I have a 9 yr old Amana 4 ton 12 seer unit on my 9 yr old house in
Houston TX. Yes, we use the AC nearly year-round so down here they
seem to have a 10-15 year life span from what people tell me.
Mine is having kicking off problems where it stops before the
requested amount of cooling. I replaced the computer thermostat with
the original manual one and tested to see if the therm was the
problem, which it was not. So, then I called a company a neighbor
recommended and the tech appeared to be well trained and did many
tests, found the systems (upper level was not giving any issue) to
both be 2lbs low on coolant gas which he added. He also indicated the
blower motor was over-amping and was having trouble starting. He
replaced the starter capacitor but it still has trouble starting. He
tested for leaks around the evaporator using a sniffer and found
none. The house air handlers (is that what they are called?) pressure
drop across the evaporator was found to be ok, and other tests he
He recommended cleaning the condenser fins, and replacing the blower
motor. The cost for the new blower motor was $500+ including labor.
Having purchased a new 1hp 115v TEFC motor for my bandsaw for little
over $100, I was wondering how this motor could cost so much to
replace. I told them thanks for the good work but I wanted to get
FYI - The tech charged us over $300 for the testing, service call and
charging of the freon, so I'm not against paying for the work that was
performed by a knowledable tech.
FYI part 2: I'm a homeowner, not a HVAC trained tech, but I have
extensive experience with various repairs and can easily turn off the
power and physically replace the motor. I have re-wired an entire
house including 220v appliances, piped in natural gas lines to
appliances and water heaters, re-done a house's entire plumbing system
(this is also called buying the wrong house to fix up, but that's
another story), and more. In my spare time I build furniture and
repair cars, so I think I'm able to swap parts now that the
diagnostics have been done.
My questions are:
* Is this estimate out of line for replacing the blower motor?
* Where can I get a Amana condenser blower motor for my unit so I can
replace it myself?
* I see on Ebay some blower motors for less than $100 (item
#170128953740). After searching this group and reading on replacing
motors I'm aware of the need for careful matching of direction, size
and amp draw. If I can find one that matches the HP, direction, shaft
dia and amp rating, wouldn't that work?
* What is the best way to clean the condenser fins? I am planning on
turning off the power to the unit and opening it up, spraying a simple
green and water solution, letting it soak a minute and then using a
garden hose to spray through it from the inside out (reverse flow for
I can handle the flamers if some of you can provide me good
Thanks in advance - Scott