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2 ACs broke in 3 years, is this normal?

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  • Jul 19th, 2020 7:43 am
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[OP]
Jr. Member
Sep 10, 2006
157 posts
45 upvotes
Toronto

2 ACs broke in 3 years, is this normal?

Dear RFDers,

Our new built comes with 2 air conditioners (Goodman GSX130301BF and Comfort Aire CMA18SB-1) installed by the builder.

The Goodman AC takes a long time to cool the rooms. First I thought its due to improper sizing until one day I saw the outside unit has a frozen pipe (low in freon?)
The Comfort Aire one does not cool at all. Running it for 2 hours and the rooms are just getting hotter and hotter. It feels greasy when touching the connection point in between the unit and the pipe - maybe its the point where freon leaks?

I suspect the builder did not do a proper job installing the units. Contacted the builder's HVAC contractor and was told they can send someone in next week and will charge service call for $125 * 2 (for both units).
To me, this is a rip-off.
What are the chances that both two AC units installed by the same company break within 3 years? Of course, the warranty won't help as the Goodman one only has 5-year parts whereas the Comfort Aire one only has a one-year warranty.
Should I bite the bullets and let them fix it? I heard freon leakage is tough to fix and may still need to be refilled after 1-2 years.
Or should I just ask other HVAC company to fill the freon and move on?

Thanks!
16 replies
Deal Fanatic
Nov 21, 2013
8044 posts
9020 upvotes
Montréal
when the outside unit (evaporator) freezes it is because of 1- Low refrigerant or 2- clogged radiator 3- excessively dirty or clogged filters in the inside (condenser) unit

Like you said, filling it back will solve the problem temporarly, they have to find out where the leakage comes from ,and get it fixed properly. You have no choice of having someone servicing your units. Now, up to you to call the contractor who originally installed the units, or another one
Deal Addict
Nov 6, 2014
1208 posts
2190 upvotes
0 downvotes (Maple,O…
Why would you trust the same poor contractor that installed it in your house. Find another reputable HVAC contractor and you'll likely get a better fix and opinion. The original contractor won't admit to their mistakes when they installed it.
Deal Expert
User avatar
May 10, 2005
36407 posts
10672 upvotes
Ottawa
You said new build. That means the A/C are new too. .
The builder only places them at a location, a A/C company does the installation and hook up.
New and not working = warranty, either by the builder or the company that installed it.

Oh and, if fixed properly, the freon stays in it forever. My refrigerant has been in my A/C for 15 years now.
Deal Expert
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Sep 21, 2010
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fordmaple wrote: Why would you trust the same poor contractor that installed it in your house. Find another reputable HVAC contractor and you'll likely get a better fix and opinion. The original contractor won't admit to their mistakes when they installed it.
I think you raise a good pt but I would go back to the builder and insist on getting it fixed for free, that's ridiculous and the evidence ought to be there that the original contractor did a crap job and builder should assign another person to do the 'repair'/i.e. proper installation. 3 years is unacceptable but I dunno how much OP can stomach a prolonged fight if the builder is a piece of crap unreasonable entity.
Hard work, inheritance, interest on interest accumulating, and stock and real estate speculation. It's all good.
Deal Addict
Sep 6, 2017
4485 posts
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A good maintenance practice is to clean the condensers which will increase the longevity of you ac system.
[OP]
Jr. Member
Sep 10, 2006
157 posts
45 upvotes
Toronto
Thanks! I was just so pissed by this contractor.
They have all the good reviews on homestar so I thought they are good, but it turns out that their workmanship is as bad as other contractors used by this horrible builder.
fordmaple wrote: Why would you trust the same poor contractor that installed it in your house. Find another reputable HVAC contractor and you'll likely get a better fix and opinion. The original contractor won't admit to their mistakes when they installed it.
[OP]
Jr. Member
Sep 10, 2006
157 posts
45 upvotes
Toronto
Thanks Pete!
Yes the A/Cs are new.
Not sure if I can still hold them back using warranty. Tarion does not cover this after 2 years and the installer says only 5 year parts for the big A/C and only 1 year for the small A/C Crying Face
Can I complain the installer on BBB?
Pete_Coach wrote: You said new build. That means the A/C are new too. .
The builder only places them at a location, a A/C company does the installation and hook up.
New and not working = warranty, either by the builder or the company that installed it.

Oh and, if fixed properly, the freon stays in it forever. My refrigerant has been in my A/C for 15 years now.
Deal Expert
User avatar
May 10, 2005
36407 posts
10672 upvotes
Ottawa
No.6 wrote: Thanks! I was just so pissed by this contractor.
They have all the good reviews on homestar so I thought they are good, but it turns out that their workmanship is as bad as other contractors used by this horrible builder.
So many things can happen and it could be a very minor loose connection allowing the refrigerant to leak.
Point is, you said new construction so, unless you want to pay, force the builder/installer t provide the warranty protection that you have.
[OP]
Jr. Member
Sep 10, 2006
157 posts
45 upvotes
Toronto
Our builder is the worst. Never ever able to get anything fixed.
After we move in, there were many problems. Roof leak, broken A/C, broken hot water tank exhaust pipe, unbalanced garage doors etc.
After so many complaints, they even blocked my phone number so ever time I called them, its playing a recording - "someone will be with you shortly..." and you wait for 10 mins, 20 mins, and 60 mins and still no one answers the phone.
tranquility922 wrote: I think you raise a good pt but I would go back to the builder and insist on getting it fixed for free, that's ridiculous and the evidence ought to be there that the original contractor did a crap job and builder should assign another person to do the 'repair'/i.e. proper installation. 3 years is unacceptable but I dunno how much OP can stomach a prolonged fight if the builder is a piece of crap unreasonable entity.
Sr. Member
Jun 23, 2019
539 posts
394 upvotes
No.6 wrote: Thanks! I was just so pissed by this contractor.
They have all the good reviews on homestar so I thought they are good, but it turns out that their workmanship is as bad as other contractors used by this horrible builder.
I would contact the builder first and see if they will cover the repairs since the units are only 3 years old. If they don't budge then don't use the original contractor that installed the units since they don't seem very competent, considering their installation technique only allows a unit to last 3 years. @newlyborn and @fourseasoncomfort are two well respected HVAC professionals on these boards that do good honest work and can properly diagnose the issues.
Deal Expert
User avatar
May 10, 2005
36407 posts
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Ottawa
No.6 wrote: Thanks Pete!
Yes the A/Cs are new.
Not sure if I can still hold them back using warranty. Tarion does not cover this after 2 years and the installer says only 5 year parts for the big A/C and only 1 year for the small A/C Crying Face
Can I complain the installer on BBB?
OK, it is more than 2 years old so not exactly a "new build" :)
Sure you can complain to BBB but, what are you going to complain about? You do not know what is wrong. No review site or BBB will accept a "I think they did something wrong and are a poor builder" complaint :)
I am afraid you may have to call someone in and pay for finding the leak and refilling the refrigerant. I do suggest the same installer because if it is a part that has failed , then warranty may pay or the part but for a leak, you may pay.
Deal Guru
User avatar
Mar 13, 2004
13096 posts
4705 upvotes
Ontario
If you cant get the builder to cover it all under warranty, Then I would not bother paying their crappy company to come in and do a poor repair again. I would call one of the recommended HVAC techs to come and inspect your full system and fix it properly. I highly recommend @newlyborn hes very honest and wont rip you off.
Deal Addict
Jun 16, 2009
3788 posts
2327 upvotes
Woodbridge
It is less likely to be manufacturing issue if both Ac's have broken with in 3 years. Even cheapest AC's are suppose to run longer when installed correctly.
Builder will not cover it under warranty. If I am not mistaken than they are only on hook for 1 year under Tarion warranty for such issues and 2 years for foundation issues.
Finding a leak and fixing it ( properly) is a time consuming tedious process. Both evaporator coil and A coil needs to be isolated and have the test run separately.
Leak can also be in copper lines ( pinched by a nail or something but its rare.
If I was in your shoes, I would have preferred a different contractor than original ( unless they are giving you a deal and warranty their work ).
You can write here as you progress and we all can try to help you as much as possible and steer you in right direction. If you need faster response than feel free to whats app me at 416-992-2333. Regretfully all the AC's techs in GTA are overwhelmed with the work load.

No.6 wrote: Dear RFDers,

Our new built comes with 2 air conditioners (Goodman GSX130301BF and Comfort Aire CMA18SB-1) installed by the builder.

The Goodman AC takes a long time to cool the rooms. First I thought its due to improper sizing until one day I saw the outside unit has a frozen pipe (low in freon?)
The Comfort Aire one does not cool at all. Running it for 2 hours and the rooms are just getting hotter and hotter. It feels greasy when touching the connection point in between the unit and the pipe - maybe its the point where freon leaks?

I suspect the builder did not do a proper job installing the units. Contacted the builder's HVAC contractor and was told they can send someone in next week and will charge service call for $125 * 2 (for both units).
To me, this is a rip-off.
What are the chances that both two AC units installed by the same company break within 3 years? Of course, the warranty won't help as the Goodman one only has 5-year parts whereas the Comfort Aire one only has a one-year warranty.
Should I bite the bullets and let them fix it? I heard freon leakage is tough to fix and may still need to be refilled after 1-2 years.
Or should I just ask other HVAC company to fill the freon and move on?

Thanks!
HVAC Pro-Committed to customer, not brand. Past RFD Reviews
2022 Central Air Conditioner & Furnace Group Buy
Deal Expert
User avatar
Sep 21, 2010
15185 posts
4636 upvotes
Montréal
No.6 wrote: Our builder is the worst. Never ever able to get anything fixed.
After we move in, there were many problems. Roof leak, broken A/C, broken hot water tank exhaust pipe, unbalanced garage doors etc.
After so many complaints, they even blocked my phone number so ever time I called them, its playing a recording - "someone will be with you shortly..." and you wait for 10 mins, 20 mins, and 60 mins and still no one answers the phone.
That is really awful, I feel for you...that's just ridiculous behavior like out of a comedy skit, except you aren't laughing...speechless. I can't believe there are still commercial entities like these, I guess they aren't afraid of bad reviews. Hopefully you can out them when the time is right (in addition to bombing them w poor reviews/word-of-mouth) so they don't get other ppl's money.
Hard work, inheritance, interest on interest accumulating, and stock and real estate speculation. It's all good.
Deal Addict
Feb 10, 2006
2597 posts
536 upvotes
Kitchener
Tough to say without a tech seeing it but you may have found a crappy installer, have absolutely brutal luck that both units failed. It could also be a sign that the units are plugged up. Last week I went to a unit that was 23 months old. The compressor was fried and confirmed with Victor F (from Goodman). The condenser coil was absolutely plugged solid. I've seen 15 yr old, neglected units cleaner than this. To be honest I wouldn't have believed it had I not see it with my own eyes. This is how it looked around all sides.

Again without having a tech check yours out you won't know what went wrong BUT (and very unlikely) maybe yours are plugged too. New home construction can be very dirty and dusty.
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[OP]
Jr. Member
Sep 10, 2006
157 posts
45 upvotes
Toronto
Thanks everyone for chipping in and giving me great advice! You guys are the best and I've learnt so much from you.

Just some updates...
My neighbours recommended an HVAC specialist and he also lives in the same community. We asked him to come over and take a look
He tested the freon level on both units.
- The Goodman one is low in freon. He showed me that the normal level on the blue gauge should be around 105(psi?) but our is about 80. He said since the unit is still working he would suggest waiting till next year to top it up.
- The Comfort Aire one has no freon. He said if he filled it in, it will be gone within 1-2 years. Just like @newlyborn mentioned, he is a bit busy with new installations, but he said he will come back in mid/late August to find where the unit leaks and try to fix it from there.
I asked him why such problems happened to both units within just 3 years. He said he can only tell after investigating the leakage, but he feels the installation was poorly done.
I also asked him how much it would cost to replace the units, and he said about less than $3k per unit Crying Face and he would not recommend replacing them as they are still very new.

Still super pissed with the original HVAC contractor. It sounds to me that they did a terrible job installing the units in the first place. I left them with a bad review on Homestar but I don't think they really care, as the last time they responded to a review was 7 months ago. What else can I do? Google review? Can I file a complaint on BBB?
tranquility922 wrote: That is really awful, I feel for you...that's just ridiculous behavior like out of a comedy skit, except you aren't laughing...speechless. I can't believe there are still commercial entities like these, I guess they aren't afraid of bad reviews. Hopefully you can out them when the time is right (in addition to bombing them w poor reviews/word-of-mouth) so they don't get other ppl's money.
newlyborn wrote: It is less likely to be manufacturing issue if both Ac's have broken with in 3 years. Even cheapest AC's are suppose to run longer when installed correctly.
Builder will not cover it under warranty. If I am not mistaken than they are only on hook for 1 year under Tarion warranty for such issues and 2 years for foundation issues.
Finding a leak and fixing it ( properly) is a time consuming tedious process. Both evaporator coil and A coil needs to be isolated and have the test run separately.
Leak can also be in copper lines ( pinched by a nail or something but its rare.
If I was in your shoes, I would have preferred a different contractor than original ( unless they are giving you a deal and warranty their work ).
You can write here as you progress and we all can try to help you as much as possible and steer you in right direction. If you need faster response than feel free to whats app me at 416-992-2333. Regretfully all the AC's techs in GTA are overwhelmed with the work load.

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