View Full Version : N/M Home A/C Question

August 8th, 2004, 08:18 AM
My upstairs A/C unit is not cooling. I called ARS and they told me the evaporator coil is bad and quoted a price of $2200 to replace. I called another company, A-1 Top Services, for a 2nd option, they said the same thing and gave me a price of $1900.

The evaporator coil is a 5 ton unit. ARS would use a Carrier and A-1 an American Standard.

I KNOW NOTHING about A/C's. I have been trying to do some price discovery on the internet with no success.

Does anyone know if these prices seem reasonable?


[ August 08, 2004, 09:19: Message edited by: Charles Nevle ]

August 8th, 2004, 10:55 AM
Do you know if the outside 'compressor' for the upstairs unit is running or is it just the fan motor? The compressor is the big black hermetically-sealed device inside the evaporator. They usually vibrate a bit when running. If you can't tell, try removing the small access panel and feel the compressor to see if it is operating. There may be a switch that turns off the unit if the access panel is removed, so you might have to bypass it by depressing it with a screwdriver. Be careful, 220v is running through that area and it will stop your heart flat!

The coils (condenser/evap) are just big radiators and rarely go bad unless there is a pinhole leak. 85% of all AC problems are 'electrical'. Ususally, a $30 contactor (switch) goes bad and doesn't engage the compressor motor. The outside fan runs, the indoor blower motor runs and nothing comes out except warm air. A/C companies are notorious for selling evap coils when not necessary :mad: . People are desperate, it's summer so they pay it.

If the compressor is running, indoor and outdoor fans are running and still no cold air...YES your coil 'may' be bad. There are still 1 or 2 other items that could cause this (clogged filter, blocked metering device, etc...). Hope this helps, call me at 832-868-6109 if you have questions. I'm not a professional AC mechanic but took 2 years at SanJac as a career fallback and know my way around a unit fairly well.

Brian Montgomery
August 8th, 2004, 05:22 PM
Well being that I know quite a bit about ACs since I was a commercial AC guy, I can tell you that yes indeed, the coils do go bad Aaron. And on quite many occations. I replaced Louis's Last year. They tend to leak at the end plates where the elboes are soldered on. The plates move with vibration from the fans as over time and wear through the copper tubes. The most common failure of coils. Evaporators last around 7 or so years if they are from a brand new home since they usually use crappy parts. Like Janitrol/Goodman...(Sorry Tony S.) tongue.gif But others can last 10-15 yrs with proper maintenance. If you want to be sure of a leak at the coils, ask the tech to show you the leak detector and to identify where the leak is if you think you are getting douped. But I doubt it. As for the parts, American Standard and Trane are the same company...Carrier/Reem are the same as well. Carrier commercial products are good but the residental stuff is not the best of quality. Go with Amana, or Tempstar if you want some of the best quality stuff. It really isn't much more. But the range of 1200-1700 is about the price you should be paying for a coil install depending on how difficult it is to replace. Sometimes some attics have access problems and expect to pay more for those. You could call my Uncles Company that he sold. They can get you set up perhaps a bit cheaper. Look them up, the name is ALL POINTS AC in Deer Park. It might be worth trying to save some cash.

August 8th, 2004, 05:45 PM
I guess 'rarely' was too strong of a term to use on the failure rate so I stand corrected . redface.gif

I'm sticking with the advice about the contactors tho :D .

August 8th, 2004, 08:31 PM
Thanks for the info Aaron and Brian. Both of the contactors said that they had found a leak, so it sounds legit. After ARS came by I did a BBB check on them. Not good. That's when I called the other guys.

Anyway, I appreciate both of you educating me on the subject. Bottom line I did not want to be paying to put in the dreaded 'flux capacitor'. Thanks again.

August 8th, 2004, 10:05 PM
Goodman owns Amana A/C and heating and now produces them at the company Brian....I no longer am with the ****-hole company but these are facts you should know. Charles if you want price over value then give me a call...713 480 8489 and I'll set you up with a Service man direct from the A/C Factory. (No middle man to take your dough.)