Amana A/C - replace?


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Old 08-06-09, 10:11 AM
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Amana A/C - replace?

I've been having problems with my 2-ton Amana system for the last few summers. House was bought in 2005 when the system was 9 years old. First year seemed to work ok. Since then, I've had a repair guy out every summer (HOT east Texas summers) for some sort of maintenance, costing me anywhere from $100 to $600 each.

Yesterday, when then unit stopped cooling the house, I called a different A/C company. Guy comes out today and tells me he doesn't see anything to repair and system is at end of life. Not only that, he says it's underpowered since house is 1500 sq. ft., saying that 1 ton per 600 sq. ft. is normal ratio. Therefore I need 2.5-ton unit instead. Does this ratio sound correct? And is 13 years a normal life span for a system like this? I'd rather replace the system than keep paying for repairs every summer.

Thanks for advice.
 
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Old 08-06-09, 12:12 PM
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After 13 years in Texas I would not sink much into it. 2 ton does seem small for that size home but do not let anyone size it by square feet. They must to a manual j calculation to properly size the unit and if indeed it does need upsized you will need a manual D calculation done to confirm the duct work will handle it.
 
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Old 08-06-09, 09:54 PM
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My Amana A/c has been running for 15 years and is still in pretty good shape. So, depends on the type of the problem, unless you have big item repairs, it may be still worth to fix it.
I don't understand why you have to fix it every Summer, same problem, or different problem ? Did you take good care of your A/C, like cleaning, change filters. etc.. Also, if the house is OK with a 2 ton system for 13 years, why do you think it is too small now ? Like the other poster siad, if you are going to put a new system in, don't just up the size, do some research first...
 
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Old 08-07-09, 08:33 AM
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Different problem each summer. Biggest one was replacing some motor, which cost me about $600. Since then, it sounds like a jet and vibrates like one too. The other maintenances were for different smaller repairs.

I had a maint contract with the A/C company, who came out twice a year to clean it. I change the filter once a month in summer, not so often in winter.

I don't know that the unit is too small, that's just what the guy told me. I wanted to get other opinions to see he was BS'ing me or not.

Thanks for the help.
 
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Old 08-07-09, 09:13 PM
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Sounds fishy, I can not figure out what motor cost you $600. There are only two major items in the A/C system, compressor and evaporator coil which can cost you more than $600, in fact at least $1000 each. May be you are talking about the fan motor, for a 2 ton unit, $600 for a fan motor is much too high unless something else was added to the repair bill. Anyway, from what you just described, I would not use that contractor anymore, A new motor should run real smooth if it fits right, vibration is not acceptable at all. no wonder your unit won't last long. At this point, If I were you, I call another A/C company and get another opinion. This guy says nothing to repair, .. end the life, need spend the money for a new system. a big one too...I kick him out of the door..
 
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Old 08-08-09, 11:28 PM
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Yesterday, when then unit stopped cooling the house, I called a different A/C company. Guy comes out today and tells me he doesn't see anything to repair and system is at end of life. Not only that, he says it's underpowered since house is 1500 sq. ft., saying that 1 ton per 600 sq. ft. is normal ratio.
He's sounds like a salesman/parts changer who gets comission. 1. Sizing based on square footage is a bad practice. Required capacity varies greatly depending on climate, insulation, infiltration, window quality, shading, sun exposure, desired setpoint, etc. 2. A 13 year old system can be repaired, even if the compressor needs to be replaced.
 
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Old 08-09-09, 08:31 AM
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$600 fan

I doubt he charged $600 for a fan, it's more like the bill was $600...including labor and a replacement capacitor...if there is shaking there may be a fan blade thats not balanced, or the fan speed is too high.
Relacing the unit, I have serviced many of the Amanas and they seem to be a good quality unit. If the unit cooled sufficiently in the past, don't go up in size, you will go up in its operational costs. The longer it runs, the better, because it will dehumidify the longer it runs. Also, the ductwork would normally have to be replace, and this would cost BIG bucks... Until you loose the compressor or heat exchanger, I would just replace parts. Oh, and if you have that evaporator fan replaced in the future insist on an OEM motor and replace the squirrel cage blower while its out.
As to the age of the unit, How would you feel if you had a car that could last 13 years , run 24/7, and only cost 6-7 hundred a year in repairs, and its original price was about 5 grand...
 

Last edited by hvac01453; 08-09-09 at 08:36 AM. Reason: additional comment
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Old 08-11-09, 12:58 PM
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The $600 repair was to the inside unit, not the outside fan. Can't remember the part name.

Anyway, back to the problem at hand...here's what went down:

Thursday afternoon - A/C stops cooling indoors, fan still running outside. A/C guy #1 comes out and gives me the "replace the whole thing" line. I replace the filter, turn it off for an hour and it works ok that night.
Friday afternoon - A/C stops cooling indoors, fan outside no longer working. A/C guy #2 comes out and wants to replace the fan motor for $500+. I decide a 3rd opinion is necessary.
Monday morning - A/C guy #3 says the capacitor outside on the fan needs replacing, but fan motor is on it's last leg. Cheapest solution so far, $200.
Monday afternoon - (yes, it's almost funny) fan motor dies.
Tuesday morning - A/C guy #3 comes back and puts new fan motor in, $285.

5 days and $500 later, we're back in business...for now. *fingers crossed*
 
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Old 08-11-09, 07:55 PM
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Faotors..

What I find quite often is when the bearings start to go on the motor it will run fine for 5 or 10 minutes but then you can hear it slowly start to slow down as it gets hotter and then it finally stops, compressor overheats and tripps on HP ( we hope it has one)
 
 

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