Talked to (Oh what do they call one of those people that study bugs) Anyway he was a customer He said that the AC power cycle in the US attracts the ants to the contactor. And once one gets zapped the others attack.
Jeff, It is not an insult i just want you to think. You say your ac was working fine before he came out, But then in the same sentence you said it was running 3 degrees behind. Well then was it running fine??? If they put 1.5 lbs of "Freon" in for the past five years every year, Then wasn't it giving you problems? Can you say at this point that your ac was always running fine? Your ac didn't go from running perfectly to not running at all in one day, The compressor went form running to needing a hard start kit IN 14 YEARS!!!!!!! It didn't just happen overnight, It happened in 14 years, Your lucky you got 14 years with only adding 7.5 lbs of "Freon" to your AC. 1.5 pounds can be a significant amount to a residential system. Adding refrigerant every year to your system does not mean you never had a problem with your system. And also means your compressor runs without the proper charge, Compressors use the proper charge to cool themselves, So without it you have a strain on the compressor. I hate to say it but start budgeting for a new unit.
I appreciate your input, and no insult is taken. I freely admit to knowing nothing about HVAC work whatsoever. That's why I guess it seemed so strange in my "layman's" way of thinking. On the surface I just saw that for five years in a row the HVAC company I use has told me (my wife actually, I have been at work each time they have come) they had to add 1.5 lbs of freon because of a leak in the coils. Never more, never less than 1.5 lbs. To me the unit was "running perfectly" because, like I said in my query, it had been over a hundred degrees for six straight days and it was still only running three degrees above where the thermostat was set. I have no trees in my yard and nothing at all blocking the sun off my house. I assumed that it was "normal" for the HVAC to lag a little behind under these servere conditions. The compressor has never had a problem turning itself on before so I just thought it seemed a little weird that it "all of the sudden" started having problems. I understand now that there could be many explanations for why it happened the way it did. I just needed a little reassurance that what had happened to my unit was expainable because the cost and aggravation of the experience was quite large. Thanks again for your help.
By the way, with the "hard start" kit now installed the unit is cooling great. I believe I will, however, take your advice and start saving my pennies for a new unit.