Is it ok to piecemeal components if you are on a budget ???

Old 01-24-15, 09:52 PM
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Is it ok to piecemeal components if you are on a budget ???

I bought my house about 9 years ago. At first the AC (Trane-1998 model) worked very well and would cool the house quickly. After a few years it suddenly went downhill fast. I thought this was due to lost of 2 trees in the front. But I found out later, the coil was dirty -cat hair of all things.

Had it cleaned and it did work better but still not like before..still slow cooling but at least it would cool again. But I still had to add 2 window units to get me by in the summer as I am down south. And the problem was compounded by a "nest like" thermostat that has that silly wide temp swing. It would never reach the set temp and would run forever unless I turned it off. But thanks to this forum , I installed a Honeywell Wifi thero last night that is not supposed to have the nest problem.

a few years later I had some more problems and a friend recommended a commercial ac shop. He did me right and got me going- and did not take advantage of me.

I talked about cost of a new unit (furnace is original 1980 goodman and now its out ) to replace everything. He made me a fair price $3800-$4000 for a new unit.

But he offered me another option since money is a problem: Just replace the coil for now ($1500) and then add the rest when the compressor goes.

I didn't want to do this as I wanted to replace everything at once. I was planning on doing this last year but I needed a new roof so I had to buy that instead.

So my question is this: Is it a mistake to replace just that one part or is this ok to do? I can wait longer if I have to(because of the window units) but of course would like a good working ac again if this is a safe option.

Old 01-25-15, 03:32 AM
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Were the blower wheel blades cleaned?
If the blades are filled with cat hair & other debris the blower will not deliver sufficient airflow; therefore, there will be a lack of heat delivered to the coil & removed from the conditioned space.

Perhaps the coil was not adequately cleaned.(?)

Airflow delivery to the rooms should be checked.
Check the airflow & temp from the nearest supply grille & tell us what the temps are.

Does the airflow feel weak or strong?
Old 01-25-15, 04:59 AM
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I am sure you did replace the air filter,and the condenser coils are clean.
Just a thought
Old 01-25-15, 12:45 PM
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Ok let me explain something first: Yes the heat is out but I think it's the gas regulator. That happened long after the ac problem. Because I was planning on replacing the whole thing, I did not get it repaired.

I am not sure if the blades were cleaned or not. I do know the first repairman did clean the coil and it did work better but still not as good as before. He told me the coil may have been "impacted" and may need a better cleaning or replacement.

And yes you have hit on 2 things that I have already felt are off

1) Airflow does feel weak . It's decent in the master bedroom but that is it. A friend felt the same thing and said thinner filters will help.

2) The hall where everything is at is always 1-2 degrees hotter than the rest of the house. My computer room is also hot, because of the equipment and also because it faces west. But last summer I noticed at time it was 2 maybe 3 degrees cooler than the hall. But I need to get a portable temp gauge to be consistent. I was using a davis weather station for inside the computer room and it is supposed to be fairly accurate. Hall was the thermostat (Hunter). Not sure about that, but just replaced it Fri night with a Honeywell 8500 series.
Also when I turn on the AC I would notice the thermostat would actually go up in temp for awhile by 1 degree.

The central does work if you leave it on long enough, but it is slow. But because it is weak AND the Hunter has that "Nest" temp swing I could not leave it set during the day or it would never shut off. If I set the temp to 80, the Hunter would kick on at 82-83 but then would run till i shut it off as it could never reach 79. It would get to 80 and stay there even though the house would be cooler than that. Sometimes just a little cooler ,sometimes alot .

I did mention the hall issues to another ac place that at one time I was considering going with for a new unit but they did not seem too concerned about it.

Since it's winter I can't really test the temps just yet

Any ideas why the hall stays hot?
Old 01-25-15, 01:13 PM
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The long and short of it is you have an airflow problem and that also affects the hallway.
Old 01-25-15, 06:47 PM
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You should replace at least the entire a/c part of the system at once. A new unit will need a larger coil than what you have now unless it's already 13+ SEER.

The furnace can wait if heat isn't a necessity in your area. I would not have a 1980 furnace repaired.

If you can't afford to replace the a/c now, you should look at repair/maintenance - coils can be pulled and thoroughly cleaned. Most refrigerant leaks can be fixed, but at a high cost.

Almost any system with a compressor that's in good shape can be restored and run at rated capacity.

Things to get checked:

1. Temperature split across coil
2. refrigerant charge
3. airflow - measured

Without an airflow measurement, if the charge is right, a high split indicates low airflow.

Running continuously is okay. Not being able to maintain set-point isn't.

You should be able to maintain 75f or so.
Old 02-03-15, 08:26 PM
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Thank you guys. I am going to try to wait it out and just get the whole thing at once. I have 2 window units to get me by to help the central.

Thanks again..

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