Our AC failed recently and I called the folks who installed it 12 years ago
to come out and take a look at it. The tech came out yesterday, hooked up
the gauges, and verified that it was empty. He gave me an estimate to
recharge it, which I agreed to - $550.
About 4 hours after the service, the unit stopped working, obviously it had
a leak. I asked the tech a few times before he charged it if a leak test
should be run. He had filled it with maybe a pound and watched his gauges
and said a leak test ($250) would not be necessary.
The tech who came out today, verified that it was once again empty. He put
a small amount of freon in it, got out his detector, and verified that it
was leaking at the compressor coils. He gave me an estimate for a new unit
and coils for $3200. I asked him about the service yesterday and he said
that it is not standard procedure for them to test for leaks before
recharging a unit. I'm certainly not an expert, but somehow that just
doesn't seem right. Of that $550, $89 was the service charge and the rest
was freon. I think if the first tech had done what the tech did today,
charge the unit a little and wave his wand around, he would have caught the
issue before pumping 5 pounds of freon into the system, and my bill would
have been maybe $200 at most.
I'm curious what others think, should the first tech have done more testing
for a leak before charging it? Oh, and this was a TRANE unit that failed at
Now for part 2 of the question. I really don't feel like spending 3k for an
ac unit right now. The new unit would be a higher seer rating and would
require replacing the a-coils as well. I found on Alpine Home Air, they
sell a Goodman R22 unit uncharged for about $800. Add $500 for Freon (at
most, I can probably find that cheaper) and maybe $500 for install (just
guessing here), and it seems like I could replace the outside unit only
without messing with the a-coils. Would it be advisable to go that route
for approx $1800 or just bite the bullet and get the full upgrade?
Thanks in advance
Doing things the cheap way usually ends up costing more than planned. The
first $1800 or so is gone--so what is the difference between $1800 and a new
installation? In my way if thinking, that is the real cost of getting a new