Frozen/locked up compressor - what questions should I ask?
My A/C worked fairly well until a plastic bag blew under, got sucked up and wrapped around a fan, I guess, causing the A/C to not turn on, although heat and house fan work fine. HVAC field repair guy said compressor is frozen or locked up, meaning not burned up, but trips the breaker when turned on, and is shot. The estimate guy is supposed to come to do a detailed estimate. Field guy said the A/C unit was probably put in in the 60's or 70's, although furnace (Bryant) is much newer. He said replacing the compressor (just the outside unit) would probably be somewhere around $2000.
Questions: (house info follows)
1. Is the whole outside box called the compressor, or is that one of more parts inside of that box? The box is about 2.5' square.
2. Is there a separate motor? I think he said the motor did not burn up and should be ok.
3. Retired, fixed income, not a lot of savings. Options:
-- a. fix just this compressor
-- b. replace whole A/C system & make it powerful enough to go upstairs too
-- c. Cheapest? Forget the central A/C and use 3 window units, front and back of downstairs plus one upstairs. I have 4 ceiling fans downstairs, plus others to circulate the air. Plus the furnace system fan works fine too. I currently have a 5000 btu in a downstairs window comfortably cooling about half the space, would probably replace it with a 8000 + 2 5000 units for bedroom and upstairs.
4. What questions do I need to ask when getting estimates? I have no experience with this.
HOUSE INFO: House is about 1400 sq ft total, although the current system only handles the main floor, about 850 sq ft. The upstairs (refinished attic) has a couple small vents some guy tried to duct off the system but the system was not powerful enough to get heat/cool up there. A window A/C and electric heater are good enough for the upstairs area, I don't want to do a lot of expensive more stuff in this old house. Location - Nebraska, summer heat in 90-100's, very humid much of the time.
Thanks in advance for any help and comments.