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Central a/c tuneup

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  • #31
    Re: Central a/c tuneup

    Lol, I remember that thread. I'm not sure who won that debate but it was an interesting read that's for sure. I do love how some questions turn into raging debates, no matter the subject.

    Yeah, my original a/c broke in 2006, had it replaced in 2007. I don't know if anyone can live without an a/c in this area. However, I think I've reached the conclusion to not replace the capacitor right now. We'll see what happens.

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    • #32
      Re: Central a/c tuneup

      Originally posted by plumberscrack View Post
      As for the capacitor replacement?...I don't know or care but I will say my AC went out because of a bad capacitor during a 90 degree heat wave. NOTHING is more miserable than trying to sleep in a humid 85 degree house. I should have just stayed at the Marriott.
      When I lived in Atlanta (speaking of heat and humidity) my AC went on the fritz. Called a local company from the phone book, who's tech proceeded to put on another start cap, watch it explode when he turned the power back on, and told me my compressor was locked and priced a new condensing unit for me. Luckily I told him I wanted to sleep on it, and had another tech (friend of someone at work) give me a second opinion. He installed another start cap correctly, had it running in 10 minutes, and and the unit ran for another 5 years until I moved. Needless to say he got the amount of the bill in a check, and an equal amount in a cash tip for his honesty as well. This was 12 years ago, and his bill was about 1/5 of what Natalee is being quoted.
      Any tech who came to do a tuneup/checkup on any unit of mine and did not inspect the coil and clean it would not be in my home again. there are a number of factors that can cause the coil to get dirty, and cleaning it is not something most homeowners want to do. If they do, they usually use a soap not meant for aluminum. Ever read the fine print on Simple Green? Not for Aluminum. Your average homeowner has probably never heard of coil cleaner.
      The new Trane unit in my current home is the first unit I have ever had that the factory filter box on the unit fit very well on the filter. So most average homeowners change their filter regularly, but once the filter gets the least bit dirty, the unit starts sucking air around it and the coil gets dirty, even though the homeowner is using due diligence. And no filter is 100% by any means.

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      • #33
        Re: Central a/c tuneup

        Okay I just reread the entire thread. The technician did not clean the coil or condenser. He only checked everything, said nothing needed to be cleaned and everything was fine. I was also reading energystar.gov which says the coil, condenser, and blower should be cleaned in a tuneup. He did check everything with his uh, gadgets, but now I feel like I didn't get a proper tuneup.

        Did I just pay for a useless inspection? The company was recommended by a friend and had a BBB rating of A+ if that matters.

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        • #34
          Re: Central a/c tuneup

          So he charged you what ever he charged to put a gauge on and look only. Then wanted the start/run cap replacement at 1000% markup. I would question if the tech even knew what the gauges were telling him. Does Barry do HVAC work or just plumbing?

          If you look at the condenser fins and see debris ie. leaves, grass clippings, or other material...then it needs cleaning. If the fins are clear then it is fine. To clean the condenser you can "turn off the power" at the power disconnect on the wall at or near the unit. Get a garden hose with a nozel sprayer and work it from top to bottom. After cleaning the condenser wait 30 mins or so to turn the power back on to the unit.

          For the motor and fan cage I will usually use an air compressor and a shop vac plus relubricate the motor. The evap coil will get its debris buildup on the side that you can't really see. As mentioned you do need AL safe coil cleaner for this part. The coil is sprayed from the exhaust side and the cleaner is allowed to work down to the intake side. I also like to use an air compressor with a hand chuck and a longer piece of 1/4" copper attached. This allows one to bend the copper and direct the air anywhere needed.

          This is what you should expect to see when the unit is properly serviced. Some guys have different tricks but the end result will be similar. You may want to call the company back and question why this was not done. It is possible that all components really are clean, but after 3 years I kind of doubt it.

          Any fool can look at something and pretend to know what they are talking about, collect a pay check for it and call themselves a professional.

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          • #35
            Re: Central a/c tuneup

            Just a tip, When I clean the condensing unit ( outdoor unit), I pull the fan and clean it from the inside out first. This gets out all the gunk and debris that were sucked in through the coils. And on a tune up the coils should be cleaned. Most of the time our indoor coils are clean because we take care of the filter changes and our filter boxes are sealed all the way around. I have seen some nasty indoor coils though and that requires them to be pulled and cleaned.
            DIRTFT

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            • #36
              Re: Central a/c tuneup

              Originally posted by Kevin Jones View Post
              If the fins are clear then it is fine. Ummmmm, NO, center of the coils (especially multi wrapped) will look clean but can be plugged

              For the motor ....... relubricate the motor. Just where do put the oil? Motors have had sealed bearings for a real long time

              Any fool can look at something and pretend to know what they are talking about, collect a pay check for it and call themselves a professional.
              Funny, do YOU call your self a po-fessional too?

              BTW, where do you think the dirt from the air compressor blowing goes, especcially the blower wheel? Don't tell me you clean a evap and pull the blower assem in an hour. This is actually becoming comical.

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              • #37
                Re: Central a/c tuneup

                Originally posted by qwertyhvac View Post
                Just a tip, When I clean the condensing unit ( outdoor unit), I pull the fan and clean it from the inside out first. This gets out all the gunk and debris that were sucked in through the coils. And on a tune up the coils should be cleaned. Most of the time our indoor coils are clean because we take care of the filter changes and our filter boxes are sealed all the way around. I have seen some nasty indoor coils though and that requires them to be pulled and cleaned.
                Thanks for that.....like I said, if the filter is doing it's job, the coil will stay clean. My company uses 4" media boxes that seal out all the dirt from the basement. The Merv 10 does the rest (for the most part) What it does let through, a UV light on the underside and top of evap could keep it perfectly clean. I use a Merv16 with my Variable and it does a great job all around.
                NEVER would I clean the evap or even inspect it unless I saw a reason for it.

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                • #38
                  Re: Central a/c tuneup

                  Originally posted by rjm78 View Post
                  Funny, do YOU call your self a po-fessional too?

                  BTW, where do you think the dirt from the air compressor blowing goes, especcially the blower wheel? Don't tell me you clean a evap and pull the blower assem in an hour. This is actually becoming comical.
                  rjm I am not going to entertain all the service points of every style of unit. I am presenting what a service should look like. Seeing as you don't do it in the first place...I don't expect you to get it. If you would like to learn how this is done and within a resonable time, come on by one day and I will teach you.

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                  • #39
                    Re: Central a/c tuneup

                    Originally posted by Kevin Jones View Post
                    rjm I am not going to entertain all the service points of every style of unit. I am presenting what a service should look like. Seeing as you don't do it in the first place...I don't expect you to get it. If you would like to learn how this is done and within a resonable time, come on by one day and I will teach you.
                    I think you dug your own hole on that one slick. Good luck

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                    • #40
                      Re: Central a/c tuneup

                      Can't we all just get along?
                      We all have a variety of different means to do the same job.

                      James

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                      • #41
                        Re: Central a/c tuneup

                        But then again some people are just not trainable.
                        Last edited by Kevin Jones; 06-29-2010, 08:02 AM.

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                        • #42
                          Re: Central a/c tuneup

                          During the inspection, is the technician supposed to check the thermostat? I ask because I believe it is not reading the temperature correctly. I replaced it 3 years ago at the same time, but this afternoon, it was saying it was 79 degrees and kept running. It definitely felt lower than 79 (I have it set for 78) and kept running forever even though it was feeling pretty cold in the room. So I changed the setting to 79 to make it stop.

                          It is a digital nonprogrammable thermostat (Honeywell).

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                          • #43
                            Re: Central a/c tuneup

                            Do you know the model number of the T-stat? Some of the Honeywells have been having issues. This issue may cause continues run of the equipment.

                            +/- 1 degree is exactly what a properly operating digital T-stat will do. This is why you see the temp difference. The unit is normally checked for relay operation to the control board of the air handler for either/or HVAC and Heat.

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                            • #44
                              Re: Central a/c tuneup

                              Also, some will continue to cool even though it has reached desired temperature. Its a setting to remove excessive humidity. And its pretty humid here today. My Honeywell will do this until it reaches desired humidity or 3 degrees lower than set temp.

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                              • #45
                                Re: Central a/c tuneup

                                Okay thanks. I will go and check the model number. It seems to be fine now, I left it at 79. But if it is getting rid of humidity, that makes sense, although not sure if that is what it is doing.

                                "+/- 1 degree is exactly what a properly operating digital T-stat will do. This is why you see the temp difference. The unit is normally checked for relay operation to the control board of the air handler for either/or HVAC and Heat." Not sure I understand -- so you are saying when I put it to 79 and it stopped running, that it is working correctly? Just to clarify.

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