Home ac having problems - freon doesn't seem to be circulating

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Have a Trane central system installed in 88. Model T V030 A140A0
When I last ran the A/C a few months ago it seemed to be working fine. Usually when it fires up, you can hear a shursssshhhhh-shurrssssh which I gather is freon starting to move within the system and you can feel the bubbles in a tube at the front of the air handler housing.
Now when I fire it up I get no freon sound and no cool air. The air handler is funning and the fan on the compressor unit outside is running. I depressed the Hi Press fitting a really quick hit just to verify there's pressure and there is.
It actually exhibited this behavior years ago when it was newer - a few restarts seemed to get it kicked into gear, but so far no luck.
I'm not versed in A/C but am otherwise mechanically inclined, no problem whatsoever digging into things with proper direction. Any primary suspects I should look at before calling someone in?
Thanks for all input.
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If there is any Freon (refregerant gas) in the system, it will have pressure. YOu need to verify the compressor in outside unit is running. There is probably a relay that will pull in to power the motor when it starts up. A clamp on amp meter would tell if the compressor motor is drawing current.
In simple terms the compressor is going to compress the gas, it goes to the outside coils and is condensed into a liquid as it gives up the heat to the outside air. It then goes inside and absorbs heat from the inside coils, boils in doing so and back to the compressor.
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Its 22 years old... they don't last forever....especially when they are not serviced regularly.
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It's not clear what "servicing" it needed. Turned it on, it worked.
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Your local HVAC people can tell you.
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Christopher A. Young
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wrote:

It's not clear what "servicing" it needed. Turned it on, it worked.
You turn on your car and it works... do you ever have it serviced?? after all your probably not driving it but maybe an hour a day, and you buy a new one avery couple of years..... Your heating and cooling system is the single most expensive appliance in your home, and it runs 24/7....and you never have it serviced??
Here's a BOHICA moment for you.... the cost of the typical system replacement these days (not including any ductwork) is going to cost anywhere from $5,000 - $15,000. I hope you got some money put back....your gonna need it.
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I do all my own auto servicing. There are specific pieces that are subject to wear, corrosion, sacrificial fluids that need replacing.
It's my understanding that the "lubrication" in an A/C compressor is contained within the freon, that if it has freon it's got lubrication. Does one "change the oil" in an A/C system?

Actually, mine only gets run sporadically. I don't run it day in, day out. Only when it get hot or cold enough and only when I'm actually home. There are probably people who run theirs more in a year than I do in 5.

Can you specify what servicing could be done to it to make it last longer? Not being facetious, just seems that an auto and an A/C system are different animals. I don't do "maintenance" on my computer hard drives either, other than occasional defragging and antivirus scan. But there's no actual mechanical "maintenance" to be done.
The word I keep hearing about many A/C companies who solicit for "maintenance" is that many are shady, similar to companies who tell you you need to put "treatment" in your septic tank, etc.
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wrote:

I do all my own auto servicing. There are specific pieces that are subject to wear, corrosion, sacrificial fluids that need replacing.
It's my understanding that the "lubrication" in an A/C compressor is contained within the freon, that if it has freon it's got lubrication. Does one "change the oil" in an A/C system?

Actually, mine only gets run sporadically. I don't run it day in, day out. Only when it get hot or cold enough and only when I'm actually home. There are probably people who run theirs more in a year than I do in 5.

Can you specify what servicing could be done to it to make it last longer? Not being facetious, just seems that an auto and an A/C system are different animals. I don't do "maintenance" on my computer hard drives either, other than occasional defragging and antivirus scan. But there's no actual mechanical "maintenance" to be done.
The word I keep hearing about many A/C companies who solicit for "maintenance" is that many are shady, similar to companies who tell you you need to put "treatment" in your septic tank, etc.
Your car and you A/C both have moving parts, they both have filters, they both have electrical systems, they both have blowers and fans. Your A/C also has to have the refrigerant charge balance checked once everything is clean and verified to operate properly so that it is operating as it was designed to, as well as making sure that it has no refrigerant leaks.
BTW.. the refrigerant in your system is being "phased out". In the next year, the price of that refrigerant is going to be 8 - 10 times higher because of the most recent 75% reduction in production and importing of R22
As far as "shady" companies, do a little homework.... talk to friends, family, inlaws, outlaws, folks you go to church with, etc..... ask them who they use or don't use, and why.
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The outside unit could have just the "fan" running, but do you hear the compressor? The contactor might be corroded/intermittent. Give it a whack and see if the compressor kicks on. Could also be a bad capacitor.
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On Mon, 5 Apr 2010 17:43:25 -0700 (PDT), brassplyer

The only servicing a residential a/c ever needs is a clean filter a few times a year and hose out the condenser after the cotton woods quit making cotton. That's been my sure fire winner for over 20yrs with mine. Or you can pay some Stormy Mormmy type simpleton to come out and hook up their nasty gauge set every year, contaminate the system and let a little gas out when they disconnect and charge you out the ass for "the service".
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Right, exactly what I've been doing. And a couple of times I've had to blow out the drainage line when it got clogged with gunk.

Which is exactly what I've heard and why I've avoided having anyone "service" it. I've gone under the assumption that since once fired up it cooled the house off quickly and could easily get it colder than I needed, things were working as they should.
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Right, except if someone stole the refrigerant out of your outside heat pump unit... Or something finally corroded through after 22 years of being outside in the elements... Or maybe you don't cover your outside heat pump unit during the winter and ice built up inside of it and snapped something letting the refrigerant gas escape...
In every trade there are good companies and bad... Don't lump them all in with the bad... It is obvious that you don't have a clue what to look for when you "hose down your condenser" and wouldn't know how to find a refrigerant leak if that is what your problem is...
Stop being cheap and hire someone to come out and give your AC unit an look to see what is wrong with it...
~ Evan
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In which case it would be "BROKEN" and need fixing. I agree with the other posters, servicing is just a money making operation.
The OP probably needs someone to take a look at but not because it needs servicing, because it's broken.
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And if AC units need professional servicing, including checking the refrigerant level, why is it that refrigerators, which are very similar refrigerant systems, don't? All you need to do is change the filters and clean out any leaves from the compressor unit. And if servicing is so critical, how is it that the OPs lasted 22 years, which is the full life, without it? You can't compare this to car maintenance. If you didn't change or check the oil in your car, it surely wouldn't last 22 years.
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My method - disconnect power from unit at the outside breaker and main breaker. Take top grill/fan piece of condenser housing. Pull plant crap out by hand and/or with a shop vac, hose down the coils to remove other crap. Anything wrong with this?
Unit was working like a champ the last time I fired it up a few months ago. Cooled off the house quickly. Sound like maintenance was obviously called for (as of that time) to you?
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wrote:

My method - disconnect power from unit at the outside breaker and main breaker. Take top grill/fan piece of condenser housing. Pull plant crap out by hand and/or with a shop vac, hose down the coils to remove other crap. Anything wrong with this?
Unit was working like a champ the last time I fired it up a few months ago. Cooled off the house quickly. Sound like maintenance was obviously called for (as of that time) to you?
-------------------------------------------------------
Naw..... just run it till it quits, then get ready to shell out the big buck$$$$
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Not wrong, just incomplete. The professional coil cleaning chemicals do wonders.
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Christopher A. Young
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After reading your messages, and your replies to the tradesmen who have commented. It's obvious to me that you're a hard core do it yourselfer. And that if a tradesman writes "Well, your service guy needs to.... A, B, C..... that you will take the covers off, and do your own version of what the service guys do. Which may help, or it might not.
I've been servicing refrigeration and AC systems long enough to know that there are a lot of things that are not obvious to the untrained eye. I'm in the rapid learning part of my career, it seems that every time I service a system, I learn somthing new. I've only been in the trade for 15 years. So, I encourage you to ask your friends and neighbors, and see who they reccomend.
It sounds like you are going to keep coasting down the road of "well, it's working....". Which might be successful for you, or it may lead to an early failure. I guess we'll never know.
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On Apr 6, 8:56am, "Stormin Mormon"

Well, I tend to do it myself within the bounds of common sense. Almost never pay an auto mechanic, have replaced engines, trannies, etc. myself. Installed my own water heater, repaired an entire section of carpenter ant damaged wall, etc.
However, I'm also conscious of possible hazards of fumbling around something I'm not familiar with or accidentally trashing a unit that *could* have been salvaged by a reputable pro had they been given the chance to work on it before I wreaked havoc on it.
If I can find something obvious that I can remedy it myself, I'm more than happy to tackle it. But at this point I'm trying to become educated as much as anything.
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brassplyer wrote:

Hmm, You know how to revive dead person? Your a/c system is dead or dying due to old age. Time for new one. Economy needs you spend money. That Freon filled old machine is power sucking low efficiency monster. Upgrade. Even if you fix it, it won't last long. Be wise and do a right thing. Not all HVAC techs are crooks. There are more honest good ones than bad ones. Ask around, you'll find good honest dependable one near you. Treat him/her well, He/She will treat you well. You brass player? Me too low brass all my life.
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