THIS WILL PROBABLY BE THE MOST DETAILED REVIEW EVER WRITTEN –SO I’ll apologize up front, but I offer this LEVEL OF DETAIL to avoid anyone else from being “burned” by this company. The reviews online which suckered me in – DO NOT REFLECT my experience. ThEcomplete lack of knowledge, care or concern at Novel Care is SYSTEMIC. This review illustrates that at every step.
I was using a Keeprite Ksse36GA1 - Serial # L962556779 air conditioner– installed in 1999 – never one service call – worked perfectly until in the end of July 2016, unit stopped working.
July 22, 2016 I Called NovelCare on July 22, 2016 – Female Technician (Sadie?) came out and checked everything on unit, finally determining that the compressor was gone and it would be cost prohibitive and perhaps not possible to even replace the compressor.
• NovelCare installed a York AC 3.5 Ton R410A York Air Conditioner YCD42B21S – Serial # W1A6316095 and a matching air conditioner coil. M# HE34142A170A000473 – S#7116D17488. I was originally extremely impressed that they could offer same day service/installation of a new unit.
• Technicians arrived about 8pm or so at night and left at midnight – welding with flashlights (Chris and Adam) They were extremely tired since they advised they had been working on installations since very early a.m.
• Service Order for install indicates – Drain Piping, Removal of Old A/C, and disconnect Switch
Mid August 2016 – The Unit worked/ran until mid-August 2016 –so for only about 3 weeks. At that time I went on holidays for remainder of the summer – turned unit off and didn’t need nor try it again until Mid June 20, 2017- the next season.
JUNE 2017 - When I started it up in June 2017, House wasn’t reaching requested air conditioning temperature – The Indoor Coil was completely FROZEN UP – furnace spitting water
On Sunday June 11, 2017: I Called After hours service at NovelCare on Sunday June 11th – Tech on phone said it must be my filter. I said NO, I change mine every 4-6 weeks. He said he would have someone call me by 8am the next day
June 13, 2017: No one called me back despite assurance from after hours tech, so I reached out to Novel Care – they said they would send someone on June 13th, 2017
JUNE 13, 2017: Tech (Chris – not the installer – a different tech) arrived on site around 5pm on June 13. He stepped out of truck and told me if coil was frozen up it must be my filter. I told him same thing I had advised the after hours service support team; that my filter was clean and regularly changed. He then advised it must be grass clippings (he had not even looked at outside unit and was still standing by his truck at this point.). He indicated it would cost me about $350 to have outdoor unit hosed down. I said you have not even looked at the unit or taken out a gauge or a tool and you have diagnosed that it is clippings? We walked back to outdoor unit. You could blow the little amount of grass clippings off – nothing there. I advised him that my old KEEPRITE likely therefore had 18 years of clippings/leaves etc and no problem. Chris indicated that York units only need a tiny bit of dust or clippings to make them stop working. I told him I don’t think York would be happy with him communicating that fact and found it difficult to believe. I asked him if I hose down the unit then what? He said I would still be charged for the service call. I asked him call his supervisor. He relayed his findings to his supervisor who confirmed and advised Chris that it must be clippings causing the problem and that I would be charged at minimum the price of a service call even if I decided to hose the unit myself to see if that would resolve the problem of this FROZEN COIL. After Chris’s call with his supervisor I asked him if he should not just check the unit. He proceeded to the unit with his tools and reported back to me that he had indeed found a leak! He however could not fix it because locating a leak is a specialized service that takes hours and hours! This would have to be rescheduled through the office.
June 14, 2017:I had not heard from NovelCAre office so I reached out to them twice over the next coupled of days.
June 16, 2017: Julie (OFFICE MANAGER): then sent out out Andrew ( supposedly a more senior Tech) on June 16th, who arrived but said he had not been scheduled with enough time to find a leak. And he wasn’t sure that there even was a leak. Instead he suggested he should just top it up and we’ll see what happens. I indicated that I didn’t think that was good for the environment . If there was a leak, as first tech indicated, I would prefer he identify it and fix it rather than just implement a hit and miss solution. He proceeded to test and found a leak in an elbow of pipe located right near the unit. He replaced it/rewelded and topped up the unit with refrigerant. He also advised that during the install, they had not pressurized the system properly as per the manufacturer’s instructions; nor had they taken into consideration, the long lines of piping in their pressurization. Service order indicates – leak in suction line connection. He sealed leak, tested refrigerant and indication of 125 psi. Unit worked for only a few days and then wouldn’t come on again.
July 10, 2017: Called Novel Care again. I advised them that the Indoor coil was not frozen. Andrew was sent out again on July 10, 2017. He tightened thermostat wires and got unit to start up. Refrigerant and pressure still good. I also asked him to properly insert electrical covering back into cuplar – 240V wiring had been left exposed – either from his last visit or from time of install.
July 11, 2017 Worked for less than a day and wouldn’t come on again so:
• I Called NovelCare again. Julie suggested next step was that I needed to replace all my thermostats as per Andrew. I said this is ridiculous. My thermostats worked fine with old unit, they work fine with my new furnace, and all during the heating season. Also when the air conditioner was working they were bringing house to temperature and even when outdoor unit is not coming on, Thermostats still calling for cooling and bringing on furnace fan appropriately.
• I had spoken to my furnace installer and to a senior business colleague at York/JCI. Both indicated that given the age of the old unit – installers should not have re-used existing piping. Different refrigerant can cause issues if they don’t do a 2 hour flush with special product. Also still line capacity can create issues. Even oil can cause problems with compressors. I advised NovelCare Julie of this thinking and she said she would speak to Andrew.
July 12, 2017: Andrew came out on July 12, 2017 and confirmed that thermostats are working fine after hearing my explanation and monitoring thermostat/furnace fan etc. I asked him about refrigerant issue. He informed me that they had reused existing piping and told me that BOTH UNITS (OLD AND NEW) USE THE SAME REFRIGERANT SO he said that the theory presented by other installers/techs was not based in fact and could not be causing any of these ongoing issues. He said BOTH UNITS used 410A refrigerant. He cleaned the wires of outdoor unit, capacitor and contactor relay and got unit to start up again.
July 16, 2017 Next few days were cooler no A/C needed. Thermostat called for A/C on July 16th and outdoor unit would not come on AGAIN!
July 17, 2017:
• I phoned KeepRite who confirmed that my old unit used R22 REFRIGERANT – NOT 410A. NOVEL CARE had shown their lack of knowledge or sadly their desire to deceive. KeepRite support indicated that in his opinion piping should not have been re-used by Novel Care. Oil issues, refrigerant mix can damage compressor among causing multiple issues. Used the analogy of a “cancer getting into system which then leaves you chasing your tail.”. He also confirmed that if my thermostat is calling for cooling and furnace fan kicking in this is not a “thermostat issue”. He said it could also be compressor issues, electrical issues in unit, broken wires but regardless, I need a qualified tech and service company who is able to fix permanently or just replace and reinstall from scratch properly.
• I reached out to Barbara ,Oakville, Master Group – company that wholesales all YORK and JCI products to installers/servicers. She offered her support and said she would be reaching out to the territory manager. I advised how disappointed I was that the dealer had left me in such a mess and that I should not be out of pocket to fix ongoing issue caused by either the dealer or a new unit. Barb tried to follow up. Very helpful and expressed her support and concern BUT there was nothing she could really do.
July 18, 2017:
• Phoned NovelCare when office opened. Spoke to Fran. She said Julie is out of the office and Andrew is booked for at least next two days. I told her to have Julie call me. As of 10:21 am still no call back.
• Called Novel Care again at 11:45. Fran said Julie still out, Only she can send someone given the history. She expects her back sometime this afternoon. Nothing else she can do but wait for Julie to come back in. I asked her to put this in an email to me. Nothing received as of 12:04pm
• At that point I gave up!!!
NOVEL CARE NEVER CALLED back – left me high and dry!!!!! BRAND NEW AIR CONDITIONER still not working!
In early August I managed to get the person who had installed my new furnace to come and have a look. It took him under 30 minutes to identify the issue. He changed a small relay and the unit has worked ever since. He has however advised that due to “the most shoddy installation he has ever seen” (his words), it is possible that I will not get the typical life out of this unit and I may experience problems moving forward.
I don't want anyone else to be taken advantage of by a company that is interested in making a sale, charging for service calls, and trying to milk more money out of customers unnecessarily.