A/C Problem

Just over 2 years ago we bought a house with a dated A/C package unit. 14 months ago we replaced the A/C with a 3 ton Trane package. After about 9 months of improved cooling over the old unit, we began to experience problems with cooling, pipe leading from the condenser to the coil froze, etc.
After several service calls to the installer (from whom we purchased the unit), the diagnosis was there was a blockage in the return. I subsequently removed the ceiling of a closet and a portion of an interior wall in order to access the return duct work. End result no blockage. However, the return duct for some reason is sealed off at the exterior wall. From the outside, the unit is tied into a return duct that terminates 8" inside the wall.
This problem does not appear to be covered in the warranty, which is the standard 1 year parts and labor, 5 year parts only. The invoice for install reads only, "...remove existing package unit...install (new) package unit on existing slab hooked to existing duct work..."
This may have been a pre-existing condition with the old unit. We assumed the old unit limped along because of age. In any event, had the new installer taken readings at the return and supplies 14 months ago, much less peeked inside the duct from the outside, surely they would have seen a problem. Instead, they dropped the unit on my slab, taped it up, and ran to cash my check. Now 14 months later I have spent hundreds in service calls, my ceiling and floor is ripped down, and my return duct looks like swiss cheese.
In my opinion, they need to remedy the duct situation, refund the service calls, and replace the unit. The logic being that due to their negligence during the install, the current unit has undergone considerable wear and tear working against itself for 14 months, and is more likely to break down in the future.
I would appreciate any recommendations from anyone in the industry.
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Dont understand why it could be working for 14 months fine, then a return air duct mysteriously becomes sealed? You would have gone thru a heating season in that time, how on earth did the heat work during this time since it shares the same ducts?
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I agree, seems strange that it worked now it has failed.
Your contract/agreement will be the guide on what liability the installer has. If you failed to ask for an evaluation of the ducts it will be on you nickel. If you asked for an evaluation and they failed to do one it is his nickel. Most swaps are checked at operation and then if they work all is well. Yours worked for a long time and now there is a problem.... Na Something else changed you just not aware of it. Being an informed consumer is an full time job.
Sounds more like the return duct work has collapsed. You been in the attic?
My brother and I had extra insulation blown into our homes this spring. Same installer, same day. My a/c worked fine and my brothers return duct had been collapsed by the installer. (different models of the same builder). The insulation installer paid $140 bucks for the duct repair.
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BPHAT writes:

There is a very common type of contractor that may or may not do the work correctly, but who has the highest expertise in weaseling out of any warranties, far beyond your amateur abilities to prosecute.
The best approach I've found in such situations is to find another contractor who will take pride in fixing the errors of the first.
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