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Old 07-03-2018, 03:42 PM
 
4 posts, read 2,283 times
Reputation: 20

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New to the Tuscon area. We are having issues with our ac and have had several companies out to analyze the problem and recommend fixes.

Our experience with the AC companies have not been plesant. One company, recommended adding a special $400 bottle of ‘magic oil’ to the compressor, replacement of 2 capacitors that were not bad, cleaning of evaporator coils and condensor coils for a total repair of over $2,500 that would not have solved the problem.


I have a 10 year old Goodman 3 1/2 ton seer 13 split unit. The compressor ihas recently become very loud and noisy. The vibration is transmitted thru the ac lines and causes a very annoying and loud sound in the wall.

i have had multiple companies out to estimate cost to repair or replace. All recommended complete replacement at a costs from 6K to 12K.

Except one who recommended replacing the complete condensor unit with a new seer 16 condensor unit and converting from R12 freon to R410A By replacing the expansion valve, keeping the existing heating/evap unit and replacing the expansion valve and the fan motor. at a cost of about 3.5K.


When asking the other techs, about replacing only the condensor unit, i was told that it was not possible because of the R12 to R410A and that the units cannot be matched.

Are the other companies not intrested in the condensor only approach just out to make more money or are there other reasons that i do not understand?

is the condensor replacement a reasonable sound way approach?
Are ther any other issues we should consider?

We are happy with the existing unit except for the noise and the looming compressor failure issue.

any input/opinions would be appreciated.
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Old 07-03-2018, 04:52 PM
 
Location: AZ
725 posts, read 535,098 times
Reputation: 3108
You might try yelp for repairer recommendations. It does seem the first idea these HVAC companies offer is a total replacement of an entire system. I suspect part of the problem is lack of real technicians who can diagnose and fix. I think any middle class homeowner lives in fear their system will fail especially now. We are all hostages in a sense to that industry. You might research the “recommended”switchover” on juice on internet. Personally I have never heard of that being available. Good luck.
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Old 07-03-2018, 05:13 PM
 
Location: Southern Arizona
9,509 posts, read 28,372,248 times
Reputation: 11376
Interesting, Frayfl . . .

I went through the very same fiasco a little over a year ago. Not fun.

Via research on the internet as well as some fairly knowledgeable friends, I learned that Air Conditioning Systems begin to gradually lose their efficiency (aka: Seer) after about six years. Since mine was pushing 12 plus years, I decided to "bite the bullet" and replace the entire Heat Pump.

So far it seems to have been a very smart decision. Much quieter, runs far less than than the previous unit and, above all, considerably easier on my TEP bill.

I got about six estimates which were all very close and finally chose ChasRoberts. I would definitely use them again if and when necessary.

Holler if you want contact information.

Good Luck.
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Old 07-04-2018, 10:17 AM
 
190 posts, read 271,208 times
Reputation: 362
If it's still cooling I'd just let it go and in the meantime look into a home warranty. A friend of mine was having an issue with his furnace, and due to the age and incompatibility with the newer components, his warranty company had the entire system replaced. The only down side was they wanted to replace it with the minimum required (smallest, cheapest) so, my friend opted to pay the additional cost of a better unit. IIRC, he paid an additional $1100 for the upgraded HVAC unit.
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Old 07-04-2018, 02:17 PM
 
Location: Tucson
491 posts, read 664,923 times
Reputation: 674
I am a member of a web site called "Nextdoor". https://nextdoor.com

It is a great place to go for recommendations for everything and anything. You have to join and give your address though and they will send you a post card with a code in order to prove you live there. I have found local doctors, flooring specialists etc.

Basically it is your neighborhood plus a few others nearby. I have found folks to be quite helpful.
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Old 07-07-2018, 04:59 PM
 
Location: Tucson
522 posts, read 1,442,620 times
Reputation: 703
Do you have any idea what is making the noise? It could be that the compressor just needs new insulators. These are the rubber pieces that the compressor sits on. Just because it is old doesn't mean it is bad. Most places just want to replace because it is easier than diagnosing the problem.

I have two units (on my roof but are package units) and one is 6-7 years old and the other is original--approx 21 years. I don't intend to replace until they are no longer repairable.

I do my own work so cost is much better. I had a home warranty for the first year I owned my house and had them send someone over to add refrigerant. The tech that came said that they did lots of work for this warranty company and they will continue to repair until the unit is un-repairable.

I feel this way, if you replace and pay $6K, how long would it take to recoup the money over repairs and energy savings. 6K would pay lots of electric bills. If the compressor is bad, it can be replaced and maybe cost $1200. If you get another 6 years from the unit that means you save $5k over the new one. During the 3-4 months you use the A/C a lot you would maybe save (based on my bill of ~$350/mo) $70/month X 4 months x 6 years = $1680 in 6 years. It would take about 11 years to save enough money to pay for the new system. Yes there are still other things that can go wrong with the unit but the compressor is the single most expensive part.

If I was looking for someone to do work i would want someone that could diagnose the problem and present you with the repair option and the replacement option and explain the differences.

Changing the condensing unit is one possibility as the one company suggested. For most split systems the company would need to get a condensing unit and then size an evaporator and expansion device. (expansion valve or orifice) So you aren't getting a matched system from the manufacture anyway.
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Old 03-04-2020, 08:34 AM
 
1 posts, read 228 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frayfl View Post
New to the Tuscon area. We are having issues with our ac and have had several companies out to analyze the problem and recommend fixes.

Our experience with the AC companies have not been plesant. One company, recommended adding a special $400 bottle of ‘magic oil’ to the compressor, replacement of 2 capacitors that were not bad, cleaning of evaporator coils and condensor coils for a total repair of over $2,500 that would not have solved the problem.


I have a 10 year old Goodman 3 1/2 ton seer 13 split unit. The compressor ihas recently become very loud and noisy. The vibration is transmitted thru the ac lines and causes a very annoying and loud sound in the wall.

i have had multiple companies out to estimate cost to repair or replace. All recommended complete replacement at a costs from 6K to 12K.

Except one who recommended replacing the complete condensor unit with a new seer 16 condensor unit and converting from R12 freon to R410A By replacing the expansion valve, keeping the existing heating/evap unit and replacing the expansion valve and the fan motor. at a cost of about 3.5K.


When asking the other techs, about replacing only the condensor unit, i was told that it was not possible because of the R12 to R410A and that the units cannot be matched.

Are the other companies not intrested in the condensor only approach just out to make more money or are there other reasons that i do not understand?

is the condensor replacement a reasonable sound way approach?
Are ther any other issues we should consider?

We are happy with the existing unit except for the noise and the looming compressor failure issue.

any input/opinions would be appreciated.
At this age and with R12 I'd go with a new unit.
The reason the price seems high is that the indoor unit needs to be replaced also. It can't take the higher pressure of an R410A outside unit.

Any service person telling you to repair your old unit isn't looking out for you!
I would think a new unit would be at least $4500.00. I've had better luck with basic units than with upper price units(more to go wrong). The most important choice is the installer, the brand of the manufacturer, not so much.
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