I last posted about my system a few months ago. At that point, the coil had been cleaned as much as practical and the heater was doing okay. (This is a 10-year-old Frankensystem that was *VERY* poorly installed by the previous owner of my house.. we're talking "no filter dryer" class hack job here. I am planning to replace it this season.)
We had a warm snap last week and I turned the AC on for the first time this season. No cool. Scheduled a service call and annual PM. The tech who came out got it running - there was a wiring problem in the outdoors unit, a wire that had come loose. He also redid some of the inside wiring that was a rat's nest (while tracing out the connections from the thermostat) and also snapped my condensate line off accidentially. Not a problem - got a free EZ-Trap out of it, and those things happen.. I mention it because I was impressed with how professionally they handled an "oops". I've had other contractors break things and either leave it or try to charge me to fix it - it definitely does make a good impression when someone says "oops, well, I'll make it better than before for free."
Basically, the tech said that there was no point even doing a PM on this system. To check subcool obviously requires gauges, and he said that a mismatched system with no filter dryer wasn't something that he'd put gauges on. I can't really argue with that, unless you guys tell me it's unreasonable.. the system IS an obvious hack job and it's not worth it to pump down and install a filter dryer.
Because he couldn't/wouldn't put gauges on it, there was no subcool done. He did say that, while there was no way to know for sure, it wasn't showing any obvious signs of the charge being off, and it was pulling out plenty of moisture. Even though this was an "eyeballed" inspection, he was very upfront that eyeballing was NOT a proper way to do it, and he was only eyeballing as better than nothing because it wasn't possible to do it right. So no PM has been done.
Obviously I need to replace it soon. I have one bid and am going to get the other two next week, while it's still cool out. After that I think I'm pretty much ready to buy. Man J, finding that a heat pump is the way to go in my area, etc is pretty much stuff I did months ago. This is in the home stretch now.
The system ran fine for the next day or so, then the warm snap ended and we were right back to heating. I turned it on yesterday and no cool. They're coming back out later today on a callback, we'll see from there.