace the condensor unit. Just make sure the evap. coil is still sized right, clean and in good shape. Point is everything else is wearing out also. So look over your options. With the cost of a call back to replace a evap. coil, air handler blower or work on the heater. Many times its just better to replace the system.

    So if your in the 10 to 15 year window and have a major failure with a system componet,, replace the unit. If you have a failure like start/run caps, a contactor, system board, heater combustion blower, air handler blower fix it.

    If you have compressor or heat exchanger failures or bad freon leaks replace it. If heat exchangers fail and there saftrys fail or get jumped out. People die!

    Another thing. If your A/C fails to run and a hard start cap. fixes it. That means its on the way out. Pay to keep it running at the time. BUT start looking for a contractor and a new unit. Its going to die.

    Sorry for the ramble. Hope this helps,,, somebody.


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