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  1. #1

    What is an air handler?

    Okay so I am new at this and don't understand terminology that well. My a/c was diagosed with a bad evaporator coil. It is a Furr Down 31HX8-240 model. I think it is 10 SEER, although I am not sure what that means


    I've gotten a number of different estimates to replace it. Two are~ $X,800 for which I've been promised a new evaporator and blower motor. The other is 1/2 as much which covers the installation of a new "air handler". Are these estimates covering the same thing? Are they reasonably priced? Please help as I am relatively clueless on these matters.

    On a side note, here's how I found out that I have a bad evaporator coil:
    I had someone come in two weeks ago to recharge the a/c. That's the guy who said it was a bad evaporator. He said he could tell because coolant was leaking through the air vents. He told me he'd used 10 lbs. of R-22 coolant which leaked out in less than 24 hours. I've never heard from this guy again even though I have left messages every day seeking an estimate on the evaporator. I'm pretty sure I got ripped off by that guy as many people say that my system probably doesn't even hold 10 lbs. of a/c
    Last edited by SuperNoobie; 06-10-2008 at 07:20 PM.

  2. #2
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    Mar 2005
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    Hey super,edit out the prices .

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
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    the air handler is the whole cabinet case with new evap and motor inside . Its very common for the evap to leak ...

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Snapperhead View Post
    the air handler is the whole cabinet case with new evap and motor inside . Its very common for the evap to leak ...
    Does it include the blower motor? What else would be in an air handler apart from an evaporator and a blower motor?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    Northern Wisconsin
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    1,988
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HVAC Scroll towards the bottom and it will explain what an air handler is.

    If you evap coil is leaking that will be the coil that is located inside or in the attic in a cabinet that also contains the blower motor and fan that moves the air inside your home .... this is called the air handler.

    If the indoor coil is leaking and the indoor unit is anything close to or over 10 years old you're probably going to find your only option is to replace the entire indoor unit as a direct replacement coil won't be available for it.

    With the new government mandated higher efficiency units, matching a new indoor unit correctly to an old outdoor unit will become another factor that should be factored in.

    In these kinds of situations I always strongly suggest the entire system be replace to arrive at the best system "fix" for your money. Anytime you replace major components in a system that is getting up in age you run the risk of other major things requiring replacement in the very near future. Compatability comes into play to where you might have to throw away perfectly good things that were just recently replaced.

    By replacing the entire system at this point you also gain efficiency, gain new warranties and depending on the equipment selections can gain greatly in the comfort levels that it can maintain in your home. What is available today is greatly different than what was available just 10-15 years ago.

    Good luck and stay cool.
    Use the biggest hammer you like, pounding a square peg into a round hole does not equal a proper fit.

  6. #6
    So I take it that all estimates cover the same thing. Why is one estimate half the price of the others?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Virginia
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    3,091
    sometimes its more labor to replace the guts inside the AH , than to just change the AH out . Other times the individual parts are expensive . It Depends .....

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    New Jersey
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    15
    with the labor involved i say your best bet is too have the whole a/h replaced. its nice to have the entire system matching so you dont run into wiring probs (it happens), not to mention you dont know what else could go wrong with the old a/h unit.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    623
    It is most likely the evaporator coil, although his supposed method of putting 10lbs of refrigerant in and some how knowing that it was coming through the air vents is complete BS, also this sounds like a large leak, which in that case , I would leave the possibility open that the leak is else where, bottom line, call someone who is more trust worthy and have them find the leak, they should use a leak detector AT THE EVAPORATOR COIL to confirm it is leaking.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
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    67,770
    We don't know why one is x amount more then the other.

    But think of it this way.

    If you were getting very little money to worl in an attic. Would rush rush and maybe cut a corner that is questionable.

    Some times the price indicates the quality. Not always though.
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  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Houston,Tx.
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    15,850
    Do you live in a townhouse or condo? just wondering with a furdown unit and if so and the condenser is up on the roof, it's very possible he could have put in 10 lbs of freon depending on the pressures at the time, do you know what they were? also trust me you don't want to rebuild a furdown unit it's not worth it and I have personally never heard of anyone doing that, but it's you gig.
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  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    Lowellville Ohio
    Posts
    144
    Quote Originally Posted by SuperNoobie View Post
    Okay so I am new at this and don't understand terminology that well. My a/c was diagosed with a bad evaporator coil. It is a Furr Down 31HX8-240 model. I think it is 10 SEER, although I am not sure what that means


    I've gotten a number of different estimates to replace it. Two are~ $X,800 for which I've been promised a new evaporator and blower motor. The other is 1/2 as much which covers the installation of a new "air handler". Are these estimates covering the same thing? Are they reasonably priced? Please help as I am relatively clueless on these matters.

    On a side note, here's how I found out that I have a bad evaporator coil:
    I had someone come in two weeks ago to recharge the a/c. That's the guy who said it was a bad evaporator. He said he could tell because coolant was leaking through the air vents. He told me he'd used 10 lbs. of R-22 coolant which leaked out in less than 24 hours. I've never heard from this guy again even though I have left messages every day seeking an estimate on the evaporator. I'm pretty sure I got ripped off by that guy as many people say that my system probably doesn't even hold 10 lbs. of a/c
    I don't think that you can still get a 10 SEER coil. I may be mistaken.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    352
    Look at her mate, it's the fur-down unit. We've caught her in the guest bathroom, wedged in a tiny space. She may look like a baby, because she only weighs in at 26 lbs, but she's 18 years old mate! What a beauty.

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