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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    2
    Hello everyone,

    We bought a house in mid-June 2005. Our inspector noted problems with the A/C, which the sellers agreed to fix during our negotiations. At closing, the seller's agent accidentally gave us papers from the technician showing that he only added freon and recommended they hire someone else to check out the problems with the A/C. Needless to say, we are planning to investigate legal options.

    Long story short: we were in the house for 2 weeks when we realized the A/C wasn't working. It was running all day and night, but never getting under 80F (seems to be a common problem on these boards!). Since we have a home warranty, we called them first and they sent out an A/C guy.

    Of course the A/C guy found it was preexisting and not covered under the warranty. He wrote: "Found evap coil 60% restricted - fins are smashed - not allowing proper air flo - has no filter on liquid line - causing internal restriction in coil - condenser needs cleaned."

    He recommended two ways of dealing with this problem:
    1. fix the 4-ton Rheem unit we currently have: "install new Carrier 4-ton 12 seec evap coil with txv valve, install 3/8" liquid line drier, clean outside unit"

    or

    2. he said our home (2050 sq.ft. with 12-foot ceilings and a huge skylight) is too many sq.ft. for a 4-ton unit. so his second option is replacing the unit with a new 5-ton unit: "install 5-ton 12 seec complete system, condensor, coil, furnace, NO duct work" and then quoted us full parts and labor prices (not including duct work) for three units (low, mid, and top range).

    so! I thought he seemed very knowledgeable and trustworthy. he spent about 30 minutes going back and forth between our attic and the outside unit.

    but what I want to know is this:
    1. the price to fix up our 4-ton unit is about 1/3 of the price to just replace the whole thing with a 5-ton unit. if the 4-ton unit is never going to cool our house very well, it seems like we'd be better off just laying out the money for a new unit...right?

    2. as I read through some of the other posts, I noticed a couple of people mention that a bigger, newer system may not fix the problem if it's actually in the ducts. From this A/C tech's description of the problem, it doesn't sound like a duct problem...but I'm concerned that since duct work isn't covered in his prices, it could suddenly turn out that "oh look, the problem actually WAS the ducts." legitimate worry?

    3. I do not understand what features are improved on a more expensive unit over a cheaper one. we are talking more than $1000 difference between the low and top quote they gave us. Generally speaking, what does the extra $1000 get you?

    4. Is it a good idea to get quotes from a couple other A/C places? or am I just wasting time?


    Last night we started having warm air come in through the vents, so we are now living in Houston's bay area in the middle of July without air conditioning. I know I'm asking a lot of questions that may have detailed answers...so thank you in advance for any help and perspective you give me. And if these questions are already answered somewhere that I've missed, please just let me know where to look.

    Thanks,
    Hillary

    [Edited by hallis1 on 07-17-2005 at 10:43 AM]

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    11,874
    Sounds like a good time to locate the previous owners and confront them as to whats going on.Could be it wasn't an accident you got to see the "secret" paperwork.

  3. #3
    I would get a second opinion. When you call the other company tell them you want a load calculation done on your home. This is the only way to properly determine what size system you need. They also need to make sure your ducts are able to handle a 5 ton system. The ducts may only big enough for 4 tons.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Houston Texas
    Posts
    6,326
    First don't listen to anything prodiyer says he is not a pro he is a homeowner with no experience. The fact that he is correct here is not relevant. This is an obvious fact stated on this site many times.

    As Wrangler says you need to contact the previous owner as well as a lawyer. In Texas we have a deceptive trade practices law that protects you. The fact that you were promised the system be repaired and they circumvented that agreement entitles you to triple damages in a settlement. Assuming you win and your best chance is in small claims court. You can only sue for up to $5,000.00 but with triple damages that amounts to $15,000.00.

    You immediate need is to have the system fixed so you can live in the house. This may mean replacing the entire system and addressing ductwork issues it may not. Depending on the true nature of your problem some simple fix may get you through until the legal wrangling is over.

    In Houston your home may well need a larger system what is more likely is it needs a system properly installed. I find that most systems here are properly sized but have such poor ductwork and inadequate return capacity that they only produce a fraction of their design capacity.

    What you want to look for is a company that is NATE certified can provide references and will take the time to properly evaluate your home and lifestyle before making a recommendation.

    I will be glad to come out if you are in my service area; I believe Wrangler is in Houston there are several others on this site from Houston.

    IF you wish to send me names of companies you have had dealings with or are considering I will be glad to provide you with any knowledge I have of them.

    Another source of information is the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation our state governing body. Just type in TDLR into your search engine and it should come up first. When on their website you can check out any company by name or license number.

  5. #5
    Classical what is your problem? So what if the advice I gave has been said before on this site. You and I dont know that the OP has heard it before. They did not come here for legal advice, instead they came here for help with their airconditioning. For you to say dont listen to him even though he is right, is not helping the OP or this site.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Office and warehouse in both Crystal River & New Port Richey ,FL
    Posts
    18,836
    1.I'd likely replace the coil,choosing a higher SEER rated coil,so IF the outdoor unit fails ,the coil can be used with a new outdoor unit.Maybe what the Carrier coil he quoted is,check and be sure.

    Better solution,if it's an older system;If it's an older system,there should be some money saved by replacing both now ,if the budget allows.


    2.It doesn't sound like a duct problem,but going to 5 ton,could cause a duct problem.

    Load calculation is needed,you can even do it yourself on this site.Look at adding attic insulation,if it needs a five ton,to reduce the requirement to 4 tons.Money well spent.Looking in the attic,etc.,is not an accurate way to size the system.


    I'd look at adding insulation,even if it load calcs,to 4 tons,insulation might make it a 3.5 ton.


    3.Variable speed indoor motor if the furnace is to be replaced.Higher SEER,lower operating cost,quieter outdoor unit,better warranty,etc.,with a coil and outdoor unit.


    4.Since you have no track record wth this company,get one or two more quotes.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    East Stroudsburg, PA
    Posts
    13,215
    I'll second that don't listen to prodiyer thing. He's a crackpot.

    Follow the advice of established contractors who have dealt with this type of situation in the past.

    Fortunately, you aren't the first one to have this happen to you.


  8. #8
    Originally posted by prodiyer
    Classical what is your problem?
    His problem is the same problem the rest of us have... you acting like a professional, but (at times) giving out very dangerous, bad advice! You need to learn to sit back, read and learn, before you get someone hurt that just happens to take your advice!

    For you to say dont listen to him even though he is right, is not helping the OP or this site.
    There are plenty of true professionals on this site that will offer (good, honest, tried and backed up knowledge) to homeowners, that you should just sit back and keep your pie hole shut!

    Is this maybe a little harsh? YES. But, you have come in a professional forum and have caused problems. You have disrupted threads between 'tech to tech' chats... acting like a pro the whole time, then later in the discussion 'admitting you have no idea of the real issue as you're only a HO'!

    May advice to you is to sit back and learn. Leave the site for the professionals to run and maintain a high level of quality answers/replies!

    DO YOU GET ANY OF THIS YET?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Location: Tulsa Oklahoma
    Posts
    222
    If you live in Houston area you should contact http://www.centralcityair.com . I've have studied their practices and way of dealing with the high humidities in that area and they are right on. Go check out thier website.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    East Stroudsburg, PA
    Posts
    13,215

    To Hallis1

    I'd like to let Hallis1 know that this isn't really the norm.

    You've come here, an excellent place for advice, at a time when we're having a problem with one of the newer members giving out incorrect advice, bad advice, and wild ass guesses.

    We're working on rememdying this situation at this time, but for the time being, please use the post count, and "credentials" button to check who you are receiving advice from.

    Dash and Classical are both longtime posters, with excellent reputations in the residential HVAC field, and I ould strongly receommend you give serious thought to following the advice that they give you.

    Thank you, and again, I apologize personally for your arrival here coinciding with the BS high tide.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    East Stroudsburg, PA
    Posts
    13,215
    Originally posted by coolmist
    If you live in Houston area you should contact http://www.centralcityair.com . I've have studied their practices and way of dealing with the high humidities in that area and they are right on. Go check out thier website.
    I understand that Airedale Air is a company of high repute, that uses similar techniques and methods.

  12. #12
    I will second everything that condenseddave has said in this thread!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Office and warehouse in both Crystal River & New Port Richey ,FL
    Posts
    18,836
    Originally posted by jultzya
    I will second everything that condenseddave has said in this thread!


    OMG,do you know "everything" he's said??


    Oh my mistake ,I see it's qualified to this thread!!LOL!

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