This Is our Village

Monday, September 12, 2011

Central A/C Maintenance

I think the A/C tuneup special, p18A in today's Post is worth a mention because it is the best price I have seen (other than DIY). They have 19-point inspection for $19 which also includes: Clean evaporator drain line, remove all sludge and debris, vacuum drain pan, add algae tablets.
For all villagers who have been avoiding maintenance of their central A/C – You Need This Every Year - I know from painful Assoc. experience.


  1. Thank you for notifying of this "special," Elaine. From some experience over the years, I am very leery of them. The a/c company has to be losing money on this unless they can make it up in either one of two ways: (1) getting new customers, or (2) setting the customer up for fraudulent diagnoses. The second happens a lot. The technician tells you that you need a new condenser or a new air-handler or some other very expensive item. If they're cagey about it, maybe they save giving you the "bad news" for their next service call. Unless you're an expert yourself, how do you know you don't?

  2. ah, maybe some of you recall my perpetual a/c problems ---did the ECM $240 21 point maintenance visit solve my problems? no. I was repeatedly told it's the common element drain ---I made our assn prez crazy over the drain. Yes, my absent upstairs neighbor apparently does not have her unit serviced. My unit is just 2 yrs old ---I can't tell you how many service calls I had and the interaction declined from anger and dissatisfaction to downright nasty. and let's not forget that costly annual contract ---aha---got my plumber whom I trust to come out - he in turn called some a/c men he knows and trusts ---seems the loop de loop elbow needed to be a straight arrow - yes, had to have part of bathroom celing/wall opened up for access - wallpaper still hanging - leaving the access accessible until I no longer have nightmares of no a/c on those super hot days and sitting around for hours on end, day after day waiting for serv tech to come out - yes ECM did send tech same day as I called - guess they didn't want my 88 yr old mom w/heart condition to die =- thankfully, we do have ceiling fans ---so I am skeptical like Lanny ----I trust my plumber for handyman, appliance, electrician, a/c referrals - people he works with ----I think I ahe the most costly a/c around ---and I got so tired of hearing how old CV is, how old the pipes are ----one tech even ascked me - well if you had no prob with the old a/c, why did you purchase new? gee, could have been the hunks of rust on the ancient unit that the ECM tech showed me when he did the initial visit when I moved in in dec 2008. Finding service people has been the bane of my existence here ---yes, I will tell you I did not have the same issue "up north" -again I thank all of you who gave me advice in my many times of whining and crying over my a/c here on the blog. Hope I did not jinx my a/c by spilling this saga

  3. Thx Lanny and Mag, that's why blog discussion is good. Sorry Mag's was so painful, my neighbors have done ok with annual tuneups (so far). Now I shall go hide.

  4. Don't hide, Elaine. You do a magnificent job.

  5. I think I told this story a couple of years ago on the blog. A friend's outside compressor was making a clicking noise, so she called the company that for an annual fee agrees to maintain/repair her appliances. The "tech" came out, investigated, and told her she needed a new compressor. She called me and asked if I knew enough about air-conditioners to determine if the tech was right. I told her I knew next to nothing about them, but that I would take a look with a friend (who also knew next to nothing). A simple look at the machine showed that when the fan blades were turning, they kept hitting the skeleton of a bird that was hanging down from the top grillwork ('"ping, ping, ping" it went as the blades struck the skeleton). Obviously, the bird had got caught there.

    You can't tell me the tech didn't see this. He saw this woman as easy prey to make a nice commission. It happens all the time.

  6. We were new owners as of last year. One thing I've noticed some people do is use very wide mesh filters (usually green material) for their central A/C filters. Big mistake. We had to replace our unit last year and I saw the proof of this when I saw how clogged (about 50%) the air handler was. No wonder it was costing so much to run. You want to keep as much dust as possible from reaching the insides - get the best filters you can find.


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