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Tired of spending cash on my air conditioners Login/Join 
Now in Florida
Picture of ChicagoSigMan
posted
Had my twice yearly service call today and all 3 of my units have leaking evaporator coils. $600 for the regular maintenance, $400 for refrigerant then another $2500 for replacing all 3 coils. This is the second or third replacement coil for each of these units. I think I am averaging replacing 2 coils per year. The units are less than 5 years old. The coils are under warranty but the labor and refrigerant is still crazy expensive.

I've called different companies and they all tell me the same thing. Evaporators coils just don't last in Florida - year round use, salt air, humidity, etc.

I was part of the class action lawsuit against Lennox, but as usually happens, the lawyers made out the best.

Now they tell me i can pay $1500 per unit for "insurance" with a $100 deductible. It will protect me for 5 years. After that the units go out of warranty, and I can replace them and get a new insurance policy. Or it will cost about $2k for parts and labor to replace each coil.

Looks like I need to get a second job to support my AC habit.
 
Posts: 4381 | Location: FL | Registered: March 09, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Striker in waiting
Picture of BurtonRW
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You're going to buy the insurance, right?

$20K over 5 years vs. $5,500 over the same period with only $4,500 up front?

Sucks they can't build a FL-proof condenser, though.

-Rob




I predict that there will be many suggestions and statements about the law made here, and some of them will be spectacularly wrong. - jhe888

A=A
 
Posts: 14450 | Location: Maryland | Registered: March 16, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of lee40215
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Depending on how bad the leak is there are some sealers that have been pretty successful. Are these r22 units or 410. There are also replacement freon that is a lot cheaper than replacing back if r22. Might want to check with another service company I know quite a few people that live in Florida and replacing evap coils hasn't happened to any of them unless they upgraded the whole system
 
Posts: 1005 | Location: Louisville, Kentucky | Registered: August 28, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
The success of a solution usually depends upon your point of view
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That doesn't sound right. I forget were you are in the state but I'm surrounded by saltwater with the ocean, St Johns river and the ICW and we don't have any issues.

The last unit lasted 16 years with no leaks, replaced the entire system when the compressor bit the dust. The new one has been fine for 4+ years now. I can't think of any friends or co-workers who have replace a set of coils recently.

We have some HVAC guys here that may chime in on if this is normal or not.



“Banning guns is like banning forks in an attempt to stop making people fat.” - Vince Vaughn

 
Posts: 2375 | Location: Jacksonville, FL | Registered: September 10, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Ermagherd,
10 Mirrimerter!
Picture of ElKabong
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$4500 for 5 yrs of insurance?
You could swap out two of those outdoor units for that kind of money, and have fresh factory warranties.

What size are the three units?
I'm guessing HP?
 
Posts: 2173 | Location: WV | Registered: September 02, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by ChicagoSigMan:
Had my twice yearly service call today and all 3 of my units have leaking evaporator coils. $600 for the regular maintenance, $400 for refrigerant then another $2500 for replacing all 3 coils. This is the second or third replacement coil for each of these units. I think I am averaging replacing 2 coils per year. The units are less than 5 years old. The coils are under warranty but the labor and refrigerant is still crazy expensive.

I've called different companies and they all tell me the same thing. Evaporators coils just don't last in Florida - year round use, salt air, humidity, etc.

I was part of the class action lawsuit against Lennox, but as usually happens, the lawyers made out the best.

Now they tell me i can pay $1500 per unit for "insurance" with a $100 deductible. It will protect me for 5 years. After that the units go out of warranty, and I can replace them and get a new insurance policy. Or it will cost about $2k for parts and labor to replace each coil.

Looks like I need to get a second job to support my AC habit.


That's Bullshit. I have lived in Florida all 40 years of my life and within a mile or less from the beach. My mother's house is 1/4 mile to the beach and her evaporators go about 10 years. 1/2 a mile from the beach and I had a trane go 22 years. But average lifespan 2 miles or less from the beach in Fort Lauderdale area is 12-14 years. I've never heard of a semi-annual servicing and nobody I know even services them annually. Sounds like the company working on your units is the problem. All 3 should not have leaks, and replacing coils 2-3 times in 5 years?????? and you shouldn't be putting Freon in them every 6 months......What part of FL are you in?

I go outside and rinse the coils on my condensing unit once a month with the garden hose..........But that's it..... I replaced my American Standard unit last year and it was 14 years old and running perfectly and I never touched it in the 3 years I owned the house, it just wasn't big enough.
 
Posts: 14571 | Registered: June 12, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I was 2 blocks from the ocean on Sanibel for 32 years. The first a/c was Trane lasted 17 years no coil failures or anything else, the second American Standard no problems either. My a/c guys did not hold Lennox in high regard. FWIW



For some reason, Islamists are the only racist, sexist, homophobic theocrats the media can't summon outrage against.
 
Posts: 563 | Location: Surrounded by Mountains | Registered: August 27, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I would find another a/c company. But that being said, for the price of the warranty you could COMPLETELY replace one of the units and possibly have cash left over.....I would go that route and the next one with a major failure just replace.....
 
Posts: 14571 | Registered: June 12, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Ammoholic
Picture of Skins2881
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Get a home warranty. I do work for many of them. AHS seems to be the best on what's covered or not. I think it runs about $600 per year with $75 deductible. I know they don't cover Freon, and since I do electrical I am not sure of what's covered with HVAC. Worth looking into at least.



Jesse

A couple SIGs and a few others
 
Posts: 9843 | Location: Loudoun County, Virginia | Registered: December 27, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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" Florida " is not ruining those coils . Something else is going on .
 
Posts: 1324 | Location: The deep South | Registered: February 27, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
That rug really tied
the room together.
Picture of bubbatime
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Your A.C. guy is sabotaging your units. Seriously.

What's do you expect them to say when they show up twice a year for "service calls"?

"This here system is almost brand new and works perfect. Not sure why you keep calling us out, but we will gladly poke a hole in something and charge you $1500 to fix it. "

The fact that you say the coils are under warranty is an even bigger red flag. Guy will gladly find something wrong with them and "replace them under warranty" while you foot the bill.

Yeah I'm being cynical, but I bet I'm right.

They sound like crooks.


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Often times a very small man can cast a very large shadow
 
Posts: 3920 | Location: Floriduh | Registered: October 16, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Needs a bigger boat
Picture of CaptainMike
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I'm 600' from salt water and my entire unit (Goodman Mfg. Co.) is 24 years old and has never had anything replaced but a capacitor. We expect it to keel over dead at any time, but it sounds like you are getting hosed. I have lived in FL for 49 years, owned 4 houses and have NEVER replaced A/C coils (on land).
Our shipboard marine systems last 8-10 years before we start replacing coils/heat exchangers and compressors and are literally immersed in salt water multiple times per year. Most of our air-cooled units currently are Trane industrial.



MOO means NO! Be the comet!
 
Posts: 2444 | Location: Danger Semicircle, FL/GOM | Registered: June 24, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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This is something the Manufacturers plan on, it's called Obsolescence. What really frosts me about this is that Stainless Steel is not at all difficult to work with and specific grades are impervious to nearly any common corrosive environment. Downside is it is less thermally conductive than aluminum but a lot of that can be planned for by using larger heat exchangers and thinner wall tubing. To put it simply it is possible to build a condenser that lasts 20 years without leaking and while the initial cost would be higher the long term savings would put todays products to shame. BTW, in the Furnace world appropriate use of Stainless Steel would result in furnaces that last 50 years or more.

so, next time you are shopping for a thermal conditioning system make sure to ask the seller some difficult questions and when he states that stainless would result in less efficiency tell him that a larger heat exchanger would provide the same efficiency and no increase in kilowatt per BTU hour. Then tell him he is pushing CRAP simply because it allows him to turn over more units. While hes stewing up more excuses tell him you want the unit at 4% over his cost AND you want a 100% warranty on parts, gas, and service for at least 5 years.


I've stopped counting.
 
Posts: 3882 | Location: Michigan | Registered: November 07, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Scooter123:
This is something the Manufacturers plan on, it's called Obsolescence. What really frosts me about this is that Stainless Steel is not at all difficult to work with and specific grades are impervious to nearly any common corrosive environment. Downside is it is less thermally conductive than aluminum but a lot of that can be planned for by using larger heat exchangers and thinner wall tubing. To put it simply it is possible to build a condenser that lasts 20 years without leaking and while the initial cost would be higher the long term savings would put todays products to shame. BTW, in the Furnace world appropriate use of Stainless Steel would result in furnaces that last 50 years or more.

so, next time you are shopping for a thermal conditioning system make sure to ask the seller some difficult questions and when he states that stainless would result in less efficiency tell him that a larger heat exchanger would provide the same efficiency and no increase in kilowatt per BTU hour. Then tell him he is pushing CRAP simply because it allows him to turn over more units. While hes stewing up more excuses tell him you want the unit at 4% over his cost AND you want a 100% warranty on parts, gas, and service for at least 5 years.


Stainless would not be the correct metal to use for this for several reasons. One of those is it can rust and a hole to rust through stainless piping. However copper would last much longer than Aluminum and is what they used to use, but it's not as efficient. Again part of the problem is the EPA and the requirement of higher and higher SEER standards.
 
Posts: 14571 | Registered: June 12, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Go ahead punk, make my day
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Service calls mean bend over and get prepared to take it.

You are being screwed.
 
Posts: 35844 | Registered: July 12, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
A Grateful American
Picture of sigmonkey
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SEER is only an issue because the CFC that were most thermal efficient and least corrosive as well as easier to store and handle were nixed by the good ol' EPA, so they introduce SEER program to continue to have a need and ability to hold the ring in the nose of the AC industry.

It's a tax by another name and a control that keeps the EPA "needed" and bloated.

Big (inefficient, controlling and bloated) government will always be the cause of such ills.

About the time a civilization understands this, a volcano blows up and buries all truth, or some other calamity.

It's all there in the white spaces between the words in every history book.

And stand in front of some Schmo selling units demanding "4% this and 100% that" is going to get one nowhere but out the door, with or without the unit, and/or maybe a little discount.

The guy selling that stuff, likely has only been working there a few months, and will likely be working somewhere else in a couple more.

That's what we have come to expect, sad as that is.

The newer stuff leaks because the practices, and materials used are not as impervious to leaks.

I forget the numbers, but the guy that put in my AC systems 25 years ago, explained the "replacement" refrigerants were smaller molecularly and they will leak. If all things are done correctly, fully cleaned and dried systems, properly charged and then "settled" and charged again, will run much longer, but that they will still leak at a slow rate and require service.

The second thing is that some folks will not call for service when they first become aware of problems, and run them in a low service state and that shortens life.

And yeah, there are the ripoffs that will grab you by the legs if they get a chance, just as any dirtbag will.




"the meaning of life, is to give life meaning" I could explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you.
 
Posts: 36066 | Location: My Happy Little Tire Swing | Registered: December 20, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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No, the newer refrigerant R410, runs at much higher pressures.....on the high side around 400 psi versus around 220 psi for R22, this is mainly why they leak as someone has to be good at braising. Also, the copper line set has to be changed to a much larger size for R 410 (about 2 sizes larger than what R22 used) most installers skip this step. So between old copper lines now operating at almost double the pressure and other things is why there are more leaks.

R410 is actually more efficient from what I've seen. The new R410 units I've been installing on yachts have the same size footprint or even smaller (package units), they have a blower moving almost double the air (volume) and the temperature coming out of the vent is 34F and the old R22 units, best I'd see was 45F with half the airflow.....this is for same size BTU units AND they use less electricity.
 
Posts: 14571 | Registered: June 12, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
I'm 600' from salt water and my entire unit (Goodman Mfg. Co.) is 24 years old and has never had anything replaced but a capacitor. We expect it to keel over dead at any time, but it sounds like you are getting hosed. I have lived in FL for 49 years, owned 4 houses and have NEVER replaced A/C coils (on land).
Our shipboard marine systems last 8-10 years before we start replacing coils/heat exchangers and compressors and are literally immersed in salt water multiple times per year. Most of our air-cooled units currently are Trane industrial.


I do not know much but my own experience. I have lived on the MS Gulf coast for nearly forty years and you are dead on. Salt water can cause problems, but even people on the front beach do not have these issues. I know salt water can cause problems, because when Hurricane Ike came by all the transformers for the power company blew. They were several miles inland and the storm was miles off shore before it hit Texas. Wind driven salt water by strong South wind.
 
Posts: 2512 | Location: MS GULF COAST | Registered: January 02, 2015Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Just because you can,
doesn't mean you should
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Most of the service isn't really needed, especially every 6 months.
Just change the air filter regularly (and don't use the el-cheapo's) and if its cooling well, don't worry.
I have seen more than one A/C guy run the screws back into the sheet metal parts or use screws that are too long and they rub against the coil. Add a few years of vibration and you have a bad coil.
Frequently checking the Freon by hooking up to the ports is more likely to cause a leak than the service is to detect one.
 
Posts: 3401 | Location: North GA | Registered: August 22, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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