burnt freon smell?


Old 04-18-07, 04:22 PM
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Question burnt freon smell?

My heat pump (lenox) is now putting out 151 degree heat when in the heat mode. Cold mode is registering 36 degrees.

The technician came today and checked the unit out. He thought the valve on the indoor unit was out of adjustment. He said he would go back out to the outdoor unit and pull all of the freon out and then adjust the valve on my indoor unit.

We go outside and he removes a large nut on a fitting and he said we dont need to go any further. He smelled burnt freon. He said the compressor is no good (13 years old). He said since it was cooling ok that I could wait until fall and that I should either replace the compressor or better yet install a completely new outdoor unit.

Does this make sense? compressor is going bad but it will still cool very good. new compressor is $1200 installed and new outdoor unit is $2200. (3.5ton)

thanks for your help!
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Old 04-18-07, 05:58 PM
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unless he meged the motar are heard the valves Id say he is wrong!
Old 04-18-07, 08:16 PM
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I'd find a different tech. If the compressor was shot it wouldn't cool or heat.

Where was the 151 degree temperature measured? From a supply register? This sounds to me more like the electric heaters were energized along with the heat pump function.
Old 04-19-07, 06:09 AM
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Question Burnt freon smell, Does Freon have a smell?

Yesterday, The 151 degree temperature was measured at one of the floor vents in the house (using a digital thermomter). Same for the cold temperatures.

I also thought the electric heat could have kicked on I took the panels off to see what was going on inside the air handler. The copper piping inside my air handler was very hot during the heat cycle. You could only touch it for a second or two.

By the way the pressure was 250 PSI on the high side line during heating and about 50-60 PSI on the cooling cycle. I was watching over the shoulder of the fellow doing the testing.

I did get a whiff of something, that smelled (very slightly) electrical, when the tech. removed the large nut in preperation for pulling out the freon.

This morning the unit seems to be working normal. The temperture is 96 degrees, measured at the floor vent while the unit is in the heat cycle. I dont understand whats going on with this thing. I cant help but think a valve or something is sticking every now and then.
Old 04-19-07, 09:16 AM
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Im not sure what you have there. Sounds like elements stuck on short in wire or bad tstat???? what pipe was hot big copper or small copper line????

like said get another tech here for sure.

He smelled burnt freon. I hope not . If so he should have did a test for acid in the unit. To see if its a bad compressor .
Now on the freon smell . In no way do you ever want freon to get to a open flame. If it does it will turn into PHOSGENE GAS and that can kill you
Old 04-19-07, 09:19 AM
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A high-side (head) pressure of 250 is a bit high but if the electric heat elements were energized when this pressure was recorded that would make sense. The low side pressure of 50-60 is normal on an R22 system.

Outlet air temperature at the register of 96 degrees is also normal.

I think that you may have a problem with the electric heat elements and their controller. There may also be a problem with the thermal expansion valve (if you have one) or the reversing valve.

The biggest problem that I see is the tech that looked at your unit. I'd try another service company.

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