This is a tale of two service calls.
The first took place on Thursday, August 9. We were on vacation, and we heard from the tenant in our basement apartment that there was water coming out of our furnace room. They found that water was pooling underneath the furnace and we suspected a problem with the A/C. So, we called an HVAC Contractor in Mississauga (Homestars won't let us use this name) and scheduled a service call for the following day.
The first Service Tech found that the A/C water pan had overflowed, the runoff pipe was clogged. He cleaned it out, and water started to flow through the drain again. He then went to check the A/C itself and indicated that we might have a leak as the level refrigerant was low. He asked is if we wanted to top it off for now, then schedule another service call to find the source of the leak. Something didn't feel right about this advice, but, given that we were away, we felt that we were stuck between a rock and a hard place. We told him to fill it but decided to leave the A/C off until our return on Sunday, August 11. Our tenant is in a cooler part of the house (basement), and since we weren't home, there wasn't a need to cool down the other living area. The Service Tech told us also to clean the A/C unit and open some of the registers we had closed to increase circulation across the house.
We returned on Sunday, and I cleaned the A/C unit and opened the registered as instructed. We then restarted the A/C and monitored the furnace room to make sure we had no further leaks. Everything looked good for a couple of days. Then the A/C unit stopped cooling. While inspecting the unit, I noticed it made a higher pitch sound when operating and the compressor would intermittently shut off (that explained the lack of cooling). After living with this for about a week, I started looking for another HVAC company to give us a second opinion.
The second service call took place on Monday, August 19. I found Core Temp on Homestars after reading a similar issue one of their customer's had (requiring a second opinion from a previous service call). I spoke with Richard at Core Temp on Monday morning, and he and Eric showed up about an hour later.
These Gents are real professionals. They identified the problems right away. First, the underlying cause for the leak in the basement wasn't because we were low on refrigerant. The first Service Tech misdiagnosed the problem entirely. We had a faulty high-pressure switch (not low refrigerant). It was stuck and caused ice build-up. When the ice melted, the water pan overflowed.
Core Temp repaired the electrical problem and also discovered that the first Service Tech overfilled the refrigerant (we weren't low in the first place), and it had to be reclaimed (and returned to a safe level). If it wasn't, it would only have been a matter of time before the compressor would have blown (costing us $2K+ in potential repairs). Within 30 minutes he had the unit repaired and running optimally.
Given that our HVAC system is about 12-years old, I asked Richard what he thought about replacing it. His advice, save our money, the repair should give it additional years of service. He even called to follow-up today and see how things were going (perfectly I might add).
Take my advice; if something seems fishy, go with your gut. I will never do business with the first company we contacted again. Core Temp is my HVAC professional of choice from now on!
- Company Response
Thank you for your review! We are happy we were able to resolve your service issue and able to save the unit before any major damage occurred. We look forward to working with you again in future!