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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    13
    I bought a condo at the end of August last year and I think there's something wrong with my AC. When I turn it on, I feel very little air circulation. The air is sort of cold... but not really. I had the ducts cleaned and a technician come to look at the system, but he found nothing wrong. Winter came and I didn't really worry about the AC anymore.. but its starting to get hot again and I'm worried about the AC not being able to cool my condo. Does anyone have a suggestion as to why the breeze coming out of my vents is so weak? I plan on getting another technician to look at the system, and want to atleast have some knowledge about what could be wrong, cause if he tells me that "everything checked out fine," I'll just flip my lid, cause I know it isn't.

    Over the winter, the heat coming out of the vents was also weak, but this wasn't a big deal because I'm on the second floor of a building and the ambient heat always kept the place warm.

    The only possible cause I could think of is that the prior owner left a really, really dirty filter (he had 2 dogs) and seemed to have no clue about maintaining a home. Could this have caused the motor to overwork itself and now has reduced its power?

    I also checked the outside unit (its on the roof) and nothing is blocking it.

    Any suggestions would be appreciated.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX
    Posts
    11,350
    The only possible cause I could think of is that the prior owner left a really, really dirty filter (he had 2 dogs) and seemed to have no clue about maintaining a home.
    That's likely the culprit. Even though you've changed the filter, the blower wheel and indoor cooling coil are likely plugged with dirt, pet dander, and other nasties. If your system is up in years you might consider a change-out over paying a tech to pull the coil to clean it.

    Either way you're faced with an airflow problem and the remedy isn't quick.
    • Electricity makes refrigeration happen.
    • Refrigeration makes the HVAC psychrometric process happen.
    • HVAC pyschrometrics is what makes indoor human comfort happen...IF the ducts AND the building envelope cooperate.


    A building is NOT beautiful unless it is also comfortable.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    Coastal Georgia
    Posts
    34,902
    You get a "breeze" if you open a window. You get air flow from a HVAC system. Call a Tech.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    13
    James,

    Sorry if I don't know the "terminology" of the HVAC world and like I said, I do plan on calling a Technician, I just didn't want to go through the situation again like last time when the technician had no answers to my problem. Paying someone money again to do absolutely nothing and giving me no helpful answers just didn't seem like a good idea to me.

    -----

    Shophound,

    Thanks for the info. The unit is 10 years old so I'm not sure if its ready to be replaced. Maybe the technician can find a way to clean he motor and coils at a reasonable price.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    Coastal Georgia
    Posts
    34,902
    Originally posted by notcool
    James,

    Sorry if I don't know the "terminology" of the HVAC world and like I said, I do plan on calling a Technician, I just didn't want to go through the situation again like last time when the technician had no answers to my problem. Paying someone money again to do absolutely nothing and giving me no helpful answers just didn't seem like a good idea to me.


    Tell that to the next guy that looks at it.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    North Richland Hills, Texas
    Posts
    14,915
    If its one of those units in the cieling, have the technician pull the blower assembly out and look at the coil and blower wheels. I bet he will find that the coil and blower wheels are filthy. Generally pulling the coil on a fan coil unit in the cieling is not an option on most types of those units.
    If it is an older unit, this may be a good time to change it out.
    Considdering the changes in the minimum efficiency of equipment coming next year, this year would be a good time to change a system in a condo. Most of the condos I service will require some fairly serious modifications to wedge a larger high efficiency indoor unit in where the old unit is...
    If more government is the answer, then it's a really stupid question.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    13
    Mark,

    Thanks. The unit is in a wall, not on ceiling. Unfortunately, I have no clue on how you could take it out (the last technician who looked at it couldn't figure this out as well).

    Also, what is considered an old unit? The condo was built in '96, so at most the unit is only 9 years old. Is that considered to old?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    2,597
    i just heard yesterday from a fairly reliable source, that condos, apts., etc... with through the wall type units, will be exempt from the thirteen seer minimum (at least for now). anyone else know anything about this?


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Cincinnati
    Posts
    7,977
    not cool,

    Do yourself a favor and call a good tech to look at it and the two of you go from there, it's a good chance your coils are really dirty, hopefully just a good cleaning will take care of your problem, when your unit does begin to work right make sure to change your filter once a month, cheap investment on your part..

    Good Luck

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    13
    mattm,

    I guess the trick now is to find a good technician. Any recommendations for techs in the Alexandria/Fairfax area of Virginia?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Office and warehouse in both Crystal River & New Port Richey ,FL
    Posts
    18,836
    Cropp-Metcafe is in your area.

    [Edited by dash on 04-22-2005 at 01:32 PM]

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    9,548
    If these techs can't find anything wrong with the system, what makes you think there is besides a "breeze" coming out of the registers? A properly designed system will have the airflow balanced throughout the condo where you won't be able to feel it blowing on you,but it will keep the condo at the temp you set the t-stat on. Is it maintaining this temperature, or is the condo getting warm? If it's cycling properly, there might not be a airflow issue.It could actually be very well designed.
    If everything was always done "by the book"....the book would never change.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    13
    smokin68,

    The last tech explained that to me also.. but the problem is that the temperature inside the condo does not change when I turn the AC on. For example, on Wednesday, it was an unusually hot day and got up to 84 degrees inside. After turning the AC on for 5 hours, it was 83 degrees in the place. So.. something just isn't working right. The air flow coming out of the vents is cold.. but just not strong.

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