Go Back   This Blue Marble, a Global Current Events Discussion Forum > Our Homestead > Within Our Home > Home Maintenance

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 10-19-2013, 12:55 PM   #1
NowVoyager
Senior Level 6
 
NowVoyager's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: East of paradise and west of tomorrow
Posts: 8,762
Thanks: 20,940
Thanked 7,833 Times in 3,314 Posts
Question A/C unit repair - replace or ??

Our central a/c - blower is almost 12 years old. Last evening it decided to quit working.


Air was coming through the vents but was not cool -- The compressor wasn't running.

Checked the breakers in the garage and the a/c circuit had been tripped so we flipped it back.

Compressor cycled back on but no cool air.

Within the last year I had all the ducts cleaned and a few months ago had the air handler serviced -- evaporator drain line blown / cleaned .

Despite building a house with hubby in CA and restoring a 120 year old place in MN --- We only hired out two things --- Roofing and the a/c system (hubby installed the ducts on both -- in MN for the furnace and the central a/c we eventually installed) ---- That was decades ago when both of us were younger and hubby was in good health.

Know just enough to try some trouble shooting and there's no way I'm going to open the condenser......... It's already not working properly - don't want to make it worse.......

Not going to call a repair company till Monday --- This is not IMO an emergency to warrant a weekend service call

I'm not adverse to spending money per se, but not keen on spending serious money on a major item if I can postpone it a wee bit.

Winter is coming so in general a/c isn't going to be needed and as far as heating goes, in the nine years we've lived down here we've barely turned on the heat more a once or twice a year.

So what advice could those of you who have worked with a/c-heat pump units, suggest?

And if, IF, replacing is the most viable option, is the best option to replace the compressor and air handler together or just the compressor, if that's the issue?
__________________
The untold want, by life and land ne’er granted,
Now, Voyager, sail thou forth, to seek and find.

Walt Whitman
NowVoyager is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-19-2013, 02:18 PM   #2
Twoolf
One more day in the world. Life is good!
 
Twoolf's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Tertius Colony, Tella Prime
Posts: 5,501
Thanks: 1,724
Thanked 1,778 Times in 857 Posts
12 years is within the expected life of an HVAC system down here. If it were me, I would change out both units as the technology has improved significantly since that one was installed. Most likely its a 10 SEER unit, which has fine at the time, but a newer 16-18 SEER would save you a bunch of money with a fairly short (4-5 year) payback. Probably not much point shelling out a bunch on repairs on a unit that old if you have the financial resources to replace it.
__________________
----------------------------------------------------------
Twoolf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-19-2013, 02:25 PM   #3
Samen
unregistered
 
Samen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 6,211
Thanks: 191
Thanked 458 Times in 294 Posts
As Twoolf said

Used to sell, install and replace (not repair) them when I was broke, easy money, terrible job.

If the compressor is fried it can be replaced, but is it worth it on a 12yo machine.
If you just have a cracked / leaky pipe from vibration its easy to fix and refill the machine especially if the laws permit use of the original refrigerant but would not spend more than 300 dollars on that for a machine old as that and for 300 you probably wont get it done.

Maybe get a free quote on repair and replacement, so you will now what is broken on it before committing. Give you time to think and ask around with that knowledge.

But it has served you well, 12 yo is a good age for retirement for an AC.
Samen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-19-2013, 02:46 PM   #4
Potemkin
Omne ignotum pro magnifico
 
Potemkin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 27,744
Blog Entries: 3
Thanks: 109
Thanked 5,417 Times in 2,711 Posts
SEER is much better with the newer models. Some come with two stage fans.

If you have to replace you won't be disappointed.

If a homes uses a lot of AC and they have the cas, pay back is fast just to replace.
__________________
“The price of freedom is the willingness to do sudden battle anywhere, any time and with utter recklessness.”
― Robert A. Heinlein, The Puppet Masters
Potemkin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-19-2013, 03:58 PM   #5
Twoolf
One more day in the world. Life is good!
 
Twoolf's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Tertius Colony, Tella Prime
Posts: 5,501
Thanks: 1,724
Thanked 1,778 Times in 857 Posts
I've got a Carrier Infinity system with a three stage fan and two stage compressor. Quiet as hell, an costs almost nothing to operate, but a little pricey going in. 18 SEER.
__________________
----------------------------------------------------------
Twoolf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-19-2013, 04:34 PM   #6
NowVoyager
Senior Level 6
 
NowVoyager's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: East of paradise and west of tomorrow
Posts: 8,762
Thanks: 20,940
Thanked 7,833 Times in 3,314 Posts
Thank you for the advice!

The good news is that just before hubby had all his problems, we put a '40 year' roof on --- And I'd rather invest, as it were, in the best we can afford with those items that are vital to the overall maintenance / integrity of a structure.

Rather assumed that down here the extreme humidity and near constant use of an a/c unit for a good 6 or 7 months of the year would impact its life expectancy.

One significant factor is to be honest, I'm not a fan of FL and if we had the change to relocate, I would; so I'm not looking at making the sort of deep, deep investment I would, if relocating were not a possibility.

We can 'afford' it, I'll just use the stash I'd been setting aside for a walk in tub conversion for the master bath (we have a big, walk in shower, so access is already good him, safety too, as it has grab bars, etc) ---- Hubby was only so-so about it and I was only looking at the potential benefits of it for him because he can't get in and out of the regular tub in the other bathroom.

Either way, I'll use the weekend to get some pricing info and basic specs online and then start calling around for estimates on Monday.
__________________
The untold want, by life and land ne’er granted,
Now, Voyager, sail thou forth, to seek and find.

Walt Whitman
NowVoyager is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-19-2013, 04:58 PM   #7
Sonny
Star Witness
 
Sonny's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: the safe house
Posts: 5,687
Blog Entries: 1
Thanks: 1,799
Thanked 722 Times in 470 Posts
The AC might just be low on Freon, not sure that would cause the breaker to trip.

If you have to buy a replacement it would be a shame to pass up the Fed Tax credit that ends Dec 31st. There's a maximum 500 IRS tax credit available depending on the what you buy..

Also check below and see if your local utility company is offering an eff, rebate.. you might get lucky and be able to stack both programs. But you may also have to schedule a free home energy survey before you buy in order to get the local Utility rebate, but I dono.


Florida
Rebate Programs for Energy Efficiency

See Federal Incentives
See All Summaries
See Residential Incentives Only



Financial Incentives
Utility Rebate Program

Last edited by Sonny; 10-19-2013 at 05:04 PM.
Sonny is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Sonny For This Useful Post:
Auburn Boy (10-19-2013), NowVoyager (10-19-2013)
Old 10-19-2013, 05:18 PM   #8
Auburn Boy
Denizen of the Gold Fields
 
Auburn Boy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 8,391
Thanks: 2,250
Thanked 1,082 Times in 642 Posts
Try recharging the FREON first. 12 years is long enough for the slow, slow, escape of the initial charge to suddenly cause it to not cool.

EXACT same thing happened to me. 10 year old unit simply started not putting out cool air.

11 ounces of Freon later. Perfect.
__________________
(\__/)
(='.'=) This is Bunny. Copy and paste bunny into your
(")_(") signature to help her gain world domination
Can't leave the Siwwy Wabbit behind!!
Auburn Boy is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Auburn Boy For This Useful Post:
NowVoyager (10-19-2013)
Old 10-19-2013, 05:19 PM   #9
AndreaCA
one of those hopelessly disorganized people
 
AndreaCA's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Central California
Posts: 3,871
Thanks: 8,860
Thanked 3,123 Times in 1,401 Posts
LOL - The AC unit on the house we live in is 34 yrs old - the age of the house. The AC unit on the rental is 37 yrs old - the age of the house. I budget $1,000 per year for repairs on the heating & ac. It usually runs around $500 on both houses. We just keep them patched up and running. It also helps that we have an HVAC school in our area. Yep, might take them a few days to come out and you may have 8 guys on your roof, but the price is right and they will take the time to rebuild things that normally wouldn't be rebuilt because it's a "learning" opportunity. I know we're facing a huge bill one of these years for complete replacements, but for now, both units are big, butt ugly, and fully functional!
__________________
"You can solve all the world's problems in a garden." Geoff Lawton
AndreaCA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-19-2013, 05:29 PM   #10
Samen
unregistered
 
Samen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 6,211
Thanks: 191
Thanked 458 Times in 294 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by AndreaCA View Post
LOL - The AC unit on the house we live in is 34 yrs old - the age of the house. The AC unit on the rental is 37 yrs old - the age of the house. I budget $1,000 per year for repairs on the heating & ac. It usually runs around $500 on both houses. We just keep them patched up and running. It also helps that we have an HVAC school in our area. Yep, might take them a few days to come out and you may have 8 guys on your roof, but the price is right and they will take the time to rebuild things that normally wouldn't be rebuilt because it's a "learning" opportunity. I know we're facing a huge bill one of these years for complete replacements, but for now, both units are big, butt ugly, and fully functional!
Old iron lasts and is repairable.


Be careful ---- !!!!

the museum will be over soon and demand your house be protected, no alterations allowed
Samen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-19-2013, 05:46 PM   #11
NowVoyager
Senior Level 6
 
NowVoyager's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: East of paradise and west of tomorrow
Posts: 8,762
Thanks: 20,940
Thanked 7,833 Times in 3,314 Posts
Definitely will have the FREON checked!


Be grand if it were as simple as that..... I so prefer an easy solution to a problem --- More so if it means saving money!!

34 plus years for a a/c is fantastic! And you're so right -- regular maintenance is the key! Don't know if there's any HVAC schools around here, though. Not sure the conditions where you are in CA, Andrea, are like those down here.

When I lived in the central valley, 'swamp coolers' were common because we needed / wanted, to put some humidity back into the house --- Down in southern CA rarely had central a/c or heating -- It was so temperate all year near the coast and if heating was needed, most places just had a wall unit. Up in northern CA, inland, we had central air / heat pump, but low humidity.

It's freakin' sticky here all summer, which is to say for about 7 months of the year where the dew points can be in the 70's with relative humidity of 80% or better.

The more information I can gather now will help me when I start getting people here for service / estimates, come Monday.
__________________
The untold want, by life and land ne’er granted,
Now, Voyager, sail thou forth, to seek and find.

Walt Whitman
NowVoyager is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-19-2013, 07:33 PM   #12
AndreaCA
one of those hopelessly disorganized people
 
AndreaCA's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Central California
Posts: 3,871
Thanks: 8,860
Thanked 3,123 Times in 1,401 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Samen View Post
Old iron lasts and is repairable.


Be careful ---- !!!!

the museum will be over soon and demand your house be protected, no alterations allowed


We were set to pull the trigger a couple of years back, then we learned we were going to have to have permits pulled, ductwork replaced, inspectors climbing in and out of everything, all while keeping our fingers crossed that because it's a rental now instead of our primary residence (which is how it started out), that they wouldn't make us replace the roof while we're at it, since it's no longer up to code. (It was when the house was built, but no longer). I really despise some of the regulations here in California, well, actually I really despise most of the regulations . . . Anyway, since we couldn't just buy a stupid ac and have it installed, I said screw it and wrote a check for $700 that year to have a part rebuilt. So far, so good. The damned thing still works and we're keeping our fingers crossed. The repair tech won't guarantee anything but he did say that we've replaced/rebuilt pretty much the entire system now. Even so, every Fall we breathe a big sigh of relief that we've put off writing that check for another year.

NV - we live in Central California, Modesto area.
__________________
"You can solve all the world's problems in a garden." Geoff Lawton
AndreaCA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-19-2013, 08:07 PM   #13
Samen
unregistered
 
Samen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 6,211
Thanks: 191
Thanked 458 Times in 294 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by AndreaCA View Post


We were set to pull the trigger a couple of years back, then we learned we were going to have to have permits pulled, ductwork replaced, inspectors climbing in and out of everything, all while keeping our fingers crossed that because it's a rental now instead of our primary residence (which is how it started out), that they wouldn't make us replace the roof while we're at it, since it's no longer up to code. (It was when the house was built, but no longer). I really despise some of the regulations here in California, well, actually I really despise most of the regulations . . . Anyway, since we couldn't just buy a stupid ac and have it installed, I said screw it and wrote a check for $700 that year to have a part rebuilt. So far, so good. The damned thing still works and we're keeping our fingers crossed. The repair tech won't guarantee anything but he did say that we've replaced/rebuilt pretty much the entire system now. Even so, every Fall we breathe a big sigh of relief that we've put off writing that check for another year.

NV - we live in Central California, Modesto area.
heh heh seems you have it under control, yeah thats the way to do it, good for you.
Hate some of the codes as much as you.
Samen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-20-2013, 02:42 PM   #14
NowVoyager
Senior Level 6
 
NowVoyager's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: East of paradise and west of tomorrow
Posts: 8,762
Thanks: 20,940
Thanked 7,833 Times in 3,314 Posts
Air, glorious cool air!

Called an a/c company to see if it was possible to schedule a service call tomorrow....... And found out they could come out today for the same cost, regardless if it was a weekend

Turns out it was the copacitor -- It had blown which in turn is what caused the breaker to flip ....

Replaced that and the system otherwise is in good shape.

Oh happy day!

Now watch, that cold air that was promised will hit here about 15 minutes before the house gets back to a more liveable temp of about 79....
__________________
The untold want, by life and land ne’er granted,
Now, Voyager, sail thou forth, to seek and find.

Walt Whitman
NowVoyager is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-20-2013, 02:47 PM   #15
Sonny
Star Witness
 
Sonny's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: the safe house
Posts: 5,687
Blog Entries: 1
Thanks: 1,799
Thanked 722 Times in 470 Posts
That's real good NV, I glad for you.
Sonny is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-20-2013, 02:53 PM   #16
CanadaSue
SuperModerator
 
CanadaSue's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: In my gardens or online
Posts: 35,508
Blog Entries: 28
Thanks: 2,486
Thanked 11,046 Times in 5,057 Posts
Glad it was an easy fix!
__________________
Searching for a dream to run after & catch!
CanadaSue is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2013, 12:47 AM   #17
Feather
Secretly laughing at the cat
 
Feather's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Iowa
Posts: 9,484
Thanks: 23,266
Thanked 3,472 Times in 1,445 Posts
Congrats on the fix NV. We had the same happen to our AC in August. Our furnace is just 7 year old but the AC is 19. The service tech said the rest of the unit is in good shape.
__________________
Forgive your enemies - it messes with their minds.
Feather is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
a or c, repair, replace, unit

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 03:41 PM.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright © Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.