My Air Conditioning went :(

Discussion in 'Budget Board' started by punkin, May 27, 2010.

  1. punkin

    punkin <font color=purple>Went through pain just to look

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    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?
     
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  3. mrslur

    mrslur Mouseketeer

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    Maybe it needs freon?
     
  4. MarilIncredible

    MarilIncredible Mouseketeer

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    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.
     
  5. Local_Girl

    Local_Girl DIS Veteran

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    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.
     
  6. punkin

    punkin <font color=purple>Went through pain just to look

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    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.
     
  7. lawone

    lawone Mouseketeer

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    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!
     
  8. iluvdiscruises

    iluvdiscruises Mouseketeer

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    Also, check the filters if you haven't changed them in a while...they may need replacing.
     
  9. Gigi22

    Gigi22 DIS Veteran

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    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!
     
  10. Shyvioletisme

    Shyvioletisme <font color=green>So I have a doppleganger running

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    It needs freon. Also it probably wouldn't hurt to change your filter as well.
     
  11. laurafergie

    laurafergie DIS Veteran

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    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.
     
  12. Suz D

    Suz D DIS Veteran

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    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.
     
  13. Local_Girl

    Local_Girl DIS Veteran

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    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!
     
  14. branv

    branv <font color=blue>The safety feature in my parents

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    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 ;)
     
  15. bootleg89

    bootleg89 Mouseketeer

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    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.
     
  16. tar heel

    tar heel <font color=royalblue>Where will we get our news i

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    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.
     
  17. tar heel

    tar heel <font color=royalblue>Where will we get our news i

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    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.
     
  18. *BTMRR*

    *BTMRR* DIS Veteran

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    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.
     
  19. sissybells

    sissybells <font color=green>"Second star to the right and st

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    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.
     
  20. Praying Colonel

    Praying Colonel DIS Veteran

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    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.
     
  21. Jacoby 46

    Jacoby 46 Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow

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    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
     

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