October 19, 2010

AC has AC troubles

This post is about air conditioning. Don't feel pressured to read it. However, if you know anything about air conditioning, or know someone who knows someone, please continue. Also, if you want to read someone else complain, press on. 

On July 13th, our air went out. Our house was still under the warranty from our seller's, and the warranty company sent out a repairman from AirGo. Let's call him Mr. A. He arrived and found that our fuse to the outside condenser had been tripped. He fixed it, and went on his way. 

On July 19th, we were not getting air upstairs and called him back. He returned, and replaced our upstairs damper, which controls air flow between the up and down stairs. 

On July 21st, we were still not getting air throughout the house. He returned and installed a new control panel, with the diagnosis that the control panel was not properly cutting the air on and off. 

On July 30th, I was out of town, and Chris called me to say there was no air. I called a new company at this point, mostly because our warranty had expired and because I no longer trusted AirGo. 

I called Landmark Heating and Air, and they came out that evening. We'll call him Mr. L. He found no air running, and he found a bad dual capacitor in the outside condenser. He replaced that part, and the air ran properly. 

On August 2nd, the air went out. Mr. L came back. When he arrived the unit was running properly; although, it had not been earlier in the day. He spent a lot of time looking at the system, and found that the zone control panel was using the system transformer, and the cover on the control panel says that the system needs two transformers to run properly. We only had one. He disconnected the upstairs damper (the one we had replaced), and left both dampers open all the time. He said that the system would work fine this way until we needed to run the heat, and then we would need the upstairs damper to close on command. He suggested that when we are ready to turn the heat on, he will come back, reconnect the damper and install a second transformer.

Last night, October 18th, the air went out. I called Landmark after hours, and they sent out Mr. L2. He found the unit and pipes to be frozen. He was able to thaw it, and found the unit low on freon, which he filled. Then he performed a Leak Search (I capitalize it because the cost of it must require it.), and he found a leak in the cooling coils. He said with the refilled freon, we would be able to have cool air until the freon ran out again through the leak and everything froze. This could be days, months or years, as he couldn't predict how fast or large the leak is. 

I have intentionally left out prices from this long and sad story, but let me tell you that a cooling coil is more than our monthly mortgage. 

We told him we would think about the cooling coil, but as we had cool air for the night, we sent him on his way.

Is it really possible that all of these parts have broken in three months?

To review, we've replaced:
  1. Upstairs damper
  2. control panel
  3. dual capacitor 
  4. The threat of a second transformer (although not purchased)
  5. And now, the threat of cooling coils
Have we been duped? Do any of these people know what they are talking about? My only hesitance from suing all of them is that after each one came out, the air did work for another period of time. On all of the receipts, it says "Now running properly." And it was.

Feel free to click on COMMENTS below and sound off about your own home repairs, any suggestions for us, and your credit card number if you want to donate to our cause. If you need something to write in the memo line, the foundation is named, "The Keep Chris Cool and Complaining Free Foundation"


  1. OH NO!! I can't believe it has happened AGAIN!
    I have zero air conditioner knowledge, but as always, our house is open if you need it.

  2. OMG. I can't stand this. I think we must do some serious sage smudging.

  3. Well... God forbid you have another problem... but if you do, our neighbor owns a heating/air business, is very nice and does most of his business in Memphis. A/C's are not fun and I hope all of the problems are resolved!!!

  4. Just to point out..all of this was because of me. Allison is cold natured and is perfectly comfortable sleeping in the upper 70’s (Thanks Jenny and Jan). Most people in October open their windows and enjoy the 65 degree breeze. Much to Allison’s delight, Mr.L2 pointed this fact out while he kindly informed us he did not mind working the late shift and receiving a $4k+ paycheck for his efforts. Unfortunately, I require subarctic temperatures to sleep. My only reprieve is that it would have happened eventually and potentially caused water damage. Thank goodness we caught it early and thank you Allison for your patients and willingness to accommodate my warm nature. If you could stop sleeping fully clothed in a coat though that would be nice.

  5. We had to replace our coil and outside unit this summer. The ac man tried to tell me nothing was wrong (after the 4th trip out) and I told him that was unacceptable and to recheck everything. He came back saying the freon had all leaked out. He fixed it and it has been working great ever since I dropped $8k. INSANE! Good luck with your ac men!


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