Feeling Robbed out of $5,000 - New 13 Seer inferior to 18 year old 10 Seer

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Recently my 18 year old 10 Seer 3 Ton Tempstar system sprung a freon leak outside. It was decided that it needed to be replaced but a replacement 10 Seer could not be found so I had to get a 13 Seer 3 Ton system which meant the inside coils/furnace also had to be replaced with compatible system. I was fine with that since the system was on its last leg and the 13 Seer would save me some money in the long run to cool my 1600 SqF house.
So I had a new system installed inside and out (Concord 80 Plus Furnace) after two days the house was just not cooling right. In the heat of the summer 90-95F here, my old system blew 52-55F during the day and 45F at night (I have a guage 1 inch out from the vent) the new system blows 60F-62F all day and it feels like 75 about a foot from the vent. The wind speed is about 5.5 mph right out of the vent. I have my air set to 71 and the new system runs all day and the temperture just climbs 1 degree every 1.5 hours or so to about 78 in the heat of the day and won't get to back to 71 until around midnight when the outside temp is about 74. Were my old system would run 20 min, shut off for about 10 min and then run for another 20 and so on all day keeping the house at 71 all day.
I had the tech come out and look at the system and he said it was about 5% low on freon filled it up and said it was working at optimal performance. He tells me it won't ever be able to get below 72-74 in my house when it is 95 outside?!?! Were as with my old system I could freeze you out of my house even when it was 95 outside?!?! The new system runs all day to maintain 72 degrees even if it is only 83F outside.
Now 3 weeks have gone by and today the system has completly iced over. The tech is coming back out tommorow but I know he is just going to say it has a feon leak, fix the leak and then turn back on the crappy system which will run all day an still not get below 77. The back of the house it is like 80+F.
I feel like this guy doesn't have a clue, someone help me to tell him what to look for, or what to check because this can't be right. The air should be colder than 62F 1 inch from the vent?? and 78F in my house when running all day. Also, the air that is coming out doesn't feel crip and cold more like damp and cold like the humidity is not being removed.
I have also gotten my Energy Bill and on my 10Seer it was $240 and on the 13 Seer the bill is now $265.
Maybe something isn't calibrated like wrong load calculations, or expansion valves, variable air fan or blower speed? I know squat about AC so I have nothing to stand on when he says "This system is running great, thanks for the $5,000 and have a Hot summer."
Thanks in Advance, sorry for the long post.
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Sounds like it's time to call a tech that's competent.
Ask him why the unit freezed over and when he is done ask him what the "superheat" and "subcooling" figures are. If he has no clue, it's definitely time to call another company!
Was a load calculation done to size the equipment to your structure? What is the size of the old and new units?

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The old 10-SEER condenser had a larger compressor BTUH capacity in relationship to the cooling coil than does the 13-SEER. Therefore, with the 13-SEER matched system the coil temps will not be quite as cold at the same airflow rates through it.
If you ran the unit at night when the air temp was too cold the evaporator will drop below the freezing point & it will freeze over. If that was not the cause then it could be leaking down yet, or there might be several other problems.
If the rooms furthermost from the blower are much warmer, then you have an airflow & probable ductwork problem. The system may have numerous things NOT functioning properly that need to be revealed using effective troubleshooting techniques, & then fixed! Well, you might want to give the so-called tech some hard copies of some of my pages. That may or may not help him, some simply refuse to or cannot learn. It is your decision, however, I would not let him near the system again! Read & learn! - udarrell
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Air Conditioning\'s Affordable Path to the "Human Comfort Zone Goal"
http://www.udarrell.com/air-conditioning-total-heat-enthalpy-latent-heat.html
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You already know the answer: You need a qualified tech to check your system out and make any needed repairs. Call the owner of the company and tell him/her to send a qualified technician out this time and not the guy you've been dealing with.
If the guy you have been dealing with is the owner of the company, then call the manufacturer and demand that they send a qualified technician.
It sounds like you are fucked, however. $5,000 for a new system is very cheap, and it sounds like you went with a cut-rate/cut-corner outfit. They probably hacked in the install, and now your factory warranty is void. You may have to bite the bullet and call a qualified firm, preferably one that does commercial cooling and refrigeration to properly install and set up your system. Figure on about $2-3,000 plus materials to get it done right, depending on how bad the previous installer hacked it in. Also remember that your warranty is void.
Saving a few bucks sure sounds good now, doesn't it?
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3 tons in 1600 sqft?? house has no insulation?? house has 12 foot ceilings?? and house has 1000sqft of single glazed glass in aluminium frames??

Ahhhh the crystal ball is starting to clear.... Concord furnace..... hmmm....could if be that the tech was the lowest bidder?? Too bad the tech didn't charge enough to be able to get the training he needs to properly install the new 13 SEER systems.

When a residential system is designed correctly, it will *MAINTAIN* 75 degrees inside at the design temps outside. Because you system is probably a bit oversized, it may maintain a lower inside temperature. Maybe if you gave us an idea where you are located??.....yes it makes a differance.... the design temps are much differant between Phoenix and UP Michigan.

The tech needs to go get some training.

Until the system is correctly set up and the refigerant charge balanced, tos not going to work correctly.

Its not gonna get any better until the tech goes back to school or you call one that knows what he is doing.

Only $5,000???? Sorry you got ripped off by the lowest bidder. Getting it done correctly the first time might have cost a bit more, but you wouldn't be having problems now.

Sorry if its not what you wanted to hear, but sometimes the truth hurts.
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The system was installed by a certified Tech from a company who has been around for about 30 years. The 5K was the equipment only that does not includ the labor , I believe the total bill was like $6741, the system is Concord Air which is a Lennox owned company. What I was looking for is someone who can give me a leg to stand on when the company comes out and try to pull the wool over my eyes by telling me the system is running at peak performance and doing what is suppose to do. Some info I can actually pull out and say he did you check this or that to make myself sound like I at least have a clue and not just say ummm OK.
Or is it that a 13 Seer system is just not going to cool as well as a 10 Seer system? I live in Mississippi and it get on average around 95F here in the summer.
Should this system be able to get the house down to 70 degress without running allday? Should the temperature increase 1 degree for each 1.5 hour and top out at 78 and take until Midnight to finally get to 71F?
What should the temperature be coming straight out of the vent, 60F-62F or 45-50F like my old system?
I have heard that the new 13 Seer system are governed to only 75F when the outside temperature is 95+?
Yes it is a 3 Ton system 1600 sq. house and two room have 12ft ceiling and the living room, dining room and kitchen are all open.
I had also heard that 13 Seer system are known to have problems pulling the humidity out of the air for deep south states especially like in Florida and that the only way to have the system dehumidify is to use a larger system?
Anything info someone can confirm will help me get this show on the road and fixed.
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Properly sized and installed, they cool just like they are supposed to.

Gee....better tell that to the owners of an apartment complex that we just put fourteen 14SEER units in. Upstairs and down, they had the damn things down to 67F with plenty of condensate on a really sticky 98F day on thursday during what they called, a performance eval...and btw...only 2 ton units.

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aka-SBM wrote:

2 tons on a 900-1000 sq ft room with one to two outside walls sounds oversized.
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And of coarse, you know the exact location, building materials used and design specifications.
You must have one helleva crystal ball.
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Mikey knows it all, including the fact hes got no clue how to size in NC..
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aka-SBM wrote:

I hope the residents of Moldy Creek apartments enjoy. Did you use metal duct or that cheap flex shit youre so fond of.
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Snip long rant....
Something is definitely wrong. 3 tons is 3 tons not matter how you weigh it. It will remove the same amount of heat (34000 to 36000 btu/h) as the old system and with higher SEER should take less energy to do it. It's like buying a new car with the same sized engine that gets better mileage. You should have a warranty with that new expensive cheap system. The installer should stand behind his work and should provide a labor warranty for the first year.
Sounds like he has a bad joint somewhere in the system that is letting the freon out. Perhaps he has melted a fitting due to improper brazing. Maybe there is a blockage in the liquid line caused by his sloppy work... maybe the foreign laborer who put the unit together screwed up at the factory and your guy just has yet to find it.
If this guy works for a competent contractor, then call the owner and demand it be corrected at no additional cost. If he is a station wagon tech, you will have to call another company, pay the bill and go after your first guy in court... sorry but them's the breaks.
Your new system should work at least as well as the old, if not better and your utility bill should come down 20 to 30%.
There are so many ways to check a system at startup... Pressure readings, superheat, subcooling, amp readings, Delta T at both coils, etc.
And if one is a competent technician and knows his equipment, the "feel" method still works fine as a starting point... you just feel her out.
If she's warm in the right spots and cool in the right spots, she's going to be good. She should purr quietly and contently on every cycle and not cost a lot to maintain or operate. She should work hard to keep you cool, only take a break when you are satisfied and never groan, squeal, whine, rattle your cage or make any annoying sounds... oh, we are definitely talking a/c & not women. :-)
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Thanks, that helps, so the 2nd opionion guy(another company other than the one who installed the system) just called and said he was on the way. I'll ask him about the Superheat and subcooling. Anything else I should ask about?
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On 23 Aug 2006 06:47:49 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@spxchrome.com wrote:

Of course there are other readings to consider. The start up information should have included...
Suction pressure Discharge pressure Saturated suction temperature close to the compressor Saturated condensing temperature close to the metering device Return air temperature Supply air temperature Outside air temperature Condenser discharge air temperature Subcool reading superheat reading Wet bulb temperature manufacturers design subcool or superheat compressor amps condenser fan amps
These readings should be taken at no less than 15 minutes of continuous run time. Hardly any tech that I've ever come across writes these numbers down on their invoices, it's a shame since they can be really useful to those who use them on a consistent basis. These readings will tell a competent tech what's wrong with the unit without even touching it.
...Ron -- 68'RS Camaro 88'Formula 00'GT Mustang
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On 22 Aug 2006 22:43:37 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@spxchrome.com wrote:

It has been said over and over at all levels of equipment distributorship that the new 13 seer equipment will seperate the hacks from the professionals.
FYI- professionals purge linesets with dry nitrogen as they are welded up. Professionals will also pressure test a system prior to charging it. Kinda hard to have a leak if its pressure tested.
Sounds to me like you've engaged the services of a hack or company of hacks.
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Well here was the 2nd opinion diagnosis. He says the the line should have been changed out. The current line is 1/4 and he says the 13 Seer needs to be on a 3/8 line. He also believes that maybe the dryer maybe stopped up or were the dryer was welded onto the old line it may have a kink from the weld. It really isn't leaking freon he added a little to keep it from freezing up. The gauges read 68 and 360 and he said they are suppose to read around 68 and 250 - whatever in the hell that means.
So, how many more hackers can I get out here to come up with their own theroies.... lol or does this make sense about the line size?
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On 23 Aug 2006 08:01:31 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@spxchrome.com wrote:

Before the original installer charged your system, did you see him connect a vacuum pump to the system? It would have sounded like a small air compressor running for quite a few hours?
-zero
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wrote:

Can we say "what's a micron?" :-)
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Yep, no doubt.
And a "kink on the weld" of the LL dryer...Unfortunately it wouldn't be the first time a 5/16" or 3/8" filter was pinched down over a " line.
This is what happens when they pass out the keys to the vans, to bullshiters who are just knowledgeable enough to get the job ticket signed.
-zero
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He thought this as well, that or a clogged dryer, either way how else would you attach the dryer or you just saying he was a shitty welder?
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