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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.

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Dus10 said:   The company that installed was negligent in not addressing the leak while the system was under warranty
It was not leaking when they serviced the unit under warranty a few years ago ?

xoneinax said:   Dus10 said:   The company that installed was negligent in not addressing the leak while the system was under warranty
It was not leaking when they serviced the unit under warranty a few years ago ?


It definitely was leaking. That is the professional opinion of everyone I have queried about it (the tech that was out today, some HVAC books I looked at, and HVAC forums). If it is low on freon, it is leaking... and it doesn't self repair (like a gasket that would get properly lubricated and ultimately deal)... it is a hole in the coil (copper tubing surrounded by aluminum fins). And the professional sentiment is that they have no excuse for not doing anything about it.

I'm not sure I agree with negligence given what I read; considering you watied nearly a year to call someone out again, who's to say the leak didn't develop over the winter. Even if the leak existed when they came out for the repair, I am not sure it negligent for them to not have caught it. I've had repair people come out multiple times for issues before they found the root of the problem, it is inconvenient, wastes my time and in some cases reflects poorly on the maintence tech, but I think you need more to prove negligence.

Given you believe it is an under sized system, I don't see a lot of value in trying to repair it; I would probably be shopping around for a properly sized unit.

I'm thinking you might be able to work a deal with the company that installed it if you play nice with them; but given you feel they might have been negligent I think I would find someone else. You might also follow up with the manufacturer of the unit, if this is a known problem they may have a work around or offer you something to get it fixed.

@master44 - I am going to disagree. The professional that I spoke with and other verifiable sources state that the only way it would be low on freon is a leak (it doesn't take much of a leap of faith if you apply some basic logic there). They didn't check for a leak, at all. They just filled it and left and told my wife that we were lucky that we were actually low on coolant and it wasn't that we had a clogged filter because he would have charged us for the service call). They just filled it and hoped we wouldn't call back until we were out of warranty.

I agree - it was low before, it was leaking. You've got a document (right?) that shows it was filled back up under warranty. As such, you have proof of leak history if it came to that.

Best you're going to get out of prior service company is compensation for leak repair. Proper sizing is responsibility of the builder.

There's a liquid they can pump into the pipes (similar to how they pump freon) that may seal the leak. The cost for one can of leak seal is around $100 + labor. Why don't you give that a try first, before spending millions of pesos on new coils or a completely new system.

@whodini - I wouldn't do that to my car... I am pretty sure I am not going to do that with my house system. It would be a lot of money to waste if it didn't work. I would have to spend about $500 in freon to fill it back up, just to see if it works... if it doesn't, the money and freon are all gone.

Dus10 said:   @master44 - I am going to disagree. The professional that I spoke with and other verifiable sources state that the only way it would be low on freon is a leak (it doesn't take much of a leap of faith if you apply some basic logic there). They didn't check for a leak, at all. They just filled it and left and told my wife that we were lucky that we were actually low on coolant and it wasn't that we had a clogged filter because he would have charged us for the service call). They just filled it and hoped we wouldn't call back until we were out of warranty.

Do you have any info on how low the unit was when they came out for service the first time? Were they out the first time because of an issue or just for yearly maintenance? If the unit was low the first time and they just put a band aide on it the second time then it seems you have a case for getting them to address the issue. However if they came out the first time and just topped off the freon, it seems plausible to me that the leak may have developed or been exaserbated by other conditions (maybe strain from an undersized unit).

Have you discussed the issue with the company that warrantied the unit, did they express an unwillingness to work with you?

dcg9381 said:   I agree - it was low before, it was leaking. You've got a document (right?) that shows it was filled back up under warranty. As such, you have proof of leak history if it came to that.

Best you're going to get out of prior service company is compensation for leak repair. Proper sizing is responsibility of the builder.


I am actively searching for documentation of their previous visit... that is certainly a key piece of evidence that will be necessary. It should be in m filing cabinet.

Dus10 said:   He also asked how many square feet the house is and noticed the system is about 25-50% under-sized.

There's way more to sizing the air conditioner than simply looking at the square footage. Google Manual J load calc. Even if yours is truly a little undersized, that just means it won't fully cool the house on the really, really hot days. All the other days you'll get better humidity control (assuming it's not a two stage system).

Dus10 said:    He also asked how many square feet the house is and noticed the system is about 25-50% under-sized.

Total and complete bullshit. He can't do a Manual J (load calculation) from knowing only the square feet of your house.
Tell me, how much does your house heat up with the A/C running 24 hours straight on the hottest day of the year? What's that you say, when the system was new it cycled on and off in the hottest weather?
The very last thing you want to do is have some idiot oversize your A/C because of some half assed rule of thumb sizing. The ductwork won't handle the airflow unless they replace the ducts too, and it will short cycle and you'll have high humidity unless you live in Arizona.

Dus10 said:    The professional that I spoke with and other verifiable sources state that the only way it would be low on freon is a leak

Accurate.

whodini said:   There's a liquid they can pump into the pipes (similar to how they pump freon) that may seal the leak. The cost for one can of leak seal is around $100 + labor. Why don't you give that a try first, before spending millions of pesos on new coils or a completely new system.

Not a good idea, and it won't fix a coil that's coming apart at the seams.
Some techs won't even hook their gauges up to your system if they know there's mystery goop in it.


Lots of copper evaporator coils are failing out there, a new coil is like $300 plus labor and Freon. With R-22, the Freon won't be cheap.
Go to http://hvac-talk.com/vbb/forumdisplay.php?f=1 , not a bargain hunters' forum, for advice on HVAC.

Dus10 said:   @master44 - I am going to disagree. The professional that I spoke with and other verifiable sources state that the only way it would be low on freon is a leak (it doesn't take much of a leap of faith if you apply some basic logic there). They didn't check for a leak, at all. They just filled it and left and told my wife that we were lucky that we were actually low on coolant and it wasn't that we had a clogged filter because he would have charged us for the service call). They just filled it and hoped we wouldn't call back until we were out of warranty.
Wouldn't this fall under the manufacturers warranty, anyways (I can't see an installation company guaranteeing someone else's equipment)?

Dus10 said:   
I would be satisfied if they would pay for the system to be repaired, or just cut a check to me for the cost.


Not going to happen, I would contact the manufacturer and ask for a goodwill repair.

Dus10 said:    He also asked how many square feet the house is and noticed the system is about 25-50% under-sized.

re above: this is very unlikely to be accurate information

A dye leak test may help

And your problem could simply be one or more your Schrader valve cores is leaking and not up to par, they are <1$

Here's an example of how HVAC sizing usually works:

I bought a house last year, built in the 1970s, 3 1/2" of fiberglass in the walls, 4-5" of cellulose in the attic.
Original furnace was 110k BTU input x 80% efficient = 88k output.

I called a contractor, who used a rule of thumb of 50 BTU / square foot and recommended a 65k. Recommendation was the same whether 80 or 95%, probably because the efficiency difference was less than the difference from the next size furnace.

I attempted to do the manual J myself, came up around 40k. Installed a 40k, 2 stage, 95% furnace. I figured that if a furnace that burned $1 worth of propane per hour on high fire couldn't heat my home, I'd need to upgrade the home because I couldn't afford to feed a bigger furnace.

Result: My 40k furnace is oversized, even before making my planned insulation upgrades. It could heat the house in the coldest weather on low stage (about 27k output). With $300 worth of insulation, I can easily get the heat load down to 22-24k.

The original furnace that came with the house was severely (3x) oversized, and the recommended replacement was 2x oversized. I always wondered if he would have tried to sell me a 100k if he'd known that the old one was that big.

My system is under-sized. In its best days it couldn't keep up. It gets around 100 degrees fahrenheit a few days a years, plus or minus. On those days, the system would stay on constantly and the inside temperature would exceed 85 degrees. It is a crappy house built by a crappy builder. I have done some things that could help, like installing solar screens on my southern/western exposure (30 degree difference directly inside my windows between the blinds and the glass). Square footage isn't the way to do a true sizing, but it is a good place to start for a WAG.

Perhaps there is something that the manufacturer could do... however, the company providing the warranty willfully withheld what was really wrong with the system and hoped I wouldn't realize (and it worked as I didn't know much about it at the time).

So I guess I will follow up... has anyone had an issue where a company providing a warranty for something major ignored/hid an issue hoping you wouldn't notice while it was still under warranty? Car, home, air conditioner, etc?

"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)."

if you've got a copy of (1) the warranty and (2) the repair order, call the installer and try to negotiate a settlement.

without either of those documents, you're most likely screwed. if you're missing one of them, lie to the installer and see whether he calls your bluff.

So who was the crappy builder and who makes this AC unit?

dishdude said:   So who was the crappy builder and who makes this AC unit?

The crappy builder is long gone... CP Morgan. I don't know the manufacturer of my coil, but it is installed in a Bryant central air system.

I had a very similar situation. Long story short as possible: While under warranty first they claimed the coolant was low because the system was installed in the winter and was not properly charged due to the outside temp (sounded reasonable to me), then it was low again the next 2 years, they did a leak test but could not find anything. The system never did work well and we always assumed it was undersized for our home, it ran all the time and could never keep up. The compressor finally went out and it shut down all the way, turns out it was a faulty compressor that was probably leaking the entire time.

The original installer was no help, however, I contacted Bryant and gave them the story along with copies of the prior service records on the unit. They agreed to pay to replace the out of warranty compressor. Once it was replaced (same model, exact replacement) and the unit was properly charged the AC has worked perfectly the past 5 years. Turns out it was not undersized after all, just a faulty unit to start with that never did work right.

Point of the story: Bryant worked with me to get the unit repaired (I did have to pay $300, no where near the full cost), and the unit that I thought was undersized worked perfect once everything was properly repaired.

Most of the time, the manufacturer warrenties the product, the installer just warrenties their workmanship.
OP,contact the manufacturer, they may provide you with a new coil, chances are, you will have to pay the labor to have it installed.
Also, check your attic, you may be able to help the unit out by properly insulating your attic instead of buying a larger system.

The owner of a HVAC company is not going to cut you a check so that another company can fix the problem.

There are many factors why the pressure could be low. It depends on partially on the temperature of when the system was filled. Furthermore a technical will fill it back up first to see if there truly is a leak and if there is at what rate it is leaking. It could be a pinhole leak that wouldn't bother you again for 2 years it could be going out as quick as you put it in. Each of those follow different protocols to diagnose and remedy.

Dus10 said:   My system is under-sized. In its best days it couldn't keep up. It gets around 100 degrees fahrenheit a few days a years, plus or minus. On those days, the system would stay on constantly and the inside temperature would exceed 85 degrees. It is a crappy house built by a crappy builder.

Next step: Energy Audit, then fix the house, then see how big a system you need.
Might be as simple as gigantic duct leaks in the attic, might be a lot more complicated.

If the contractor won't fix this under warranty, contact the manufacturer because it's simply never normal for home A/C to leak.

My parents learned that some techs are so incompetent that they can't even find leaks that are audible when the A/C is turned off. This was with an A/C contractor rated "A" by the BBB. My parents switched to another contractor that's a lot better but once had a BBB rating of "F" (owner is a grouch -- an honest one who knows all about A/C).

Just to add a bit more... and a thanks for the helpful advice... my duct work is insulated itself and then covered by insulation. My windows are crap windows and there probably are plenty places where the wall insulation isn't so great. However, as I mentioned, we did solar screens which helped significantly. Also, the motor and solenoid on my compressor went out three years ago (one month after it was out of warranty) and I replaced those myself.

I am getting quotes here soon. Also, I have someone that can work on the system and I may just call Bryant (based on the advice here) and see about getting the coil and pay this other guy to install and replace my freon. Thanks!

How old is the unit? You say out of warranty.... Aren't warranties on these things for like 7-10 years.. If you want to hold someone who installed it long ago, to the fire, then good luck.

This could be a double SOL due to the passage of time.
SOL - Statute of Limitations
SOL - S#$t Out of Luck

Unit is 8 years old. It only came with a 5 year warranty.

So, the furnace blower and unit is too small to upgrade (or that is the spiel, at least). He said in order to upgrade from a 2 ton unit to a 2.5 ton unit, I would need to upgrade the furnace. He said best bet is either to replace the coil and ride it out, or to go ahead and replace it all. So, I trust him a bit because he didn't try to tell me I couldn't replace the coil... but not that much. At this point, I am curious as to how much it would cost to do a self-study HVAC certification so that I could do the freon and associated equipment myself (and help out all of the poor schmucks in my neighborhood that are likely having similar issues and make extra $$$).

In any event, he was willing to off the friends and family discount to me (but that may be their normal sales tactic).

I am going to look up the parts and find out what it costs to buy the coil and I will see what my FIL's associate can do for labor and freon and just repair. That will give me two things: 1) a working system for minimal cost, and 2) the opportunity to see how this thing really performs when it is properly operational. If it works, great... I will just ride it out until the next repair. If it doesn't perform well, I will ride it out until the next major repair for the A/C or furnace and replace the lot.

Thanks again for the advice all. I will also be contacting Bryant about the replacement of the coil.

Dus10 said:   my duct work is insulated itself and then covered by insulation.

Probably not a major part of your problem but insulation doesn't stop leaks. My ducts were well insulated but I found plenty of leaks that needed to be sealed with mastic. It is time consuming but might be worth it. I'd say I was losing 10-15% via the leaks on my upstairs HVAC still haven't addressed the downstairs one in the crawl space. The original 1980s duct work was actually better than the newer stuff (upstairs has a mix of old and new duct work).

Never thought I would say (or even think) this but... you need to get a new house!

KYBOSH said:   Never thought I would say (or even think) this but... you need to get a new house!

I feel that way plenty often, but we got what we paid for. We went cheap on the obvious choices that we had as they didn't have upgrades that we liked anyhow and had them only rough in our half bath. We have done plenty ourselves to improve the house and will be doing more (I am always on the lookout for ways to get cheap or free Lowes GCs). New windows will likely be something within the next 3-5 years. And I may be redoing my siding and replacing with fiber cement, some of the new faux stone, and adding 2-4" of the insulating board underneath it. That is all depending on how I can inexpensively acquire the materials and the kind of help I can hire to assist (my FIL and BILs are useful for that inexpensively and some cold beverages).

EDIT: Oh, and of all things, they gave us no options on our HVAC choice... which is crazy because I would have probably picked a heat pump if it made sense... and I certainly would have given the options some good consideration.

Dus10 said:   KYBOSH said:   Never thought I would say (or even think) this but... you need to get a new house!

I feel that way plenty often, but we got what we paid for. We went cheap on the obvious choices that we had as they didn't have upgrades that we liked anyhow and had them only rough in our half bath. We have done plenty ourselves to improve the house and will be doing more (I am always on the lookout for ways to get cheap or free Lowes GCs). New windows will likely be something within the next 3-5 years. And I may be redoing my siding and replacing with fiber cement, some of the new faux stone, and adding 2-4" of the insulating board underneath it. That is all depending on how I can inexpensively acquire the materials and the kind of help I can hire to assist (my FIL and BILs are useful for that inexpensively and some cold beverages).


This is a great plan if you are going to stay in your house for the foreseeable future.
But if you are even remotely thinking of selling I'd hold off on the home makeovers.

Your home can only sell for so much more than your neighbors in your neighborhood.
You'll have the nicest house on the block but that may not translate into much when your neighbors all park their cars on the front lawn.

Unless the majority of residents in your subdivision takes great pride in their bargain priced homes you may be fighting a loosing battle.
From what I've read I'd stick with cost effective refurbishments that will surely make/save you money like reducing drafts in doors and windows. Not necessarily replacing the whole door or window.

KYBOSH said:   Dus10 said:   KYBOSH said:   Never thought I would say (or even think) this but... you need to get a new house!

I feel that way plenty often, but we got what we paid for. We went cheap on the obvious choices that we had as they didn't have upgrades that we liked anyhow and had them only rough in our half bath. We have done plenty ourselves to improve the house and will be doing more (I am always on the lookout for ways to get cheap or free Lowes GCs). New windows will likely be something within the next 3-5 years. And I may be redoing my siding and replacing with fiber cement, some of the new faux stone, and adding 2-4" of the insulating board underneath it. That is all depending on how I can inexpensively acquire the materials and the kind of help I can hire to assist (my FIL and BILs are useful for that inexpensively and some cold beverages).


This is a great plan if you are going to stay in your house for the foreseeable future.
But if you are even remotely thinking of selling I'd hold off on the home makeovers.

Your home can only sell for so much more than your neighbors in your neighborhood.
You'll have the nicest house on the block but that may not translate into much when your neighbors all park their cars on the front lawn.

Unless the majority of residents in your subdivision takes great pride in their bargain priced homes you may be fighting a loosing battle.
From what I've read I'd stick with cost effective refurbishments that will surely make/save you money like reducing drafts in doors and windows. Not necessarily replacing the whole door or window.


I am here for quite a while, even if I move, I will return to this house, I can see. Any move in the next ten years would only be temporary. My mortgage is an extremely low percentage of my income (<10%), and we currently only have a single income... my wife will be a nurse once she completes exam next month, so it will be even lower. So, we will be able to see the world and return here a few times. After that, it will probably be a rental.

bryants the best. first you need to man tf up and take charge of the situation instead of just chatting on the phone with every tom dick and harry that knows stuff about HVAC that you know getting opinions from every corner of gods green earth. First, you need to get ahold of (rent/buy) a refridgerant leak detector. Don't just take people's guesses on where the leak is figure it out for yourself for petes sake. The a frame coil is a typical culprit. Also check the outside condensor, the compressor, the lines, etc. don't be an okie get the system properly evacuated by a professional. After you locate the leak without just guessing about it using the leak detector then go get the replacement parts, check eBay craiglist or your local hvac retail shop. After you have the needed parts get an acetolyne torch so you can braze this all together with some flux. then weld everything together like a man, but be careful not to touch the side of your leg with the torch. I am not sure you will have much success with the warranty aspect of it. Do you have a copy of the warranty language? Are you in privity with the installer, you might not even be covered under the warranty. And if you failed to properly make a claim under the warranty during the warranty period that will make that a tough fight to lose. you may point out that they knew there was a problem, but if all you asked them to do is come out and recharge the system its not their job to file the warranty claim for you. but you should read the warranty the answer is within the langage and terms somewhere in there.

Listen to lmc

he+others gave me good advice here: http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/deal-discussion/1181452/m1689204...

I did have AHS and now will get to check First American....

Dus10 said:   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.


You were the negligent one. You allowed this problem to persist until it was too late. I don't understand how you can point fingers when this is a self inflicted wound.
You knew from the beginning of an issue but kept putting it off. That's not what adults do. You are owed nothing.

A lot of good advice here. I am in the business.

Steps:

1- Figure out what load is. You must do a manual J calc as others have said. No other way to really know in your case. Window square footage, exposure, insulation, everything makes a difference.

2- If you really need a bigger system, consider adding a new zone or a small supplemental split system. Increasing size of current system needs a smart guy to figure out fan motor replacement details, duct sizing, pressure drop, if there will be additional noise, etc.

3- Fill the exiasting system and find the leak. Most of the time it is not in the coil unless it froze, even with the cheap units. Usually, its at the charging conection (schrader valves. You can do it yourself, but I recommend an expert using flourescing dye.

4- Fix the leak. Even a coil leak is repairable on most systems easily. Compare cost of new coil if thats where the leak is.

5- Evacuate and fully recharge. Make sure they evacuate over 29" and use an electronic vacuum guage to >1000 microns (5000 microns is best, but many residential guys do not have the best pumps). They need to do it slowly to assure that moisture and other noncondensibles hidden in the system do not freeze, and remain in the system. If they do not understand this, get a new ac guy. It sometimes takes >24 hours on a residential system to pull the correct vacuum, but it is important.

Before they recharge, fill with Nitrogen and small amount of refrigerant and test to make sure the leaks are gone.

6- After recharging with the manufacturers weight of refregigerant and what is required for the line set, check the superheat of the unit and confirm the charge is correct.

Just an FYI... hardly ever see undersized units in general. Mostly opversized. Most issues are due to poor installation, but blamed on the equipment.

The fact that the unit dis not cool your house is not relevant, since you do not know if it was working properly. A poor installation where the unit was not evacuated and charged properly causes bad performance. Not to mention all the other issues previously discussed here like duct leakage, etc.

Good Luck!
SteveG

PS - It is ok to use properly reclaimed and cleaned R22 ...there is a big savings. However, get it from a supply house (Dupont will supply it... kind of like buying a refurbished item), not the AC techs stuff that he pulled out of somebody else's house. His tank may have been contaminated, their freon may be contaminated, etc.

Also, get a credit for the R22 he sends back to dupont.

You say the original installer warrantied it? That would be a 1 year warranty for proper installation. The equipment manufacturer warranties parts for up to 10 years if properly registered at time of install (several years a go it was only 5-6 years so if older FREON that may be the case). Its normal to charge up the FREON if low (1 or 2 pounds)- if it leaks out in next few months than there is a leak that should be addressed. 1 ton is recommended for every 600 square feet of living space. A 2.5 ton complete name brand unit should be about $4k. Check to see if local power company offers a rebate. New systems will have a 13 SEER rating minimum. Your old one was most likely 10 SEER. Higher SEER the better the efficiency.

Skipping 32 Messages...
Another long time HVACtalker and Fatwalleter here...............

You've been given some crappy advice and you have been given some great advice in this thread......

Even though I'm a commercial guy you probably won't find 2 a/c guys that completely agree on everything, case in point

I've seen recommends on the sealing goop and the dye for leak checking and even some guys that know there stuff post and say to use the dye, but my belief on the goop and the dye is never use it, if your system was meant to have that in it the manufacturer would have installed it in the unit at the factory.

Also, the comment about the double insulated ducts, that's good that you have that but that doesn't mean they properly sealed the supply/return plenum to the unit, check where the plenums meet the unit on the bottom of each plenum and see if its sealed, or sucking attic air in.

Get someone to do a load calc..........

Use the HVAC Talk map, there are a lot of good guys on there, whoever is closest check their posts and see how much they have helped and how members respond to them.

Good luck



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