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How to find a trustworthy company to service your air conditioner. When your air conditioner has a malfunction or just needs maintenance, how do you know who to call, how do you know if the technician telling the truth, is it a good price. That’s everybody’s worry, and for good reason. There are a lot of dishonest companies around and its very hard to find a good one. I'm going to give you the homeowner a few tips to finding an honest company. First off, do not call the first company that pops up.

Come on Las vegas, instead of calling just any repair company this winter. Try one thats willing to help you fix your heater or furnace yourself.

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Have a question about heating and air conditioning?

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Recent Questions for the Expert......................

The Air Doctor takes calls for ac repair.

Q. Hi I've been having trouble with noise coming from my unit. It seems to work fine, but it's very loud and rattles. It's very shaky when it's on.

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A. That's a sign of a bent fan blade. Turn off the power to the unit. Remove the lid, will need either a 1/4 or a 5/16 inch nut driver. Remove the blade from the motor, will need sand paper, crescent wrench, oil or wd-40. The first thing you do is sand down the shaft sticking out of the motor. Then add plenty of oil. Use the crescent wrench to back up the lock nut holding the shaft to the blade. Now secure the crescent wrench around the shaft of the motor and twist the shaft while holding the fan blade in place. Slowly working the blade off. That will work for most blades if yours is too hard to get off a wheel puller could make the job easier. Once the blade is off, simply hold on to it so you know what to buy. Installing the new one is the easiest part the new blade will go on fairly easy. Just make sure to bring the blade down as far as possible without the blade hitting anything, and be sure the lock nut on hub of blade is securely locked down on the flat side of the shaft. Now re assemble air conditioning system. Make sure all screws are back in and fan blade isn't going to hit anything when it turns. Now turn power back on, and wait for unit too start. When it does you should see a big improvement on the vibration.

Q. My Air conditioner works ok one minute, then all of a sudden its hot in here. I shut it down for awhile, and when I turn it back on, it works. What could this be.

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A. 90% chance you need a condenser motor. When the unit does stop working walk outside and take a look at your air conditioner, if the fan has stopped spinning then it's probably bad. Another thing you could do is touch the top of the unit, right above where the motor is attached, If it's hotter than the surrounding metal, you need a new motor. Motors can be fairly costly, expect to spend between $400 and $650 depending on the size or type of motor you have. If you know what kind of motor you have, post it here and I could give you a better expectation.

Q. I had a company out last week they replaced my compressor. I paid $2,775.00 for I think a 4 ton compressor. Did I get ripped off.

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A. Well, you could surely have found it for less somewhere else. The average 4 ton compressor should cost around $2,200.00 if done right. There are a lot of companies that do what we like to call "bargain biding" they do the job cheap and they work cheap. If done right a compressor install into just about any system of almost any age should last another 10 years. A compressor done right involves the following.

  • Evacuation of old refrigerant.
  • Removal of old compressor.
  • Cleaning of any metering device.
  • Replacing of any and all filter driers.
  • Replacing of run capacitor.
  • Replacing of contactor.
  • Tightening of all electrical connections.
  • Purging the system with nitrogen.
  • Brazing in of new compressor.
  • Vacuuming system down to 500-780 microns, let sit. If microns rise above 1500 there's a leak.
  • No leaks good, Charge system to 10 degrees superheat at evaporator or 20-35 at compressor.

Now that is a proper compressor installation and will have the best chance to run for another 10 years.

A new compressor should also come with a 1 year warranty on parts and labor.

Q. I'm thinking of getting a new air conditioning system, I have the kind on the roof. I'd like to know if it's worth it to get a high efficiency system or should I just get a 13 seer unit. It's so confusing because of all the companies I ask, nobody can shoot me a straight answer.

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A. Good Question, and an easy one. If you can afford it right now, and will be living in the home for at least 5 years then yes, it is cost effective to get the 16 seer model. Here's why, The average home air conditioner runs 3200 hours per year. Ok, so an old 8 seer 5 ton unit running 3200 hours per year at 0.17 cents cost per KWH would cost you $ 4,080.00 a year. Now replace that with a 13 seer unit and your yearly cost goes down 38% that's $1,569.00 per year savings. It would pay itself off in 3.5 years if you paid $5,500.00. Now let's compare that to a 16 seer unit. If you bought a 16 seer goodman package rooftop air conditioner for $7,000.00 total. You would save 50% a year, that's $2,040.00 savings per year versus that old unit. So yes you spent more but, the 16 seer will pay back the extra cost as savings off the energy bill in 3.18 years and pay itself off in full in 3.43 years.

So in short the 16 seer unit pays itself off faster. Then after that saves you an extra $471.00 a year, now making you money. So if you have to pay the power bill. Then yes, choosing a high efficient system is the right choice.

Q. I have an air conditioner on my side yard that vibrates like crazy. I can hear it all the way inside the house. Is their anything I can do.

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A. Most of the time a huge vibration is coming from a bent fan blade. But, can come from a failing compressor or a condenser motor with bad bearings. On average, its the bent fan blade 90% of the time. Try Replacing the blade, make sure to buy the right size and pitch blade. After changing the blade always put an amp probe on the condenser motor when turning unit back on. Make sure the motor is still within its max amp rating. If motor is pulling more amps than the max amps allows. You can only do 1 thing, replace the condenser motor with a larger motor or a motor that has a higher max amp rating. If the noise is coming from the compressor, you should call a doctor.

Q. I have a 5 ton amana ac/heat that is 2 yrs old. Started making clicking noise when blower stopped. I was told that I need 2 filters (20x25x4) because the (smart) motor is not getting enough air flow and is running at high capacity and vibrating. I all this true? They are going to do a modification. $1300 yikes.

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A. Hello pattie, $1300 on a two year old unit seems extreme. You may want to get a second opinion, it seems like you have a cars sales-men out there. Those new amana units typically have variable speed blower motors capable of handling different static pressures created by different filter sizes and types. With that said if there was a modification required our company would be able to do it less than $1300. Feel free to call us at 363-1042 or any other company as I believe you need a second opinion.

Response Q. Stephen, Thank you for the response. What they said was that a 5 ton unit requires more airflow and 2 filters according to the manufacturer's specifications. Is that true? I live in Houston Tx or I would gladly call you. They said they clicking noise is from the motor vibrating because it is always running at full capacity and it will burn up and not be coverered by mfg warranty because there are not 2 filters and proper air return. Is all this true?

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A. Well the part about haveing proper filter size is true, but I warranty units all day every day and so does Amana regardless of filter sizes, that's a scare tactic if they choose to not homer your warranty then you can call anybody and they can honor your manufacturer warranty as its on the unit not with the company who put it in. The only warranty from them is the labor warranty. And yes 20x50 is the correct size for a 5 ton but the part that is wrong Is the 4 inch part. 2- 20x25x1 filters are what's required and anything more is only if you choose to add the extra filter banks for air quality. But those cost more, and restrict the airflow even more that a 1 inch. Furthermore most units can't handle the restriction and static pressure put on then by 4 inch hepa filters. Only units with variable speed motors should have 4 inch filters. Basically they're trying to scare you into buying them by saying your warranty would be void. If I were you I would tell them to install a filter system that's 20x50x1 which would take 1- 20x25x1 filters and cost a lot less also if you allow them to install those 4 inch filters your stuck buying 4 inch filter replacements every time they get dirty so that's also more expensive.

There's a lot of companies that play that game out here also but don't let then tell you your warranty will be void because it won't go void unless they do it. And that right there is very dishonest and un-moral. I would see if you can't have a different company do the job, maybe one that doesn't try to scare you into spending money.