I requested service call on the 23rd of April because I needed a HVAC company to come out a clear out a clogged line that was causing our AC unit to back-up, and water run out the back drain of the house. My wife objected on the grounds of their service grade on www.angieslist.com, but having already made the commitment, and appreciating the phone reps helpful demeanor and quick response time, I followed through anyway.
The reps were extremely friendly and personable and listened to my request to blow out the clogged line and did just that, after "adjusting the refridgerant levels" first i.e. adding more freon and then highly recommending that we become "silver members" for all the annual benefits. Also, the service rep "highly recommended" a SAFE-T SWITCH on the inside unit connecting to the All-Style Coil housing drain pan, which would "automatically shut off the unit in the event of back-up or draining that might cause a potential flood." Total bill with new membership: $x My wife again objected, but the gentleman speaking presented the membership in an appealing manner and I appreciated the idea and agreed.
Almost to the month later on May 26th (Mem Day) we experienced the air not being as cold and then the large line from the unit outside freezing up. So we called the same company and turned off the unit and ran the fan allowing the outside pipe to thaw. When the rep came over I showed him the outside unit - specifically where it had been previously frozen from the unit to the house, etc. He spent nearly two hours fumbling and bumping around upstairs in the attic and concluded that there was a leak in my evaporator coils, which he explained is a "all-style cool" and he had added more freon. I explained to him that more freon had already been added nearly 30 days ago and if what he was saying was so, that based upon my experience that would only last a a few weeks/months. His answer was as I expected it would be, telling would probably need to replace the coil unit; furthermore it would cost $x in labor to fix IF it was under warranty and up to $x if it was not, but he would have to check the warranty, type, size needed, etc. When I asked him exactly what type and size would be needed, he said he didn't know. When I asked him when he could find out, he didn't know. I mean after spending two hours knocking around up in the attic, he doesn't know???? Then after all that, I got the good fortune of writing a $x check.
#1 This morning the SAME problem is happening and the large line from the unit to the house is frozen again. After looking in the attic myself I could only detect where the sheet metal housing was pulled back exposing the coil unit with the screws laid to the side and not screwed back into place, but no sign of any type of leak. HOW CAN ONE TELL IF THIS IS IN FACT A LEAK OR JUST A DIRTY, CLOGGED UP LINE, ETC.???
#2 IF the evaporator coils are leaking (there are other reasons besides a bad coil for an AC to leak), then why would it possibly cost UP TO $x? I have searched <removed diy link> and haven't found one that comes even close to that ridiculous amount. The most expensive "All-Style Coil" for a 5 ton 13+ seer is only 774.00 new!
Please help me solve this riddle! Am I being ripped off??? Also, how does one determine what size Evaporator Coil Unit one needs? I am sick of getting ripped off and want to make sure it's not happening again. Can anyone help?