AC not cold enough and related issue

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  #1  
Old 09-23-17, 04:31 PM
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AC not cold enough and related issue

My AC compressor had its freon gas refilled back on 7/7/17 this past summer, and the effect of freon gas refill was immediate in that the AC air was icy cold. However, now in 9/23/17 less than 3 months later, AC air has become warm again so it's maintaining inner house temp around 85 degrees. AC is still working because it seems to be maintaining temp at about 84 or 85 degrees, but it won't bring the temp low enough. It also turns on by itself and turns off by itself which would be in response to temp change inside the house. The tech who did freon refill said my AC compressor is outdated, and if it acts up again, it should be replaced, and it will cost couple thousand dollars to replace the AC compressor unit.. The tech also said when refilling the freon gas into AC compressor, it's best to refill only up to 75% instead of full 100%. The AC compressor is TRANE brand and is about 13 years old. Is it possible it's low again on freon gas? Is there a way to check that myself? If AC compressor unit needs to be replaced, how much can I expect to pay in central Maryland region? Pics of my AC compressor unit is attached.
 
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  #2  
Old 09-23-17, 05:39 PM
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Most systems leak at the evaporator coil. You have a Trane outdoor unit so the leak is most likely outside. You have a picture posted of the entire unit. It looks dark under the large panel next to the electrical panel. This is the most common location for a Trane unit to leak refrigerant.

You can remove this panel and spray the bottom center area with soapy water to see the leak most of the time.

 

Last edited by Houston204; 09-24-17 at 12:30 AM.
  #3  
Old 09-23-17, 06:05 PM
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As mentioned, most leak is at the coil, not the compressor. never heard about 75% full, all nonsense. Since you have ice cold air before the freon leaks out, that indicates your compressor is in good shape. You need to call another tech to find out where the leak is and go from there.
 
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Old 09-23-17, 07:22 PM
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Refrigerant is not a consumable material, having to add refrigerant indicates there is a leak. The leak should be found and the decision to repair or replace made from there.
It is not good to purposely run the unit low on refrigerant.
 
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Old 09-30-17, 07:00 PM
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Thank you all for your responses. It sounds like I may a leak of refrigerant somewhere near or on the outside AC unit.
1) If I'm low on refrigerant due to a leak, how does this affect the running of heater during coming winter? When I test the heater, the furnace and its fan run, but the fan in the outside unit doesn't run, but I can feel warm airs coming out of my vents. When I turn on the AC, the fan in the outside AC unit runs, but airs out of my vents aren't cold enough.

2) Did I understand correct to say AC refrigerant (freon gas) does not require refills?
 
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Old 09-30-17, 08:18 PM
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If you have refrigerant added to your system it has a leak.

If the indoor coil and outdoor unit are both Trane products it is more likely that the leak is the outdoor unit.
 
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Old 09-30-17, 08:45 PM
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The low refrigerant has no bearing on a gas or electric furnace.
Neither of these require the outside unit to run.

A heat pump would be a different story.

So in your case..... the furnace.... if it's in good shape... would stay and the cold coil inside it and the outside condensor would be replaced as a pair.
 
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Old 10-04-17, 05:55 AM
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Smile Houston204 is a life saver

I followed Houston204's advice on another thread and replaced my capacitor on my Trane. When I called for a repairman he quoted me about $528. I bought a new capacitor for $25. I never even knew the A/C unit opened. So I just wanted to thank Houston204 for saving me $503. I super appreciate it and your information was Spot On!!
 
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Old 10-04-17, 11:18 AM
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Thanks for the follow up.

It feels great to have helped...
 
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Old 10-06-17, 07:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Pridegal113 View Post
I followed Houston204's advice on another thread and replaced my capacitor on my Trane. When I called for a repairman he quoted me about $528. I bought a new capacitor for $25. I never even knew the A/C unit opened. So I just wanted to thank Houston204 for saving me $503. I super appreciate it and your information was Spot On!!
Pridegal113, did you have the same problem as me? AC working but not cold enough? Could you provide more details please?

Related questions:
1) Is it better and cheaper to fix AC problem I'm describing in fall or wait until spring? My concern is if I get it fixed in fall, then I may not know how good of job was done for the fix until next summer which could be about 6 months away, and if there's any problem after 6 months, the more likely and easier it will be contractors to not cover it under warranty.

2) What would be a good way to shop around for the repair? I want to find someone reputable, but as long as I get a tech to come out, that will cost me for the service call even if I don't get the problem fixed by the tech so I can't just keep calling for techs from different contractor business to come out. One tech may not even accept the finding of another tech so chances are I would have to pay for diagnostic with each tech I ask to come out. I would have to settle on the one with least number of diagnostics done.
 

Last edited by BeingCareful88; 10-06-17 at 07:05 PM. Reason: details
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Old 10-07-17, 07:22 PM
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You actually need 2 jobs performed. You need to find the leak before any repair can be made.

Locating a leak can be time consuming and if you are paying $140 for the first hour and $90 an hour for every additional hour this can get expensive.

I can usually find a leak within an hour with my Tek-Mate but I have not had much luck with other brands.

Depending on the location of the leak repair may not be possible and replacement may be (and usually is) required.
 
  #12  
Old 10-10-17, 08:09 AM
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Woke up with A/C blowing warm air and the fan outside not moving. It was locked up. So I took off top and cleaned EVERYTHING then greased fan and turned it. Then followed Houston's advice about the Capacitor (which took 10 minutes). The fan squealed, then started moving and I was back in business.
Someone else told me it was the motor so I bought one $200. But I haven't had anymore problems so I am putting off replacing it.
Hope this helps.
 
  #13  
Old 03-19-18, 06:01 PM
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It is still a bit cold in Maryland as we are heading into late March. I had no problem with the heater all this past extremely cold winter, but now I do need to get this AC problem I've discussed with you last October fixed. I've been gotten 4 quotes, and first 3 recommended replacing the whole unit as the leak cannot be repaired. They all said the leak is in the evap coil in my boiler room where there's furnace. They all said it's economically sensible to replace and upgrade the whole unit. The 4th contractor said he agrees the leak is in the evap coil, and offered to fix the leak for no more than $1,500. He won't refill it with Freon R-22. He said he'll refill with R402. Of course, replacing and upgrading will cost a couple thousand more the contractor said, and he gave me the number for that as well.. He said from visual inspection outside unit and the pipe (shown in the pics in this thread) are good and they can still be used so it will be my choice as to get it fixed or replace/upgrade. Is fixing a leak in evap coil and refilling with R-402 a reasonable thing to do? The TRANE outside unit is 3 ton, and this is residential home use.
 
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Old 03-19-18, 07:24 PM
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Did anyone actually open up the indoor unit and pinpoint the leak?
 
  #15  
Old 03-20-18, 07:30 PM
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Nope. No one. First 3 just recommended replaced and upgrade saying the leak is on the evap coil without opening up the indoor unit. They all looked at the outdoor unit. First of the First 3 said the leak cannot be repaired. The Fourth tech said the leak can be found and repaired on the evap coil and he will refill with Freon R402 instead of Freon R22. Not sure if I am running the risk of getting screwed. All four did not charge for the visual inspection and cost estimation. If I just elect to replace and upgrade, I probably wouldn't have to worry about the leak for a long time, but putting in $1,500 to fix the leak on a 14 year old unit may be too much.
 
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Old 03-20-18, 08:01 PM
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How would they know if your coil is leaking if they didn’t even bother opening up the unit?
 
  #17  
Old 04-07-18, 05:40 AM
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Yes. That is true. Need to keep shopping.
 
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