Late last summer, I felt my central AC was not cooling adequately. The air
from the registers was only 10-13 degrees F below room temp and the suction
line back to the condenser unit was about room temp (normally it is cold). I
had a tech come out and check it. He found it was low on R22 and put some
in. Cools great.
Now its cooling season again and the unit is behaving as if it is low on
R22. I found this odd since it went for 10 years since last charge up.
I remember that the service port cap, the tech put on was a silvery color,
not the brownish colored original one. I figured he dropped the original one
and lost it in the grass and put on a spare. I never questioned this. Now, I
noticed an oil stain around service ports and suspect it is leaking there. I
removed the cap and notice a slight hiss from the low side service port. I
also notice the cap the repairman replaced has no rubber grommet to help
seal the valve.
While the HVAC service industry is typically honest, It is hard to believe I
wasn't somehow duped with the cap switch.
Is this one of their common tricks?
I'm going to call a different company to fill it again and install a new
If he did not fix, and you can bet if he did not charge you he did not
fix, a leak, he took you. They don't use the stuff, so if you are low,
there is a leak. Just filling it back up would mean someone coming back
again. Maybe he thought you would just keep calling him back each year?
Call some one and let them find and fix the leak.
How old is that puppy? Since it is at least 10 years, and it sounds
like it may be a lot more, it may well be time to consider a new one. A
good tech can help you make that decision.
He only billed me for the R22 charge and time. The way I see it, he is a
professional and he used that service port and it leaks the charge. Whether
this was intentional or not, I can't say. Either way, I feel he is
The unit is 27 years old, It runs fine when there is enough refrigerant in
it! I can't see replacing it until it has an expensive failure.
Impossible. The difference in my electric bill from cooling months to
heating (gas) is avg. $37 in the winter and $90 in the summer cooling
season - avg. difference of $53 per month. I cool for about 5 months, for a
difference of $265 per year, so if I don't run the compresser and just run
the blower in the summer, I save a whopping $265 yr!. Installing a major
240volt appliance that draws a few thousand watts will eat into that
savings. I doubt I'd save more than $10 per month in the cooling months.
It is not possible to pay for a now unit in two years by not even running
the compressor how can I recope the cost of a new AC unit buy running a new
I'm sure the HVAC companies would like to believe I can save so much. It
If you can be comfortable with just the fan, so be it. I feel your logic is
flawed. If you get a new system and run it, your power bill will be less
with the new system over comparable run times of your old system.
Where I'm at we run AC's about 7-8 months because of the humidity as well as
the heat. You may not have the needs we do.
Let me get this straight. You believe the service port has been leaking freon
since the Technician charged the system, 1 YEAR AGO?
How much freon do you think it holds? If it was leaking after he charged the
system, it would be empty 1 year later.
Granted, there are some crooks out there. But remember the saying "shit
That's not the argument. I don't doubt a new system will save money. You
said it would pay for itself in two years. I pointed out using my average
electric bill I could not approach this even if I kept the unit off in the
cooling months. No doubt it would be uncomfortable and I would never
actually go through summer with a fan!
My house is small and my cooling season runs from May through Sept.
I put up the difference in my electric bill from winter average to summer
avg. Other than the condenser unit running, my electrical usage doesn't
change much, yet the AC more than doubles my power usage. However, clearly
not near enough to recoup the costs in two years as other poster said.
A new efficient unit will save money, but over a considerable amount of
time. Not possible over two years. It may be different in other cases.
If he didn't fix the original leak, it's still leaking from your leak.
Sometimes when hoses are removed some residual oil is left around the
service port. You didn't check to see if the cap he had installed was
actually leaking before you removed it so there's no gurantee it was leaking
That's entirely up to you, but I can gurantee you that under normal climate
conditions you would see a dramatic difference in your heating and cooling
bills and in fact your comfort in the home if you would replace it. Newer
units provide much better humidity control and comfort control in addition
to the operating cost advantage.
I don't see any evidence that it is the service port. It could be
leaking anywhere. However it does appear he did not do his job. It has a
leak, it had a leak before he came and that leak needs to be fixed or the
You have a unit almost as old as my son. It is time to replace it
rather than spend the money to have the leak tracked down and fixed. Keep
in mind that today's units are more efficient and the replacement is going
to pay for itself in energy savings. They are more efficient now.
Don't try doing the cheap thing and replace only the condenser, replace
the system so you get full advantage of the newer more efficient systems
I checked the new service valve cap and it is aluminum with no rubber washer
inside. It looks slightly dirty/corroded, so I give it a good chance to be
the culprit. As you say, it could leak from elsewhere. Given the valve is
leaking heavily (blows soap bubbles when I checked), the system is relying
on the cap to seal it.
The system is old, but I'd like to get another year or two from it. See my
other post of why I doubt I will recoup much of the cost of a new system.
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