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  1. #11


    I think it depends on which freon the system uses. The new stuff is pretty cheap, the old R-12 is expensive. I had my AC recharged last summer for $250, that was by my neighbor who is an hvac guy. Within a week it all leaked out again. I opted to have a new AC and furnace installed for $2800. Both have a 10 year warranty on parts. If they are replacing the coil I would ask the guy if the system uses the old refrigerant, if it does can they convert the system to the new stuff? How much? it might be cheaper to convert it and fill it with the newer stuff.

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  2. #12


    The unit was built in the late 90's, and from what I remember didn't they change in like '94 or '96? The house was built maybe in 1999 or 2000, I don't actually recall.

    At least she's going to get most of her money back and then maybe even come out ahead.

    Now, as for the emergency heat that was causing the circuit breaker to trip in the garage. I just shut down all of the power to the house and then took out that "bad" breaker. I was able to get a full 1/2 turn on one of the wires coming into the breaker, the other wire was tight. I'm not sure, but it did seem a little bit loose. I dusted everything off and re-seated it back into place and bolted it all back up. It's been running for about 30 minutes on emergency heat and it has not thrown the breaker so who knows, maybe it just expanded/contracted enough over time that it loosened up just enough to not be able to take the full 40 amps that it was drawing? Anyone have any thoughts on that? I can change the breaker, that's only like $15 max for a good one at Home Depot.

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  3. #13


    Here is a quote I read regarding r12 and r134 for automobiles.

    Refrigerant Types

    Automotive AC systems rely on one of two refrigerants to keep things cool in the cabin. Vehicles made before 1993 use R12, or FreonŽ, and vehicles made after use 134a. R12 refrigerant is no longer available to the consumer because of environmental concerns, but is still available for use by trained technicians and installers. In fact, the main reason R12 is still available is these same technicians have continued to recycle, clean, and reuse the remaining supply. New R12 is no longer being manufactured.

  4. #14


    Is it the same for houses?

  5. #15
    Jr. Engineer BRB46's Avatar
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    Apr 2011
    Western Mass


    I would definitely change the breaker. Was the loose screw discolored at all. Loose terminals can arc and cause excessive heat which could cause a fire.
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  6. #16


    No it was about 1/2 turn total and it looked really good. Nothing was discolored on it. But your right ... cheap insurance to just go ahead and replace it.

  7. #17


    Quote Originally Posted by Steve View Post
    Is it the same for houses?
    Most old residential systems used R22. This is also scheduled to be phased out of production and replaced with a newer "ozone friendly" refrigerant.

    Not that there can't be any R12 or R134a in a residential system it's highly unlikely as R12 and R134a are used primarily in automotive and commercial refrigeration(grocery store coolers and such).
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  9. #18


    Quote Originally Posted by Scott_Anderson View Post
    Most old residential systems used R22. This is also scheduled to be phased out of production and replaced with a newer "ozone friendly" refrigerant.

    Not that there can't be any R12 or R134a in a residential system it's highly unlikely as R12 and R134a are used primarily in automotive and commercial refrigeration(grocery store coolers and such).
    Yeah, I read that the feds changed the laws for residential units in 2010, that's what's caused the spike in prices recently.

  10. #19


    My old unit had the r-22. 3 years ago I guess that the stuff was pretty reasonable in price as my neighbor refilled my unit for free. Then last summer he said that the price had skyrocketed and it cost me the $250.

  11. #20


    Ok, now that we're moving along with this project ... I'm REALLY starting to wonder if having ANY home warranty is worth the money.

    Basically, if you consider that it's roughly $600/year ... and I'm going to use 5 years as a baseline for how long someone might have one of these service contract policies, you can do the math yourself if you want to change that timeline or the annual fee. I'm going to use our situation here as well, I've been told that we're looking around $3000 for the air handler unit, but there are a lot of non-covered charges.

    Annual Cost = -$600
    Two Year Cost (not adjusted) = -$1200
    Five Year Cost (not adjusted) = -$3000

    Service Trip Fee = -$100 (x2 ?)
    Single Major Repair Cost (early estimate) = +$3000

    (Non-Covered Components (surprise!) = -$1100)
    (AHS Co-Payment Coverage = +$250)
    TOTAL Non-Covered Components = -$850


    Two Years, One Repair:
    Total Money Spent = $2150
    Total Value Received = $2150

    WOW, didn't expect that. If you have this contract for 2 years and have a $3000 job then it's dead-even after you have paid for the contract and all of the service fees. You have gained NOTHING with having this service contract ... and in fact you are at their mercy to set-up the appointments, you CAN NOT choose your own contractor, you have to run through their red-tape.

    Five Years, One Repair:
    Total Money Spent = $3950
    Total Value Received = $2150

    So, because there are SO MANY non-disclosed non-covered services and components (and where is that list?) ... I think that most everyone who's considering a "Home Warranty" will be better off if they just create an emergency fund and have $50 drafted out of their primary savings/checking account if they have to. Then save cash and you will have more options when it comes time to replace something that's broken.

    ALSO, there have been class-action lawsuits, specifically against American Home Shield, for denying claims based on spurious things like "lack of preventive maintenance". I get it, it's a big game. It's a game that I'm not going to play, except that I'm sort-of forced to deal with it now.

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