Just wondering if there's a rule-of-thumb on replacing vs. repairing central A/C
My home in MA is 8 years old, and has a (rather cheesy looking) "Concord" system
installed when it was built. Last night it
stopped cooling - the inside & outside fans run, but no compressor sound, warm
air, and the lights dim every 30 seconds or so
like the thermal overload is cycling. I shut it down last night and tried again
in the AM with same symptoms.
So I guess the real question is, if it comes down to replacing outside unit +
inside coil vs. just replacing the compressor
(do people even do this any more?), what's the best choice? I assume the newer
units are more efficient, but how long would
it take to recoup an additional $1000 or $1500 cost?
Wouldja beleive it doesn't even have a start cap?
I opened it up for a few quick checks this morning. Motor has 3 leads, one goes
to L1, one goes to L2, 3rd goes to L2 via a
40uF cap (which measured 39uF on my multimeter). By L1 and L2 I mean after the
contactor, it's a 2-pole so both sides of the
line are switched. The fan of course is after the contactor too and it runs
fine, so to me that rules out the contactor.
Wiring diagram shows a start relay and cap with dotted lines and a notation "if
equipped", doesn't look like mine is!
Do you know how completely ridiculous *that* sounds?
A "start" cap is paired with a relay, is in the circuit when starting, then
when the motor's up to speed the relay opens and current no longer flows
through the cap.
A "run" cap is in the circuit all the time, which is the case with my unit.
Doesn't much sound like a compressor. Likely an electrical
problem or you've sprung a refrigerant leak.
If it worked OK before, you wanna identify the problem.
Call a HVAC technician unless you've got a friend that
can troubleshoot AC properly.
"Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens!"
At 8 years, it is well worth repairing. Could be a simple fix for a couple
of hundred as opposed to a few thousand for a new system. As for the
additional cost of energy efficiency, just run the numbers. $1500 may not
take all that long over the 15 year life of the system., especially at MA
No doubt you have checked for a reset button on the unit. If not,
It appears you are jumping to conclusions without sufficient
information to make a decision. I'd suggest you get some
professional advice and then make a decision.
It could be something simple to fix, do not jump to conclusions, & if
they condemn the compressor get several Tech's troubleshooting opinions.
The actual operating efficiency of the new higher SEER units depend on a
lot of factors.
All the factors affecting efficiency have to be right to ever get the
rated SEER efficiencies!
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