Help with AC and Furnace Problem and Quotes

confused12October 5, 2011


I live in central NJ and am in the process of getting quotes for a new system. Here's the deal I have a 5 ton unit which is 11 years old in a 3000 sq. foot house. It is builders grade quality that I got with the house which was put in by builder (I am 2nd owner). The reason I am looking to replace...first issue my 5 ton Lennox AC was not working (2 weeks ago). I called a tech and he said the pressure was low and needed to be charged. Next he began charging it with no discussion about looking for leaks, putting in dye to find leak, etc. He put 6 pds. of refrigerant R-22 into my unit which holds 8.5 to 9 pds and charged me only for 4pds. saying that I could possibly have a leak to the tune of $380 bucks! (after reading web realized that he should have said that I definitely have a leak and he knew it would leak out again--isn't this an EPA violation?!) Well by the next morning the house was hot and I went to investigate finding an ice block on the pipe leading to my AC unit. Upon further investigation, I realized all the pipes were frozen and dripping condensation in the basement! I turned off the AC unit and called the company. They said that the tech couldn't come back until Monday (3 days). Well he came back and used hydrogen gas to find the leak in the coil and said that it could not be repaired. I am wondering if running the system when it was leaking and then all night not realizing there would be a problem damaged my AC unit? Well the tech told me that I have 3 options...#1 replace the coil, but hard to find coils using old refrigerant ($2,000) #2 replace AC unit only ($5-7K), but won't get efficiency with old furnance (also 11 years old), or #3 replace the whole system ($12K). I am totally confused with all of this and wondering what to do? I have gotten quotes on many systems...carrier, lennox, haier (never even heard of--orginal company with the loser tech quoted me this system), and have another guy coming this week. Some of the sales guys seem sharp with good company reputations, but I feel like I was taken advantage of with that first tech so I am apprehensive about jumping into this. I did call that first company and complained that the tech should have known at some point that I had a major leak in the AC unit. They said, not so that the first thing they always do is charge the system and see what happens. I still said I was unhappy with all of this and they said that if I purchase a new system with them they will credit me the amount on my bill. But now I don't trust them and feel ripped off. How can I get my money and move on? The other issue is that I want to move out of this house in 5-7 years. This has a bearing on what I invest in since I may not get my money back out. I would appreciate any insight or information that you can provide to help me with my decision. Thanks!

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Sorry to hear you are having problems. It sounds like you haven't found a good contractor. You are probably not going to get your money back from the company who tried to "repair" your AC.

Where in central NJ do you live? If you are interested I can recommend the Carrier dealer I used. Normally I would recommend repairing an 11 year old system. But you should consider doing a total replacement if you plan to be in the house another 5-7 years.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2011 at 9:18PM
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Stay away from Haier.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2011 at 3:58PM
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I am still confused! But, asked another AC guy today and he thinks I could get away with just a new AC unit (new pipes etc) with the old furnace and when the furnace goes replace with compatible unit to the AC. Money is a big issue, while I would love to replace everything and not have anymore headaches for ten years or so--I can't afford it. I might just roll the dice on a new AC only. I live in Hillsborough, NJ and did have a fairly impressive Carrier guy here, but he wanted to change some of my duct work($1800 additional) to add more returns for maximum comfort but no one else seems to think that is an issue at all. Again, just feeling like everyone is trying to sell me all the extra stuff I don't need! What I need is an AC unit for next suumer at a great price with great company, warranty and reliability. Not sure that being impressed with the sales guy guarantees a great install. Not wowed with what I am finding these days!!! Latest quotes for a 5 ton AC unit are Lennox elite series 14 seer at $8211 full install(new pipes etc)with warranty of 5 yr parts, 1 yr labor, 10 yr compressor. Also Lennox Merit series 13 seer(13axc)for $5887 complete with same install and warranty. NEXT...Different company quotes with different warranty...10 yr parts, 5 yrs labor, 10 yrs compressor with following equipment: AC only Carrier 13 seer #24ABB360A003/ with coil CNPVP6024ATA new metal work complete is $6010 or AC only Carrier 16 seer #24ACC660A003 with coil CNPVP6024ATA new metal work complete is $6624. Both of these companies seems ok, still need references etc, also the price includes permit which our township requires. The prices are full install. Again, HELP is needed with all of this. Thanks!

    Bookmark   October 6, 2011 at 9:53PM
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Send me an email. I will provide the contact information for the Carrier Factory Authorized dealer I used. He will do a Manual J calulation to verify if you really need 5 tons of cooling.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2011 at 11:15AM
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