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Old 06-26-2012, 02:58 AM
7,005 posts, read 12,473,840 times
Reputation: 5480


I know this is an odd question and a long post, but I want to gain a lot of evidence to refute an A/C tech's claims.

I have never, ever lived in an apartment where the A/C was incapable of cooling below 75 degrees in 95+ degree weather. If there were issues, the unit was fixed or replaced. When it started getting hot in May, the townhome I just moved into not too long ago stayed at 78-79 degrees in the evening. The A/C was also leaking near the filter. I have my thermostat set on 73. I contacted the off-site management and they told me to call the A/C repair company they contract with directly.

A tech came out and said he fixed the leak. He also told me there was nothing wrong with my A/C and that all air conditioners were struggling right now. He claims to live in a brand new house where the A/C cannot cool below 76 on the extra hot days. He told me to call back if it reached 82. Well, it reached 81 later on that day and I thought it was enough to make him come back out. So, he came back out and said my coil needed to be cleaned and I had to wait for someone to come back out to clean it. A few days passed and someone did come to clean it. A couple of days after that, I came home to a couch that was soaking wet and water dripping from a vent above it. I opened up the A/C closet door to find that it was dripping worse than it was before and the carpet next to it was wet. So, I called them out AGAIN. I got the same tech I got the first time and he fixed the leak.

In passing, he said that it seemed like my air conditioner was cooling better; however, it only got up to the lower 90s that day. I told him I'm waiting for the coming 100 degree weather and he made the same excuse. "Everyone's A/C is struggling, even mine." All I know is that my neighbor's A/C was not working at all a couple of weeks ago and he said a couple of other people were complaining. All of the junk in my A/C closet is practically held together by tape and the whole thing looks older than I am. I am frustrated because my townhome stayed at 81 degrees all evening today and my electric bill was $189 for last month. It wasn't even summer yet and my place is less than 800 sq ft. I found that to be unusually high and figured it was due to the A/C struggling and running non-stop all day.

If you could please help me out with confirmation that I am not being unreasonable, I would greatly appreciate it. A few people I know told me the A/C company is either trying to take the owner for a ride or that the owner told them that he does not want to pay to replace it. Another guy also told me that if the technician's house really wasn't cooling below 76 degrees, his unit is too small for his house and that a certified HVAC tech should know that. Either these people are highly incompetent or they're bs-ing me.
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Old 06-26-2012, 05:50 AM
Location: San Antonio
584 posts, read 1,192,741 times
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My home is seven years old and 2900. My house I keep about 77 in the evening to sleep and during the day around 80 since we aren't there. A lot of the times it doesn't come on too much during the day. I can say my electric bill is normally around the $250 range during the summer months. I did put in the radiant barrier roof when we built the house which I know this does make a difference because a neighbor who has the same house their electric bill would be about $100 more a month but they kept their house more like 75 degrees. I always had to take a sweater when I went to their house.

I know that my house will get cooler then 77 degrees though since if we have company I will turn the temperature down since I know others have a difference comfortable temperature then myself.
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Old 06-26-2012, 06:31 AM
7,005 posts, read 12,473,840 times
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I have the ceiling fan going in my recreational room and two fans going in the bedroom where I sleep since it doesn't have a ceiling fan. I put dark curtains on all of the windows and I leave the bedroom and bathroom doors open, which drops the temperature one degree by increasing circulation. I don't mind 80 degrees when I'm awake, but I sleep during the hottest part of the day. It doesn't matter because I don't want to pay $200+ a month just because my A/C does not work well. If May-June was $189, I'm expecting $250 for July and August.

Thank you for the responses. The townhomes were built in 1984 and I think my unit has the original air conditioner making it older than me. LOL. I'm going to turn in a written complaint to the management company later on today.
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Old 06-26-2012, 09:20 AM
Location: Mid South Central TX
3,216 posts, read 8,554,430 times
Reputation: 2264
We keep ours at 75 when home, about 82 when not. Ours runs well, but in at the hottest part of the say (around 4-5:30), sometimes it creeps up. Our unit is 11 years old, but the coils were changed out about 3 years ago. Your unit sounds like it's old, and on it's last legs. And the water issue can't be good!
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Old 06-26-2012, 09:41 AM
1,836 posts, read 3,820,239 times
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Basically, if you have enough tonage in your condenser to power the system, you can and will cool down any space of any size.

When I moved into my current space, I was running 4 tons of AC with an old air handler (inside unit, about 25 years old). $15k later, I've got 8 tons of AC (a commercial unit), redone ducting and a brand new handler that can keep my nearly 5k square feet of space ice cold. I keep it at 73 almost all of the time and the AC handles it fine, cycling on and off as it needs to.

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Old 06-26-2012, 09:51 AM
431 posts, read 1,203,982 times
Reputation: 350
I keep thermostat set at 74 day and night. My unit used to struggle quite a bit. But then in December 2010, I took advantage of a tax credit and did additional blown-in insulation all throughout my attic. After the tax credit and even with last summer's heat, it has more than paid for the materials and rental--my bills last summer were the lowest in the 7 years I have owned my home.

I know this doesn't necessarily help your current issue, but before I added the insulation, my unit used to have trouble staying at the set temperature on days like Sunday and yesterday. And my unit was installed new in 2006. Now it keeps up like a champ.
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Old 06-26-2012, 11:02 AM
Location: San Antonio, TX
11,495 posts, read 26,866,126 times
Reputation: 28036
I keep my AC at 72. Sometimes during the hottest days it will be a little warmer than that. The highest my electric bill has been in this house is $180...and that was when we had the cold snap winter before last. My AC is three years old, I have double paned windows, blown insulation and the radiant barrier. I also have pieces of foam set over the windows that face west, to block out the worst of the heat, and I have blackout curtains and thermal curtains layered over those windows as well.

I've lived in apartments that had bad air conditioners before. The water issue can happen when there's a hole in the drip pan, the line is blocked, or the indoor part of the AC is not level (if the building has settled enough that the AC is tipped). Running all the time and not cooling enough happens when the equipment is old. I had electric bills get up to $300 in the summertime. I also had it so hot in that same apartment that the kids had to wear nothing but underwear or get a rash, and when I tried to cook, sweat dripped off of me and made the floor slick. I did finally get the complex management to replace that air conditioner...at the end of October, and in March that apartment developed plumbing problems that forced us to move, so we never got to take advantage of the good AC.

If yours is cooling down to 75, you may not be able to get the complex management to repair it. They don't usually care how high your electric bills are.
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Old 06-26-2012, 11:12 AM
4,307 posts, read 9,554,009 times
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Hrmmm. I've never even set mine below 78F. Usually it's at 80 during the day, higher if we're out. Sometimes at night at 78. We run ceiling fans in most rooms. House is 1600 SF and 100+ years old (with reasonable but not perfect insulation and single pane windows), A/c was put in new in 2005. No problems getting it to 78, but since I've never tried to go much lower than that (unless we're having a party, but then the door is open so often it doesn't help), not sure what's normal. I do know that in the winter on the few days it got below freezing, if the heat has been off all day, it doesn't warm up much above 65... I think I'd need a sweater on if it's 72 in the house. I usually wear shorts and tanks in the summer. So 80 is comfortable.
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Old 06-26-2012, 11:23 AM
Location: Mid South Central TX
3,216 posts, read 8,554,430 times
Reputation: 2264
The water issue could also be a clogged drain pipe. We had that happen a few weeks ago. If you can find the opening, you can pour bleach to clear the line. Hopefully, this will help.
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Old 06-26-2012, 12:48 PM
7,005 posts, read 12,473,840 times
Reputation: 5480
Thank you again for all of the responses. My apartment is now at 78 degrees and I expect it to get up to 81 in a couple of hours and stay that way until at least after 9pm. In 100+ degree weather, my A/C is not capable of cooling below 78. I really don't know if these townhomes are well insulated. They haven't been kept up well. Every building has roofing and plumbing issues.
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