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ned4spd8874 06-20-2009 04:03 PM

Help please, Central Air not working properly
 
Hello, I am hoping someone here can help me. I was looking online for a HVAC forum that might be able to help me with my issue and I found this!

I had a new furnace and Central Air installed about 3-4 years ago now. In the last couple days, it hasn't been cooling as well as it used to. I've been noticing that it just keeps running and running. Last night for example, I had set it to 74 just to try and get it to run less. The temperature outside was about 65 or so by that time. It's been really hot and humid the last few days. But even with that, such a new unit shouldn't have to keep running and running, should it?

One thing I did to today was replace the air filter. It's been just over 6 months since I've replaced it. But that doesn't seem to have helped.

I also noticed that the A/C unit outside was covered with junk between the slats. I've never honestly thought about cleaning those out. So, I took a vacuum and an air hose and cleaned out in between the slats and even inside as best as I could. It's much better than it was. I can actually see the metal inside when I look between the slats now!

However, it still doesn't seem to be running as cool as it should be. Granted, today is another muggy, hot day. But I can't seem to get the inside temperature to go below 75-74 now. Currently the outside temperature is 77 and semi sunny.

One thing I have noticed is that when I look at the physical A/C pieces down in the basement (sorry, I have no idea of the proper terminology); there are two pieces that are joined by a flexible fabric. It's the piece that sits on top of the furnace. If I remember right the first (bottom) part holds some triangular shape thing that does the actual cooling.

Well, the bottom piece is extremely cold to the touch. But the piece above it is not so cold. It is cold, but nowhere near the coldness of the bottom piece. There is also a lot of liquid (condensation) accumulating on the one side of the bottom piece. I've linked photos for you to see to maybe help with what I'm talking about here.

My Central Air unit is made by Trane if that helps any. The company that installed it is closed now. It's Saturday and they close at 3. I really don't want to call it an emergency and have to pay a ton of money if there is something I can do myself or wait until early next week for them to come out and look at it if it is something major.

I hope I explained my issue well and thanks in advance for any help!

Picture of both the top and bottom ducting that sits above the furnace:
http://www.myworthlesscrap.com/Share.../HVAC/Both.jpg

Picture of the side of the bottom piece with all the liquid:
http://www.myworthlesscrap.com/Share...VAC/Bottom.jpg

ned4spd8874 06-20-2009 04:16 PM

Okay, well I have some new info. Looking at the pictures I posted, I realized that there is a access hatch from the top section. I never noticed that before because it's a bit dark on that side.

Anyway, I took the hatch off and saw that on the bottom half of the triangular evaporator coil (at least I think that's what it is now by looking online) has a bunch of ice built up on it on both sides. It's just the bottom half of the evaporator. I'm guess this is not good. Should I break out a hair dryer and thaw it out and see if that helps? Or just wait until it melts naturally? Or am I just screwed and really do need to call a HVAC tech to come out?

Dave Carney 06-20-2009 04:23 PM

Call a tech.

SKIP4661 06-20-2009 05:23 PM

If you turn your thermostat ac switch to off and switch the fan switch on it will thaw fairly quickly. There are a few things that cause the coil to ice up. One being a low refrigerant charge that will likely have to be checked by a service tech. Also lack of airflow will cause coil icing, caused by a dirty filter or dirty evaporator coil. Since the coil is freezing only part of the way I suspect a low charge. If you call a tech make sure your evaporator coil is thawed before they arrive as they will have to come back after the coil is thawed and may also charge for the first trip.

ned4spd8874 06-20-2009 05:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SKIP4661 (Post 290453)
If you turn your thermostat ac switch to off and switch the fan switch on it will thaw fairly quickly. There are a few things that cause the coil to ice up. One being a low refrigerant charge that will likely have to be checked by a service tech. Also lack of airflow will cause coil icing, caused by a dirty filter or dirty evaporator coil. Since the coil is freezing only part of the way I suspect a low charge. If you call a tech make sure your evaporator coil is thawed before they arrive as they will have to come back after the coil is thawed and may also charge for the first trip.

Thanks, I've done that and it seems to be thawing pretty good. I'm thinking the combination of the air filter needing replacement with the air flow being restricted outside on the A/C unit might have caused this. Once I'm confident that the evaporator is thawed, I'll turn the A/C back on and keep an eye on it. Hopefully replacing the air filter, cleaning the gunk build up on the outside unit and defrosting the evaporator fixes this. If not, then yeah, I'll have to call the pros!

I'm keeping my fingers and toes crossed though!

Thanks for the help!

kenmac 06-20-2009 08:54 PM

it may not be charged correctly to run with 65 deg ambient temp

ned4spd8874 06-20-2009 10:10 PM

I called the original installers and it has a 5 year parts warranty. They will be out tomorrow to look at it, but the labor isn't covered under the warranty.

hvaclover 06-20-2009 11:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kenmac (Post 290573)
it may not be charged correctly to run with 65 deg ambient temp


Ya thinK:laughing:?

ned4spd8874 06-21-2009 11:32 AM

Well, the HVAC guy was just here and the problem was that it was low on refrigerant. Also, as the the guy was buttoning up the unit, as he was leaning on it, we started to hear a leaking sound. He brought out some leak detect solution and we were able to find the leak at a bend in the copper tube from the bottom of the compressor. He will get a price for me tomorrow and let me know the cost of repairing it. I guess even thought it's a factory part and factory bend, it's not covered under the 5 year warranty.

Thought I'd update everyone and I appreciate all the help!


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