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Old 11-11-2012, 07:39 PM   #1
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Replace A/C Unit?


Hi guys,

I live in FL in a house we bought back in April. We don't have any problems with the air conditioner at all but our electric bill causes a few of our (local) friends to gasp. During the summer (and of course most other seasons here in FL), the unit doesn't seem to get much breaks and typically has a nice pool of water next to it. Looking at our unit outside, it is an Amana RCE42A2A (42,000 BTU). The serial number indicates it was manufactured in 1999. Should we look at getting it replaced or perhaps just have it serviced? Can I service it myself? A friend told me I should clean the coils not only in the condenser but also in the air handler up in the attic. However, if I can shave $70 or more a month off my electric bill I'm thinking it might be best to just replace it.

I have a programmable thermostat on it so it doesn't turn on throughout the work day.

Thanks.

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Old 11-11-2012, 07:54 PM   #2
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Replace A/C Unit?


There should not be any water next to the unit. Sounds like it is freezing up, either needing cleaned, or needing charged. As for electric bills, they can vary house to house. It all depends on what the end user is doing, what appliances they are running, if they have a swimming pool or pond.

Suggest getting the unit checked out, then go from there. Also setting the thermostat so that the unit does not run at all, defeats the purpose of even having a/c in the house. If the temp of the home gets so high that it takes hours for the a/c to cool the house down, setting it for say a 3 degree difference of where you have it when you are home, is better, than not running the unit at all.

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Old 11-11-2012, 08:07 PM   #3
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Replace A/C Unit?


Sorry, I should've said the water comes from a pipe exiting the house (it's near the outside condenser unit but the unit doesn't tie into it). I'd guess it's from the air handler in the attic? But then there's a small pipe that exits the soffit further down the side of the house closer to the air handler (it protrudes about an inch, never seen water drip from it... maybe that's the overflow pan drain).

Can I clean the system myself? I know I can't charge it but I don't mind cleaning the coils if there's minimal chance of me damaging anything.
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Old 11-12-2012, 06:50 AM   #4
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Replace A/C Unit?


Make sure you change the filters often. You can clean it by first shuting off the power take the access panel off the outside unit wrap a plastic bag around the fan motor, take your garden hose and wash the coils from inside out use the high pressure stream but make sure you don't close up the fins. What your doing is washing the dirt back out the opposite way it entered the coil. In the attic you have to get to the air entering side and vacuum it off while brushing the coil without bending the fins. I am not recommending any sprays or coil cleaners at this time because most of the coils I have cleaned didn't need sprays or chemicals with some exceptions.
You really want to avoid water spraying in the attic. OH! turn the power back on. Why buy a new system when yours is doing the job. Yeah you would save on electric bill just think of the cost of the new unit. Of course it's always better to replace the system when you have time to get bids and checkout contractor's.
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Old 11-12-2012, 07:17 AM   #5
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Replace A/C Unit?


Quote:
Originally Posted by brandondavie View Post
Hi guys,

I live in FL in a house we bought back in April. We don't have any problems with the air conditioner at all but our electric bill causes a few of our (local) friends to gasp. During the summer (and of course most other seasons here in FL), the unit doesn't seem to get much breaks and typically has a nice pool of water next to it. Looking at our unit outside, it is an Amana RCE42A2A (42,000 BTU). The serial number indicates it was manufactured in 1999. Should we look at getting it replaced or perhaps just have it serviced? Can I service it myself? A friend told me I should clean the coils not only in the condenser but also in the air handler up in the attic. However, if I can shave $70 or more a month off my electric bill I'm thinking it might be best to just replace it.

I have a programmable thermostat on it so it doesn't turn on throughout the work day.

Thanks.
I live in Texas and found that setting my thermostat up higher than 2 to 4 degrees in summer cost me lots of money and would take a very long time to catch up when lowered when we got home. This was with the original 3 ton units the builder put in. Unit would run all the time on hot days, some cycling and when it cycled was not off long.


Had them replaced with 4 tons, we set the thermostat up 4 degrees, units cool house correctly when on and cyccle well.


Two points for us: our units regardless of the manual j's that were done, were not sized correctly and setting the thermostat up with the undersized units cost us money.

Units were replaced for free by builder.
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