• filter:

Extraordinary price of freon (refrigerant) & how not to get ripped off

  • Text Only
  • Search this Topic »
Voting History
rated:
Living in Texas, our AC goes bad almost every year. And majority of the problems we experienced is leak somewhere and all or most freon (or whatever refrigerant used) is lost. I have two A/C units, one of them under full parts and labor warranty for 10 years, one of them under parts warranty. I should not worry about the one with labor warranty, right? Wrong! The company who does the warranty work (the installer) says freon is not included, and they charged me $60 per pound for the freon (Paid > $600 just for freon). Note that most people still call this freon, though we have the new refrigerant (R410A).

After that, I called a few A/C repair companies around, and they charge similarly. You can buy R410A for about $5/pound on Amazon. So they have 1100% markup on that!

So in order to not being ripped off I have two options:
1 - Buy my own R410A and add it myself. But this looks weird. After the leakage is repaired, will I tell the A/C repair guy "don't fill it. I'll do it. But wait to test it before you leave."
2 - Buy a home warranty, which I used to think o unnecessary for the last 10 years, until I got ripped off for freon. 

So I want to go with option #2. But I saw very different policies among insurers. For example:

* Most known company AHS only pays $10/pound for freon.
* Some other warranty companies do not even cover freon leaks (which have been our majority of the issues). For example, "Select Home Warranty". Imagine: You pay $600 for home warranty, call them when there is a problem, and then they will say "there is a freon leak, we don't cover, here's your bill for $1200 for repair and freon!".

So this post is mainly to solicit opinions. What is the way to not to become a victim of this freon fraud? I say fraud, because 1100% profit margin is a lot excessive. 

 

Member Summary
Most Recent Posts
Latest consumer reports survey about A/Cs is here. You don't need consumer reports membership to see:

http://www.essmwa.c... (more)

oko (May. 27, 2017 @ 12:45p) |

If by latest we are talking about 2014, then yes.

quaters (May. 27, 2017 @ 12:54p) |

The reliability of HVAC equipment (especially A/C and Heat Pumps) has more to do with the quality of the installation th... (more)

taxmantoo (May. 27, 2017 @ 1:20p) |

Staff Summary
Thanks for visiting FatWallet.com. Join for free to remove this ad.

rated:
Starting Next Year Freon  or (Any Refrigerant like R410A) can only be sold to licensed professionals.

https://www.epa.gov/section608/refrigerant-sales-restriction 

rated:
Option #3
Fix the leak.

It's is supposed to be a sealed system, make the installer find and fix the leak.

rated:
forbin4040 said:   Starting Next Year Freon can only be sold to licensed professionals.

https://www.epa.gov/section608/refrigerant-sales-restriction

  
OP is not actually talking about Freon.   He's dealing with R410A.
 

rated:
THeres more than one thing going on here.

If the AC goes bad every year then its probably got some other problems or you're being ripped off by crappy HVAC company.
Sounds like a extreme markup on the R410A price. I don't know if thats typical or not but you're being ripped off by the HVAC company.

Either way maybe the solution is to just find a better HVAC contractor.

rated:
jerosen said:   
forbin4040 said:   Starting Next Year Freon can only be sold to licensed professionals.

https://www.epa.gov/section608/refrigerant-sales-restriction

  
OP is not actually talking about Freon.   He's dealing with R410A.

  I updated the post, any refrigerant will be regulated after 1/1/2018 if not sold in a small can.

rated:
Your car has an air conditioner too. Where's the outrage there??

rated:
Besides the financial aspect of it - you are a fantastic contributor to Global Warming if your HVAC unit leaks an entire load of R410A (i.e. Puron) every year!! Puron has 1725 times the greenhouse effect of CO2!!!

R410A Operates at a higher pressure than R22. Hence, the system has to be sturdier, and the installer more skilled than R22!! Given these two - you should not really have to recharge
more than once in 8-10 years!! In addition, the added benefit of operating at a higher pressure is that the delta between the heat source and sink is higher - allowing the unit to be more efficient across a wider range of temperatures (should be useful for Texas).

If your system is losing gas every year, please please get an independent mechanic to take a look at the system and plug the leak.

I have a 10-year old R22 system right now. R22 is worse for the environment, and will be phased out entirely after the year 2020. Many HVAC contractors are stockpiling it using jerry-rigged mechanisms in the hope for charging extremely high markups when the normal channels of getting it are closed off!

My plan? Get an A/C service + fill-up of R22 in 2019, right before it is completely phased out. Then wait out till the HVAC unit goes bust - at which point I will replace it with a new 410A unit (since a fill-up with R22 using shady means after 2020 will likely cost $1000+, it already costs 300+ here).

How do I know all these?

Well, I recently purchased a home and did my typical analysis/paralysis of all cost items that can hit me in the foreseeable future. This is one of them - amongst many! The realtor(s) (multiple of them) probably had shades of truth in their statement(s) when they said I am crazy on seeing my spreadsheet for the individual houses when I was house-hunting a few months ago!

rated:
As I said, I called a few other companies to ask for prices. They all gave similar prices. For example, one of them said: "We charge (something like) $90 for first pound, $37/pound for the rest" (don't remember the exact amount, but close to those). However, these are all big companies who hire a lot of technicians. Then there is "one-man" A/C repair companies, who is both owner and operator. I called a few of those when the A/C died. One of those was charging $25/pound. But all of them said "we are already booked for X days".

This is actually the reason why they jack up the price this high. Lots of people moving in, lack of A/C repair companies. That's why I want to have a home warranty, after resisting for ~10 years.

One lesson learned is: Always ask how much they charge for freon before getting an A/C company. Even if they offer "free diagnosis".

rated:
I've got a decrepit r22 system on its last leg too. Any point in trying to stockpile some refrigerant? Of course, it's not leaking now but the (inside) coil is 20+ years old and could pop at any moment,

rated:
As a non-professional, I would not attempt to deal with R22/R401A, especially as far as stockpiling goes.

How about just do a refill in 2019, wait till it breaths it's last, and do a system swap at that point - assuming no duct-work is required?

Just the system swap would cost < 10k, possibly less if you can negotiate through some builder friend of yours, as long as you are not going for gimmicky SEER 20+ models.

rated:
TravelerMSY said:   I've got a decrepit r22 system on its last leg too. Any point in trying to stockpile some refrigerant? Of course, it's not leaking now but the (inside) coil is 20+ years old and could pop at any moment,
I bit the bullet last month and spent $6,000+ for an entire new HVAC system.  I had an old R22 system that came when the house was built in 1997.  It has been leaking for years, and the leak got worse.  The cost to find and repair the leak and recharge it with R22 was getting close to 1/2 the cost of replacing everything, and I would still have an old unit that could have another problem the next day.  R22 won't be manufactured anymore after 1/1/2020.

I signed a contract with a company a friend recommended to get it all replaced.  I let the crew in before I went to work.  They somehow got the furnace through the hatch in the hallway ceiling and replaced the air conditioning unit in the backyard, plus gave me a new modern thermostat.  All was done when I got home, except for some paint touch-up.  I'm glad that's finally done.  I should have no worries for a long time.

rated:
slight clarification. Freon is a trademarked term that refers to the brand name for the refrigerants R-12, R-13B1, R-22, R-502, and R-503 manufactured by The Chemours Company.

R-410a is not freon.

Agree with others, if your AC goes bad every summer and requires more refrigerant, you have a leak. It's not supposed to. While Home warranty may not cover refrigerant, it ought to cover fixing refrigerant leaks (language of warranty pending).


If I had some sort of storage room that was well ventilated and never got above 125F, I'd consider stockpiling a 25 lbs cylinder of 410A.
But I'd also make sure I had an AC guy that would be willing to recharge my AC later on with refrigerant I purchased this year.

rated:
woowoo2 said:   Option #3
Fix the leak.

It's is supposed to be a sealed system, make the installer find and fix the leak.

  Why NOT this???

rated:
See if the installer can use your own freon. If he says no, offer a $50 tip

rated:
puddonhead said:   I have a 10-year old R22 system right now. R22 is worse for the environment, and will be phased out entirely after the year 2020.The 2020 R22 deadline only affects its production. Since whenever a R22 system is replaced, all R22 from it gets recovered, for practical purposes the R22 will continue to be available long after the 2020 production deadline.

The R22 prices are likely to continue to increase, but there is no reason to worry that you will be suddenly unable to recharge your R22 system after 2020.
  

rated:
burgerwars said:   
TravelerMSY said:   I've got a decrepit r22 system on its last leg too. Any point in trying to stockpile some refrigerant? Of course, it's not leaking now but the (inside) coil is 20+ years old and could pop at any moment,
I bit the bullet last month and spent $6,000+ for an entire new HVAC system.  I had an old R22 system that came when the house was built in 1997.  It has been leaking for years, and the leak got worse.  The cost to find and repair the leak and recharge it with R22 was getting close to 1/2 the cost of replacing everything, and I would still have an old unit that could have another problem the next day.  R22 won't be manufactured anymore after 1/1/2020.

I signed a contract with a company a friend recommended to get it all replaced.  I let the crew in before I went to work.  They somehow got the furnace through the hatch in the hallway ceiling and replaced the air conditioning unit in the backyard, plus gave me a new modern thermostat.  All was done when I got home, except for some paint touch-up.  I'm glad that's finally done.  I should have no worries for a long time.

  Same here, back in November. $5.7K for the new unit. Repairs and R22 would have been $2.5K.

rated:
tennis8363 said:   
burgerwars said:   
TravelerMSY said:   I've got a decrepit r22 system on its last leg too. Any point in trying to stockpile some refrigerant? Of course, it's not leaking now but the (inside) coil is 20+ years old and could pop at any moment,
I bit the bullet last month and spent $6,000+ for an entire new HVAC system.  I had an old R22 system that came when the house was built in 1997.  It has been leaking for years, and the leak got worse.  The cost to find and repair the leak and recharge it with R22 was getting close to 1/2 the cost of replacing everything, and I would still have an old unit that could have another problem the next day.  R22 won't be manufactured anymore after 1/1/2020.

I signed a contract with a company a friend recommended to get it all replaced.  I let the crew in before I went to work.  They somehow got the furnace through the hatch in the hallway ceiling and replaced the air conditioning unit in the backyard, plus gave me a new modern thermostat.  All was done when I got home, except for some paint touch-up.  I'm glad that's finally done.  I should have no worries for a long time.

  Same here, back in November. $5.7K for the new unit. Repairs and R22 would have been $2.5K.

  Same here.  Replaced the AC and slapped a few solar power panels on the roof.  It's TX, sunny >300 days a year.

rated:
Sources of Freon leaks.
Pipes (Duh)
Compressor joints
valve screw ins.

rated:
If you want to see if you can find the leak yourself, cut all the power and remove the panels. For the outside unit, remove the top which should have the fan attached. Now look for dark or oily spots. All refrigerants have a lubricant in them (this is why you will fry your compressor if you run it for a long time with no refrigerant). If you are losing all your refrigerant in a year, the oil spots should be very visible. Not all leaks are worth repairing (some actually can't be repaired).

As for the high price for refrigerants, buy your own and have the installer put it in. You can buy R410a just about anywhere. I buy R-22 off eBay (once got a jug at a yard sale). The eBay sellers will want a letter stating it will be installed by a licensed professional.

rated:
FIX THE ROOT CAUSE! I'd be screaming at the HVAC company to find and fix the leak (actually, I'd be finding a new HVAC company). There is no way you should need to add coolant every year.

rated:
Here in CA it is illegal to recharge a leaking system without first fixing it. Is it actually acceptable in TX to dump 10lbs a year into the atmosphere? There's no regulation on repair companies being mandated to find and fix a leak like this?

rated:
Last year after ~5 years of decent cooling, we starting running out of Freon (or whatever it's called). When the HVAC came I basically had 2 options:
1) Refill the Freon, which was likely a given since it was Texas Summer (~$350 if I recall?)
2) TRY to find the route cause via a dyed test if I recall... which would be ~#300+ in of itself... and it might not turn up anything depending on where its at.

At the end of the day, our builders grade house came with the shit of the shit quality. The HVAC says it's likely to be corroded copper or something in the coils of these types of AC units. He wasn't pushy or anything on trying to make a sale for a new AC - and as I've learned from living in my house over the years it is indeed full of builders grade crap that is designed to look decent initially, but quickly fall apart afterwards.

rated:
zapjb said:   
woowoo2 said:   Option #3
Fix the leak.

It's is supposed to be a sealed system, make the installer find and fix the leak.

  Why NOT this???

  I guess I misstated. Yes, of course every time the leak is fixed. One of the AC guys told me that it is illegal to fill freon without fixing it. But next year, it leaks somewhere else. I had leaks in (at different times):

1-The valve on the outside unit.
2-The refill/test valve in the inside unit.
3-Again #2.
4-The evaporator coil.

Every time either warranty replaced the parts, or I paid an extra $500-$600 to have the leaked repaired (in addition to the freon cost).

My previous AC (16 year old Trane) did not leak for 16 years. The replacement ACs (one Goodman, one Lennox) leaked 4 times in 5 years.

rated:
burgerwars said:   I bit the bullet last month and spent $6,000+ for an entire new HVAC system.  I had an old R22 system that came when the house was built in 1997.  It has been leaking for years, and the leak got worse.  The cost to find and repair the leak and recharge it with R22 was getting close to 1/2 the cost of replacing everything, and I would still have an old unit that could have another problem the next day.  
My a/c system at home is circa 1990. About 5 years ago it wasn't cooling as well as it should, so I found a 30lb drum of R22 on Craigslist for like $120. Put in 3-4 pounds. (My automotive gauge set has an R22 scale and the hoses connect fine.) It's been cool for the next 3 years after which I topped it up again and hope to get another few years before recharging. The new a/c systems are junk with most components made in China, even it they are assembled in the USA. Bought one for my place in Florida 2 years ago, but 14 months after, the compressor died. Junk. I'll keep my vintage home unit running as long as possible.

rated:
oko said:   
zapjb said:   
woowoo2 said:   Option #3
Fix the leak.

It's is supposed to be a sealed system, make the installer find and fix the leak.

  Why NOT this???

  I guess I misstated. Yes, of course every time the leak is fixed. One of the AC guys told me that it is illegal to fill freon without fixing it. But next year, it leaks somewhere else. I had leaks in (at different times):

1-The valve on the outside unit.
2-The refill/test valve in the inside unit.
3-Again #2.
4-The evaporator coil.

Every time either warranty replaced the parts, or I paid an extra $500-$600 to have the leaked repaired (in addition to the freon cost).

My previous AC (16 year old Trane) did not leak for 16 years. The replacement ACs (one Goodman, one Lennox) leaked 4 times in 5 years.

  

Seems like a really bad string of luck.

I'd wonder if its maybe poor installation / service causing the issues to begin with.    Have you had different outfits working on it at all?   Get any 2nd opinions at any point?   

We had perennial problems with AC in one rental.   I think they "fixed a leak and recharged coolant" more than once.
We finally got a good HVAC guy who fixed all the actual problems and there have been no problems since then.   
 

rated:
Educational thread, learning all the lingo to help me be more adept at dealing with AC repair. Just thought I'd throw out refrigerant vs coolant usage: coolant is what you put in your car's radiator, refrigerant is what you put in your AC. To be technical, coolant absorbs and carries heat away, whereas refrigerant chills  when pressure is applied and released. Might irk the HVAC tech to use them interchangeably To help remember, the R in R-410a, etc, stands for refrigerant.

rated:
oko said:   
zapjb said:   
woowoo2 said:   Option #3
Fix the leak.

It's is supposed to be a sealed system, make the installer find and fix the leak.

  Why NOT this???

  I guess I misstated. Yes, of course every time the leak is fixed. One of the AC guys told me that it is illegal to fill freon without fixing it. But next year, it leaks somewhere else. I had leaks in (at different times):

1-The valve on the outside unit.
2-The refill/test valve in the inside unit.
3-Again #2.
4-The evaporator coil.

Every time either warranty replaced the parts, or I paid an extra $500-$600 to have the leaked repaired (in addition to the freon cost).

My previous AC (16 year old Trane) did not leak for 16 years. The replacement ACs (one Goodman, one Lennox) leaked 4 times in 5 years.

  
I'm guessing the trouble system is the Lennox?  This sounds identical to my issues.  I've got a Lennox XP14 heat pump installed in 2011, the failures began in 2013 and it's a major leak that causes the loss of all refrigerant nearly every year.  

1/15/2013:  TXV value failed - leaked all refrigerant. $639 
9/17/2015: Equalizer line was cracked - leaked all refridgerant.  $677
6/17/2016: Copper line leading to compressor cracked - leaked all refrigerant:  $668
And the latest:  4/6/2017:  grounded compressor - refrigerant cannot be reused:  $1485

Mind you that all of these repairs are under parts warranty with Lennox and performed by a Lennox platinum dealer.  I firmly believe that Lennox outsourced manufacture of these units and they just use subpar materials.

 

rated:
I live in texas too. 99% of the ac companies here are scammers and rip off artists!

I finally found one that I trust. He is just a 3 man company.

When I got new home built in 2008. We got the 5 ton Trane system. The only problems I been having is related to the AC system. I thought it was hard to stop a trane!!!

First installer did a shitty job and had a slow leak. Fixed under warranty but still had to pay 300 for the freon. It has been worked on 4 times so far, Motor replaced, coil replaced, charged twice with freon

trane was warranty for 10 yrs on the compressor but not the labor

rated:
I had to replace mine 6 or so years back, and the first few years it had a minor leak -- to the point I had to add a few pounds twice. Since then it hasn't needed any more refrigerant. I suspect it may have been the check valve, because they sure didn't repair anything. (still had AHA, so no control on the techs and they just filled, collected the $75 trip fee, and left) I decided that at $75 plus the annual fee I could fund my own refills. Once my AC gets a lot older I may try again.

AHA refused to cover the AC issue, since it was a poor design issue and not a long term "worn out part" issue. I put in a much better unit than they would have covered anyway. The techs also fixed the issue with the design by adding a media based filter. Its a once-a-year refill and much higher filtration than flat filters. It made an amazing difference in the dust.

One issue with a condo is that they can't really drop new lines very easy so had to re-use my old ones.

rated:
tantuti said:   I live in texas too. 99% of the ac companies here are scammers and rip off artists!

I finally found one that I trust. He is just a 3 man company.

When I got new home built in 2008. We got the 5 ton Trane system. The only problems I been having is related to the AC system. I thought it was hard to stop a trane!!!

First installer did a shitty job and had a slow leak. Fixed under warranty but still had to pay 300 for the freon. It has been worked on 4 times so far, Motor replaced, coil replaced, charged twice with freon

trane was warranty for 10 yrs on the compressor but not the labor

  
Yeah, the AHA partner company in TX will document and report to AHA for design issues knowing that YOU will pay more than AHA will.  If its not a part failure then expect to be denied.  Its a LOT of work for them to document to get AHA to pay -- probably need to leave a few cases of beer somewhere...  (it comes down to them being willing to do the paperwork and AHA doesn't LIKE to pay)   I knew what they were doing, but my failure was too much dust in the exchanger because the air draw was through a non-airtight room with a filter on the opposite side.  Even if I had been willing to deal with AHA they wanted to thaw the exchanger for a few days.  (it was high 90s)

If its 95+ expect them to take a few days to do anything other than an immediate replacement -- they know you are sweating.  Its fine if you have 2 AC zones, not if you don't.  If I ever build a house I plan to have two smaller AC systems just so one going down doesn't put me in a bad bargaining position.  :p 

 

rated:
puddonhead said:   Besides the financial aspect of it - you are a fantastic contributor to Global Warming if your HVAC unit leaks an entire load of R410A (i.e. Puron) every year!! Puron has 1725 times the greenhouse effect of CO2!!!

R410A Operates at a higher pressure than R22. Hence, the system has to be sturdier, and the installer more skilled than R22!! Given these two - you should not really have to recharge
more than once in 8-10 years!! In addition, the added benefit of operating at a higher pressure is that the delta between the heat source and sink is higher - allowing the unit to be more efficient across a wider range of temperatures (should be useful for Texas).

If your system is losing gas every year, please please get an independent mechanic to take a look at the system and plug the leak.

I have a 10-year old R22 system right now. R22 is worse for the environment, and will be phased out entirely after the year 2020. Many HVAC contractors are stockpiling it using jerry-rigged mechanisms in the hope for charging extremely high markups when the normal channels of getting it are closed off!

My plan? Get an A/C service + fill-up of R22 in 2019, right before it is completely phased out. Then wait out till the HVAC unit goes bust - at which point I will replace it with a new 410A unit (since a fill-up with R22 using shady means after 2020 will likely cost $1000+, it already costs 300+ here).

How do I know all these?

Well, I recently purchased a home and did my typical analysis/paralysis of all cost items that can hit me in the foreseeable future. This is one of them - amongst many! The realtor(s) (multiple of them) probably had shades of truth in their statement(s) when they said I am crazy on seeing my spreadsheet for the individual houses when I was house-hunting a few months ago!

  Hasnt warmed in 18 years  .. stop just stop

rated:
tantuti said:   I live in texas too. 99% of the ac companies here are scammers and rip off artists!

 

Here in CA it is illegal to recharge a leaking system without first fixing it. Is it actually acceptable in TX to dump 10lbs a year into the atmosphere?
 
Don't be hatin' on the free market and the invisible hand

rated:
HVAC ,,biggest scam ever , followed by Auto repair,,then inkjet printer ink, and All insurance companys , especially healthcare...you can thank the EPA for the price of freons...

rated:
oko said:   Living in Texas, our AC goes bad almost every year. And majority of the problems we experienced is leak somewhere and all or most freon (or whatever refrigerant used) is lost. I have two A/C units, one of them under full parts and labor warranty for 10 years, one of them under parts warranty. I should not worry about the one with labor warranty, right? Wrong! The company who does the warranty work (the installer) says freon is not included, and they charged me $60 per pound for the freon (Paid > $600 just for freon). Note that most people still call this freon, though we have the new refrigerant (R410A).

After that, I called a few A/C repair companies around, and they charge similarly. You can buy R410A for about $5/pound on Amazon. So they have 1100% markup on that!

So in order to not being ripped off I have two options:
1 - Buy my own R410A and add it myself. But this looks weird. After the leakage is repaired, will I tell the A/C repair guy "don't fill it. I'll do it. But wait to test it before you leave."
2 - Buy a home warranty, which I used to think o unnecessary for the last 10 years, until I got ripped off for freon. 

So I want to go with option #2. But I saw very different policies among insurers. For example:

* Most known company AHS only pays $10/pound for freon.
* Some other warranty companies do not even cover freon leaks (which have been our majority of the issues). For example, "Select Home Warranty". Imagine: You pay $600 for home warranty, call them when there is a problem, and then they will say "there is a freon leak, we don't cover, here's your bill for $1200 for repair and freon!".

So this post is mainly to solicit opinions. What is the way to not to become a victim of this freon fraud? I say fraud, because 1100% profit margin is a lot excessive. 

 

  I actually have this exact same problem every year myself. My unit is on the roof of a skyscraper condo building so I am not allowed to go up there myself. I have a home warranty through USAA, only a few guys are insured to work on roofs. Every year the same company comes out, says its a freon leak, spends about 6hrs up there fixing the leak and pumping more into the unit. Always costs about 500 my end, some of which is covered by the warranty company. It's a sticking scam. I can't service the unit myself, nor even look at it which they know and not to many other companies can even go up there. 

rated:
A home warranty company will not cover an appliance covered by any form of manufacturer warranty, they also dont cover freon; read the fine print and look for both of these points in there to confirm.

rated:
Rcracer2017 said:   
oko said:   Living in Texas, our AC goes bad almost every year. And majority of the problems we experienced is leak somewhere and all or most freon (or whatever refrigerant used) is lost. I have two A/C units, one of them under full parts and labor warranty for 10 years, one of them under parts warranty. I should not worry about the one with labor warranty, right? Wrong! The company who does the warranty work (the installer) says freon is not included, and they charged me $60 per pound for the freon (Paid > $600 just for freon). Note that most people still call this freon, though we have the new refrigerant (R410A).

After that, I called a few A/C repair companies around, and they charge similarly. You can buy R410A for about $5/pound on Amazon. So they have 1100% markup on that!

So in order to not being ripped off I have two options:
1 - Buy my own R410A and add it myself. But this looks weird. After the leakage is repaired, will I tell the A/C repair guy "don't fill it. I'll do it. But wait to test it before you leave."
2 - Buy a home warranty, which I used to think o unnecessary for the last 10 years, until I got ripped off for freon. 

So I want to go with option #2. But I saw very different policies among insurers. For example:

* Most known company AHS only pays $10/pound for freon.
* Some other warranty companies do not even cover freon leaks (which have been our majority of the issues). For example, "Select Home Warranty". Imagine: You pay $600 for home warranty, call them when there is a problem, and then they will say "there is a freon leak, we don't cover, here's your bill for $1200 for repair and freon!".

So this post is mainly to solicit opinions. What is the way to not to become a victim of this freon fraud? I say fraud, because 1100% profit margin is a lot excessive. 

 

  I actually have this exact same problem every year myself. My unit is on the roof of a skyscraper condo building so I am not allowed to go up there myself. I have a home warranty through USAA, only a few guys are insured to work on roofs. Every year the same company comes out, says its a freon leak, spends about 6hrs up there fixing the leak and pumping more into the unit. Always costs about 500 my end, some of which is covered by the warranty company. It's a sticking scam. I can't service the unit myself, nor even look at it which they know and not to many other companies can even go up there. 

  Since you're selling the condo, I hope you put this on the Seller's Disclosure form.

rated:
monarch20 said:   A home warranty company will not cover an appliance covered by any form of manufacturer warranty, they also dont cover freon; read the fine print and look for both of these points in there to confirm.
  
So if my A/C is under parts warranty (not labor), the home warranty company does not cover the labor for the issues? Are you sure? Because probably 90% of all A/C units should be under parts warranty at any given time since they now give 10 years parts warranty even for crappy units (like my Goodman and Lennox).
You are wrong about freon though, some does not include freon and explicitly says it in the contract (like Select Home Warranty), some pay limited amount (AHS), and some cover full cost of the freon (1st American and Landmark, for example). 

I cannot really call them and ask "manufacturer warranty" issue since the sales guy will probably say "oh yes we cover".

rated:
Of all the companies, the one to avoid in Texas is BigTex and Lennox. I have had leaks since 2008 and 2 coil replaced with exactly same problem every year.

Skipping 37 Messages...
rated:
The reliability of HVAC equipment (especially A/C and Heat Pumps) has more to do with the quality of the installation than the quality of the equipment.

  • Quick Reply:  Have something quick to contribute? Just reply below and you're done! hide Quick Reply
     
    Click here for full-featured reply.


Disclaimer: By providing links to other sites, FatWallet.com does not guarantee, approve or endorse the information or products available at these sites, nor does a link indicate any association with or endorsement by the linked site to FatWallet.com.

Thanks for visiting FatWallet.com. Join for free to remove this ad.

While FatWallet makes every effort to post correct information, offers are subject to change without notice.
Some exclusions may apply based upon merchant policies.
© 1999-2017