DIY Home Improvement, Remodeling & Repair Forum > Appliances > HVAC > Central Air Unit Not Cooling House -- please help!

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Old 07-26-2009, 02:36 PM  
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Default Central Air Unit Not Cooling House -- please help!

For whatever reason, for the second time in two months my 11-year old central AC is not cooling my house. Nearly two months ago it stopped working and I had the large outside unit (condenser? compressor?) replaced. That solved my problem at that time. (FWIW, the unit is a Payne.) Now I'm having problems again; (Another pain.)

Both the outside unit and the attic unit are running. Water is dripping from the release pipe on the back of the house, and there's a small fraction-of-an-inch of water in the pan in the attic unit.

Since I know nothing at all about air-conditioners, I'm wondering if there might possibly be a very simple remedy which even I might be able to fix. I've already notified 2-10 Home Warranty and have gotten a work order number. I then called the local repairman suggested by 2-10 and left the work number on their voice mail. Even so, it would be much better if I, or perhaps a neighbor, could fix the problem today and keep the repairman away. I would greatly appreciate any advice you might offer. Thank you.

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Old 07-26-2009, 08:29 PM  
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Hello Kozakid:
Make sure the compressor (The big black part in the outdoor unit) is running. Is there any warm air rising out of the outdoor unit? Is there any frost on the larger line and is the smaller line warm? Shut the system down, wait three minutes and find a screw-on cap near the outdoor unit on the smaller line. Unscrew the cap and use a screwdriver to press the tire valve under the cap; there should be considerable pressure in the line, or it has lost its charge through a leak.
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Old 07-27-2009, 10:44 AM  
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Thank you very much for your advice.

One very major thing I failed to mention in my initial post was that the air filter was heavily clogged with dust and dirt several days ago, and that's when the problem started. In the past I've always changed the filter monthly and never had any problems with a clogged filter; however, this past month there has been an awful lot of work in my house while my cousin has been painting the interior. A lot of furniture and boxes have been moved in and out of the house so I figure there's been a lot more dust raised than usual.

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to check the unit before the repairman came. After looking at the unit, he said he had both good news and bad. He said that my current problem stemmed from the filter having been extremely dirty, and that the unit was slowly returning to normal -- over several days -- since the filter had been replaced. As proof, he had me feel the very cold pipe coming from the back of my house. (Actually, I've noticed the house very gradually getting cooler the past two nights.) The bad news is that if I want to get the house up to code I will essentially need to replace the attic unit, which would cost me $650 out-of-pocket because I have 2-10 Homeowner's Warranty. He said it would cost me either $3,200 or $3,700 without the warranty.

Among other things he said I needed a new auxiliary pan, a safety float??? switch, duct meds???, quick disconnet, and T-start??? (As you can tell, I had trouble reading his writing.) Also, he recommended A/H replacement. He also mentioned a leaking coil and something about excessive mold. He told he there should never be water in the pan.

Do you feel that everything he's telling me sounds within reason? Once again, thanks for your suggestions.
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