Air Conditioning repair, installations and the importance of HVAC Contractor selection

The job of Air Conditioning isn’t glamorous and in many cases can be quite challenging due to work that wasn’t done quite right to begin with. I have seen a rise in the number of calls I run on annual basis in which the home owner believed earlier they got new AC equipment “installed by someone other than me” at a great deal or bargain.

This “great deal” nomenclature typically means reduced cost. It doesn’t mean a system that runs for 15 years with minimal fuss. The truly unbelievable part is that if this “great deal” system runs for at least a year some of the people still think they got a “great deal”. A system that is designed to run for 15 years that breaks down with catastrophic problems in under 3 years is not a good deal by any definition.

Now does this mean that you won’t suffer a break down at all with properly installed equipment? No. It’s mechanical equipment. It will break down, no matter the brand at some point they all break. The difference is typically the severity of the breakdown… was it due to lack of maintenance or was it due to improper installation or a combination of the two? The other difference is that you don’t spend countless hours trying to find someone who will work on it to fix it. If I installed it you can count on me to fix it. Isn’t that the way it should be? What else are you using an HVAC contractor for?

The common theme that I see from these kinds of ‘great deals’ is somehow the home owner is calling a different contractor than who it was who installed the Air Conditioning and Heating system. There is no reimbursement from the manufacturer other than getting a part. Labor, refrigerant and other non-equipment parts are not covered by manufacturer.

I charge money for these kinds of calls. I will not sugar coat it. I feel if you are old enough to own a home and the responsibility of maintaining one I feel you are old enough to hear the truth. It is not my job, nor my responsibility to go around fixing or repairing serious installation issues of new equipment (less than 3 years old in most cases) installed by other companies or side work done by a “maintenance man” that should know better.

The fact of the matter is there is nothing requiring me to even do these kinds of jobs or correct these kinds of problems. I have run across a few where the home owner was told by another company that they don’t work on this type of equipment. So when you attempt to ‘cheat the system’ you shouldn’t expect another company to come and stick their neck out trying to fix or repair a system that they didn’t put in. In all fairness I do deal with home builder gems that are even worse in some cases and that is an entirely different subject for what I am trying to portray in this blog post. ( A warning to choose carefully.)

It’s very tempting to skim the internet to see how cheap you can buy a system but you fail to realize the manufacturer warranty in Texas is tied to the HVAC contractors license that purchases the system. If there is no license at time of purchase there is no warranty thru the manufacturer. If you don’t believe this read the warranty limitations document from any AC equipment manufacturer… it clearly states any HVAC unit bought over the internet the warranty is void. The websites that sell units that claim otherwise are lying! Read their own fine print for even worse problems doing things this way.

I’ve also stumbled across a system in which a “leak seal additive” had been used to try to fix a Freon leak as opposed to the proper way of finding and fixing the leak the proper way. The argument for adding the leak seal is that the equipment is old and out of warranty. The problem is that the leak seal will gunk up the system, the copper line set and potential lead to a costlier problem to fix than rather just doing it the right way first. This particular system had the leak seal additive added only two months prior to me running the call. This customer is looking at a new AC system plus 2 story line set, other wise the situation will most likely get much worse. So you tell me how much money this guy is saving?

Any refrigerant system should be kept as “clean” as possible. Adding things to a refrigerant circuit will typically only make more problems or further destroy the equipment. If any residual leak seal is left in the line set when the new unit is installed and the leak seal causes failure to the new unit that leak seal could void the manufacturer’s warranty. Therefore, if you have added leak seal to a system it is in your best interest to replace the copper line set at additional cost to ensure the new system is not contaminated. So the thought that you will save money by adding leak seal to an older system that is out of warranty is misguided at best. If an AC company is recommending leak seal additive as an alternative stay away… far, far away.

Now maybe you have stumbled across this page before making any such mistakes noted above. Take heed to the warning. I see these kinds of problems and worse much more often than I should. In writing this blog post I hope to “spread the word” to hopefully put an end to some of these kinds of things. It would not only make my job easier, it would make you happier and less frustrated.

This is Texas after all… You will always need a good reliable HVAC company to depend on. My trade mark line isn’t by mistake IT’S ON PURPOSE!

A good amount of what I say here is pretty harsh. It is intended this way so that you get the point at the severity of what you are ‘playing’ with. I am not in the HVAC business to ‘play around’. If you call me — you call for one reason….

The catch is: You must reside within my service area. I do not fix systems over the phone. The fix may require replacement… only Jesus performs more miracles.

About the author of this blog:
My name is Ray Austin. I am the owner and operator of Austin Air Companie, a HVAC Service Company serving Katy, Texas | Cypress, Texas and some surrounding areas. I am a Texas Licensed HVAC Contractor with over 20 years experience in Air Conditioning and Heating Systems. I hold an AOS degree in HVAC/R, EPA universally certified to handle any refrigerant and NATE certified in HVAC installations and repairs.

Austin Air Companie
“Your home comfort from A to Z”
Air Conditioning | Controls | Heating | Zoning

For more information you can always visit me on my main website @

Better Stuff. Done Right. On Time. Guaranteed.

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