Author Topic: HVAC ripoff?  (Read 3906 times)

stlbrah

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HVAC ripoff?
« on: April 26, 2016, 09:19:59 AM »
I wanted to see if anyone has any knowledge about hvac or experiences to share.

I bought a new furnace and AC in 2011 with a 10 year parts warranty. Only 2 summers after I bought it, the coil had a leak and they charged $840 to repair it blaming negligence of cleaning the unit. Most people I know don't clean their unit every year, so I don't know if I have a lemon or just this model is very fragile. It was only 2 summers of not cleaning it, one of those summers not really counting since it was a brand new unit. Could one year of not cleaning it, sitting up on a clean balcony, really destroy a major component?

I cringe when I turn my AC on. Sure enough, I turned it on yesterday to test it before summer starts, and it is blowing hot air again.

I didn't clean it last year, but it doesn't look that dirty. It sits on a balcony of composite wood and the whole area is surrounded by blacktop. I looked inside it and saw literally 1 leaf laying on the bottom. I was going to try hosing it off but didn't get around to it.

I have a tech coming over tomorrow, and I want to make sure I don't get ripped off again. I am comfortable with being aggressive if needed, but I have the doubt in my mind that it is my fault for not cleaning it in 2015.

Any advice appreciated!
« Last Edit: April 26, 2016, 09:23:54 AM by stlbrah »

VaCPA

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Re: HVAC ripoff?
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2016, 09:54:39 AM »
I'm going to say you have a bad unit based on my experience. My unit is about 5-6 years old and I don't clean the coils regularly, although I'm going to have someone do a spring inspection soon. The last time I had a spring inspection on it when the unit was a couple of years old the guy didn't even clean the coils then and said everything looked great so that by itself shouldn't lead to major issues, at least not so early in the HVAC units life. Although I'm sure that might vary based on the climate the unit is located in(I'm in VA).

Jack

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Re: HVAC ripoff?
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2016, 10:05:30 AM »
That warranty denial is complete and utter bullshit.

First of all, the thing merely being a little dirty should not be a valid reason to deny a claim in the first place (unless it was literally caked with mud or something). Second, in order to deny a warranty the burden of proof is on them to show that the owner's (or third party's) negligence (or modification) directly caused the problem, and I see no reason why dirtiness should cause a coil to spring a leak -- unless you whacked it with a shovel or something, that's a manufacturing or installation defect.

If dirty coils were the cause of the air blowing warm, then cleaning the coils should fix it. The fact that they had to replace the coil proves that the problem was something else.

If they try to give you shit about denying the warranty this time, I'd not only refuse to accept that but also threaten them about recovering the $840 they bilked you for three years ago!

NonprofitER

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Re: HVAC ripoff?
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2016, 10:21:44 AM »
I know very little about HVACs, but we had a new system installed in 2012 that began acting up last year (2015) - it wasn't blowing as cool as it should and our energy savings were slowing decreasing. Luckily, our HVAC guy is a family friend and upon examining it, he realized we had a common manufacturer defect with the thermal expansion valve (also called TXV).  Is it possible you have one of the units that has been plagued with these types of problems?

http://www.meloairinc.com/apps/blog/show/42655201-trane-issues-service-bulletin-regarding-txv-failures

stlbrah

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Re: HVAC ripoff?
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2016, 11:38:56 AM »
That warranty denial is complete and utter bullshit.

First of all, the thing merely being a little dirty should not be a valid reason to deny a claim in the first place (unless it was literally caked with mud or something). Second, in order to deny a warranty the burden of proof is on them to show that the owner's (or third party's) negligence (or modification) directly caused the problem, and I see no reason why dirtiness should cause a coil to spring a leak -- unless you whacked it with a shovel or something, that's a manufacturing or installation defect.

If dirty coils were the cause of the air blowing warm, then cleaning the coils should fix it. The fact that they had to replace the coil proves that the problem was something else.

If they try to give you shit about denying the warranty this time, I'd not only refuse to accept that but also threaten them about recovering the $840 they bilked you for three years ago!

I am definitely calling them out on it. The problem is that my retired mom came over to meet the repair man while I was at work. They saw an easy target when a kind 65 year old lady answered the door. I am not the nicest person when it comes to ripoffs.

Honestly, I am wondering if the coil even ever had a problem. The little focker probably got paid more for replacing it.

Mr. Green

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Re: HVAC ripoff?
« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2016, 11:49:54 AM »
I have not cleaned the compressor of my A/C unit in the 11 years I've lived in my house (never had a reason to) and I've never had an issue with either unit (lightning strike).
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stlbrah

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Re: HVAC ripoff?
« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2016, 04:41:05 PM »
I'm going to say you have a bad unit based on my experience. My unit is about 5-6 years old and I don't clean the coils regularly, although I'm going to have someone do a spring inspection soon. The last time I had a spring inspection on it when the unit was a couple of years old the guy didn't even clean the coils then and said everything looked great so that by itself shouldn't lead to major issues, at least not so early in the HVAC units life. Although I'm sure that might vary based on the climate the unit is located in(I'm in VA).


I believe this is correct. If you google Rheem air conditioner coils there are class action lawsuits everywhere. I just went over to the hvac company and barged into their office and talked to the VP. I didn't realize it was not an office for customers... oops.

forummm

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Re: HVAC ripoff?
« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2016, 08:45:15 AM »
My understanding is that with modern units you don't need to clean the coils. As long as they have refrigerant they should be good (and if they don't, it's because you have a leak). You just change your filter.

Mr. Green

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Re: HVAC ripoff?
« Reply #8 on: April 27, 2016, 09:30:48 AM »
I'm going to say you have a bad unit based on my experience. My unit is about 5-6 years old and I don't clean the coils regularly, although I'm going to have someone do a spring inspection soon. The last time I had a spring inspection on it when the unit was a couple of years old the guy didn't even clean the coils then and said everything looked great so that by itself shouldn't lead to major issues, at least not so early in the HVAC units life. Although I'm sure that might vary based on the climate the unit is located in(I'm in VA).


I believe this is correct. If you google Rheem air conditioner coils there are class action lawsuits everywhere. I just went over to the hvac company and barged into their office and talked to the VP. I didn't realize it was not an office for customers... oops.
Nice. I'm sure that got someone's attention!
Took the leap in June 2016.