Any help/advice would be greatly appreciated
Hi everyone. I came across this forum via Google search and I am hoping someone may be able to offer us some advice on an ongoing problem we have had with our AC. I apologize in advance for the length of this post, however, I feel it is important to provide all of the information.
My husband and I moved in to a brand new home November of 2005. It is a split level house, however, there is not heat or air on the bottom level (much of that is an unfinished basement and bedroom) We noticed that first summer (2006) that our AC was not properly cooling one side of our house off. With the thermostat set on 75 it gets up to 83-85 degrees in the heat of the summer in our family room and even hotter (up to 90 degrees!) in our master bedroom while the other side of our house is freezing cold.
The side of our house that cools off has standard size ceilings. There is a hallway that leads to our family room and once you exit that hallway we have very high ceilings on the other side of the house- this is the side that does not cool. You can literally feel the heat walking from the hallway to the next room where the ceilings are high.
The first summer we were in our home we called our builder to complain. Unfortunately he had filed for bankruptcy and was not much help. He instructed us to call the heating and air company that installed the unit- we did and we were told they no longer serviced our area. We explained the problem to them and their response was, "It's extremely hot outside and you cannot expect your house to cool down to 75 degrees when it is 100 degrees outside."
After that response we knew we weren't going to get anywhere with them so we called a local company to come take a look and see if they could tell us what the problem was. The company that came out said that our unit itself was working fine but there seemed to be a problem with the duct work. We were told this was a builders flaw and that there was very little - no airflow on the hot side of our house. We were told by this company to contact our builder. So once again we did but got nowhere due to the fact that he was no longer building and had filed for bankruptcy.
Since that time we have had several different companies come out to our house and give us their opinion as to what the problem is. Just about every company has said there is a problem with the duct work, we have had several companies tell us our unit is too small for the size of our house, we've been told the air distribution needs to be fixed, we have been told we do not have enough vents on the side of our house that is hot and has the high ceilings, we have been told we need an extra return vent on that side of the house, etc. (We have one return vent in our house and that is located on the side of the house that cools off with the low ceilings).
We have a 3 ton unit (as do all of the other houses on our street) Even the small ranches have 3 ton units. There are several houses on our street with floor plans such as ours, however, we are the only house with high ceilings. Everyone else has standard ceilings. We have spoke to each of our neighbors and no one has the problem we do with their AC. I'm not sure if this matters much but we have 14 vents and we were told that a maximum capacity a 3 ton unit should only be putting out to 12 vents.
On top of all of that we have had to paid more than $1000 for repairs on the unit due to the fact that it runs constantly in the summer- we've had to have a coil replaced, we've have the compacitor replaced, and we were told last summer when the compacitor was replaced that they feared our compressor was on it's way out. This is all on a unit that was brand new when we moved in to our house in November of 2005.
To cut a long story short, we have suffered through the last few summers having to put a window unit in our master bedroom and paid $400+ electric bills in the hottest months of the summer just to cool the house down to 80. Our unit runs constantly and it'll be 70 something degrees outside at night or early in the morning and still 80+ on the hot side of our house. We have gone back and forth with the original company who installed our AC for the last 5 years now and after threatening to contact the Better Business Bureau they finally agreed to come out to our house two months ago to take a look at things.
They did a few things which they claimed would help but it didn't They said some of the ductwork had come unhooked and they added something called a "scoop" that was supposed to push more air to the opposite side of the house. When they came out it was 75 degrees outside and we never have a problem with the AC until it gets in the lower 80's and above. So now that it's summertime we're having the same problem we've always had. After going back and forth with the company for several weeks now they have agreed again to come back out.
My question is do you all think this is only a problem with the duct work? Does it sound like the air distribution needs to be balanced? Do you think we need a larger unit? Or does it sound like it may be all of the above? I think this company is going to try to get by doing the very minimum. It doesn't matter to me what the problem is, I just want it fixed.
Thank you in advance!