Is my AC repair company honest?

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Old 06-27-19, 12:03 PM
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Is my AC repair company honest?

I called an AC repair company to recharge the Freon. They told me that there was no Freon at all, so they needed to recharge it and put a dye to detect the leak. Then, they would come back later to locate the leak. I paid $650 (I live in Miami). I had cold AC for 6 days only. The tech came back, he said he spent 40 minutes on the roof and couldn't detect the leak, so they advised me to buy a new AC system. I asked the tech "what if the leak is somewhere between the roof and my condo? a new system would not fix the problem". Later, I received a quote for a new system for $5640. It includes a discount of the $650 I paid. If I don't buy from them, they would refund me 50% of the $650.
I then asked the same question I asked to the tech. This is the response I got: "I spoke to the contractor and he advise me to let you know, we will pressure test all the lines while doing the installation at no charge so we can make sure no leaks happen with the new system.".
My AC system is Goodman AW24-05C.
Do you think that the AC repair company is honest or no?
 
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06-28-19, 11:48 AM
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Sealants aren't good for equipment especially when there's moisture in the system.

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The contractor should be able to find the leak.

Could even be a shrader valve or service valve.

AW24 is your air handler, the outdoor unit should have another number on it.

"what if the leak is somewhere between the roof and my condo? a new system would not fix the problem"
They can do an isolation test to rule out the lines, coil and shrader valves - pumping all the refrigerant into the outdoor unit, filling the lines and and coil with high pressure nitrogen and seeing if the pressure goes down.
 
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Old 06-27-19, 12:51 PM
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If the system lost enough refrigerant in 6 days to stop working, you have a reasonably large leak, meaning that it should be relatively easy to find, unlike a very slow leak. You mentioned that the tech spent 40 minutes on the roof looking for the leak. If that's the only place he looked, he didn't check the evaporator core, which is located inside the building, in the air handler. The evaporator is a common A/C component to leak.

As for their honesty, it's hard to comment. However, from what you said, it doesn't sound like the tech did a very thorough search for the leak.
 
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Old 06-27-19, 01:51 PM
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I donít use dye. I use bubbles and 2 electronic detectors.
The entire system should have been looked over.
 
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Old 06-27-19, 06:28 PM
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He spent some time in front of the air handler in my condo also.
 
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Old 06-28-19, 05:14 AM
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You didn't say, but might be useful to know how old the system is and the SEER rating.
 
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Old 06-28-19, 05:27 AM
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My AC system is Goodman AW24-05C and it's more than 15 years old, that's the only thing I know.
 
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Old 06-28-19, 08:40 AM
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I once had a slow leak in my system and the HVAC tech injected a sealant into the system. Didn't cost very much and he said there was no guarantee but it was worth a try before spending the money to track down the leak. It fixed it for at least 2 years, and may still be good but I sold that house so I don't know.
 
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Old 06-28-19, 11:48 AM
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Sealants aren't good for equipment especially when there's moisture in the system.

--------------

The contractor should be able to find the leak.

Could even be a shrader valve or service valve.

AW24 is your air handler, the outdoor unit should have another number on it.

"what if the leak is somewhere between the roof and my condo? a new system would not fix the problem"
They can do an isolation test to rule out the lines, coil and shrader valves - pumping all the refrigerant into the outdoor unit, filling the lines and and coil with high pressure nitrogen and seeing if the pressure goes down.
 
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Old 06-28-19, 09:32 PM
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If the system was empty.... they should have pressurized the system with nitrogen before even charging it with refrigerant. An empty system practically screams "LEAK".
 
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Old 06-29-19, 09:04 AM
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Is my AC repair company honest?

That's for you to decide, but I would never use them.
 
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Old 07-02-19, 07:46 PM
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I was refunded 50% of the $650 with the first company, then I found a family-owned business. They used a leak detector and the beeps indicated that there was a small leak on the air handler. They went to the roof and found a leak on the 2 valves of the condenser, they fixed it. They charged me $200 for that. Now, the temperature is good at home. Nevertheless, they advised me to buy a new system (rheem 2.14 seer , cost with installation: $3400 plus tax) because they said that:
1) The fix might not work for too long.
2) he put freon but no to full because the pressure was going too high and if he did, the machine might break (sorry, I forgot the technical details), I asked why and he said that probably, it doesn't evaporate heat well because the machine is old.
3) My AC system is old, the serial numbers shows that it's from 1994. So they don't sell parts for it anymore.
4) If I buy a new system, I would save on electricity.

So should I buy a new system or wait that it breaks?
 
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Old 07-02-19, 08:03 PM
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Leaking valves is somewhat of a common problem. If the valves are no longer leaking the system should work ok.

The charging of an A/C system is a careful balance. The condenser shouldn't have a problem getting rid of the heat unless the coils are corroded and clogged. If you get a full blast of air from the top of the unit you should be ok.

My system is a Rheem and I installed it 25 years ago. I have no plans to change it as it works perfectly. I've never added any refrigerant since I installed it. All I've done is clean the condenser coils every other year and replace the contactor.

Yes you will save some electricity with the new unit. It's pretty hard to advise on wait or do it now.
I would recommend at least one other price to make sure you are getting treated fairly.
 
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Old 07-03-19, 04:18 AM
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FWIW, I think you found a good company to do business with.
 
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Old 07-03-19, 05:52 AM
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The second company told me that the first company didn't put dye like they said because there was nothing green. Here is a video taken by the guy of the second company, where he talks about his fix and says that my condenser is old and rusty. Please look at the video and tell me if you recommend that I change the unit or if I can wait until it breaks down: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1_RT...ew?usp=sharing
 
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Old 07-03-19, 06:17 AM
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So if I get the video right he closed (back seat) the valves a little to lessen the leak a little? Everybody likes to cover their butts. I use too blue glue the caps on thinking that did a better job. Good luck anyway.
 
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Old 07-03-19, 06:20 AM
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After he finished on the roof, he told me that he turned the thing inside the valve with his tool (similar to a screwdriver).
 
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Old 07-03-19, 06:30 AM
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Yeah, it's a allen . Maybe it worked,allso I meant front seat the valve. Shows how long I been out of it.
 
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Old 07-03-19, 08:33 AM
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Considering it's a rooftop mounted unit..... your price looks pretty good.
There is no definitive answer to replacement. It could run a year or two or crap out next week.
 
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Old 07-04-19, 10:23 AM
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3) My AC system is old, the serial numbers shows that it's from 1994. So they don't sell parts for it anymore.
This is a lie, most of the parts are generic and readily available.
 
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Old 07-04-19, 10:37 AM
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OK I will wait that it breaks before buying a new system. I need the money to do 3 other installations in my condo, and buy a car.
 
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Old 07-09-19, 09:35 AM
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On the flyer in the mailbox, I saw $1800 for a RHEEM W.K. 2 ton 14 seer. I called and he told me to add $150 for the crane rental, with 1 year labor and 10 years in parts warranty.
Today, when they arrived, I saw a total of $2,289 instead. I called the owner and he told me that this is for 10 years in parts warranty. I told him that I said 5 years, he said that he made the mistake, then he said that it was for the old model, the W.K., and they brought the new model, the FR, so it has 10 years warranty for parts. This include putting a digital thermostat.
Do you know the difference between the Rheem W.K. and the Rheem FR? Or is this a trick to increase price?
What does 14 seer mean?
Also, if I pay with check, I have to add $125, if I pay with credit card, I have to add 3%, and if it's in cash, nothing more to pay.
Can I pay in cash safely? Normally, they had to show proof of insurance and license to the condo association, to get roof access.
 
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Old 07-09-19, 09:58 AM
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Also, if I pay with check, I have to add $125, if I pay with credit card, I have to add 3%, and if it's in cash, nothing more to pay.

I never heard of having to pay more when paying by check. Sure, the cost of processing a credit card is around 3%, but few companies blatantly tell you to add 3%, most just absorb it as a cost of doing business. All in all, that sounds like a company to stay away from to me.
 
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Old 07-09-19, 10:02 AM
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I registered my new condenser online and the Rheem model number is RA1424BJ1NA
For the air handler, Model: RHAL-FR24PJB05A417
 
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Old 07-09-19, 01:21 PM
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Finally, when I paid, it was the same price in check or cash. I don't know why their secretary told me that this morning.
I registered the air handler and the condenser online to get the 10 year warranty.
Now, for the future, what maintenance should I do and at what schedule?
I never did any maintenance in the past.
 
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Old 07-09-19, 02:34 PM
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There's not a lot of maintenance to do. The most important thing is to change the filter in your furnace/air handler on a regular basis to keep the evaporator coil clean. Every couple of years (or more often if you live in a "dirty" environment), take a garden hose and spray it through the condenser coil (outside unit) to clean the condenser fins. It's best to do this when the unit has been off for several hours so it's cool. It's also not a bad idea to kill the power to the outside unit before doing this.

When cleaning the condenser coil, you'll get the best results if you spray the water from the inside so it comes out the sides. However if you don't want to spend the extra time to remove the fan assembly, you can spray from the outside, it just doesn't do quite as good a cleaning job.
 
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Old 07-09-19, 02:40 PM
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What would happen if I would never clean the evaporator coil of the condenser?
 
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Old 07-09-19, 03:21 PM
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If the condenser coil gets very dirty, the transfer of heat from the condenser coil to the air will be less efficient. This will increase the system pressure and puts an extra load on the compressor resulting in decreased efficiency and higher energy costs.
 
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