Learning Curve or Someone Needs to Write a New Homeowners Guide

I currently live in the first house I’ve ever bought. We’ve lived here for 4 years. It will be 5 years in October. We’ve had our a/c serviced before under the Home Owners Warranty that we purchased. (The seller bought the first year, and we paid for 2 years after that.) He just said it needed freon, charged it up and away we went with a/c. Well last summer the a/c didn’t seem to be doing its best. On really hot days it would not turn off, it ran 24/7.

This summer and today is June 17, 2016, and on the last week of 95 degree weather the a/c only cooled the house down to 77 rather than our favorite setting of 72. (We set the temp at 72 and leave it there year round.) The inside unit was also leaking water. So my husband and I bit the bullet and called an HVAC company. (I’m tempted to put the name of the company we called, but I’ve been telling word of mouth which company it was.)

As far as I know and I know very little about owning a home, I called and asked for my a/c to be serviced, you know, like a tune-up on a car and maybe find out why the inside unit was leaking and why the a/c wasn’t cooling down the house all the way (I was prepared for being told it was probably because it was really hot outside.) I was informed it would be $95 for the service call.

First thing the a/c guy tells me is: In Missouri that a/c units are only made for 95 degrees. When it is 95 degrees outside the unit won’t turn off. If a higher degree was used then it would make the walls sweat. 

Second thing the guy tells me is: I need to replace my programmable thermostat with a non-programmable one and start turning the temp down to 68 at night and back up to 72 in the morning. Dafuq? (I actually looked this up after the guy left and the closest information I could find to this was you set your temp to 68 in the WINTER and 75 in the SUMMER, nothing about changing it nightly. I got my information from: Department of Energy: Thermostats)

So he checks the temperature in my ducts, and pulls the drain hose off (he didn’t put it back on though) says to me that the drain pan is probably rusted and has a hole in it and that my coils are probably rusted too. (Coils are made from aluminum, had to google this one after the fact too. So they don’t rust.)

He pulls out the filter (which we had just replaced) and says the filter is too restrictive, that I need a filter with grooves large enough to put my fingers into. So we go outside and look at the condenser unit, he tells me its dirty, I agree. I tell him I know nothing about cleaning them. (Now this is a service call, so I fully expect him to clean it.) He says he can do it, but it will cost $79 extra on top of the $95 that I’m being charged for him to come out. Wait. What? He also tells me that he can replace my thermostat for $150 extra on top of the $95 dollars that I’m being charged for him to come out. He bleeds off some freon, tells me the pressure is within range of what it is supposed to be. Tells me that a hose has been shrunk down to a smaller size and that could be the reason that my a/c isn’t cooling the house. Makes no suggestion of replacing the hose.

So he gives me 3 options:

  1. Pay the extra $79 for him to perform “maintenance” which means hose off the condenser unit.
  2. Pay him to replace the thermostat.
  3. Buy a new a/c unit.
Nowhere was I actually told that anything was broken or bad or on its last legs. He told me the unit was old and should be replaced. So he leaves and about an hour and a half later the a/c cycles and then shuts off. I’m in a panic. I do everything I’m certain I’ll be asked if I’ve done, turned everything off then on, replaced the batteries on the thermostat. Nothing works. The fan will turn on but the condenser unit won’t. So I call the a/c repair company back and tell them that the technician was here a couple hours ago and now the a/c won’t work at all. I fully expected them to send the technician back out, I even called in late to work. Instead they kept telling me over the phone that the technician’s notes state the unit is old and should be replaced. They would be MORE than happy to send out a “comfort adjustor” to give me a free estimate for a new unit. That was this company’s story and they were sticking to it.
I’ll never use them again, and I’ve been telling everyone who will listen how bad their customer service was and how their technician was giving out misinformation. I left a bad review and read some of the other bad reviews, they were the same problems. Rather than fix the unit (wasn’t just a/c but furnaces and hot water heaters too) they wanted to replace it and from what I read, rather inflated prices. How is this company still in business?
So I called another HVAC company and told them over the phone, I have an old unit, it leaks, I want to know why it leaks, and I’m not interested in buying a new unit. The lady was polite, said no problem, and set up the appointment.
My a/c has been working again, not well, but it does work. The thermostat had been factory reset to 85 degrees which was why the unit shut off. It had reached the ‘desired’ temperature.
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Author: Ransacked Turnip

I'm a dreamer, a coffee drinker, and a lover of animals.

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