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  1. #1

    Please Help - Central Air Unit

    Hi everyone.

    Here is my issue. A few weeks ago I noticed my Central Air was not cooling my house. After Changing the filter had no effect I decided I could not handle the heat anymore. I called in a HVAC company.

    They came out and took some readings, which I will post below. They tested my outer unit with a diagnostic tool and only looked at my Furnace. They told me it was out of whack. The "Liquid" was 230 and the "Suction" was 40. He first recommended a Coil Pull and Clean, then told me he thinks my compressor may be failing. He then told me that would be $$$$. He then said I might as well get a whole new system for $$$$.

    I paid him the service call charge and sent him on his way. I think its wise to get a second opinion before sinking $k into something. Is it possible to clean the inside coils myself? He said he could do it but it would not make sense considering the compressor could be/is going bad.

    What got me thinking is over the winter a closet door fell into the actual thermostat and knocked off the cover/batteries out. When I started it up this year it was just blowing regular air. I went outside and the outside unit wasn't even doing anything. I then noticed the "HP-NON-HP" switch had been bumped to "HP". I then switched it back to "Non-HP" and the outer unit kicked on but still will not blow cool air.

    To be completely honest I know nothing about HVAC stuff. I assume that stands for "Heat-Pump" and I'm not even sure where it should be.

    I was recently laid off and have 4 kids and am struggling on my Wife's income alone so spending $$$$ is near impossible. I'm just looking for a little guidance and I am sucking up my pride, admitting I'm clueless, and hoping someone has some suggestions./opinions.

    Below are the comments on the Work Order.

    "No Cool Diagnosis"

    Checked Freon Pressure
    -Very High Liquid - 230
    -Very Low Pressure - 40
    - Should be 75/200

    Checked Amps at compressor
    -High

    - Recommend Coil Pull & Clean

    Recommend replacement due to age, condition & cost to repair





    Thanks for any help you can give me!
    Last edited by jpsmith1cm; 05-22-2012 at 06:27 AM. Reason: Pricing

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Western PA
    Posts
    25,961
    There isn't enough information to make an informed diagnosis.

    I'm suspecting, however, that you have several problems going on.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    68,797
    Since your compression ratio exceeds 4 to 1. I doubt that your compressor is the problem.

    When you have a second guy come out. Ask him for sub cool and super heat reading. this helps us help you.

    I think you have more then a dirty coil problem. But thats only a wild guess from my side of the internet. And if I'm right, its still repairable.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    4,905
    Could be a clogged evap coil ,some line temps along with the pressures go a long way in troubleshooting

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Woodbridge Twp, NJ
    Posts
    1,308
    I agree. There is a contractor locator here on this site that will help you find a tech that can dig a bit deeper. If your pressures were closer to being the same on both sides, then i would reccomend a compressor change but now it seems like it's chugging along.
    Every customer you take for granted today will be someone else's tomorrow.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    NE Alabama
    Posts
    301
    I finished a job last week where the AC and the furnace were running at the same time. Ended up being a short, but it was the first time I had seen it and this sounds a little like at a glance. The heat side was stronger and there was 85F blowing from the registers.

  7. #7
    So I guess a second opinion is needed. You guys are awesome

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX
    Posts
    11,376
    I'd rule out the compressor as the culprit. Can't fathom why techs want to condemn compressors that, as beenthere noted, have a good compression ratio. I hear some techs say "Why do I need to know about compression ratio? How is it relevant?" Well, here's a good example, right here. Folks, our trade is an applied SCIENCE. Get out of the guessing game and dig into how our science WORKS.

    A 40 pound suction with 230 head could be nothing more than a dirty indoor coil and a dirty outdoor coil, a dirty indoor coil with an overcharge, or a combination of similar things. OP, get a second opinion. There are too many in this trade who would rather push new equipment at you than take something with a few miles on the odometer and make it purr like a kitten.

    Also, when was the last time you changed your filter? How dirty was it when you changed it?
    • Electricity makes refrigeration happen.
    • Refrigeration makes the HVAC psychrometric process happen.
    • HVAC pyschrometrics is what makes indoor human comfort happen...IF the ducts AND the building envelope cooperate.


    A building is NOT beautiful unless it is also comfortable.

  9. #9
    The filter wasn't that dirty when I changed it last. Do you think it could just be dirty coils

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    3,618
    I think you are the victim of a "sales person" in a technician's uniform. They seem a lot more interested in "selling" you than attempting to repair. Get someone else right away, and ask them to actually look at what is going on PRIOR to attempting to "sell" you. Sounds like you only have a few minor problems other than an unethical "technician" (I use that tem loosely!).

  11. #11
    Ok, so what specifications should I ask the next guy for so you guys can help me out more?

    You guys are awesome!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    3,618
    This is not a DIY site, so we can't diagnose your problem, or attempt to. But an experienced tech (not a salesman!) should be able to diagnose this in about 5 minutes. IMO anyway.

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