We used Spring Home the last winter when our furnace broke down. We called four HVAC companies and they were the only one to call back the next morning. The only criticism we had but did not mention at the time was that the technician who came out to replace the control board only put back one screw to mount it back into place.
Fast forward to this Summer and our central air conditioner wasn't working very well during the heat wave mid-August. I inspected the furnace and found ice building up inside the evaporator coil in the furnace. I initially thought it was caused by the drain line which was clogged. After cleaning it out, I let the fan run overnight to melt away the ice and dry out the furnace. The next day, the inside evaporator coil iced up again and figured it was due to low refrigerant level. The coil appeared to be clean (not dusty) as replace our furnace filter regularly.
Like last winter, we called a few different HVAC companies in our area and only Spring Home returned our call. It was explained upfront that it would be $90 for the service call to diagnose the problem but they would need to perform a leak test for an additional $150. It was explained that topping up the refrigerant level would only be a temporary fix as it wouldn't explain why the refrigerant level was so low. Thus a leak test needed to be done.
The technician, Sean, confirmed we were low on refrigerant. He had to come back the next day to perform the leak test as it was getting dark. He mentioned he would need to cut one of the lines, and fill the outside unit with nitrogen. A subsequent reading of each line taken the next day would confirm whether the leak was coming from the outside or inside coil.
Cheryl from the service department was great in following up with us and provided us with rough estimates in case a major repair was needed. Our Kenmore unit only had 3 years warranty remaining on the compressor, so worst case scenario it was going to cost at least $1,500 (inside coil) to at least $2,200 (outside coil) for the repair. It was explained the outside coil generally costs more and is a two person job. At this point, I started calling other companies for quotes on a replacement central air unit.
Only because of the prior responsive service we received that I am not giving Spring Home a zero rating. What we did not expect and it was not clearly communicated that the leak test would mean being left with an air conditioning system that is completely inoperable. We are in a worse a state that before as evidenced by the photo.
Sean came back the next day to take a reading (we were not home) and the Cheryl called to confirm the outside coil needed to be replaced. Meanwhile, two other HVAC companies (one from Costco) came by to give us a quote. Both representatives commented on the leak test done and said cutting one of the lines was completely unnecessary it and unprofessional to leave our air conditioner like that. Cutting one of the lines would released more refrigerant (which we would have to pay for now if we decided to go with the repair option). and the line they cut should be replaced.
When I got home I found one of the caps for the valves on the ground and the other one missing. An apology that includes "what's done is done" does not cut it.
We do NOT recommend Spring Home Heating & Cooling and suggest looking elsewhere if you do need your AC unit fixed.
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- What could this company do to improve their services?
- Any advice to offer fellow homeowners facing a similar project?