I moved into this (new) house just under 9 years ago and the air conditioner
has stopped blowing cold air. A repairman came out a little while ago and
said that the coil may need to be replaced (for $1,800) and that coils
typically only last 5-7 years. I know that A/C repairs tend to be expensive,
but is that a reasonable price (the unit is a Lennox 10AB48) and is it true
that coils only last 5-7 years? That doesn't seem very long to me, but then
I don't know much about it. Anyway, he couldn't do the work tonight because
the coil was frozen (?) but is planning to come back tomorrow morning. I'd
appreciate it if anyone who knows about these things can give me their
opinion based on what I described.
Thanks in advance.
I suggest another opinion from a different company. Frozen coil
could be one of several problems. Including dirty filter, low air
flow, low on freon, or some other causes. But at this point, I'd
wonder if the coil really needed replacing. Maybe, but not sure yet.
Can't see the application from here, but 1800 sounds high priced.
Christopher A. Young
You can\'t shout down a troll.
The coil is frozen? As in "full of ice"?
There's nothing wrong with the coil--it's chilling just fine.
Air flow maybe? Clogged filters? The coil itself is just dirty?
I"d get a second opinion for that kind of money, especially when his
comments don't add up. Even if he's right, he owes you an explanation.
Take notes, and ask around.
Also for what it's worth, if the unit is 9 years old, it's likely not
nearly as efficient as something you could invest in today. If you run
it a lot, getting a higher SEER rating could pay you back in a few
OK, I'll have to trust you on that one. But if it's leaking
refrigerant, how can it be working well enough to ice up? Maybe the
leak is real new and most refrigerant is still in there? My admittedly
limited knowledge would indicate that if the system is leaking
refrigerant it will burn up compressors, not ice up coils.
Also, the OP said the ice was in a ball on one of the pipe connections.
That makes sense--I see it a lot in systems at work. The moisture
condenses there where it is very cold, not much air blows across to
melt the ice, and the ball forms. I expect that this would be
independent of any leakage. It would also indicate that some
insulation might be in order.
Oddly, a low charge makes it run colder and ice up:
Don't confuse temperature with heat. The fact that part of your evaporator
is below freezing temperature doesn't mean that it is moving much heat.
First of all, I'd like to thank everyone for their feedback and would
welcome any additional thoughts / opinions.
Regarding the ice, all I saw was a ball of it around some kind of hose
coming out of the compressor (?). Despite having an appointment for 2:30, he
didn't arrive here until 8:00 in the evening so it's possible that the ice
wasn't the real reason he wanted to wait until tomorrow. That's just as
well, though, since this has given me time to ask you folks for your
opinions, for which I'm grateful.
I should add that he didn't say that the coil definitely needed to be
replaced -- he simply listed that as one of the possibilites. He did mention
other possibilities such as the coil simply being dirty or having a minor
leak that could be fixed relatively cheaply. The part that concerned me was
his claim that coils normally only last 5-7 years, although the consensus
here seems to be that that's not true.
Sally I typically work on commercial and residential ac systems up to
30 years old that have never leaked a measuarable amount of freon.
Ask your friends and neighbors how often they replace their coils.
They SHOULD last 20 years, but do they always?
Carrier had a rash of bad coils in the 90's. I'm replacing one today, only
9 years old.
Your tech should be able to narrow things down for you as to roughly, if
not specifically, where the leak is.
He should be able to ascertain whether or not the coil is dirty by
measuring the air flow across it.
As for the cost to replace it, it's fairly labour intensive if done
correctly, and coils aren't cheap.
Go with someone you trust, not necessarily the cheapest guy.
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