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.
Hey super,edit out the prices .
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?
Originally Posted by Snapperhead
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.
So I take it that all estimates cover the same thing. Why is one estimate half the price of the others?
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 .....
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.
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.
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.
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.
Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards". -Vernon Law-
"Skilled Labor Isn't Cheap, Cheap Labor Isn't Skilled" - Unknown
I don't think that you can still get a 10 SEER coil. I may be mistaken.
Originally Posted by SuperNoobie
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.