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-   -   Had an Aire-Flo AC installed, looking for opinions (http://www.diychatroom.com/f17/had-aire-flo-ac-installed-looking-opinions-108336/)

mikemcd 06-21-2011 10:09 AM

Had an Aire-Flo AC installed, looking for opinions on unit & problems
 
I'm usually pretty good about doing my own research and educating myself about any major product purchases, but I was sort of in panic mode with my dead AC unit (super hot week, newborn in the house, etc) that I just went with what the hvac company suggested. Now I'm trying to find out if I got a fair deal or not (leaning towards not) and also get some opinions on the problems that have followed since the new unit went in.

I had an old Carrier unit, about 25 years old so I knew it was just a matter of time before it was no longer serviceable. I had a reputable company come out and find the problem, which of course turned out to be the unit was really old and deteriorated, had leaks, wasn't worth fixing, would probably leak again soon, etc. I had already had one company try to fix it and the repairs only held for a month, so I knew it was about time for a replacement.

The company installed this Aire-Flo unit:
http://www.openpathdesign.com/random/IMG_0293.jpg
Model 13ACD-036-230-15

I paid $3,500 for the complete job, from the initial diagnostic of the old unit and complete system inspection to the finished install of the new one.

I'm thinking I overpaid a bit, although not sure how much. I couldn't find any definitive info on the retail cost of this unit, but I'm guessing half the total cost went to the unit and the rest went to labor, freon, and the system diagnostic where the guys were crawling around in the attic looking for any other leaks in the lines and blower unit.

I had the unit running for about 2 weeks, no problems, seemed much quieter than the old Carrier unit and produced slightly more cool air at the vents.

Two nights ago I woke up around 3am to the sound of the outside unit revving up louder than usual. It would progressively get louder for about 20 seconds and then quickly return to normal operating sound levels. About a minute later it would repeat. I shut it down for a couple of hours, turned it back on in the morning, and it seemed to run fine. That afternoon, it was producing no cool air. Hot air was blowing from the vents.

I called the company, they came out and detected a leak in the attic blower unit, which is maybe 5 years old. It's a great Carrier unit, and this company told me it was in excellent condition.

They were about to repair the leak in one of the coils, basically just soldering over the hole, and so far things seem to be running smoothly.

Here are my questions:

1. Based on the unit and what I paid, how good or bad of a deal do you think I got?

2. Is it just a coincidence that 2 weeks after the new unit was installed, my perfectly good attic blower sprung a leak? I paid them to fix that leak. Wondering if somehow the installation was the cause of it and I shouldn't have paid. They didn't do any work on the blower, so I'm not sure how they could have caused the leak, unless the new unit was somehow incompatible in some way with the blower.

3. Any thoughts on Aire-Flo in general? My online searches suggest they're a middle-of-the-road unit, standard efficiency, nothing special but not bad. Is that accurate?

4. The freon lean in the attic unit was significant. The technician sprayed soapy water on the coil and it bubbled quickly. I could hear it bubbling as I came up the attic stairs, before I was even close enough to the unit to see it. Having a baby in the house, is there any health risk with a leak? Should I be regularly inspecting the coils myself for any new potential leaks?

Thanks!

vln 06-21-2011 12:37 PM

No health risk, the new freon, R410A is completely environmentally safe.

Your coil sprung a leak because R410A is kept at a very high pressure and your old coil couldn't handle it.

A good company wouldn't have charged you for the new coil, just to keep your business.

yuri 06-21-2011 05:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mikemcd (Post 671256)
I'm usually pretty good about doing my own research and educating myself about any major product purchases, but I was sort of in panic mode with my dead AC unit (super hot week, newborn in the house, etc) that I just went with what the hvac company suggested. Now I'm trying to find out if I got a fair deal or not (leaning towards not) and also get some opinions on the problems that have followed since the new unit went in.

I had an old Carrier unit, about 25 years old so I knew it was just a matter of time before it was no longer serviceable. I had a reputable company come out and find the problem, which of course turned out to be the unit was really old and deteriorated, had leaks, wasn't worth fixing, would probably leak again soon, etc. I had already had one company try to fix it and the repairs only held for a month, so I knew it was about time for a replacement.

The company installed this Aire-Flo unit:
http://www.openpathdesign.com/random/IMG_0293.jpg
Model 13ACD-036-230-15

I paid $3,500 for the complete job, from the initial diagnostic of the old unit and complete system inspection to the finished install of the new one.

I'm thinking I overpaid a bit, although not sure how much. I couldn't find any definitive info on the retail cost of this unit, but I'm guessing half the total cost went to the unit and the rest went to labor, freon, and the system diagnostic where the guys were crawling around in the attic looking for any other leaks in the lines and blower unit.

I had the unit running for about 2 weeks, no problems, seemed much quieter than the old Carrier unit and produced slightly more cool air at the vents.

Two nights ago I woke up around 3am to the sound of the outside unit revving up louder than usual. It would progressively get louder for about 20 seconds and then quickly return to normal operating sound levels. About a minute later it would repeat. I shut it down for a couple of hours, turned it back on in the morning, and it seemed to run fine. That afternoon, it was producing no cool air. Hot air was blowing from the vents.

I called the company, they came out and detected a leak in the attic blower unit, which is maybe 5 years old. It's a great Carrier unit, and this company told me it was in excellent condition.

They were about to repair the leak in one of the coils, basically just soldering over the hole, and so far things seem to be running smoothly.

Here are my questions:

1. Based on the unit and what I paid, how good or bad of a deal do you think I got? Good deal and it is a middle of the road unit.

2. Is it just a coincidence that 2 weeks after the new unit was installed, my perfectly good attic blower sprung a leak? I paid them to fix that leak. Wondering if somehow the installation was the cause of it and I shouldn't have paid. They didn't do any work on the blower, so I'm not sure how they could have caused the leak, unless the new unit was somehow incompatible in some way with the blower. They did not cause the leak and are not liable for it or to do anything for free. Not unusual for those coils to leak.

3. Any thoughts on Aire-Flo in general? My online searches suggest they're a middle-of-the-road unit, standard efficiency, nothing special but not bad. Is that accurate? Not a bad unit. Lennox owns them.

4. The freon lean in the attic unit was significant. The technician sprayed soapy water on the coil and it bubbled quickly. I could hear it bubbling as I came up the attic stairs, before I was even close enough to the unit to see it. Having a baby in the house, is there any health risk with a leak? Should I be regularly inspecting the coils myself for any new potential leaks? No health hazard. I would have sold you a new coil or recommended a new one. May leak again. They /the industry seem to be thinning out those coils and dumbing them down quality wise.

Thanks!


......

Home Air Direct 06-21-2011 08:41 PM

As stated, a decent builder grade unit. Owned by Lennox, marketed at AirEase, Ducane, Aire-Flo and Armstrong (used to include Concord but dropped).

Built in Satilla, Mexico in a new state of the art manufacturing facility.

Solid 10 year parts/compressor warranty (if registered).

As good as the installer.

Good Luck

mikemcd 06-22-2011 06:23 AM

Thanks, guys. Definitely puts my mind at ease about the freon and the new unit in general.

Is it common for anyone to do their own inspection of AC units? Especially considering the coil had a leak that was repaired and could potentially leak again. I'd hate to let another full tank vent into my attic and only find out about the leak when the compressor stops working. Just not sure if it's wise to open the attic blower and regularly poke around in there myself, or if it's best to just have a pro inspect the unit annually (or maybe more often?).

yuri 06-22-2011 04:26 PM

The best way for a homeowner to MONITOR his own system is to record the temp of the supply air coming from a vent ie: 55 deg F on an average day with a cooking type thermometer. Keep track of the outdoor reading ie:75 deg F also. Once every few weeks or a month check that supply temp on the same sort of day. If it increases by more than 3-4 deg F you may be losing freon. Another old school way is to check the big freon line outside at the unit and see if it is "beer can cold" and sweating. If it loses that feeling then you may be losing freon. The supply temp method is the preferred method. Get the freon level checked once a year with regular maintenance by a Pro.

Jagzster 07-31-2011 09:02 PM

Not sure what size unit you purchased Mike, but I was given a written quote yesterday for $2,250.00 "Out-the-door". Here is where the company followed up with me via-email:

"2.5 ton 13 Seer Aire-Flo (made by Lennox) Heat Pump Split System and complete installation in your home.

Includes: Outside Heat Pump Condenser, Indoor Air Handler, 10 kw Heat Strips, and Digital Thermostat.

Both units come with 10 year warrities on all parts and compressor.

Please feel free to contact us with any questions (xxx)xxx-xxxx"

hvactech126 07-31-2011 09:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jagzster (Post 697747)
Not sure what size unit you purchased Mike, but I was given a written quote yesterday for $2,250.00 "Out-the-door". Here is where the company followed up with me via-email:

"2.5 ton 13 Seer Aire-Flo (made by Lennox) Heat Pump Split System and complete installation in your home.

Includes: Outside Heat Pump Condenser, Indoor Air Handler, 10 kw Heat Strips, and Digital Thermostat.

Both units come with 10 year warrities on all parts and compressor.

Please feel free to contact us with any questions (xxx)xxx-xxxx"

You can not compare costs that way, you most likely dont live in the same area and its not the same circumstances, and its not the same contractor.

Jagzster 07-31-2011 09:44 PM

I suppose. I live in Florida....I might ad that my first quote was $4,500. I found the same unit that I was quoted price(s) on, through the internet, for $834 + air handler $534. (total $1,368) It would seem to me that if I can get the unit for $1,400, surely the dealers are getting them for at least that? The difference could only be the labor expense.

REP 07-31-2011 09:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jagzster (Post 697747)
Not sure what size unit you purchased Mike, but I was given a written quote yesterday for $2,250.00 "Out-the-door". Here is where the company followed up with me via-email:

"2.5 ton 13 Seer Aire-Flo (made by Lennox) Heat Pump Split System and complete installation in your home.

Includes: Outside Heat Pump Condenser, Indoor Air Handler, 10 kw Heat Strips, and Digital Thermostat.

Both units come with 10 year warrities on all parts and compressor.

Please feel free to contact us with any questions (xxx)xxx-xxxx"

Whenever I see a reply like yours I just have to shake my head.
You might want to ask a few questions like what were the shipping charges on that unit from the factory to the local contractor vs where the OP lives?
Are the sales taxes the same,Are the labor rates the same where you live?Did the contractor have insurance in case he burnt your house down while brazing the leak repair or line set? or how about workmens comp in case he falls off a ladder in your drive way.Does your contractor pay his helpers health insurance,or give them a paid vacation?Does he adverise and what does that cost.Its more inj a bigger city.
I was in the business for over 30 years I cannot count the number of contractors that have gone out of business because they had no idea what it cost him to wake up in the morning.So you saved a bunch where you live or maybe you just like to gamble.
I hope you and your contractor are around for a long time,but I wouldn't bet any of my money on your contractor.

beenthere 07-31-2011 10:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jagzster (Post 697789)
I suppose. I live in Florida....I might ad that my first quote was $4,500. I found the same unit that I was quoted price(s) on, through the internet, for $834 + air handler $534. (total $1,368) It would seem to me that if I can get the unit for $1,400, surely the dealers are getting them for at least that? The difference could only be the labor expense.


See how quick they are to come out if you have a problem with it.

Many people find out the hard way, that the cheap company can't come out to fix it right away. because they have to work on the units they will get paid to repair.

There is a lot more to the price of a unit install then just the equipment and labor.

beenthere 07-31-2011 10:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by vln (Post 671331)
No health risk, the new freon, R410A is completely environmentally safe.

Your coil sprung a leak because R410A is kept at a very high pressure and your old coil couldn't handle it.

Older coils are thicker then teh new coils that are designed for R410A. So doubtfull it was caused by that.

A good company wouldn't have charged you for the new coil, just to keep your business.

A good company would charge him. So they can stay in business to continue to provide3 good service.

Jagzster 07-31-2011 10:50 PM

I will quote a 30 year technician that came to my home..."It's all pretty simple crap, really"! I have been in banking for more than 20 years and know the who's-who in town. Both companies have been around since 1966 and 1965, respectfully. I don't foresee any problems wth them delivering what they will ultimately promise me. I will make sure of that:thumbsup:

Well, Mike, if you ever get to see this thread again, my opinion, as a fellow consumer, you agreed to pay too much! No doubt, Environmental Engineers, aka: "A/C repair guys" will think that you got a Really Great Deal!!

beenthere 08-01-2011 04:05 AM

Quote:

I will quote a 30 year technician that came to my home...
Is that 30 years of experience that he has. Or 30 years repeating 1 year's experience.

beenthere 08-01-2011 04:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jagzster (Post 697831)
I will quote a 30 year technician that came to my home..."It's all pretty simple crap, really"! I have been in banking for more than 20 years and know the who's-who in town. Both companies have been around since 1966 and 1965, respectfully. I don't foresee any problems wth them delivering what they will ultimately promise me. I will make sure of that:thumbsup:

Well, Mike, if you ever get to see this thread again, my opinion, as a fellow consumer, you agreed to pay too much! No doubt, Environmental Engineers, aka: "A/C repair guys" will think that you got a Really Great Deal!!


In 10 years, or less, come back an tell us how good of a deal you really got.


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