Anyone know anything about A/C? Help 

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mosin360

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First summer in this rental house. It has central air and the A/C unit outside looks pretty old with no brand markings I can find. The thermostat was set at 74. I noticed during dinner that the A/C was running but the temp in the house was 76. Air coming out of the vents was cool but I wouldn't say real cold. So I eventually set the thermostat to 77 and the A/C turned off. It got to 77 in here and the A/C kicked on..... and stayed on..... and it stayed 77 for at least 30 minutes. I just now set it to 78 and again the A/C turned off. So, I'm going to test it again and see if it repeats the same issue.

I checked the unit outside and the radiator grill is clean. It was blowing some really hot air out which I thought isn't a good thing. Like it meant it was having a hard time keeping up.

I've never had to call the landlord before but I can't tolerate heat and nothing like my first call being A/C work or even a replacement. Anyone got any ideas or does this sound like something you have heard/dealt with before.
 

Goldwing_Don

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sounds like it needs freon to me, better make the call
 

sirdarksol

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I agree with Don. There's almost nothing in central AC that can be maintained by the consumer. The freon (or freon replacement) is likely low. The landlord can call someone to check for leaks, refill and repair if necessary, or replace if things are really bad.
Good luck.
 

btate617

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mosin360 said:
First summer in this rental house. It has central air and the A/C unit outside looks pretty old with no brand markings I can find. The thermostat was set at 74. I noticed during dinner that the A/C was running but the temp in the house was 76. Air coming out of the vents was cool but I wouldn't say real cold. So I eventually set the thermostat to 77 and the A/C turned off. It got to 77 in here and the A/C kicked on..... and stayed on..... and it stayed 77 for at least 30 minutes. I just now set it to 78 and again the A/C turned off. So, I'm going to test it again and see if it repeats the same issue.



If the A/c is turning off when you bump the temp above what the temp in the house is on your thermostat all that means is the 24V side of things from the stat to the A/C is working, you are satisfying the stat so it turns off.




I checked the unit outside and the radiator grill is clean. It was blowing some really hot air out which I thought isn't a good thing. Like it meant it was having a hard time keeping up.



The unit outside if you place your hand above the unit/fan that is blowing the air should be noticably warmer than the outside air temp.



I've never had to call the landlord before but I can't tolerate heat and nothing like my first call being A/C work or even a replacement. Anyone got any ideas or does this sound like something you have heard/dealt with before.


One thing to remember about A/C's..... before they can begin cooling they must first remove the humidity from the air. here in Winnipeg it sometimes takes 8 hours or better the first time you turn it on for the year. That's why you have that drain hose coming from the coil that sits above your furnace, that is water that is accumulating on the coil as it does its thing. One of the biggest mistakes people make, myself included and I do this for a living, is on a nice morning/evening we turn off the A/C and open all the windows and doors to let the fresh air in. The problem is we also let the humidity in and then we get hot. Now the A/C has to remove what we let in before it begins to cool when we turn it back on.

You could be low on freon also, but if you are just starting to use it for the year I would let it run for awhile, like overnight, and see if it then begins to cool.
One note if you are low on freon here is a tell tell sign. If you run it for a few hours and are not cooling down go to your furnace. You should have 3 lines coming from the coil (in the duct work above the furnace). The drain line, 2 copper lines one big one small. Freon is temperature/pressure related. Meaning if you drop the pressure in the system you also drop the temp at the same time. Here for instance on the low side pressure we like it to be around 62-65psI at that pressure the freon is around 34F. Right above freezing is where we want it. Now drop that pressure, like in a leak situation, and you drop the temp the freon is working at. If this happens those copper lines I talked about you will start to notice ice build up on them, and left long enough your coil in the duct work will turn to a block of ice.


Hopefully that helps you some.


Brian
 
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mosin360

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We've had the A/C on for the past few weeks and it worked without a issue. We hate humidity so we didn't open our windows at all. Thanks for the freon tip but honestly, I'm IT and not skilled or brave enough for that 'testing'.

Yesterday was the first really hot day of the year. It seemed like the A/C was able to keep up during the night but I think the outside temp dropped to around 70 during the night. During the night, I set the thermostat to 75.

This morning, I seen it kick on at 76 at 7:28. By 7:45, it showed the temp to be 75 and it was still running. I assume it will turn off when its at 74 or one degree lower then the set temp. Honestly, I don't think its very efficent and it needs something cause I'm not going to pay the electic bill when the bloody thing runs for 23 hours a day.

The woman is home today so she going to watch it this morning and if it still struggles as the outside temp climbs and climbs, I'll be calling the landlord and be getting something done.

EDIT: Called landlord who was actually quite nice and told me to call his A/C place. Called and they asked me to set the thermostat to 68 and see if the A/C can keep up. It's currently 78 outside so I would think it should be able to do that. I told them that even if it can do 68, it'll probably stay on 68 for a long time which isn't efficent. So, we'll see what happens. FYI: the place wants to charge $100 an hour! I think the landlord needs to find a new place.
 

btate617

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I wasn't sure if you have had had it on yet or not, since you have then yes you are probably a bit low on freon. I am not sure what test you aren't brave enough for.....
The ice build up happens often to people, really only 2 causes for it. The most common low on freon, the other is a plugged coil. The plugged coil just doesn't let the cold air flow fast enough away from the coil and because the cold air hangs around longer than it should you will also get ice build up. If you have been running it for a few weeks and walk past you furnace at all you would have noticed ice build up, some peoples are in closets or closed off rooms so they never notice it. Sometimes it is just low enough it can keep up sometimes but on hotter days it struggles. It could have a small leak or many times in cold climates during the winter the rubber seals around the service valves get stiff and ridgid and let a little freon **** out over the course of the winter causing it to be just low enough to not keep up but not low enough to freeze up.

FYI: the place wants to charge $100 an hour! I think the landlord needs to find a new place.
Yea that sucks, who pays it you or the landlord? That's really not that bad though man, we charge a $60 service charge to show up in the summer and $75 an hour, however after 5pm we go to $100 service charge and up to $140 an hour. It all depends on how much you are willing to pay to be cool I suppose.


Brian
 
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mosin360

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So, it dropped from 75 to 74 in 30 minutes. It then stuck at 73 for more then a hour. So it would appear we hit the coldest it could go. Not surprising that the A/C place is just hammered with work so they'll be out some time this evening.

I hope it's a easy fix like freon. Oh well, all that matters is that it'll be taken care of and I need to do a tad bit of cleaning.

EDIT: You posted while I was posting. We've had the A/C on for the past few weeks but we always kept it at 74. The landlord will pay their normal fee of $100 but since they can only get us in during their overtime hours, we are going to pay the $40 OT fee. Its that or wait later in the week and my woman say no way to that. Besides, we'd probably pay that in power while we wait anyway.

I checked the pipe last night and I didn't see it frozen. It was cold but not really cold. Now, this was near the furnace, should I check more towards the wall? I didnt know if it be ok if I cut a little of the insulation to see.
 
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mosin360

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So the A/C guy came out. Cleaned the radiator really well, topped off the freon, and did some general poking around the A/C unit.

He wasn't 'allowed' to speak freely about it because he can get in trouble since its a rent house. But, his paper work does all the talking. I shall make note of the high lights.

1) Unit is 30+ years old.
2) Windings weak on compressor.
3) Unit not able to keep up due to age and and condition.
4) Suggest replacing unit.
5) Unit is doing the max it can.

So, I think its very clear that the unit needs replacing. It'll just take a couple really hot days with high humidity and the thing will die and then I'll be screwed.

Going to call the landlord in the morning and see if we can get the ball rolling on that replacement.
 
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