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Should I be concerned about AC leaking refrigerant & oil?

6 years ago

Hello. I had a Bryant 126BNA030000 single-stage air conditioner and Bryant CNPVP3617ALA evaporator coil installed in March 2017 as part of a total HVAC system. There were problems with the furnace and humidifier, but I think these have been ironed out. About three weeks ago, a technician checked my air conditioner. When his visit extended beyond an hour, I figured, this wasn't going to be a routine visit. The technician told me that the air conditioner was losing refrigerant last year and that it was losing more refrigerant this year. He added that oil is leaking around the fittings.

He said he would have to return to inject a fluid into the AC line in hopes that it would stop the refrigerant leak. He returned a couple of days later, injected the fluid, and explained that we would have to wait 8 to 10 months to see if the fluid would stop the leak.

Should I be concerned about the long-term viability of this central air conditioner? A friend told me that it costs $100 a pound to replace refrigerant.

Comments (277)

  • 5 years ago
    Oh I misread that at first. There's no reason to have them visit twice a year, unless you're having them clean the furnace in the fall and the AC in the spring and those two activities can't be combined for an $89 visit?
  • 5 years ago

    It's essentially $100 a year to ensure that neither the furnace nor air conditioner fails. I probably could combine the furnace and AC maintenance calls into one visit a year.

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  • PRO
    5 years ago

    In my opinion the hard sell on extended warranties these days is what do they cover and how many times. Most the money paid for the extended warranty goes to the 3rd party warranty company that winds up paying the claims if there are any.

    Most states require extended warranty company to be separate entity from manufacturer meaning that funds are separated to cover the claims being made. In some recent cases I've seen the extended warranty only provides coverage for 1 major part replacement within the contract term.

    So as an example say you had an extended warranty on the entire system, followed all terms of the contract in the way of maintenance and so on, and the indoor coil failed (refrigerant leak) in year 3. The coil is replaced under the manufacturing part warranty, the extended labor warranty covers the labor only of replacing the coil.

    Year 6 comes and the indoor coil fails again (another refrigerant leak) the extended labor warranty won't pay a second time on same part. The manufacture part warranty should cover the part, but as time goes on this may cease as well.

    It's pretty rare for something like this to happen, but several times in my career (23 years) I've seen 1 year old evap coils fail due to leaks.

    So read that extended labor warranty contract, it all depends on what it says about repeating failures and what it will or won't cover.

    The servicer may make a few dimes on selling the extended warranty, but most of this goes to the third party extended warranty 'insurer'. Then that insurer pays the service 'set rate' to fix and repair the system if something breaks.

    Deb thanked Austin Air Companie
  • 5 years ago

    In the IMS quote, the installer is the insurer. Not the best scenario since it can becomes a conflict of interest.

    I think this piece meal quote of labor warranty by component is a problem. The labor warranty should be all or nothing in my opinion. Maybe you should ask for a full 5 year labor warranty as part of the negotiations, and pocket the additional labor warranty charges to cover anything that happens in years 6-10. You can also save money by doing the preventative maintenance every other year ( years 2 and 4). The savings can also go into the future labor warranty pool of money.

    Deb thanked mike_home
  • 5 years ago

    Just had a conversation with the IMS rep. Turns out that the additional 7 years of labor warranty is $350 per piece, so it would be $700 for the furnace and condenser. Should I buy a warranty for the coil, as well? I asked about my responsibilities under the warranty. He said I would have to keep the filters clean and have IMS check the system at least every other year.

    I'd definitely get the warranty - especially on the coil as these are the most common failure. A check every other year to keep the warranty in force isn't a bad idea at $89. I've found that installer backed warranties from bigger HVAC companies can actually be better that 3rd party warranties as they tend to do the job right rather than cheapest.



    Deb thanked sktn77a
  • PRO
    5 years ago

    I've found that installer backed warranties from bigger HVAC companies can actually be better that 3rd party warranties as they tend to do the job right rather than cheapest.

    In some states this isn't allowed either, because if the installing company fails the warranty on the equipment you have is virtually worthless. Colorado may be different in this regard IDK.

    If the installing company is managed properly and they are allowed to do this, It is certainly the better situation (in most cases), because as opposed to the third party insurer you don't have another entity trying to 'profit' from insuring the HVAC equipment. The less entities you have involved trying to make a profit off you, the better it will likely be for you.

    The key here is how this warranty money 'paid to' whoever and how they 'manage' it.

    Deb thanked Austin Air Companie
  • 5 years ago

    "In some states this isn't allowed either, because if the installing company fails the warranty on the equipment you have is virtually worthless. "

    3rd party warranty companies are notorious for going belly-up after they get your money (remember Equiguard?) so it's a crap shoot either way.

    Deb thanked sktn77a
  • 5 years ago

    Thanks for your input folks. My first question is this: How much in labor costs are we talking about if, say, a coil fails? As the other Bryant dealer told me, there's possibility that my 16-month old coil might need to be replaced, so I hear you, sktn. I'll see if I can swing a five-year full labor warranty with IMS. Otherwise, here's where I'm leaning:

    24ACB736A003 condenser

    CNPVP3717ALA coil

    59TP6A080E17--16 furnace

    TSTWRH01-Cor 7C WiFI thermostat

    HONEYWELL HE300 WHOLE HOUSE FAN POWERED HUMIDIFIER

    Additional 7 years of labor warranty on coil, condenser and furnace at $350 per piece

    Total: $13,670, unless Carrier cuts me a deal

  • 5 years ago

    So, are they talking $1050 for the warranty extension on the system? That's a bit high. Having said that, though, you could spend $1000 on a coil replacement (labor only).

    I have to say, also, that the system price is high. Yes, it's a nice system but for $14,000 I would be expecting the earth!

    Deb thanked sktn77a
  • 5 years ago
    Yeah, idk that I would pay that warranty. It's an awful lot of money to pay up front for a problem that may never happen. And it's not such a discount that it's gauranteed to be a good deal if something does happen. Not to mention warranties are always a bit of a headache, proving that the company needs to pay it and getting the work done on their terms. It'd be better to put the $1000 in an interest bearing account, and if anything happens haggle them down in price knowing you have the leverage because they haven't been paid yet.
    Deb thanked Elle
  • 5 years ago
    And don't forget, a quality installation is one of the best warranties you can get against coil problems. Sometimes there are manufacturer defects but often there is strain imparted on the metal during install that leads to failure down the road. So if these guys are experienced, you're less likely to have problems.
    Deb thanked Elle
  • 5 years ago

    On the proposal, it didn't say specifically that there was a parts warranty on the coil, just on the condenser and furnace. Is a parts warranty typically included on a coil? I couldn't find any information online.

  • 5 years ago

    Sktn, the $1050 would be for labor if the coil, condenser or furnace failed. In other words, $350 per warranty for each piece. I got a voicemail from the sales rep. He said they were already cutting things pretty close, and that they could go down $100. Systems do tend to be expensive here in Fort Collins. I also have to wonder if I might be quoted a lower price if there were a husband in the picture.

  • 5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    There's a parts warranty on the coil, condenser and furnace. It's 5 years, however, If you register it within 60 days they double it to 10 years. Its a scam in the hope you'll forget! The furnace heat exchanger warranty will be 20 years or lifetime, can't remember which on the Carrier.

    Deb thanked sktn77a
  • 5 years ago

    According to Consumer Reports, 11% of Carrier gas furnaces broke down based on survey data from consumers who had furnaces installed 2011 and 2016. 18% of Carrier air conditioners broke down on new systems installed between 2009 and 2016. Another way to look at this is that 89% of furnaces didn't break down and 82% of air conditioners didn't break down during a 5-to-7-year period. So the odds are with me. If I were to buy an additional seven years of labor warranty, perhaps an extended warranty on the evaporator coil would give me the most bang for my buck on insurance.

  • PRO
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    3rd party warranty companies are notorious for going belly-up after they get your money (remember Equiguard?) so it's a crap shoot either way.

    Well not as much as a local HVAC company that is covering their own extended labor warranty. As in the case of Equiguard they were bought out by Service Net and then after a time Service Net was bought out by none other than AIG. So you're talking big numbers, much more so than just what a local company would get involved in.

    If a local company had this extended warranty arrangement where they controlled it but mismanaged it and failed there may not be a competitor large enough to take it over. There's strength in numbers as they say.

    I think where Equiguard messed up was after the financial crisis happened there were various contractors taking advantage of the warranties in place and likely bilking Equiguard for repairs that probably weren't needed. What do you think happens to the HVAC market when real estate market goes bust? So nothing is safe when things like that happen.

    As far as equipment breakage can go: It really mostly comes from use. The more you use something the more likely it is to break. Certainly you can have issues aside from usage caused breaks.

    So with usage in mind, we are again talking about climate. Colorado AC season is still at best 3 months. The breakage risk is much less than my climate of 7-10 months for AC use.

    Here the issue is cost just as much as anywhere else. You'll spend at least $1000 on an extended warranty for a whole system and likely more for higher end system, then they require annual maintenance and documentation of such.

    Even with spending that, the Service Net warranty via AIG which also owns Equigard, now tends to place limits on how many times the coverage will apply. So you really have to read that contract.

    With that said there is nothing wrong with an annual maintenance contract, provide the maintenance is done properly. To say that it's really needed that frequently you could again make climate arguments there as well.

    Deb, the $100 they are offering you back is probably what they make by selling the insurance contract. It's really nickels and dimes compared to the overall picture.

  • 5 years ago

    All the Carrier components will have a 10 year parts warranty, except for the furnace heat exchanger which for the lifetime of the original owner. The dealer has to register the components to get this warranty.

    The quote for $13,670 seems high when you consider there will be no costs for the removal of the old equipment, or installing of the electrical service. I am not sure if they are reusing the existing line set. If they are that is more material and labor saved. It think the "salesman" is using his standard price quote sheet and not giving you much credit on work and materials that will not be needed. Perhaps you need to have a discussion with the owner to make a fair price adjustment.

    As for extending the labor warranty an additional 7 years for $1050, that works out to $150 per year. I would ask that everything be included and not this piece meal approach. Also ask if the coil is replaced does the warranty cover replacing refrigerant. In most warranties it does not.

    Deb thanked mike_home
  • 5 years ago

    You're right, Mike. It does seem high. I've sent an email to the owner of Fort Collins Heating & Air, whose opinion I value and who knows everyone in the business. I've asked him for his opinion of IMS and Hooley, both of which are Carrier dealers. IMS has more positive reviews on Google, but then that might not tell the whole story.

  • 5 years ago

    The FCH&A owner said they're both good companies. I do give IMS credit for really doing their homework before coming to see me and for proposing a remedy for hot spots. I'm leaving town in three weeks, so I want to get all this behind me.



  • 5 years ago

    Just heard from the salesman again. They won't do a whole system labor warranty. They'll extend the labor warranty for 2 years for $200 per piece. I'm thinking that because the coil seems to be the weak link, perhaps I should just pay $350 for 7 years of additional labor on the coil. The warranty does include all refrigerant needed.

  • PRO
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    hmm, that's odd that they won't do a whole system labor warranty. I know that the extended labor thru AIG is like a piece meal insurance system, but you just add up the pieces and offer a whole system labor warranty. So I'm not sure if I misunderstand what you're saying.

    I don't know if Carrier has a extended warranty program of their own, so maybe this provision is coming thru AIG? Maybe ask them the name of the insurance company they are buying the extended labor contract thru?

    Indoor evap. coils do tend to fail quite often, but it's not a given. I've installed many e-coils over the past 10 years and the ones I've had trouble with are a very small number and my climate is at least a 7 month heat drenched climate and in many cases 10 months. Realize I've used 8 different brands in that time. Most of them do not have any extended labor coverage at all.

    I would say your risk is probably less than 10% if the system is installed well. After what you've gone thru I can understand why you don't want to gamble at this point.

    Deb thanked Austin Air Companie
  • 5 years ago

    Deb, there was a period of time when just about every brand of coil, including Carrier, was having premature failures. Carrier's solution was an introduction of the ALA coil which you are getting. It is too early to tell whether this coil is as good as the Carrier coils I had in my two furnaces which lasted 25 years with no leaks!

    If you are only going to insure one component then I am not sure if the coil is the one I would pick. The condenser sits outside and is exposed to the elements all year. Replacing the 2-stage compressor is an expensive repair. The furnace has a variable speed motor and controller which are also very expensive to replace as well as the inducer motor. These motors have moving parts and have so many hours of lifetime.

    When are you going to have a sit down meeting with the owner? I feel negotiating with the salesman is a waste of time. Any price reduction reduces his commission. You are not going to win that battle.

    Deb thanked mike_home
  • 5 years ago

    You're right, Mike. Dealing with the salesman is like talking to a brick wall. Frankly, I'm getting ticked off. I asked the owner of Fort Collins Heating & Air what he thought of the two Carrier dealers. He said they're both OK. Hooley is here in Fort Collins; IMS is in Berthoud, a community 16 miles south of Fort Collins. Not a big distance, but here in Fort Collins, 8 miles will take you clear across town. He said he would be inclined to go with Hooley because they're closer. I've sent an email to Hooley outlining what I'm looking for and asking them to come back with a proposal. If I'm impressed with what I see and the price is more reasonable, I'll likely go with them. Otherwise, I'll sit down with Daren, the owner of IMS, and see what we can work out. The IMS sales guy acts like he's the only game in town. He's not.

  • PRO
    5 years ago

    So you want to be impressed, but only for less money?

    I think you need to rethink that. The HVAC company that prescribes to be the best, hire the best qualified people to install, service and repair... but they must settle for less money which ultimately equals less pay?

    There has to be a motivation to be the best doesn't there?

    This is the other edge of the truth blade... because you can not hire skilled people and then pay them what an 'under achiever' would make. Truth only benefits you in that it's the truth, outside of that there isn't much benefit.

    Remember, the economy is getting better in many areas of the country. If some tech has achieved any level of experience and feels he's not making what he should there is nothing in my mind that this HVAC tech wouldn't go out and shop his skills.

    You even said yourself... that Colorado has a shortage of HVAC techs. It's no different here or anywhere.

    The manufacturer doesn't pay these companies to install a product. These companies (including mine) pay for anything we get from a distributor or manufacturer which ever you prefer.

    As I said before, just because you pay more is not a guarantee either.

    With that said this is the reason why I run my 'whole' ship. You call me you get me, not some go between. Perception is worth what?

    This is the thread that keeps giving in terms of clarity. This is the only reason why I responded to this round of thinking, to get you to think further about what it is that truly makes it a 'deal'.

    It shouldn't be about less money for a better product, better techs, better service, better longevity etc. These are all things that cost money, not make the price go down.


  • 5 years ago

    You make good points, Austin. The thing is, though, that I don't want to feel like I'm paying for the installation and tearout twice.

  • PRO
    5 years ago

    Deb, your situation is unique that's for sure and I can certainly understand the thought about paying extra for things you've already spent for at this point, but it's more important the next system is done right so you can put this chapter behind you without having to look back.

    I wish there was some better way to ensure the job gets done right.

  • 5 years ago

    Thanks, Austin. Let me mention something about the IMS sales rep. When he was going through elements of his sales proposal, I asked him about the ducting that the owner had mentioned. The rep said he forgot to put it in, but he wrote a note on his business card about the ducting and said that he would throw in the ducting for free. He said if he put the ducting in the proposal, I would have to pay for the ducting because the owner would know about it. I'm not comfortable with the way the rep does business, and i'm not comfortable signing a contract that doesn't mention all of the items agreed on.

  • PRO
    5 years ago

    Yeah, just another reason among many why I am my own rep.

    The rep knows if he puts it in there and doesn't charge you for it the owner could 'chink' him for it because there is a paper trail. Meaning the rep would take a hit on what he earns for selling the job.

    If it's not on the proposal and some problem develops with it, you'll wind up paying for it anyway. In some way I almost think in the reps thinking that he's trying to get on your good side thru cheating.

    There's a lot of this in the world right now. Outside of that I have no idea what this rep thinks he is gaining by doing such things. If he cheats on stuff like this, it's not hard to imagine him cheating you somewhere.

    If you like this company but can't trust the rep, call the owner and discuss the issue with him.

  • 5 years ago

    You're right, Austin. I figure if the sales rep is willing to deceive the owner, he's willing to deceive me. I'll call the owner tomorrow.

  • 5 years ago

    "Just heard from the salesman again. They won't do a whole system labor warranty. They'll extend the labor warranty for 2 years for $200 per piece. I'm thinking that because the coil seems to be the weak link, perhaps I should just pay $350 for 7 years of additional labor on the coil. The warranty does include all refrigerant needed."

    Not only does this sound bizarre, but it also sounds fishy(?!) I would ask to speak to the owner and tell him that the salesman just doesn't seem able to explain the situation to you (what you're getting and how much its costing). Anything the company does will be billed and paid for - there's no way the salesman can hide this from the owner by writing it on his business card!

    And a 2 year warranty extension is not worth having if its not free. Things generally don't go wrong in the first 2-3 years if the system is installed properly.


  • 5 years ago

    Thanks, sktn. The whole thing is rather bizarre. This morning, I sent an email to another Carrier dealer, explaining everything--the problems, the tearout, the issues with the other Carrier sales rep. I just wanted to lay everything out on the table and see if he was interested. He emailed me back in late afternoon. I called and left a VM about 5:30pm, suggesting that we talk tomorrow.

  • 5 years ago

    When you first described IMS they sounded like a good dealer. But my impression they are a big outfit with high overhead and salesmen looking to pad their commissions. Maybe the owner will resolve things and give you price with the credits you should be getting.

    In the mean time talk to the other Carrier dealer and see what he has to offer. The more you talk to these guys, the more you understand how they operate.

  • 5 years ago

    I had the same thought about overhead, Mike. I also thought that if they have such a poor rep on the sales side, what's to say that they don't have one or more poor techs on the installation side? I'll talk with Jason at Certified Mechanical. I think he's a very small outfit, so I'll have a better idea of whom I'm dealing with. Will keep you posted.

  • PRO
    5 years ago

    I just wanted to lay everything out on the table and see if he was interested. He emailed me back in late afternoon. I called and left a VM about 5:30pm, suggesting that we talk tomorrow.

    I've had very few customers do this and when this does happen, I call them. I know phone tag has occurred various times with me so I don't know if this delay is anything to worry about or not. There is a fine line in customer service and making a prospect customer jumping thru hoops.

    But new customer is growth anyway you slice it. If growth isn't important I don't know what is.

    The reason I say this is because of how you've expressed your wanting to be impressed. The longer you go with this decision the more you see.

    Certainly I am not perfect --- but probably 99% that use me and my services do not see the imperfection because it is so minute and small it rarely shows, but this just seems to me like you're more of a number than anything else. Not a good feeling if you ask me.

    I read an advertisement here a few months back in that the company's tagline is that they only do one thing: 'Provide Comfort'.

    BUT without 'Service' there is no comfort.

    Again, the thread that keeps on giving within the realm of 'clarity'.

    Deb thanked Austin Air Companie
  • 5 years ago

    Just got off the phone with, Jason, one of the two owners of Certified Mechanical. They're a two-person operation. They're slammed right now, and Jason will be off next week, so we won't meet until Sept. 10. That means I'll leave town before getting a new furnace installed, but it's important that I find the right company. We discussed air filters. He said that the Skuttle that I have is a pain because of lack of availability of filters. He suggested a Honeywell instead because it's a good system and filters are readily available. He also talked about re-using the PVC pipe for the AC line sets. He sounds like a practical, no-nonsense guy that I would like to deal with. So I'm just hoping I don't have issues with my Bryant furnace between now and late September, when I'll be back in town. Thanks again to all of you for your support and wise advice. Will keep you posted.

  • 5 years ago

    Hello again. Yesterday I met with Jason from Certified Mechanical. We discussed my system and looked at modifying the ducting to reduce the hot spots in my two south-facing bedrooms. He recommended that I keep my existing thermostat and humidifier, but replace the air cleaner. He checked the furnace and said that it looked like it was wired properly and, if I wanted, he could take it over. I told him there's simply too much water under the bridge with both the furnace and air conditioner, so I want to replace them. He recommended putting scoops in the upstairs heat runs to push more air into the bedrooms. He also suggested a slightly larger furnace to guarantee that I would be getting enough BTUs. He didn't like the existing welds, so he said to get rid of all of them. So I got his proposal this evening:

    Carrier Two-Stage, Variable- Speed Gas Furnace, 96 % AFUE, 80,000 BTU Model# 59TP6A080E1716. 10yr warranty on Parts, and Heat Exchanger. 1 yr labor. Installed for $4260.

    Carrier 16 seer 2 ½ ton unit, R-410A Model# 24ACC630A003 condensing unit and 3 ton coil Model# CNPVP3717ALA. 10yr warranty on Parts, and compressor 1 yr labor.

    Installed for $3721.00

    Reinstall existing humidifier. Add air scoops to upstairs heat runs.

    Installation also includes = All necessary ductwork modifications to install A/C coil and furnace. Condensate drain. Test equipment, and charge unit with proper refrigerant levels.


    It looks as though he forgot to include a new air cleaner, so I'll need to discuss that with him.


    What do you think?



  • 5 years ago

    Hi Deb, welcome back.

    This looks like the Hooley proposal except the furnace is 80K instead of 60K for about $1200 less. It is a lot more reasonable than what IMS was quoting. Remind me what the issue was with Hooley. Was the salesman being difficult?

    What does he mean by a scoop? Not sure what this is, but at least he is making an attempt to improve your duct work. Hopefully the improvement will make a difference.

    How did you feel about this installer compared to the other two? Any signs that would give you doubts about the quality of his installation?

    I think this system is fine for your needs and the price is reasonable. You have to decide if you want to upgrade to the 2-stage 3 ton AC.


  • PRO
    5 years ago

    Deb,

    The 2 stage is over kill for your area, but the price difference is such I would be more inclined to go with the 2 stage (it's not going to hurt anything). The scoops are probably turning vanes if I had to guess. They more or less help air turn corners within the duct system. These kinds of things are more prominent in the north, typically in sheet metal duct system where there are turns in the duct system.

  • 5 years ago

    Mike, the Hooley guy was the one who tried to talk me into keeping the old system, and I just didn't have a good feeling about him. Also, I have a friend who had her AC cleaned and recharged by Hooley. Although they did a good job of cleaning her AC, she had problems with it a short time later. Upon investigation, she learned that perhaps Hooley injected too much refrigerant, which may have led to the problem.

    Austin, he described the scoop as a piece of metal that juts down vertically into inside the vent to direct air flow more efficiently. I had asked him about increasing the vent to the bedrooms to 6" and decreasing two vents to the basement for 5". He said that would involve tearing out a lot of drywall. He pointed out that one of the ductwork pieces was connected in a strange way, making a kind of pirouette, which would inhibit air flow to the bedroooms. He said he would remove the pirouette and attach the piece so that the air flow would be more straightforward. Once he pointed out the pirouette, I could see his logic.

    I have a good feeling about this installer. He wasn't interested in selling me anything I didn't need. I've left a message for him to call me back. I'll ask him about the air cleaner and the 2-stage air conditioner.

    Thanks, guys, for your opinions. Tonight I'm flying out for a 2-week trip, so I would like to nail this down today.

  • 5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Sounds like a good system. I am a fan of two stage equipment and, in your location, the money is better spent on the heating system than the A/C. But if it's within budget, definitely go for the 2 stage AC condenser with the proposed VS furnace.

    I'm not a big fan of oversizing the coil to increase SEER (that's why they do it) as it actually impairs dehumidification. But if humidity isn't a problem in your location, then that may be why they propose it and you should be fine.

    Good luck!

  • 5 years ago

    Thanks, sktn. I discussed a 2-stage air conditioner with Jason from Certified Mechanical. He said that unless I keep the house really cool or have, say, a 5,000-sq-ft or larger home, it just doesn't make sense economically to go with 2-stage AC. He said the 2-stage is also more expensive to repair.

    We don't have a big problem with humidity in Colorado. It's a high desert.

    Jason said he would add the air cleaner to the proposal and suggest a date so we can move forward. I'm just waiting for him to get to it. He's a very busy guy.

  • 5 years ago

    Hello again. I just got the revised proposal from Jason. He added an air cleaner.:

    Honeywell media filter 20’’x25’’x5’’ and a filter stand for furnace to add better air flow.

    Installed for $275.00


    I'm planning to call him Monday to tell him we're good to go.


    I can't thank you folks enough for shepherding me through this complicated process. You're a credit to your industry.

  • PRO
    5 years ago

    I'm not a big fan of oversizing the coil to increase SEER (that's why they do it) as it actually impairs dehumidification.


    It's not necessarily done to increase SEER, but to reach the rating that AHRI matches the equipment to. Ironically, this rating is just a number that if you use a certain set of equipment parts and pieces you 'should' hit the SEER number. It doesn't mean you 'will' hit the number, because proper installation is always the elusive variant. No matter how much or how little you want to realize this fact.


    A nice pretty install picture doesn't mean the system was 'installed properly'. But people, God bless them, don't look at things this way. They say 'company A' uses xyz brand and 'company B' uses xyz brand so it's the same brand so the outcome will be the same as in a 'properly installed HVAC system'. However, it doesn't work this way in the real world. You're not buying a toaster.


    Having a larger coil does not necessarily hurt dehumidification either. The whole purpose of dehumidification is removal of water from the air. A larger coil has more surface area in which to ring moisture from the air. BUT, the difference is proper to improper. As if there are condensate draining problems with the said coil, it can reintroduce the condensate (humidity) from the air that was removed back into the air from whence it came.


    So if this thread is good for anything, it's to show that what I mention repeatedly about 'proper' versus 'improper' goes much farther than most people understand.


    ----------------------------------------------


    Deb, hopefully this time you get what you paid for. Good luck.

    Deb thanked Austin Air Companie
  • 5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    "Having a larger coil does not necessarily hurt dehumidification either. The whole purpose of dehumidification is removal of water from the air. A larger coil has more surface area in which to ring moisture from the air."

    A common misunderstanding, even among pros. Larger indoor coil coupled to smaller compressor and condenser outdoors impairs dehumidification. Why? Because the indoor coil will run warmer. The smaller compressor can't get the evaporating pressure low enough to deliver the dehumidification capacity a a smaller (matched) coil will provide.

    Smaller coil = lower coil temperatures with the same size compressor. It wil also cool off quicker, meaning it gets wet sooner.

  • 5 years ago

    Well Ray the truth is finally out. How many years have you spent around Houston without learning at least the basics about humidity, high temperature and body comfort? But that question isn't what I'm talking about when I say the truth is finally out. No,no,I'm talking about the truth as to how experience never trump's I heard and they said.

  • PRO
    5 years ago

    In order for humidity to condense from the air it must reach dew point temperature. (They call it rain when it happens outside.)


    A typical 'normal - proper running' air conditioner evaporator coil temperature's operating range is from 40 degrees to 50 degrees Fahrenheit. (High temperature application = air conditioning)


    The dewpoint temp is always changing, but this dew point temp... what ever it is --- is almost always higher than the normal operating temperature range of a 'normal - proper running' air conditioner. This gives me the ability to 'make it rain' inside your AC evaporator coil box and magically pull the moisture right out of the air. (WOW!)


    Now your climate may be a little harder to make it rain than my climate, but I'm not in your climate so I don't really care ok?




  • 5 years ago

    I know you're probably tired of hearing from me. But I feel I owe you an update for what ultimately happened. On Monday of last week, Fort Collins Heating & Air removed my Bryant furnace, Skuttle air filter and Bryant air conditioner. The operations manager gave me a check for $10,231 (Oh ye, of little faith, Austin). Both the operations manager and the techs were very nice about the whole thing, and they left the work area clean. On Wednesday, Certified Mechanical came in and installed a Carrier furnace, Honeywell air filter and Carrier air conditioner. Certified also straightened out the pirouette duct work and installed a scoop for better air flow to the hottest room in the house. The air flow to the hottest room is impressive. Jason from Certified suggested that I run the fan continuously for greater comfort and humidification. He's right. It works. The fan is so quiet that sometimes I put my ear to the floor vents to make sure it's on. I paid Certified Mechanical $8,256. Originally, I was just looking to break even on this situation, but I ended up almost $2,000 to the good. I can't believe it. Thanks again to you folks for sticking with me and helping me evaluate all of my options.

  • 5 years ago

    Deb, Great News! It took 275 post to reach this point, but it sounds like it was worth it.

    Good luck with your new Carrier HVAC system. Hopefully you will get many years of trouble free operation.

    Deb thanked mike_home
  • PRO
    5 years ago

    Deb, really glad to hear that everything worked out for you. It's not typical to get money back, your situation is quite unique. I guess this is the difference from those that install to those who actually know how to make the equipment perform, not to mention actually fix it when things don't work right.

    I can only wonder what is going on Fort Collins Heating and Air in their next company meeting. LOL.

    It sounds like you've reached cooling nirvana. You certainly deserve that much after all the trouble you've endured.

    Deb thanked Austin Air Companie
  • 5 years ago

    Deb, congratulations on your new HVAC system! What a great resolution - you're a more informed consumer with a better HVAC system and you saved $ 2000 to boot.