We have a HVAC unit for a townhouse. It is 10 years old. We live in
Virginia. The unit has been slowly leaking freon over the past 2
such that we have had to fill up the freon every spring in order for
to cool properly.
CY: Yep, that sounds like a leak.
This spring, when we had the freon filled, we asked
the guy to add dye so we could find out where the leak was. Today he
checked the unit, and said the leak was mostly in the coils of the
CY: Woulda been nice to get some dye in there. So, the inside unit is
and that we would have to replace both the inside unit and
outside unit (at a cost of $5500) in order to fix the problem.
CY: You don't mention the tonnage, or some of that. And we havn't seen
the setup. Dont know if the air handlers are in the ceiling, cellar,
crawl space, etc. But 5.5k sounds a bit high.
I asked if we could repair the coils and he said you can't repair
CY: I've heard of folks repairing coils. Actually, I've done it.
I asked if we could replace the coils and he said he can't buy
replacement coils because the efficiency standards have changed.
CY: well, you can get replacement coils, but the new ones are more
we could replace just the inside unit (and not the outside unit
the outside unit works fine) but he said this wasn't possible because
then the two units wouldn't be compatible.
CY: Ok, so they are slightly different designs. Still runs on liquid
refrigerant and change to vapor state.
I asked if we could just
keep adding freon each year, and he says this is illegal, as it
EPA rules about letting ozone-depleting freon into the atmosphere.
CY: The last I knew, the EPA only mandates leak fix in equipment over
a certain size. I remember something about 50 pound refrigerant
swears the only solution is complete replacement of the whole system.
Does this sound right to you? Could he be trying to take us for a
ride? Should I get a second opinion?
CY: I don't t hink that sounds right. I'd suggest at least two more
If we do have to replace the unit, is $5500 the right price range for
such a job, or should I shop around on that? How do we find the best
deal for a new one?
CY: Shop around.
Thank you so much!