PDA

View Full Version : My Air Conditioning went :(


punkin
05-27-2010, 07:34 AM
on what is supposed to be the hottest day of the year so far. I am dreading calling the AC guy. I have a feeling this will not be cheap.

Everything works-air comes out of the vents, but for some reason the house is not cooling down. Does anyone have any ideas that I might be able to check myself before I call the repairman?

mrslur
05-27-2010, 07:38 AM
Maybe it needs freon?

MarilIncredible
05-27-2010, 07:43 AM
How old is the unit? Our broke down in July 2 years ago, but I think the unit was from the early 1980s (no idea how it lasted as long as it did). The techs who came out to install our new system had never seen one like it.

Ours was blowing air, but the air was warm and not cooling down the house, too. It was an expensive replacement, but our energy bills are cheaper now b/c the new unit is WAY more efficient.

Local_Girl
05-27-2010, 07:44 AM
I feel your pain, or should I say your "heat" too...our AC isn't cooling properly either. We're renters and called the landlord 2 days ago, but haven't heard a thing since. We won't have to pay for a service call (if it ever happens--grr), but the AC has been working overtime to keep the house livable so our energy costs will spike. We seem to have the same problem, and also suspect the freon.

punkin
05-27-2010, 07:48 AM
I replaced the heating/AC unit 7 years ago, so it's still fairly "new" but of course, out of warranty.

Is there an easy way to check if it's freon and replace that myself? Last month was not good budget-wise (dental work, dog with two ear infections, travel for college visits) and I have a vacation planned for next month so I really would like to do this on the cheap if possible.

lawone
05-27-2010, 07:49 AM
Log on now and buy yourself a home warranty!!! Same thing happened to us. We bought a warranty (about $400) thru First American Homebuyers.

The warranty is good IMMEDIATELY upon payment. The technician came out and we need freon, had a couple of small leaks and a bad coil. Total cost for us: $55 service fee!!! Total cost w/o home warranty: $600 + labor....

It is worth it!

iluvdiscruises
05-27-2010, 08:04 AM
on what is supposed to be the hottest day of the year so far. I am dreading calling the AC guy. I have a feeling this will not be cheap.

Everything works-air comes out of the vents, but for some reason the house is not cooling down. Does anyone have any ideas that I might be able to check myself before I call the repairman?

Also, check the filters if you haven't changed them in a while...they may need replacing.

Gigi22
05-27-2010, 08:07 AM
For the OP--have you checked the obvious? Check to make sure that the fuses or circuit breakers for your a/c unit are on. Go outside and stand by your external a/c unit and make sure that the external unit is running. There is a possibility that the cool air coming from the vents is just cooler basement air being circulated by the blower in your furnace. After that, I'm afraid you will need to place a service call.
Just went through the drill myself yesterday (humidex here was at 100 degrees F.), so it is all fresh in my memory. We're having a heating and a/c company come in later today to give us an estimate for replacing both our furnace and a/c. We're being told that the average life expectancy of a gas furnace is 20 years, for central a/c/ 15 years.
I feel your pain!

Shyvioletisme
05-27-2010, 08:24 AM
It needs freon. Also it probably wouldn't hurt to change your filter as well.

laurafergie
05-27-2010, 08:53 AM
Go outside and check to make sure that the water drip thing from the AC unit is not blocked. Our dog dug a hole once, blocked the drain thing and the outside unit froze up. All it took was to turn it off, unblock the drain and the HVAC guy sprayed down the unit and the lines with the water hose until it unfroze - had cool air in about an hour.

Suz D
05-27-2010, 08:58 AM
The technician came out and we need freon, had a couple of small leaks and a bad coil.


This was our problem as well and I'm guessing it's the same with yours. Our unit was defective and they said we'd just need to put freon in it every other year or so. It was about $150.00 for the freon but it was a weekend and they had to travel a long way to our house.

Now the laws have changed and I don't believe they can just replace the freon anymore. Your fix may be more expensive.

Local_Girl
05-27-2010, 09:04 AM
Forgot to mention in my previous post, but did you check to be sure the condenser unit outside is free of debris, surrounding plants, vines, etc.? Also, wanted to mention that if it is a freon issue, it would be due to a leak of some sort, because the unit doesn't "consume" freon. In this case, you'd need a pro to check it out to find/fix the leak and replace the freon. Good luck!

branv
05-27-2010, 09:16 AM
It could just be your run capacitor. Ours did the same thing last summer, it was blowing air, but it was warm air at 9 pm on a Saturday in record 100 degree temps! :scared1: Luckily there was a guy willing to come out that night, and by 11 pm we had cold air and the cost was about $250. That's still not money you want to spend, but WAY cheaper than some of the other options. I read that it's one of the most common problems, and our HVAC guy told us that due to the high temps they'd been "popping" all over our subdivision. He'd been out there multiple times that month.

Edited to add: just for information, our run capacitor looked oddly like one of those energy drink cans, though I think they all can look different. When the guy showed us the bad part, it literally looked all bulged out from where it just popped. This run capacitor is in the outside unit, and the guy never even had to come into the house. Just saying, given it's low cost to replace, I'd make sure it's one of the first thing HVAC checks before they start poking around in the pricier stuff ;)

bootleg89
05-27-2010, 09:18 AM
I'm having the same exact problem.
As PP mentioned make sure the unit outside is still working and that the fan on the ac unit is running. I spoke to a family friend yesturday, he asked me these same questions and then told me that he was willing to bet it was either in need of freon or the compressor. He said if it was the compressor we were looking at $200 for the part. If freon, cheaper. Lucky for us he's only charging us parts not labor. He's coming this evening to take a look at it.
I asked about just changing the unit out and he said he didn't think it was necessary. Just the repair for now and if need be change it out next spring.
Feeling very fortunate to know some one in the business who won't try to sell us the most expansive repair.
Good Luck.

tar heel
05-27-2010, 09:52 AM
Is it frozen over -- often that happens when it needs freon. I don't think this is a do-it-yourself job unless you have an HVAC background or are really handy.

We started the warm season with both of our air conditioners not working, so I understand your pain. The tech really thought we should replace the downstairs one and said the upstairs one is living on borrowed time. Still, I chose to spend $800 instead of $10,000 plus.

tar heel
05-27-2010, 09:56 AM
This was our problem as well and I'm guessing it's the same with yours. Our unit was defective and they said we'd just need to put freon in it every other year or so. It was about $150.00 for the freon but it was a weekend and they had to travel a long way to our house.

Now the laws have changed and I don't believe they can just replace the freon anymore. Your fix may be more expensive.

They can still put freon in, but there are some things that cannot be replaced without upgrading everything. I can't remember the details, but it's an issue with our upstairs unit -- not allowed to actually fix everything that's wrong. So far, we've been able to get away with doing the freon once a year.

*BTMRR*
05-27-2010, 10:02 AM
I think someone suggested checking the circuit breaker. Our ac was just blowing room temperature air and my neighbor said to check the circuit breaker; sure enough just had to reset the switch and no more problems.

sissybells
05-27-2010, 10:22 AM
This happened to us and it was the filter. Just needed to be changed and it's been working great ever since. We change the filter now every month. The AC guy told us to just use the cheapy filters too. Hope it works out.

Praying Colonel
05-27-2010, 10:29 AM
We had similar problems with our 20-year old A/C unit. It would blow a fuse attached to the unit and/or flip breakers. Finally it stopped blowing fuses/flipping breakers but just wouldn't cool. They put a "hard start kit" on it to help the compressor get going. The repairman said it was not a long-term fix and the unit was on its last legs, but we were able to nurse the unit along for a couple of years until we sold our house. Saved us from having to spend big $ on a new unit.

Jacoby 46
05-27-2010, 11:29 AM
We had the same problem just last week...air was coming out but not cooling down the house. We had a small leak in the valve which was why our freon was so low and had to have more of it. Our AC guy fixed the leak and refilled the freon and now it works perfectly and is so much cooler in the house!

Thankfully our AC guy is my brother in law so all is good there!! :thumbsup2

punkin
05-27-2010, 11:51 AM
OK, I will check everything suggested and let you know what happens, but I can feel my wallet shrinking anyway. ;)

tavettava
05-27-2010, 12:04 PM
I'm right there with you. Our's is making a buzzing noise when we turn it on and no air is coming out of the vents. Our's is 16 years old and probably needs to be replaced since we have been having problems with it for the last few years.

dis-happy
05-27-2010, 12:16 PM
For the OP--have you checked the obvious? Check to make sure that the fuses or circuit breakers for your a/c unit are on. Go outside and stand by your external a/c unit and make sure that the external unit is running.


Yes, THIS! My friend didn't listen to me when I told her to check the circuit breaker out by her heat pump....she wasn't too happy paying $85. to have the guy flip the switch for her. You never know....good luck!

crjack
05-27-2010, 12:42 PM
OK, I will check everything suggested and let you know what happens, but I can feel my wallet shrinking anyway. ;)

Wishing you the best of luck! I could have written your post....our a/c is a big lemon and only 5 years old. Here in Boston we just had 2 hot, humid days and it was awful in our house.

Of course our vet bills were insane as well from a torn ACL in our lab mix dog so we are living parallel lives and budgets right now!

I hope you are able to get it repaired without breaking the bank.

punkin
05-27-2010, 12:50 PM
I just flipped the circuit breaker (but it looked OK) and cleared grass from around the unit outside. DH has been out of town and no one had mown the grass. I just turned it on and closed the windows. Air is definitely blowing, but we will see if the house cools down. I am keeping an eye on the thermostat.

mrodgers
05-27-2010, 12:54 PM
Good luck with figuring out the AC. Yesterday was 88 F outside and..... 88 F in the house. Wish I had the problem of trying to fix the AC, I don't have AC.

Actually I do, but we are leaving in 2 weeks for Disneyworld and I don't want to have to take it back out of the window so we can secure the house. Also, it's only hot for 1 week. Next week it should be back to normal 75ish out. Disneyworld this year, possibly central AC next year. More than likely, a car replacement though instead of AC next year. It's tough getting out of debt after 9 years of kids growing up and 1 income. 10 years in the house without AC.....

punkin
05-27-2010, 01:02 PM
Good luck with figuring out the AC. Yesterday was 88 F outside and..... 88 F in the house. Wish I had the problem of trying to fix the AC, I don't have AC.

Actually I do, but we are leaving in 2 weeks for Disneyworld and I don't want to have to take it back out of the window so we can secure the house. Also, it's only hot for 1 week. Next week it should be back to normal 75ish out. Disneyworld this year, possibly central AC next year. More than likely, a car replacement though instead of AC next year. It's tough getting out of debt after 9 years of kids growing up and 1 income. 10 years in the house without AC.....

I don't actually mind the lack of AC (I grew up in a NYC apt in the '70s-no AC and hot and humid!). At least here there are some shade trees and a breeze. However, my DH is a wilting violet in the heat and my poor doggy is panting up a storm. :laughing: Besides, it is supposed to cool down tonight after heavy rains come through.

PHXscuba
05-27-2010, 02:35 PM
Same thing happened to us two weeks ago -- fan on the heat pump was blowing up a storm but the air was just regular air. It turned out to be the capacitor and they also replaced a partly melted part (AZ is hard on anything plastic outdoors. It wasn't horrid, only $300.

This time it was better than a few years ago (in 110-degree July) when DH let the filters get too dirty:mad: and we ended up with a 200-lb. block of ice in our upstairs unit. We had to turn the whole thing off for 36 hours to let it melt. We stayed with family and had to empty the turtle aquarium and bring it downstairs so we didn't end up with turtle soup!:eek:

If you check your filters and they're really dirty, try turning the whole unit off for about 24 hours (if you can stand it) and replacing the filter. It just might work!

Hope you have a cheap outcome,
PHXscuba

punkin
05-27-2010, 02:53 PM
Well, it did not work. 2 hours later and it is still 84 degrees in the house. DH changed the filter about 3 weeks ago, but I will have him do it again when he gets home. The heat is supposed to stop today so I will wait to call the AC guy until tomorrow. Maybe they'll come out sometime next week (which is supposed to be pleasant temperature wise).

tlh0726
05-27-2010, 10:54 PM
we have 2 ac units for our house. The one for the upstairs (bedrooms) is doing the same thing. The house was built in 2003. I am not looking forward to calling them tomorrow morning. I am going to go try shutting the circuit breaker off and on.

tlh0726
05-29-2010, 09:54 AM
Flipping the circuit breaker did not work.
Had them come out to take a look at the unit. Needed freon $135.95 which included the service call and freon.
For an additional $80 the guy could have put a dye pack in. Waited a week or so and then come back out for an additional charge to use UV light to find the leak.
Ask the guy what he would do and he said if it took 7 years to leak out chances are it would be to small for them to find. So we did the freon only and will see how long it lasts.

Now dealing with a duet washer which quit draining yesterday afternoon!!
Bought in 2003 also.

punkin
06-03-2010, 07:53 AM
just wanted to update in case anyone is interested. The system had no coolant in it at all. Apparently it was a huge leak due to a loosened bolt. No clue how or why it loosened. The good news is, there was really no repair necessary. The bad news is that the coolant and service call cost me $500. I guess I got off easy.

Gigi22
06-03-2010, 08:00 AM
Good for you!

Janet Hill
06-03-2010, 08:29 AM
just wanted to update in case anyone is interested. The system had no coolant in it at all. Apparently it was a huge leak due to a loosened bolt. No clue how or why it loosened. The good news is, there was really no repair necessary. The bad news is that the coolant and service call cost me $500. I guess I got off easy.

whoa!

We live in NOVA and my husband does HVAC side work and I think he needs to up his prices. No wonder his "regulars" wait for him.

punkin
06-03-2010, 09:02 AM
whoa!

We live in NOVA and my husband does HVAC side work and I think he needs to up his prices. No wonder his "regulars" wait for him.

Almost all of the cost was for the coolant. Apparently I needed over 7lb of the stuff.

Local_Girl
06-03-2010, 09:34 AM
I posted some ideas earlier in the thread...we are still waiting for the HVAC guy to come, and he'll be here in 2 days. :rolleyes: In the meantime, our unit totally shut down 2 days ago, and upon inspection (by DH) it had totally frozen over. Turns out DH had recently changed the filter and put in one of those thicker, supposedly "better" filters. Apparently, it was so thick, there was no air going through it, lol. Worthless. :sad2: Anyway, a quick change to a cheapy filter and some melting time, and the unit is back up and running. It still isn't cooling well, so I think we do need freon, but I just wanted to mention the filter issue, because it really created a problem for us.