Alaskan Air Conditioning & Heating
- Alaskan Air Conditioning & Heating. We do things the Alaskan way, Not the cheap way since 1972. Our Tucson, Az Office. 2305 North 7th Ave. Tucson, Az 85705
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Alaskafication should have identified an issue
I have to admit I am a little disappointed with how my latest service issue has progressed. I typically like working with Alaska AC because I have always felt their technicians are better qualified and more highly skilled vs some other AC service shops. Unfortunately this time I feel like if the technician doing the “Alaskafication” was more knowledgeable and observant my repair issue would have been resolved more efficiently with less cost and loss of refrigerant to the environment.
I requested an Alaskafication checkup on July 13 because I noticed that the AC was running longer than normal, and it seemed like the efficiency was reduced. I mentioned this when I called to schedule the appointment and stated to the technician on arrival. The technician came and gave the system a clean bill of health finding no problems. In the report it is noted a return air temp of 77F and a supply air temp of 63F for a differential of only 14F, which seems kind of low to me but I’m relying on the expertise of Alaska AC to know if that is normal. When I asked about efficiency I was told that if the system reduces the temperature at least one degree an hour it is working normally. This didn’t sit right with me, having experience with automotive AC systems where the benchmark is having a minimum differential temperature.
Less than a month later on 8/10 I lost cooling to my home and noted that the refrigerant lines from the outside compressor were freezing up, so I immediately made a service appointment. On 8/11 the technicians diagnosed a low refrigerant charge condition likely from a slow leak. I was charged $683.10 to top off the system to restore cooling to the home and add dye for leak detection during a follow on appointment. On 8/18 during the followup appointment it was discovered that a coupling fitting between the copper and aluminum refrigerant piping was leaking and there was an oily sheen on the furnace enclosure below the fitting where refrigerant oil had been dripping onto the enclosure. The repair was quoted for $543.10 for a total cost of $1226.20.
I know there is more to this repair than replacing a couple dollar fitting and charging $1226.20. My issue is it seems like this leak should have been identified during the Alaskafication appointment. With my concerns of low efficiency, along with the low differential temperature and oil sheen on the enclosure the dye charge and leak check could have been performed then before the charge became so low that cooling was lost and required some recharging to perform the leak test. Also I don't see anything in the Alaskafication report about checking the charge pressures during the Alaskafication checkout. Maybe that is not a standard check, but probably should be if there are concerns about cooling efficiency. Is a 14F differential temperature cause for concern?
On a positive note, the technician that came to do the diagnostic and is scheduled to preform the repair has been great, very knowledgeable, and was able to determine the source of the leak quickly.