Air Conditioner Advice

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by bolivianbaby, Apr 19, 2010.

  1. bolivianbaby

    bolivianbabyFishlore LegendMember

    I'm hoping some of our air conditioner knowledgeable members can help me out.

    I just had my AC maintenanced. I haven't had it maintenanced in three years. He says my coil is completely impacted and it will cost around $400 to remove it and clean it. He also said not to run my AC until he cleans it (appointment tomorrow) because there's a really good chance my AC will freeze up.

    Does this sound like he's providing me with correct information?
     
  2. btate617

    btate617Well Known MemberMember


    Hey BB.
    I do heat and cooling myself, here is what you should do.

    Your coil outside on your unit, looks like a rad.
    Take your garden hose and start on one side of it. Start at the top with a nozzle, that way it is higher pressure, and work your way across spraying it. Work across and down until you reach the bottom. Do all 3 sides like this, or all sides depending on what type of A/C you have. Basically you are spraying all the that is stuck in it out. Yes you need to keep this cleaned out, but not a $400 cleaning. It does not need to be pulled out to be cleaned, unless it has been ignored for years. So basically take your hose and clean the out of it.

    Freon is pressure/temperature related, so yes it can/will freeze up.
    You have a low pressure line and a high pressure line. Take your low pressure side for example. You want that around 60-61psi. at that pressure the freon is around 33-34degrees F. That is where you want it right above freezing. If you were to restrict/lower the pressure to say 40psi, at the same time you also lower the temp of the freon. So at 40psi the freon temp would be around 18degrees F. So at that pressure yes it would start to freeze up. You notice this alot with people who get a leak in their system, they lose pressure then the copper lines begin to freeze up because as the pressure drops so does the temperature of the freon. Also the other way around if a coil become plugged and you don't have proper air flow then you raise the pressure as the compressor works harder. At the same time the pressure goes up so does the temp of the fron. So if your pressure on the low side goes up to say 75psi well now at that pressure the temp of the fron is now around 44degrees F. Not right above freezing where you want it, which you hear people complain their A/C takes forever to cool down their house. Usually this is caused by a blockage of air flow and easily fixed.

    Long story short yes your unit should be cleaned, but not for $400. Call around most companies should come out and give free estimates, see what other companies will charge to clean it. It isn't worth what they want for the job they are going to do, unless like I said it has been neglected for years and years then you may have issues.


    Brian
     
  3. OP
    OP
    bolivianbaby

    bolivianbabyFishlore LegendMember

    OMG-:;hug2

    Brian-I believe you may just be a lifesaver here:;banaman

    Thank you so much:;hug2
     
  4. navyscuba

    navyscubaWell Known MemberMember

    You better cancel that appt Marie. Someone saw you as an easy money person. :pokey: OMG I clean mine everytime I do something in the yard I spray it with the hi pressure nozzle to get all the stuff out like Brian said.
     
  5. OP
    OP
    bolivianbaby

    bolivianbabyFishlore LegendMember

    I wasn't totally an easy money person:;a2. I'm on a heat pump and the coil he wanted to clean is on the system inside the house where my heat pump filter is. I'm going to get some free estimates, though. I'm willing to wager after both of your responses that I can get it done for less.

    You guys rock!!!!
     
  6. btate617

    btate617Well Known MemberMember

    The one inside is easier to clean yet. They will cut an access hole and clean it. Same principal there. it gets blocked up restricting the airflow then you have problems just like if it were to happen outside.

    Keeping your furnace filter clean will help/prevent the inside coil from getting plugged......

    Because anything that gets by your filter gets hung up on that coil.

    Basically what happens there is the airflow is restricted slowing down air movement. So the cold air stays in that area for longer cooling everything down, when you cool it down you lower the pressure. With lower pressures the freon works at a lower temp, and then eventually freezes up.... turning the coil into a block of ice then you have no airflow.....
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2010
  7. OP
    OP
    bolivianbaby

    bolivianbabyFishlore LegendMember

    I have one of those removable filter screens. I clean it once a month. Is there something else I should be doing as preventative maintenance?

    What would you all think is a reasonable price to clean the coil?
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2010
  8. btate617

    btate617Well Known MemberMember


    I would get rid of the filter you have if it were me. As they get older they begin to break down and let more through. Also the space between each mesh area is larger than the throwaway filters, so more dust and such constantly gets through which ends up on your coil eventually plugging it up. Buy some of the throw away ones, don't be tricked by the $20 ones you don't need them, buy one under $5 and change it more often. Myself I buy one that is $1.99 and instead of using it for 3 months like recommended I change it every month. So I spend $25 a year on filters but I have a new one every month. So I change it way before it begins to break down.

    To clean coils I charge $65/per hour. 95% of the time it takes no more than an hour. (of course there is the $60 service call charge, which is for me to show up, take a look and see what is wrong. Just to give you an idea )


    Brian
     
  9. JustinF

    JustinFValued MemberMember

    Is there any maintenance like that with window A/C unit?
     
  10. Aquarist

    AquaristFishlore LegendMember

    Good morning,

    I hope you get a good deal BB!

    The only thing I do to my window units is to clean the filter, let it dry and put it back in. I cover it during the winter to keep critters out. Make sure the drain hole isn't clogged. Keep the face plate cleaned and wipe out the air exit area.

    Ken
     
  11. OP
    OP
    bolivianbaby

    bolivianbabyFishlore LegendMember

    I've got someone coming out today. They say they can do it for less! I hope they get it all done today. I have to go back to work tomorrow and I don't want my precious critters to have no AC when I'm not here to open up windows.

    Thanks all for your help, advice and support! :;hug2
     
  12. OP
    OP
    bolivianbaby

    bolivianbabyFishlore LegendMember

    Oh boy. I got home today and my ac unit wouldn't stay on. The fan keeps shutting off. I called them and they said they'll be out this evening. It's 80 degrees in my house right now. For me, that's extremely hot. Anything over 76 and I start roasting.

    Aaaahhhh!!! When will I catch a break?
     
  13. Red1313

    Red1313Fishlore VIPMember

    Oh BB <HUGS>

    I'm like that too I HATE hot weather (and cold weather now that I think about it... I need to move somewhere where it's fall all year :p). However I'd almost trade you right now. I'm in a basement suite and I'm 99% sure that the thermostat for the house is on the 2nd floor of the house with my land-lords... which means that while they're happily comfortable on the main and 2nd floors, the basement suite I'm in is usually freezing!
     
  14. OP
    OP
    bolivianbaby

    bolivianbabyFishlore LegendMember

    They came out and repaired it for no charge. My capacitor had gone bad. Let's hope this is the end of it. I just want a working ac unit.
     
  15. brokenwing

    brokenwingWell Known MemberMember

    im to late, i use to do hvac for a living, and i was going to tell you a capacitor. My neighbor did not have any heat a couple months ago and I had to go install one for her. there cheap and take 2 mins to install lol.