Hvac Problems

Discussion in 'Home Improvement' started by Chrissy Cross, Aug 31, 2016.

  1. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
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    Well, not an easy fix after all. It's my compressor. :(

    So now my daughter wants me to get estimates for a new unit. I've been calling and someone is coming in half an hour and then another company tomorrow morning! I'm so stressed now, I won't have AC for a while and the temps will be back in the 100's soon.
     
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  2. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
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    First estimate is about $5,000 for the outside unit and my ducts.

    To also replace furnace / air flow in attic would cost about $14,000
    That's off the table!
     
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  3. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
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    image.jpg

    I took a pic of what he was explaining to me. This is my system and how it works. Except my furnace is in the attic.
     
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  4. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Very Well-Known Member
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    @Chrissy Page The compressor is located in the unit pictured at left, outdoors. Compressors are most often the offending member, when A/C units quit working. The compressor cost sounds awfully high. As far as ducts are concerned, I fail to understand, what about them? Merely passages through which the air flows. If they say they are dirty, there are filters within the furnace which prevent dirt and debris from entering the duct system.

    Most basically, the A/C and heating system consists of compressor, outdoors, a condenser fan driven by a motor, also outdoors in the same enclosure as the compressor. The furnace is nothing more than an expanded duct, biggest one of all, containing a motor-driven fan which forces air to flow through the ducts to the various rooms in the house. That air flowing out of the furnace flows back to it, in a continuous loop.

    Within the furnace, there is an evaporator coil, which gets cold, the air flows through it, cooled, to the rooms of the house. Also within the furnace is a heat source for winter heating, either gas-fired, or electric. The A/C and Heat can never be "ON" at the same time.

    That's all there is to it. You have two motors, two fans, and a compressor. Sometimes, depending on design, the fans may be belt-driven by their motors, such belts may break, stopping the fan. The motors may fail, stopping the fans. The compressor may fail, the most expensive part of the unit, and thus must be replaced, a job fairly difficult, far more so than a simple fan problem. Rarely, the heat source may give problems in cold weather. In hot weather, leaks within the pipes carrying Freon Gas to and from the compressor may develop leaks, this too is rare.

    Wish I could be there to help you deal with the repair people! Frank
     
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  5. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Very Well-Known Member
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    @Chrissy Page

    "To also replace furnace"

    The furnace itself is nothing more than a thin sheet metal box. A big duct. Replacing the furnace itself is ludicrous. The guy ought to be ashamed of himself, for taking advantage of a lady.
    Frank
     
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  6. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
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    I'm having another company come this morning for an estimate. I may have said the wrong thing about the ducts because when they sit down and explain things to me like this they might as well be speaking Chinese.

    He said its a whole system and replacing the whole system is more efficient etc and PG&E gives incentives and rebates etc. I'm not doing that anyway.

    My son had the same thing done in Illinois about 5 years ago and he said it cost about $3,400 but that's 5 years and a cheaper state.

    When you can't even do a thing because you're sweating, you're in a hurry to get it done. I want this done yesterday. Even my dog isn't doing well in the heat.

    It's busy here and one company couldn't even come out to give me an estimate til next Tuesday!

    Thanks for the explanation, I didn't know how my furnace worked here in Fresno. I've never actually even seen it.

    I asked if the rats did the damage but he said no....too bad because I could have talked insurance in to paying some.
     
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  7. Tim Burr

    Tim Burr Well-Known Member
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    [​IMG]
    This picture shows a little better how a 'split' system works.

    The compressor they stated that is bad is outside the house in the unit called 'Air Conditioner' in the picture.
    This is hooked up to the attic unit by copper tubes called a 'line-set' or Refrigeration Lines in the picture.

    You shouldn't have to have anything other than the compressor replaced.
    The labor cost is in the brazing of the copper lines, introduction of the refrigerant back into the system,
    new dryer, etc.

    When I worked for a HVAC company, we were told to try and sell the 'total' package in a replacement.
    Age of the unit drives that pitch.

    What I am saying is that because one unit failed, does not mean ALL the units have failed.
    Hope this helps some.
     
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  8. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
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    Thing is I'm not even sure it's the compressor, that's what the neighbor said. So if it's that and still not fixed is till have a problem. I'm sure I need freon also and that is $50 a lb at the very cheapest. My unit is 17 yrs old and they don't make this model or parts anymore.


    I think it's the unit and the copper tubes I'm replacing for $5,000! They also have a warranty, guarantee, etc. my neighbor isn't even bonded. I'm screwed if he replaced the compressor and I still don't have air.

    If it wasn't so darn hot now, I'd be in less of a hurry but the 100's are coming back next week.

    When the guy comes out at 8 at least I'll understand and not be so gullible. Thanks.

    When I had the rats in the attic, when the people came to do repairs on my roof, they did say that the tubing going from my AC looked damaged.
     
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  9. Tim Burr

    Tim Burr Well-Known Member
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    Yes, the refrigerant ( R-22 ) is extremely expensive. I have about half a jug left and use a digital scale
    to track the amount left in the jug. That's why I rarely do 'side' jobs anymore. My system still needs R-22
    so keep some back for me. Again, good luck and keep us informed.
     
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  10. K E Gordon

    K E Gordon Very Well-Known Member
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    I had some AC problems a couple of months ago, at the beginning of the summer. The AC was on, and was trying to work, but the air coming out was not very cool. It never lowered the room temp so I called my "trusty" some debate about that, AC company to come out and check it. Apparently, I was way low on refrigerant. They added some, and ever since, the AC has been working fine. Although when we get super hot days..knock on wood...we are done with those, but this is Virginia, you never can tell, it is not as effective as it should be.
     
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  11. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
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    That's how my problem started, I came home after being gone a few days and turned on my air and went about my day, it was running but later when I looked the temp in the house was rising and the air coming out of the vents was warm.

    After that the AC wouldn't even kick on any more.
     
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  12. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
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    I have another estimate coming in an hour, and thanks to the info here, I'm going to start by telling him not to bother by trying to sell me the whole enchilada. He has to beat yesterday's guys price and that's it.

    Also, I made a mistake on the price. He said $5,000 but on the estimate it says $4,995! Wow, so much cheaper, lol.
     
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  13. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Very Well-Known Member
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    @Chrissy Page

    One can tell if the compressor is running by standing close to the outside unit; they make a very raucous sound, quite loud. At the same time, you can feel for air flowing out of the cabinet through the many louvers present in it. If noisy compressor runs, no air, the fan motor inside is not functioning. With fan motor not working, compressor will only run a little while, then shuts off automatically, due to overheating. Once it cools down that same start-stop cycle will repeat. That's one way for a person to rule out those two items as the culprit.

    As an aside, and Tim probably knows all about this. The designers of compressors are ingenious little souls. Compressor motors work very hard, and get very hot. Since they are all sealed up inside of a metal can, cooling them by directing air over the outside of ther can is not effective. Instead, they use the relatively cool Freon coming back from inside the house, it may be by then about 100 degrees in temperature, where the drive motor's windings may be near cooking temperature, the Freon flows through the motor windings, cooling them, then goes to the cylinder(s) to be squeezed back into liquid again.

    Ingenious way of using the electric bill-payer's cooled Freon to cool a motor, compared to using God's air, which is free! By doing this, they "get-by" with a smaller motor than would otherwise be necessary, thus saving on their own cost of building the damned thing! Seems we get "taken" quite often, without even knowing it! Frank
     
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  14. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
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    There was no sound at all. At first I did hear it when I turned it on when I came home and air was coming thru the vents but I didn't realize it was warm air until later and by then it was up to 86 in the house.

    After that it wouldn't even start.
     
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  15. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
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    Well, we went with the first company even though they were $400 more but said they could do it tomorrow, the cheaper company said Tuesday.

    Now I get the call and they're trying to move things around to fit me in. So much BS.

    They better, or we'll go with the other company. This was $4,995 and the other one was $400 less...same job.

    My daughter is paying...thank goodness.

    Edit: they couldn't fit me in tomorrow but are coming Saturday morning which is just as well since my lawn people come friday morning and it would be too much....for Pickles. :)

    Then Sunday or Monday I go back to the coast. Was home exactly one week and it was torture.
     
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    Last edited: Sep 1, 2016
  16. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
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    @Tim Burr , I was just looking at the picture you posted and was thinking how much better it is than theirs. We're in Fresno, most homes don't have basements and the furnace is in the attic like in your pic.

    It's very easy to understand and now I get how my whole attic looks and how the vents and ducts are...I get it, lol.

    They need to change pics. :)
     
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  17. Diane Lane

    Diane Lane Very Well-Known Member
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    Ugh, I like Tim's picture much better, too. The compressor went out here not long after I moved in. She replaced the hot water heater at the same time, and went with an on demand one, which I'm sure she got some sort of government kick back on, knowing her (landlady/slumlord). $5000 sounds high to me, although I'm sure prices have gone up, and no doubt all of those types of services are more expensive over there. Glad y'all got it figured out and are able to get it replaced.
     
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  18. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
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    Yes, they are coming tomorrow morning between 7:30 -8:30 and I can't wait. Today is pretty hot.

    One company was $400 cheaper but they couldn't do it til Tuesday and time was an important factor in the decision.
     
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  19. Diane Lane

    Diane Lane Very Well-Known Member
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    I hope that is a.m.? It's really hot here today and I've been working around the house, going through things and moving a few small pieces of furniture around, so I've worked up a sweat. I actually have the thermostat on 77 right now, and it feels somewhat pleasant in here, but I'm about to take a bath and then I'll jack it up to 78 or so, because otherwise the bill will be way too high next month. I'm sure you and Pickles will be quite happy once the system is fixed and y'all can be cool again :D.
     
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  20. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
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    Yes, a.m. Thank goodness. It's hot today here too but could be worse, 94 high. Temp in house right now is 84.

    It will probably reach 87 by sunset. I'm not doing anything and won't until I get the A/C unit tomorrow. I think he said it takes about half a day. Mornings aren't too bad.


    I have to cancel a Tuesday appt for an estimate. That's the earliest they could even come out to give one. They are losing a lot of business I'm sure.
     
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  21. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
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    Well they are here, nice and early! 2 of them. One is kind of grumpy, I'm used to pleasant people. :(

    It's going to be a long morning. I'm closed in a room with Pickles and I'm hot already!


    Maybe they're angry cause they have to work the Labor Day weekend. When they called and said
    They can't have someone come out on Friday like they said they would, I told them that's the only reason I chose them even if they were $400 higher. So they scrambled and found someone for today...these unhappy guys.

    If you live in Fresno...this is great business to be in. We must have at least 50 or more companies and they're all busy.
     
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    Last edited: Sep 3, 2016

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