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Old 07-04-2019, 08:09 AM
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Default An Air Conditioner Adventure

Don't know why, but I felt to post this.

I have a 12,000 BTU Friedrich air conditioner which has served for 23 years, slightly more than double the average AC life span. I bought it when I moved into my apartment in 1996. Monday of last week I turned it on, and only the fan worked. The power button and the fan speed buttons worked, that was it. I tried turning it on and off a few times, but no change.

Tuesday, the "Money Saver" button worked. That means the unit shuts off/comes on automatically to maintain the current thermostat setting. I thought things were back to normal. Wednesday, it was back to only the fan working. Thursday I called the repair service who serviced my AC in the past and made an appointment for 7/1 (this past Monday). I had only the AC's fan through Sunday.

Monday AM, I try the unit for the heck of it. Money Saver is working! I call the repair service to get the time slot for the repair (between 1 and 4pm), but don't cancel the appointment. I'd spent the bulk of the weekend and Monday AM preparing the room for the repair guy's arrival, clearing a path to the AC in case it needed to be taken away. He shows up at about 2:45p. After an assessment, he says I need a new board and the unit needs cleaning. Checking in with his office, the part isn't available (not surprising since the unit is 23 years old) so I'll have to replace the unit. After some mental anguish, I order a new unit, one of Friedrich's Chill series. It's 15,500 BTU and weights a daunting 117 pounds (!). It's a high-end unit and costs $895. It's the only one I came across that will fit the window (42") without any extra machinations. Given the total sq. ft. of my apartment 12,000 BTUs is enough theoretically, but maybe the extra 3,500 BTUs will be helpful when temperatures are in the upper 90s; I don't know. I am concerned about the weight of this thing and my future ability to manage it, but I'm sure it will more than do the job.

The total cost for this is $1,164.92; that includes the initial service call, the new AC, its delivery and installation, and the de-installation and removal of the old unit. The store will call when the unit is in and we'll arrange a day for them to come install it. What this does is put any real or imagined audio plans on indefinite suspension and threatens a possible October vacation. But I need AC more than I need a new power cord or TV or blu-ray player (actually, I don't "need" any of those). As someone who's experienced heat exhaustion in the past, I'll choose the AC always.
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Last edited by prepress; 07-06-2019 at 05:06 AM.
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Old 07-04-2019, 09:19 AM
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Tough story, good luck on the new A/C, but look on the bright side, at least you don't live down here where you'd have to spring for the $11,000 Trane unit!

- Buck
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Old 07-04-2019, 09:21 AM
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Yep, and 23 years is a long life for one of those units.
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Old 07-04-2019, 09:35 AM
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Let’s hope for another 23 years from the new unit
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Old 07-04-2019, 05:23 PM
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As for that Trane unit, there seems to be an advantage in living in an apartment versus a house. That $11,000 is quite a bit of money; central air, I'm guessing. Here's hoping you don't need to replace that any time soon, Buck.

The current unit is behaving still, but there's no way to know how long that will last. It's better I get the new one anyway, I'm thinking, because the control board issue happening at all says something's wrong. I wouldn't want any major heat waves and have it decide to quit again.

One issue with this all is that the living room, where the AC is located, is too cold, whereas it's about right in the kitchen at the other end of the apartment. The fan is set to 4, its highest setting. But apparently that gets the air to the back of the apartment better. One wonders what an additional 3,000 BTUs will do to this. I have fans which could pull the air to the back, which would allow me to set the fan or thermostat lower.

It will be great to put the apartment back together once the new unit's in place, too. Makes no sense to do it now, only to have to do it again in a week or two.
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Old 07-04-2019, 07:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audioguy3107 View Post
Tough story, good luck on the new A/C, but look on the bright side, at least you don't live down here where you'd have to spring for the $11,000 Trane unit!

- Buck
No kidding...a 4ton heat pump for first floor of our home gave up the ghost after I got back from Munich. It has new control boards, compressor, etc...but the techs had not been thorough with the heat exchanger with its coils, etc...under the house and missed problems there over last 2 years. I held the company accountable...they had to put in a whole new 16 Seer Payne system 2 weeks ago,....$12K hit for them, $1500 OOP from me for new ductwork, routing, etc...

The month without AC here in SC was brutal....

Luckily my system is on the 2nd floor and a separate system heat pump i put in 5 years ago!
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Old 07-04-2019, 09:32 PM
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Yep...... am guessing my 28yr-old compressor is on its last legs. Still keeping the house cool in the high-90's and fingers crossed.............
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Old 07-06-2019, 05:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SCAudiophile View Post
No kidding...a 4ton heat pump for first floor of our home gave up the ghost after I got back from Munich. It has new control boards, compressor, etc...but the techs had not been thorough with the heat exchanger with its coils, etc...under the house and missed problems there over last 2 years. I held the company accountable...they had to put in a whole new 16 Seer Payne system 2 weeks ago,....$12K hit for them, $1500 OOP from me for new ductwork, routing, etc...

The month without AC here in SC was brutal....

Luckily my system is on the 2nd floor and a separate system heat pump i put in 5 years ago!
Never been to SC, but I can imagine it's a steam bath. My sympathies, for sure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Formerly YB-2 View Post
Yep...... am guessing my 28yr-old compressor is on its last legs. Still keeping the house cool in the high-90's and fingers crossed.............
That's what I'm hoping for with the extra juice of this new Friedrich. 15,500 BTUs is overkill theoretically, but it may help when temps are way up there. An interesting feature of the Friedrich Chill series is an oscillating fan, which might help mitigate "dead" areas in my living room that are not cooled by my current A/C. "Auto Air Sweep," they call it.

Meantime, I attached a photo of my current unit.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_0480.jpg (96.9 KB, 32 views)
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Last edited by prepress; 07-06-2019 at 05:30 AM.
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Old 07-06-2019, 08:02 AM
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You might want to consider replacing the wood board with a set of Stillpoimts
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Old 07-11-2019, 05:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Higgens View Post
You might want to consider replacing the wood board with a set of Stillpoimts
Well, too late for that! The new air conditioner is scheduled to arrive on the 19th; don't know if it will need the board. And at 117 pounds, good thing the store's doing the work!
Attached Files
File Type: pdf 2019 Chill Room Air Conditioner Brochure-1.pdf (707.9 KB, 5 views)
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