I have a 8 year old York AC unit (10 SEER) in my house. Last week when I strated it up, there was no cold air. I had a tech come in early this morning and he found no freon pressure in the system. He pumped some freon and used a leak detector to determine leak (s) at the evaporator coil. There was a lot of rusting around the leak(s) so he said that an attempt to fix it could backfire. I asked him about the solutions to this problem and he proposed following
Option 1) Charge the system and live through this summer - runs the risk of recharging depending upon the rate of leak. Price estimate $100
Option 2) There is a lot of rust around evaporator coil so replace the evaporator coil. Since the requirements have changed, he suggested that replacing coil will also mean replacing the condensor unit (both 13 SEER) to ensure compatability. Price estimate ~$3000 for parts and labor.
Option 3) This evenig I called an authorized York dealer and he said that they still can replace the 10 SEER evaporator coil for a price of ~1000 (not to exceed $1200) part and labor. They will not sell the coil seprately (I guess warranty issues??). Since the furnace and coil is located in the attaic, he said that this job would involve 4-6 hours of labor and following steps a) recovery of freon from the system b) Replacement of evaporator coil c) leak testing and evacuation d) Freon charge and testing The new evaporator coil will come with 5-years warranty and if I want to have it replaced, he will come out to take measurements. The coil is likely to be a stock item or can be ordered and received in a couple of days.
I am reluctant to go with option 1 of freon charge as it is a environmental and health hazard. So far option 3 seems the best as it is cheaper and fixes the problem that needs to be fixed. However, the life of the condensor does bring up some questions i.e. has the low freon pressure caused some damege? How long would a condensor unit last? If the condensor unit breaks down, would that mean replacement of the evaporator coil again as the new standars have jumped to 13 SEER?
I was wondering if the experts on this forum can comment on the pricing of these options and offer advice on the options/concerns to deal with this issue.