Ice on the outside line... no filter used!

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Old 10-11-12, 10:47 PM
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Exclamation Ice on the outside line... no filter used!

We just bought a house and discovered there's NO filter! There's an intake vent where we're used to seeing a filter, but none was there.

This house was owned by an elderly lady who ran the system without a filter for goodness knows how long.

We noticed that the A/C wasn't cooling properly and found a rather large block of ice on the lines coming from the house to the outside unit.

I'm nervous that we have a huge mess on our hands... added to all the other "surprises" we've received with this 41 year old home.

How likely is it that we need to clean or replace the evaporator coil? I think I have the terminology correct.

Thanks in advance!
Cecilia
 
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Old 10-11-12, 11:13 PM
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Welcome and yes.......you've used the proper terminology. At the very least it'll need to be cleaned. Is this a heating/cooling unit? If it's a combo unit the evaporator coil will be over the top of the firebox and impossible to see to clean. My guess is you may have use a HVAC company to come in and remove the coil for cleaning or replacement. Check back later in the day to see what other guys in the trade think.
 
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Old 10-11-12, 11:17 PM
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Thank ya for the quickie reply, PJmax ) Yes, you are correct, it is a combo unit... with a gas heater. Your answer is as I had feared. LOL Hopefully it just needs a cleaning and not a replacement.
 
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Old 10-11-12, 11:32 PM
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First thing I think I would do is call in a professional service technician and have your unit looked over. It sounds to me that the air conditioning unit was allowed to run without a filter being installed or changed for a very long time. I am no professional but I have heard of freeze ups and that is a very bad sign. Don't wait too long though if you need a new unit installed now is the best time to get it done as they can still fill the unit with freon if it needs it. The new units are usually sealed and have freon but occasionally they need more. Dirty ducts can cause a great deal of problems too so make sure you get them cleaned. You might also want to invest at the same time in an electronic air cleaner as they can be cleaned and then reused so eventually they pay for themselves and keep your house cleaner when they work well. If you get an electronic air cleaner though try to get a prescription for it from your doctor if you have allergy problems or asthma and then you may be able to deduct the cost of the unit on your taxes, check with your tax professional to be sure. At one time they were deductible but I am unsure of the current law. If your furnace is real old consider getting a new one you will start saving a great deal of money almost immediately on electricity bills. Welcome to the forum I hope you enjoy it here!
 
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Old 10-11-12, 11:57 PM
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hedgeclippers, Thank ya Our plan is to call first thing in the morning... hopefully one of us gets some sleep LOL Humid and hot is not meant for indoors!

Money is tight, as with most people... even so with us. We just bought the house and we're having to turn around and move across the US. Our money is pretty well tied up.. trying to get the place ready for renters. I'd rather not leave them with a mess either.

I forgot to mention there is little to no air flow at the intake vent. The system is just on fan, so we can have what little air movement the fan will create.

My fingers are crossed for an easy solution )
 
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Old 10-12-12, 12:05 AM
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I forgot to mention there is little to no air flow at the intake vent
A sure sign of blockage. Good luck and let us know the outcome.
 
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Old 10-12-12, 01:27 AM
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Speaking of renting I hope you get a good lawyer or perhaps someone in the family is a lawyer. Best to have a really solid lease looked over by a lawyer of your choice who knows about real estate law and then document the condition of your house in a walk through and have them sign a paper stating that that was the condition of the house when they moved in. Having been a landlord for many years I have had some bad experiences of my own and have known of others who have had bad experiences too. Also a good idea to have a friend or relative just take a look at your house from the outside on the street every once in a while to see that everything is o.k. and then to report to you if it isn't. Some real estate agents do not look after things as well as they should. Off topic I know but I thought I should mention this since you mentioned you want to rent. Please keep us posted maybe it will not be real serious and they can fix it. Good luck to you!
 
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Old 10-12-12, 09:37 AM
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Smile

Thank ya PJmax! The unit seems to be blowing cool air this morning. We left the system off over night and broke out with the floor fans. I'm keeping a hawk eye on the system to watch for ice.

hedgeclippers... we don't want to rent, we're sorta being forced into it. We simply cannot afford to try and sell this house since we just bought it a few months ago. LOL Thank you very much for your advice

We have a realty management company with a good track record and very nosy neighbors... but I am still nervous. As you mentioned, there can be some nightmares involved. I've seen some of the things that people do to rentals... I used to run a cleaning business and we'd take care of homes that were rentals and for sale. Renting out scares me LOL.
 
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Old 10-12-12, 02:02 PM
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Glad your air conditioning unit is working well today. I understand what you mean Cecilia about being forced to rent. Whatever you do don't allow your realty management company to rent to ****** as they can ruin your place. It is what happened to my neighbors down the street who left everything to their agent only to come back to a terrible mess. They too had to leave fairly quickly as her husband was in poor health and their doctor advised moving to a better climate. If you get a ******* in there are no guarantees of course but you should be more likely to have a better experience with renting. Good luck to you!
 

Last edited by GregH; 10-12-12 at 02:24 PM. Reason: Remove unfair comments that stereotype a particular group of people!!!
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Old 10-12-12, 03:05 PM
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Honestly?!

Thank you, GregH, for censoring.

Back on topic... bad news on the unit, after having it run for about 2 hours, ice had begun to form, so we turned off the system and will be waiting until Monday to have it checked out.

Thanks for the help
 
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Old 10-12-12, 04:26 PM
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A dirty evaporator coil is a possibility but it could also be that there is a refrigerant leak.
It is not a normal thing to add refrigerant so if it is low your service people are obligated to find and repair the leak before adding refrigerant.

A qualified tech should have no problem sorting this out for you.
 
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Old 10-13-12, 05:23 PM
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Red face

Evaporator Coils have been cleaned, the condenser has been cleaned... there was a filter, but not in the "normal" place and man it was WAY beyond being a filter LOL

Thanks so much for easing my worries and for preparing me for what the issues may be. Being informed about something I know next to nothing about makes a huge difference to me and the stress involved.

We'll see how the system runs, but can't imagine that this isn't the fix. The amount of gunk pulled off of the coils could have made a small blanket!
 
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Old 10-13-12, 05:28 PM
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Thanks for the update. We'll certainly keep our fingers crossed for you.

(oh....and by the way.....make sure the filter is added to your "yearly to do list" in that house.)
 
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Old 10-16-12, 03:44 PM
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Glad everything worked well. Did you get the ducts cleaned too as that will really help. Sorry for being off topic if you ever want any other advice about that you can always send me a message. Anyway I hope everything works well for you.
 
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