LESLIE: Amanda in Connecticut is on the line with an A/C system that’s not doing the C part of the cooling. What’s going on, Amanda?
AMANDA: Hi. I don’t really know. It’s a brand-new system.
LESLIE: Brand new as in the entire central air-conditioning system is new to the house or just a new condensing unit outside?
AMANDA: The new condensing unit. The house already had the venting in it but it didn’t have the unit.
TOM: OK. So they added the compressor outside, correct?
TOM: And who did this work? Was it a contractor?
AMANDA: Uh-huh, yeah.
TOM: Did they not test it to make sure it was working?
AMANDA: They said they would come back when it was hot. And so I called them and – the hot day. And they came back and it just didn’t cool after four hours. And he told me it’s because the house is an older house and that the returns are on the outside walls and makes it, you know, harder for it to cool down – longer for it to cool down?
TOM: Well, look. You hired these guys to complete your cooling system. So, any good contractor is going to look at the house and they’re going to identify any problems with the size of the ducts or where the ducts are run. They’re going to make sure that they’re sized properly.
Do we know that the compressor is actually working outside?
AMANDA: Yeah. They did – they came back again after that and made sure that it had the Freon in it and checked to make sure that it was working properly.
TOM: Well, obviously, something is not working properly, OK? And it’s either the compressor or there could be something with the way the ducts are installed. I can’t begin to diagnose it for you except to tell you that it’s not right. The contractor should know better than this. I don’t think you’re getting the best advice or service from this contractor, because it shouldn’t be that difficult for an HVAC contractor to figure out why a house is not getting cool. This is their business.
So, if you’re not getting anywhere with these guys, you might want to think about bringing in another contractor to get a second opinion, maybe not even share with them that you had this unit installed recently and see if they can figure out why it’s not cooling. See what kind of advice you get.
But it seems to me that this first contractor had a responsibility to do what it takes or at least to complete the job or advise you if there was something that was going to prevent the compressor from cooling the house. Then why were they willing to sell you the compressor in the first place? You see what I mean? They’re the experts here.
AMANDA: He’s saying to me that four hours is not a long time.
TOM: That’s not true at all. That’s ridiculous.
AMANDA: I pretty much said I had to go outside to cool off.
TOM: Listen, I would get another contractor or an expert in there to find out why exactly it’s not working, take a look at all the things that impact cooling. And then at least you’ll know what was done or not done and you can take it from there. But it doesn’t sound to me like you’re getting the best advice here.
AMANDA: Thank you and I love listening to your show.
TOM: Oh, thank you very much. And I hope we’ve helped you out. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.