I read this forum a lot as a lurker last Winter when I was shopping for a new furnace, and really appreciated the high quality of advice. So here's a belated thanks for that. I ended up combining that advice with ratings from Angie's List in my area (Twin Cities, MN, North Metro) to select a furnace and installer that I was happy with.
I'm hoping I can get some generic advice on who to call for AC service in the following situation:
My central AC unit is a Carrier 3.5 ton installed by the previous homeowner in 2001.
In June 2007 my central AC completely stopped working. I called company A that I had previously used for duct cleaning and furnace liner installation, and a tech diagnosed the problem as a shutdown due to an extremely low level/pressure of coolant. He told me that he couldn't see a leak, but that a small leak was the most likely explanation for such a low level of coolant in 2007 for a system installed in 2001. Since his charge for a fill-up was xxxx and charge for possibly unsuccessful attempt to search for and repair a leak was xxxx, I went for the re-charge option with the plan to see whether the unit retained coolant adequately to late Spring 2008. In late April 2008 I had a different tech out from the same company A to do a "spring checkup" and asked him to see if the coolant level was the same as previously ("41 degree a coil temperature" is what I wrote down) and he reported to me that it was and the AC looked fine. Now in July 2008, the AC is running but it's cooling ability seems to be dropping by the day. The air coming out of the vents is just not that cool.
Some other info that may or may not be relevant: While I was looking over paperwork on my furnace, I discovered that the compressor part in AC unit is still under 10 yr. transferable part warranty from Company B who did the installation for the previous owner in 2001. In May of 2008 the local power company, at my request, had an anonymous technician install a remote controlled power save switch on the AC unit which they use to flip off power to AC at peak periods in return for a 15% overall electric bill discount in the Summer months. I am quite sure that the external unit is running most of the time when I'm asking it too cool and the on/off electrical function of this saver switch is not the problem, but I don't know whether it is even possible that the electrician damaged the AC in some other way, since this work was done after the Spring checkup.
So my question to the forum, is what would you do? Generic options are
Option 1) Call company B that has the compressor part under warranty
Option 2) Call company A back that did the Spring checkup
Option 3) Call some other company that I would regard as the best option in the
absence of any connection between the AC unit and A or B.
Thanks in advance for any advice.
No pricing in post