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Old 07-04-2008, 01:42 AM
 
3 posts, read 15,791 times
Reputation: 11

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Quote:
Originally Posted by collinsl View Post
But how much would it cost to fit?

I have no idea. But he made two visits so service alone was over $100. I shouldn't have said I'm getting screwed since in all reality I don't know. But that's the problem, you never know. You just have to take these people for their word and it's a very uncomfortable feeling!
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Old 07-04-2008, 03:02 AM
 
Location: the AZ desert
5,037 posts, read 8,558,029 times
Reputation: 8280
Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyazmom View Post
I think it's par for the course here in the dead of summer if your AC goes out, you're gonna pay because they know your desperate. Our house is only 5 1/2 years old and our compressor went out last July and then this morning I woke up to a hot house and no air coming out of the vents. $420 later it's working. I am convinced the builder is in cahoots with the AC company and installed crap systems so they can screw everyone out of hundreds of dollars for the next few years because I always see their trucks driving around the neighborhood. In fact I'm so wary that today I called a different company. Still seems I may have gotten screwed though. The repairman wrote the name of the part and item number on my invoice so I googled it and found out they charged me $268 for a part I could've got online for $88.
Through the rumor mill, I heard that a/c units are built to last 8-10 years. Of course many last longer, but some do not even make it that far before needing repairs.

I am in a new construction, with the a/c under the builder's warranty. They had me contact the a/c co. directly (ChasRoberts) with some concerns I had. Thus far, I have had them out three times for three different things, the last of which was replacing the condenser because of an intermittent noise I heard which, of course, never happened when they were hear to notice. (The other two were regarding how much air was blowing from each vent. It seems one room was warmer in the winter than the others. They fixed that, but then when we switched to a/c that same room did not get cool enough.) What I really liked is that via their website, I was able to see all of the open appointments available and choose the one which was most convenient for me. They had several that were the same day, some that were the following day, etc. Anyway, they replaced the condenser with another brand new one with no questions asked!

They offer an extended warranty for around $600, which includes all parts and labor for a total of 10 years, (meaning you are actually buying a 9 year warranty, since the builder gives one). I am seriously considering buying it, especially after reading these posts.
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Old 07-04-2008, 04:16 AM
 
92 posts, read 400,931 times
Reputation: 54
There's no way you can really tell if the freon level is correct unless you take superheat and subcooling readings. You have to have the gauges attached and temperature measurements on each of the copper pipes going to the condensing unit. You can tell if a unit has way too much or way too little freon just by using the gauges, but to get a true reading of how the unit is operating you need to know the superheat and subcooling. If you cleaned the coil outside, you could have run a hose over it and saved a ton of cash. The indoor coil is usually the dirty one and will take a good hour or more to clean because you have to take the air handler apart. In Arizona air conditioning units are sized at 400 sq. feet per ton, that's for an 8 foot ceiling. So if your ceilings are higher than 8 feet you have to have more tonnage. You have 6.5 tons multply that by 400 and you get 2600 sq. feet. You said you had 3000 sq. ft, so in my opinion you are undersized by at least one ton.

As far as the high seer rated units, I would stay away for anything over 12 seer. They get the efficiency out of these units by user a smaller compressor and larger coils. Which is fine in mild weather, but in Arizona, the compressor just can't keep up with the heat load. You'd have to oversize a 14 seer unit by at least one ton for every 5 tons needed. And you can't just slap a larger unit on and call it good, you need to increase the duct size to fit the amount of air the new equipement is going to push, otherwise it will never work right.

You probably got ripped off on the outdoor coil cleanig. We don't really know about the indoor coil, unless you saw it? If he comes out again, ask to see the superheat and subcooling reading and ask him to explain them to you while he's taking them...if he says he doesn't need to take them or doesn't know what they are, ask for another technician to come and service your equipement because that guy doesn't know what he's doing.

By the way, I'd say 90% of the techs out there don't know how to take the superheat and subcooling measurements or are too lazy to do so. When I use to train new techs, I always told them that this was the most important reading you can take when trying to see how a AC unit was really running, and made sure they knew how to take it. But they were usually too lazy to take them and would call me because they couldn't tell what was wrong with a unit...the first question I would ask (if all the electrical components were working correctly) is "what's the superheat and subcooling?" And the answer I usually got was "I haven't taken them".
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Old 07-11-2008, 04:33 PM
 
10,720 posts, read 18,982,248 times
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An Update:

I would not use Trustworthy AC. I tried to contact them to get an estimate. I called them several times and left voicemails. I even e-mailed them and I never received a reply. I was just calling for an estimate and was polite. I doublechecked the contact information and it was correct. I got it from their website. Pretty unprofessional if you ask me.

Another company called Airborn came and said the units were undersized. He completely ignored my statement regarding the fact my AC was able to cool down from 80 to 75 in less than 2 hours when it was 110 degree outside two weeks ago but now it can't cool down 1 degree from 80-79 in over 2 hours. He checked the outdoor condensor and that was all. He also ignored the fact that the other unit I own works incredibly fast. He just wanted to put in a new unit.

No one ever mentioned anything about superheat and subcooling readings

Abmiku: I sent you a PM

Last edited by azriverfan.; 07-11-2008 at 05:31 PM..
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Old 07-11-2008, 05:44 PM
 
92 posts, read 400,931 times
Reputation: 54
I no longer am in the AC business. I used to work for Ron Brock's Heating and Cooling, when I worked there it was a good company as far as honesty goes, but I've been gone for 5 years. You never know who you're going to get for a tech regardless of what company you use. Whoever you call, ask for the best tech they have.
How old is your home? Did you live in the home last summer? I ask that to see if you can compare how it worked from this summer to last. Your issue may be related to the humidity. The first thing an AC unit does is remove moisture from the air. So if your unit is undersized it will spend most of it's time, removing the humidity...Didn't it start to get humid about 2 weeks ago...the same time you started to have cooling problems. I'm just offering up some different ideas, but it's hard to tell what's going on without being there.
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Old 09-25-2008, 10:19 AM
 
62 posts, read 270,173 times
Reputation: 36
out of curiosity, how did he clean the coil? did he use a foam cleaner ? did he take the coil outside to clean it ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by azriverfan. View Post
My central air conditioner in my home was not cooling down fast enough. It was working but it seemed less efficient. I have a home warranty so I definitely decided to get it checked out. I assumed it might have been a freon leak. The AC repair man said the freon was at adeqate levels but said my coils needed to be cleaned. I have two units. He showed be both units and one definitely needed to be cleaned. He charged me $250 to clean a 3 ton outdoor compressor unit which he did on the spot. After about 40 minutes he left. My AC is working even slower now. I thought clearning the coils would improve performance but now its worse. My AC took 3 hours to cool from 76-75 in the evening. It was never that slow in the past.

I'm skeptical that I might have been scammed. I did my best to research this online and I found some tidbits about AC technicians purposefully making your AC less efficient to coax you into purchasing a brand new unit. I don't know if that's the case but something feels odd about the whole situation. Am I making this up or is there something to ths?

I can call my Home Warranty and complain that my AC is still not working properly. They will send out the same repair man. I have a feeling he will say everything is fine and I should upgrade to a bigger unit or something along those lines. The Home Warranty company has another contractor they use but they are pretty rude. I'm wondering if I should just do some research and find a reputabl AC repair man and pay out of pocket to have them check it out to see if I was getting scammed. Any tips or suggestions?
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Old 09-25-2008, 11:00 AM
 
3,884 posts, read 9,511,734 times
Reputation: 1482
The hose probably. You can clean them yourself if you want.

AC companies that work with a home warranty company probably won't be that great. Warranty companies don't pay well and take forever to pay the company, so they get notoriously bad ac companies that will take that pay. It would be less of a hassle to pay a small company out of pocket, they want the work and are small enough to care about your satisfaction. If you need a good one, pm me and I will give you a number and name. He is cheap and very honest and good at what he does.
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Old 09-25-2008, 03:43 PM
 
149 posts, read 504,921 times
Reputation: 71
I also would like to get the names of a few good and reliable A/C companies in the Valley.

Has anybody used Donley (http://www.donleyservice.com/)? (broken link)
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Old 09-26-2008, 02:31 AM
 
919 posts, read 3,209,035 times
Reputation: 585
Quote:
Originally Posted by AZ Tracy View Post
If you have a reputable home warranty company, they will replace your air conditioner if it can't be fixed. If you have a 12 seer unit or less, there may be some cost to you with upgrading to a 13 seer; expanding the concrete pad, etc. You paid for a home warranty...I'd use it!
Really? I had a home warranty company for a while and found they were pretty much useless. It seemed that just about anything that went wrong was "excluded" - especially if outdoors or mechanical. Maybe it depends on the age of the house. Mine was built in 1962 so a good number of things can potentially go wrong. For all I know, the house is on AC #7 or Water Heater #4. And it could be a brand new #4, or 12 years old and ready to pop.

I can also understand why they aren't exactly keen to replace. I think my policy was a few hundred $$$ a year. If they had to replace the older AC that came with my house at purchase, they would have lost $5K. Again, it could be different in a new house where everything is new and could also fall under builder and manufacturer warranties. But I find it hard to expect that any extended warranty company would be able to function if they covered every major mechanical failure on older stuff.
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Old 09-26-2008, 02:44 AM
 
595 posts, read 2,190,289 times
Reputation: 179
No one mentions that it is probably the home warranty company ripping you off. They are just like health insurance--deny, deny, deny. They profit by denying claims and collecting premiums. I had Crown Wome Warranty 13 years ago and it was a big rip-off. If they can't mke a good profit off of your deductible--they will deny you. Also, no one gets a new unit--that's an urban myth. I know someone, whose gas pack was condemed two months after he bought the house. He got 800 usd out of them, but a new unit was 4000.

The air coming out of the vent closest to the intake, should be 25F cooler than the air at the in-take. Thanks to the Mexican guy at sitting at the bar, who told me this.
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