Late last week I attempted to use my A/C for the first time this year and realized that my 1980 GE Weathertron had reached the end of the road. The lowest temps I could measure at the supply vents was 81F. There was no condensate in the drain pipe, and upon inspecting the interior of the indoor unit, I found the cooling coils/fins to be warm to the touch. Bad news!
This morning, a very reputable local HVAC contractor visited and diagnosed the system as being damaged beyond repair. He first inspected the outside unit and determined that, although there was plenty of R-22 in the system, it was very dirty. The compressor had "burned-out" and the fan atop it would not budge. Thereafter, he informed me that there was NO WAY to repair the system and that I would need a brand new indoor/outdoor system.
When I asked him whether or not I should choose a Trane or Carrier, etc., he said that their preferred unit was a Ruud. He suggested that I replace the existing 3-ton GE Weathertron with a Ruud 13 SEER w/ 410a coupled with a Rheem variable-speed electric air handler w/ heater.
I also asked him whether or not he was going to replace the copper tubing/lines. He replied "no, there is a flush kit that will be used to prepare it for the Puron refrigerant." Being a Chemist, I am very aware of the immiscibility of different lubricants.
So, is it really possible to "flush" it completely...or should I insist on the replacement of the copper?
Important details to note: I require electric versus gas; I live in a 2800 sq ft 3-level end unit townhome in Northern VA; I am not interested in a SEER higher than 14; I am a Microbiologist & Chemist...clearly unqualified to make HVAC decisions...therefore, I am deferring to you, the TRUE professionals
The price he quoted me $xx w/ 2 years labor, 5 years parts, and 10 years on the compressor.
The price seems high, judging by other threads I've read on this site. Is it?