help my mom - condo in CT
I don’t have much time spent on this site, but I know there are a lot of people with a lot of experience here.
I don’t have all the details, but I’ll try and answer best I can. Here is the situation:
My mother lives in a 55+ free standing house condo community built ~7yrs ago. There are probably 30-40 houses in the complex of varying sizes (some two story and some single story) none bigger than 1700 sq ft. They are all equipped with Goodman 2 Ton HVAC systems. Recently the people that have lived there the longest need to replace their A/C units and every contractor that quotes them says the unit is undersized. One lady in the complex thought something wasn’t quite right so she did some research at the Town Hall and found the units were quoted to have 2.5 Ton systems. She tried to get answers from the town inspector and got a little laugh. She went to the local congressman, and the attorney general, but they told her to contact the condo association. The condo association contacted the GC/builder and he basically laughed and said do what you want; I’m done with that place, try the contractor.
Now what? The builder is ignoring the problem, the contractor says they put in what the builder told them to, the town says they have no liability and these old folks are stuck with failing units that need replacing. Do they have a fighting chance to get this situation remedied? Where would the responsibility fall? It has begun, but where is the best place to begin?
Who has done a heat gain calc to say for sure the units are undersized? Is Mom having trouble keeping cool? Sq ft means little. So before people get worried about their stuff being too small, accurate load calcs need to be done to say for sure. 7 year old construction should be good with decent windows and plenty of insulation. Also CT isn't exactly Orlando or Phoenix when it comes to a cooling load.
Now, why is 7 year old stuff failing? It isn't from being undersized. Running hard is probably better for the unit than constant on/off of an oversized unit. So can't blame alleged undersizing for that. Probably poor installation. I was at a luxury condo in our new "city center" helping a tech with a compressor. A resident commented on how many of the units have had problems like that. After trying to get all of the moisture out of the system, the tech commented on why so many compressors have failed
7 year old units need replacing? my first question would be why? Do the systems run all the time? or not cool well enough? also 7 years? the original contractor is off the hook and done with this, he has no liability. Who ever is responsible for this community needs to call another A/C company to come evaluate you Mom's system to see what the issue/issues are, maybe just needs a good servicing, not a replacement.
Originally Posted by new to a/c
“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
the people who have had their units fail have had contractors come out and do calcs on their homes, from that they're determinded its undersized. i would almost guarentee when these houses were built there was no calc done on each house, i'm sure the SF was used as the basis for the unit.
why does the paperwork filed with the town inspector say 2.5T and they are all 2T?
my mother's is working ok at best, with just her in the house set at 75 or 76 it does ok, but put 10-15 people in there and set for 72 or 73 and it never reaches the set temp...thats on a 80 deg fall day, not even a hot summer day.
Also, not keeping up can be other things like undersized duct system (very common) and if ducts are in the attic, picking up a lot of attic heat. That can turn the 2 ton system into a 3/4 ton in no time.
My neighborhood got all 2 ton systems too. For my floor plan, I should have had a 1.5 ton. Next door, the 2 story should have (and now has) a 2.5 ton. Only load calcs can tell.
Family member had a new 1650 sq ft home with a 2 ton. I can't believe it did it but could hold in the 73 range in 90+ weather. Duct system was marginal. Most of the neighborhood lost compressors in the first few years. I don't blame Dave Lennox, I blame the installer.
it'll work out, the lady doing the leg work is feisty and wants to get resolution. i trust she'll either get to the bottom of the problem or die trying.
What temp does your mothers A/C maintain on a day when its 90 degrees outside. What is the outdoor design temp for her area. At 1650 sq ft, my 2.5 ton is grossly over sized (it was here before me). I have to keep the blower slowed real low to keep the humidity in control. I can't see CT as getting as hot as we do.
Doubt the duct system in any of those condo's can handle the air flow a 2.5 ton unit will need.