A/C - Checkup/tuneup - 45 points


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Old 07-21-09, 09:42 PM
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A/C - Checkup/tuneup - 45 points

I have an 8 year old A/C unit and have someone coming out this week to do a maintenance check / tuneup. They say it is a 45 point inspection like cleaning the coils, checking the thermostat, ect. What should I make sure they do for sure, will this help my a/c cycle less "on/off", run more efficient ? Also how much should this cost? Thanks
 
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Old 07-22-09, 03:07 AM
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Tune ups are a foot in the door so they can find something wrong and increase sales. Some are legit, some aren't. The ones that come out and tell you "it's on its last legs, etc"- blow them off. Tune ups usually go for 50 to 60 bucks.
 
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Old 07-22-09, 04:23 AM
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Annual maintenance when done properly by a reputable company will find small problems before they become major repairs, increase the life of your system, and reduce your energy costs.

Any company that says they can perform annual maintenance for $50.00 is simply looking to get in your home as "DJ" stated and they will find something wrong. Its like anything else, you get what you pay for.

Prices vary depending on the company and your location, what did the company quote you and what did they say they would do.
 
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Old 07-22-09, 04:47 AM
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I agree with the above posts.

Also from what I"ve seen they are 99% to make money for the company and maybe 1% to help the customer.
 
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Old 07-22-09, 08:30 AM
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They quoted $99 to come out to do the 45 point inspection. They gave me a few of the items and said when he comes out he will show me the whole list before he starts and ask me to sign off for him to start the work. Some of the items were, check thermostat, clean coils outside, check refrigerant level, check wiring, super heat, super cool readings. and more.


So this will help it run more efficiently?

Will it run less cycles?
 
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Old 07-22-09, 09:43 AM
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Cleaning of the cond coil will help eff. the super heat and subcooling reading will indicate if the refrigerant charge is correct. As far as, will it cycle less I can't say you may have an issue with short cycling you may not. No way to tell from here. Let the tech know what your concerns are so he can address them.

As stated, if they are a reputable company its $ well spent, if not watch for the its a couple of pounds low on refrigerant I'll just charge it up type of stuff.
 
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Old 07-22-09, 11:30 AM
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Ok, thanks. It is hot here been 90 and heat index 96 so this maybe reason why. I am 1800sq feet under air. I did have a brand new evap coil in less than a year ago due to a small leak. So do not think I have a leak. What can cause short cycles? On for 14 mins off for 7-8mins? I know he will use a gauge to check to see if the coolant is low but how else can he tell so I can make sure he is not pulling one over on me? What is the normal amount of pounds of coolant for a 4 ton A/C unit?
 
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Old 07-22-09, 11:53 AM
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Rob...I'm sure an Expert will be around soon...but it seems to me that your unit may be oversized for the house..of course we don't know all the construction details. But I had a 3 1/2 ton on a 2200 sf Colonial back in VA, and a 3 1/2 on a 1650 SF rancher here. Of course its a heck of a lot hotter here than it was back there, but it keeps up fine even on 110 degree days.

Anyway as I said...the pros can give you more details on how things get checked. One thing I see a lot on here..if you don't have a leak now, hooking up gauges might actually cause one. Seen it mentioned more than a few times.
 
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Old 07-22-09, 11:57 AM
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What is the normal amount of pounds of coolant for a 4 ton A/C unit?
It doesn't work that way, there is no normal. All depends on the system.

One thing that will cause short cycling is an oversized unit as an example. Again, let the tech know what you concerns are.
 
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Old 07-22-09, 02:15 PM
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Ok, thanks for the answers.

They guy will be out this week and I will post the results.

I wonder if this unit is oversized for the house and costing me more to run, maybe I should sue the builder as they did not spec it right. Thoughts?
 
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Old 07-22-09, 02:22 PM
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You'd lose...you bought what you bought.

Remember also, things need to be sized for worst conditions...otherwise you'd want to sue when it got to 95-100 and the unit can't keep up.

Your cycle time appears to be about 2/3 on...1/3 off....not ideal in most cases...but not really considered short cycling I don't think. Again..not a pro.

Do what you can but don't obsess..unless you really feel like spending the money to change out the whole system if it is too big.
 
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Old 07-22-09, 02:36 PM
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You can't size for the worst conditions; the system will be oversized. Extreme conditions are a small percentage of the rest of a year. Manual D is based on 97-1/2 % sizing factor. For $49 you can do your own calculations.


HVAC Software, HVAC-Calc for Heat Loss, Heat Load Calculations
 
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Old 07-22-09, 02:42 PM
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Sorry DJ...I probably misphrased that, I sorta knew that...but I said no Pro.

I'll bet most companies that work with developers/builders go one step up to account for that 2.5% of the time.
 
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Old 07-22-09, 04:43 PM
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What certifications should the guy coming out to do the checkup have, so I know he knows what he is doing and does good work?
 
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Old 07-22-09, 06:09 PM
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nah- builders want the cheapest crap. For example- one would think a milllion dollar house would have top of the line. You'd be amazed at how many times you'll see low end unts in homes like that.
 
 

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