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Old 03-30-2018, 04:24 PM   #81
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OK, so what kind of damage did that "test" just do?
Probably nothing, but most of what I know about furnaces is 40+ years old.
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Old 03-30-2018, 07:15 PM   #82
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Originally Posted by JoeWras View Post
+1.

For the first year, I did have the required free inspections after my install.

The first thing the tech did was disconnect the fan, and turn on the furnace so that it would reach high temperature. He waited for the furnace to shut off to test this high temp safety system.

OK, so what kind of damage did that "test" just do?
Not sure what the test involved. The test itself may not have damaged anything, but when he was in the machine mucking around he (or she) may have leaned too hard against some delicate part and cracked it just slightly, he may have slipped a tool off something and just slightly dislodged something else that may cause a problem later on. Adding too much freon can cause problems later on. The list goes on and on. In other words, careless techs can and do cause all sorts of problems that show up later on. If you happen to get a GOOD tech, then there's nothing to worry about, but......
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Old 03-30-2018, 07:32 PM   #83
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Inspecting ventilation twice a year is a way to
...Blow...
That Dough!
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Old 03-30-2018, 08:36 PM   #84
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In my house, and in two of my rentals, breakdowns always occur on weekends or holidays. No exceptions. By having annual inspections of furnace, and bi annual inspections of AC/furnace, I have saved on premium rates on labor and the 15% discount for parts. YMMV.
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Old 03-31-2018, 11:14 AM   #85
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I've always lived in the south. Very familiar with HVAC maintenance (changing filters frequently, cleaning coils, clearing condensate drain). Never had a maintenance contract nor annual inspections. I just keep up with the routine maintenance which minimizes issues, and call a reputable company when there's a problem.

We have four HVAC units in the current house, which was built in 1968. All the units were replaced by the prior owner between 1992 and 2002. They're all pretty old now with a variety of ailments. So we do have fairly frequent service for things like failed starter capacitor, bad blower motor, and low freon. Good news is only 2 of the 4 units get regular use. The other 2 only kick-on in extremes or when we have guests staying.

My devious plan was to downsize and leave this issue to the new owner. They're good enough to pass inspection with temp differential in the 12-15 degree range. But it looks like we're staying longer than originally planned. So I'll probably have to replace at least 1 or 2 units in the near future.
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Old 04-01-2018, 04:42 PM   #86
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Could you share what brand you have that performed so admirably in the hot humid south?


Sorry for the slow reply - were in Argentina at the moment. Not sure what we had in Florida. Mississippi unit is a Heil.
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Old 04-01-2018, 05:12 PM   #87
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R427A (Forane)
This came out of the off-the-record discussion with the HVAC guy. Said his buddies had used it successfully on personal jobs.

It is a blend of refrigerants of which I think the largest component is R134a.

-gauss
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Old 04-01-2018, 09:34 PM   #88
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Sorry for the slow reply - were in Argentina at the moment. Not sure what we had in Florida. Mississippi unit is a Heil.
We have a Heil HP as well. 19 yo and running strong. Prior owner put a new compressor in about 10 years ago. We had one service call in 5 years related to a leak around a filter. Its not as energy efficient as Id like but I just cant justify replacing it when it works so well. All the neighbors are on their second units already.
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Old 04-02-2018, 05:52 PM   #89
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We have 19 year old York Diamond 80 systems and never paid for annual visits. Only 1 service visit, before DIY shift. I've had a few issues, but most often resolved with a capacitor change-out (<$10 on Amazon. Most local plumbing houses don't want to sell to DIYers). Other issues that I did myself (with help from Youtube and HVAC forums) included blower fan replacement, circuit board replacement, and cleaning off a bad heat sensor when the system wouldn't turn on.

However, my parents recently had a cracked Heat Exchanger, and if they didn't have a service policy it wouldn't have been spotted. Even though their furnace is 22 yrs old, the part was covered by the manufacturer and the labor was covered by their policy. But I think that was the only time their service policy actually resulted in a valuable service after 15+ years. But that is a pretty big deal. I think eventually they would have realized there was a problem, because when it got really cold outside, the unit couldn't heat the house despite constantly running.
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Old 04-02-2018, 09:31 PM   #90
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A/C is 20 years old, one minor fix in all that time. No repairs on furnace of same age. . . . Furnace never been inspected A/C maybe every third year. (I live in a hot climate so it gets a good workout). Don't really think its necessary.

Neighbor firmly believes the guy she hired to inspect the furnace damaged it on purpose to sell her stuff . . . don't know of course . . .
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Old 04-03-2018, 12:08 AM   #91
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If you can run a garden hose to clean the outside unit, change the filter inside and pull the covers to have a look, as long as your comfy, your fine. Not contractors but, DW and I have built four new homes (completely ourselves). We've lived in mostly boom/bust areas and now a somewhat retired community and customers get RAPED! Not to mention the horribly bad work quality. We've done SIPs homes, conventional and log homes. Last Nov. we moved into our new log home which is the second one (log) we've built. We get a lot of wind and the heavy log structures are just great. We've done in floor radiant heat, propane, NG and our previous home is completely electric. Our electric bills since last Nov have been $70 ish a mth ! We've somewhat figured out what works for our area.
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Old 04-03-2018, 10:23 AM   #92
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I would do some shopping around for another HVAC service that does not charge $300. We have 2 inspections per year and pay something like 1/2 this.

You might check out Yelp for some referrals in your area.

We used to have a larger company service us. Then we had some ducting replaced and got 3 bids. The differences in quotes was quite amazing. The company we went with does the inspections cheaper too.
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Old 04-03-2018, 07:34 PM   #93
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Our two units were installed 2 years ago. Part of the cost was 2 years of maintenance, twice yearly. On average he is here less than 30 minutes. Very thorough. New Bill for 1 year agreement is $398. No thank you. I have filters and a hose.
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Old 04-04-2018, 08:43 AM   #94
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Apparently the 'install' is the most important thing affecting the life expectancy of the system. Of course finding an installer who does it correctly is your task then. My Trans heat pump that came with my house lasted only 10 years? Poor install? My replacement Trane, a newer model, has lasted 21 years, knock on wood, with zero technicians touching it. I attribute its long life to a correct install, and my keeping it cleaned, and filter changing. I also have cleaned out the interior fins on the grate in the air handler with a toothpick when they get clogged with lint somehow during a/c season. But I had no way of knowing what company would install it correctly. One thing I did was use a different company from the one that originally installed it. Just got lucky, I guess.
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Old 04-04-2018, 09:46 AM   #95
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Originally Posted by John Galt III View Post
Apparently the 'install' is the most important thing affecting the life expectancy of the system. Of course finding an installer who does it correctly is your task then. My Trans heat pump that came with my house lasted only 10 years? Poor install? My replacement Trane, a newer model, has lasted 21 years, knock on wood, with zero technicians touching it. I attribute its long life to a correct install, and my keeping it cleaned, and filter changing. I also have cleaned out the interior fins on the grate in the air handler with a toothpick when they get clogged with lint somehow during a/c season. But I had no way of knowing what company would install it correctly. One thing I did was use a different company from the one that originally installed it. Just got lucky, I guess.
20 years ago when my current systems (2) were installed, I hovered a bit on the installers. I think they were irritated by me. Too bad. After a while, the installer just showed me what he was doing and how careful he was being. I was satisfied. Sorry I made his life difficult that week.
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Old 04-04-2018, 11:01 AM   #96
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I'm a big fan of "let's see what is involved before deciding I can't do it".. so let's start there:

How to Inspect an HVAC System | Home Guides | SF Gate

Then I ask to "can I do it", in this case the answer is a resounding "yes".

Then I ask, how long will it take me to do it vs how much would it cost to have someone else do it. At $150 for someone else to do an inspection that would take me less than 1 hour, I'd rather take the time to do it myself than pay someone else to do it.
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