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  1. #1

    Houston 3600 Sq. Ft. Help Needed RE: Proposed Repair Job

    We have a problem where we bought a house, and we purchased insurance on the A/C. The repair guy said the A/C units should be replaced, but the insurance company is untrustworthy and won't replace the units unless the A/C temperature differs 20 degrees (but ours differs 18 degrees if that means anything). However, they did authorize some repairs (however they're only covering 50% of them).

    In short, the following repairs were suggested:

    It appears that we have 2 A/C units in our 3600 Sq. Ft. Home -- one 4 ton for the downstairs, and I believe a 4 ton (possibly smaller) upstairs as well. They were built/installed in 1997, and recently they have been running 24 hours a day and never get down to the 76 degrees we have the thermostat set at.

    The A/C guy came in yesterday (after 2 other guys coming in and putting in freeon), looked upstairs in our attic, and siad that the previous owners probably didn't change the filters and thus the "core" is probably dirty. The problem is that he said that he couldn't get to either core due to the configuration of each unit, and to clean each would be $$$$ each just to remove it and clean it.

    Instead, he suggested that we repair one at a time with the same repair -- he will reconfigure the unit to put a door to separate the furnace and the A/C, that way someone can open the door and will clean it.

    On the purchase order (for $$$$), he has the following items:

    EVAPORATOR COIL:
    License, Registration and/or Permit ($$$$)
    Disposal of Coil ($$$$)
    New Supply Plenum ($$$$)
    New Transition from Furnace to Coil ($$$$)
    Add/Replace Emergency Drain Pan & Drain Line ($$$$)
    Install safety cut off (primary and secondary) ($$$$)
    Install Evaporator Coil Inspection Panel ($$$$)

    Total Cost: $$$$ (and this is for only one unit -- he said the same has to happen for the other unit).

    Thoughts?
    Last edited by jpsmith1cm; 08-07-2012 at 05:28 PM. Reason: Pricing

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    The Quad-Cities area (midwest).
    Posts
    2,744
    Number one rule here.........no prices allowed. They really don't help anything.

    Without seeing your situation, it's hard to say, but there is (normally) no reason the coil in question can't be pulled easily, cleaned and reinstalled. I don't see the need for all the ductwork modification. But again, I'm not there.

    That said, rarely do evaporator coils get that dirty to require cleaning. I would think that if your A/C is cooling as well as it is, you don't have a plugged coil.

  3. #3
    I wish I could my post and remove the prices. Please pretend the prices aren't there because they are not relevant to the question. I am asking whether this "group" of repairs sounds like something real, or whether there is no reason to make these kinds of repairs for an A/C unit that is not cooling well.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    SW Wisconsin
    Posts
    5,034
    We have a problem where we bought a house, and we purchased insurance on the A/C. The repair guy said the A/C units should be replaced, but the insurance company is untrustworthy and won't replace the units unless the A/C temperature differs 20 degrees (but ours differs 18 degrees if that means anything). However, they did authorize some repairs (however they're only covering 50% of them).
    NO prices!
    What precisely has to differ 20 degrees before insurance covers replacement?

  5. #5
    The actual temperature in the house versus the temperature set on the thermostat must differ 20 degrees before the insurance company agrees to replace the unit.

    In other words, if we put the thermostat at 70, it must be 90 or higher before they'll replace it. (In our situation, it was only 88 degrees in the house with the A/C set at 70 that day).

  6. #6
    Once again, I really would like to find out with this "group" of items to be repaired (the A/C guy said he would reconfigure the A/C unit upstairs so that we can access with a door the core so that we can clean it easily if we need to; he also will be configuring the ducts to go into the reconfigured system -- right now they all go out from one big duct, and the A/C unit itself appears to be one giant closed box.)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    352
    What happens if you set it to 65? Will your insurance pay for it if you end up at 85 F or is 70 the lowest you can go?

    I would get a second company to look at your unit. How hot is it outside? Did the tech check your supply and return register airflow and temperatures?
    You can call me Sam

    It should be a crime to be a mechanical engineer in San Diego
    Summer Design Temperature: 83 F Dry Bulb ~ 69 F Wet Bulb (California Climate Zone 7)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Western PA
    Posts
    25,959

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Houston Texas
    Posts
    6,327
    What the company is saying there is no access door in the transition as required by code, I am assuming that these are horizontal systems. Home Warranty companies require that you have an access door so the system can be inspected and cleaned this is also now code in Texas.

    There is no reason to remove a coil to clean it unless it is an upflow coil the majority in Houston are horizontal.

    If the systems need refrigerant then they have leaks and the should be located and evaluated as to repair or replacement options. Understand that any company performing work for a warranty company does not want to replace equipment because it will make their invoice average. If their invoice average goes up their work slows down. In order to make money the contractor needs to find work that is not covered for you to pay for to make up the difference.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    4,905
    the problem with home warranty is you never get the good repair free. You might be money ahead to just replace the coils

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