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  • Any air conditioner pros out there?

    I just bought a house 3 weeks ago and as soon as the heat hit us my wife and I realized the air conditioner in our house was performing very sub-par.

    This is a pretty old a/c from the looks of it but it seems to work fine, except it just doesnt cool enough. The air coming from the vents in the house is cold (around 65 degrees F) but it never seems to push very hard and the house stays hot. The a/c runs all day without a break and cant get the house under 85F. Maybe it needs a freon (or equivelent) recharge? I dont know a thing about a/c units so i come to you guys first. (and google of course).

    So my question to you guys is, what is wrong and how much should this cost to fix?

  • #2
    Re: Any air conditioner pros out there?

    Have you checked the filters? And make sure your cold air return isnt full of crap and its sucking air back around. Next thing to check it to make sure the blower fan is actually running, which you should be able to check that when you check the filters
    that sounds like a good idea trooper.
    -Vulcan

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    • #3
      Re: Any air conditioner pros out there?

      I'll see what I can do as far as advice goes. First things first,

      1) Check the filter located in the return air vent. Make sure it's clean and free flowing.
      2) The recomended temp drop from return air vent to supply air vent is 15-18 degrees. Meaning if the air in the house is 80 degrees then the air coming out of the vents should be around 62-65 degrees,
      3) If you don't have that amount of drop across the coil (the heat exchanger in the air handler) then several things could be worong.
      a) Filter as mentioned above
      b) Not enough refrigerant (freon type stuff)
      c) The unit isn't large enough for the house.
      d) The coil is dirty.

      The filter is something you can check. If the air handler is inside the house in a closet you can also check the coil for dirt/animal hair/misc. From what you wrote I'd guess it's low on freon charge. Your best bet is to get in touch with a local HVAC company and have them do a service call. They are normally 35-70$ depending on where you live. This is the best way to have a professional come out and tell you what exactly is wrong and ball park how much it will be to fix. Good luck!!







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      • #4
        Re: Any air conditioner pros out there?

        Get me a make, model, and seriel and I'll pull up it's Stats - I have 3 HVAC engineers and 4 designers on staff here.
        sigpic


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        • #5
          Re: Any air conditioner pros out there?

          wow, thanks for the quick responses!

          We put a new filter in as soon as we moved in and i checked it three days ago, so no prob there.

          If it is any of those other problems then ill need to call a pro as i already said i know next to nothing about a/c

          Also i scrambled around on my belly a little and found that the duct work under the house has no insulation on it. Is this normal for UNDER the house?

          P8, im gonna go take the front panel off the unit out back and get you some numbers asap

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          • #6
            Re: Any air conditioner pros out there?

            The duct under the house should be return air - so no - doesn't need insulation.

            I got the PM w/ the numbers - no model number - but what make is it?

            many, many older models have a metal plate on them somewhere, often times they are painted black with 'fields' that are left bare metal.. the 'fields' often have the model and seriel number stamped in them.
            sigpic


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            • #7
              Re: Any air conditioner pros out there?

              Yeah, make sure its at least a 12 seer unit, what tonage is it ?

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              • #8
                Re: Any air conditioner pros out there?

                Everything that everyone else said..

                Check your filters, make sure they're not clogged up.
                Check the heat exchanger outside, make sure it's not clogged with outdoor debris and the fins are nice and clean. Also visually make sure the fan is spinning while you're out there.

                Feel the air coming out of the fan outside, is it really hot?

                Check both cooling lines, verify that the line coming out of the compressor is quite cool to the touch (if you can get at it).

                The last two are more signs of specific problems and not things you can really fix yourself. But getting the system pressure tested and re-charged wouldn't hurt things if it's something you've not done already since you bought the house.
                Diplomacy is the art of saying "good doggie" while looking for a bigger stick.

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                • #9
                  Re: Any air conditioner pros out there?

                  May not help, but sometimes it does a little, be sure to close off vents to certain rooms, like the bathrooms, and kitchen, and rooms that don't really need airflow.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Any air conditioner pros out there?

                    Don't forget to check the vents for Skulks.
                    Diplomacy is the art of saying "good doggie" while looking for a bigger stick.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Any air conditioner pros out there?

                      actually the air coming out of the unit (outside) from the fan isnt very hot and the little copper lines arent very cool. Thats bad isnt it?

                      i looked all over and inside for a model number on that thing today and cant find anything except the specifications page inside the front panel. i know its a SEARS make and at least 5 years old from the rust ...not to mention its a smallish box not lookin like a modern air conditioner at all

                      skulks? I googled it and only really found described a small evil little goblin type race.

                      well, if there any of those little bastards in my vents im gonna start chargin em rent cause this aint no flop house im runnin................

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                      • #12
                        Re: Any air conditioner pros out there?

                        Yeah, I'd get it pressure tested and re-filled.
                        Diplomacy is the art of saying "good doggie" while looking for a bigger stick.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Any air conditioner pros out there?

                          yeah, that air needs to be warm coming out of the condensor. Maybe have a leak somewhere, or even the evapator coil is busted somewhere. Freon should never need to be filled up unless their is a leak.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Any air conditioner pros out there?

                            Sears packages were made (for the most part) by Goodman. For the price.. depending on the model and the year, and where it fell in their 'quality' range - you can get a good Goodman (also Amana/Kenmore/Sears/and some other names). They'll have a lifespan approaching 10 years and some actually make it to 15 years. Earlier generations have seen 30 year lifespans. I would probably have a Goodman right now - but we also don't pay retail for a system (perks!) so We've got Tranes'.

                            Did you check your circuit breakers by any chance? I don't know much about it but I know sometimes an installer will spread out the unit over 2 or 3 circuits instead of install an new single circuit for it - sometimes one of the circuits will trip and the equipment doesn't get all the juice it needs need to be efficient. It's rare but I've heard it happens.. I think it was even the case in this house when we moved in - before we got the new AC.. I can't remember though.

                            Hopefully it isn't a freon system or you might be stuck - but yeah.. what Apo said, test and recharge.
                            sigpic


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                            • #15
                              Re: Any air conditioner pros out there?

                              I would think the AC would have been something the home inspector could have checked. You might be able to get the old home buyers to help fix that problem if its something they knew about going into the sale
                              that sounds like a good idea trooper.
                              -Vulcan

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