Hi Experts,

Need your advice on this.

My home in central NJ does not have any gas, electricity is used for all heating and cooling. In September 2013, a new a/c + heat pump system was installed by a big box store.

Throughout winter, we had extremely high electric bills, I thought that was due to weather. In mid June, we realized the a/c was not cooling at all. The installer came and said there was loose fitting at the compressor and there was no refrigerant. He said he fixed it and put in refrigerant.

Questions:
(1) Could the new equipment have been damaged because it was running without refrigerant for about 9 months? If yes, what redress could I have?

(2) I think my extremely high electricity usage was due to total lack of refrigerant. If yes, can I be compensated?

I went back to my electric bills and noticed that the increased electricity usage was not correlated to the temperature alone. For example, Dec-2013 and Jan-2013 both had average temp of 38F, my usage was 2309 kWH in Jan-2013 but 4128 kWH in Dec-2013. Another ex. in Mar-2014, the average temp was 35F and my usage was 5477 kWH, while in Feb-2013 when temp was 33F my usage was 2642 kWH.

I would greatly appreciate your advice on this.

Thanks for your help.