posted: May. 2, 2013 @ 6:14p
I have a pretty severe leak in the coil of my air conditioner, which is bad a very bad thing for those that may not understand how an air conditioner works. It was installed in my home when it was built by the builder (low quality, now bankrupt). The installer is still in business and they provided a warranty on the system. During the warranty period, they came out to service the unit and had to fill the freon (R-22). Not being an HVAC expert (but being fairly astute), I began noticing that the air conditioner was not performing very well. Some of it I attributed to the system being under-sized for my home (a suspicion, on my part). Anyhow, this past summer it was performing horribly and began to freeze up. I quit worrying about it just turned it off as the weather started to cool down.
Fast forward to today: I called another company to come out and take a look, hoping to get the thing operating. The service technician checked the pressure and found that it was EXTREMELY low... maybe just about 20% of the freon it should have in it. He also asked how many square feet the house is and noticed the system is about 25-50% under-sized. I had him perform a leak test and he found only one leak in the coil (and noted that the it is a common problem for the model of coil for the year it was manufactured). From research and verification of the technician, the company that installed and warrantied the system should have addressed the leak when they filled the freon while it was under warranty.
I have the company that serviced the system coming back out tomorrow to give me two estimates: 1) repairing the system: likely ~$2k or more, 2) installing a new system that is properly sized and can use the newer freon replacement as the R-22 cannot be sold as of 2015: likely ~$5k or more.
So, here is the crux of the situation. The company that installed was negligent in not addressing the leak while the system was under warranty. Professional opinion is that it should always be addressed... the system isn't going to leak and then just fix itself, it will continue to leak causing poor performance and eventually will cease to operate and these gasses are regulated because they are bad for the ozone layer (if that is an important consideration for you). So, as with other warrantied items, what experience have you all had getting a company to address something (completely or partially) when it is out of warranty due their negligence during the warranty period?
I would be satisfied if they would pay for the system to be repaired, or just cut a check to me for the cost. This issue has certainly cost me more in terms of discomfort and inefficiency, but I would be willing to settle for just the money to repair. This is also considering that they under-sized the system. I would then take the money and put it towards replacing the system with one that is adequately sized and is ready for the newer freon. I am also not intimidated by the notion of taking them small claims court, either... I successfully represented myself last year (if you read and remember the thread about my dog being attacked). I have legal service but it doesn't cover small claims court (but it does cover consultation and pre-court "planning").
If they do not want to cut a check for the cost of another company to repair and would want to perform the repair themselves, then I would only be satisfied with them installing a completely new system at cost (with me being willing to pay the difference from a comparable system to an adequately sized system).
What would satisfy me and what may happen in reality may not even come close to meeting up, obviously. I am not being naive. I am just looking for those that have tried and either failed, partially succeeded, or completely succeeded in having a similar situation addressed and advice from those folks. Thanks in advance.