Yesterday I had a problem and I called a large AC repair firm who came out and inspected my AC system that was making a loud noise when I turned it on cool for the first time this year. During the inspection while the technician was tinkering, the system got quiet and started working normally. When I asked the technician what he did to fix it, he avoided answering me and just said "that was strange." He turned the compressor off and continued on with his inspection including the air exchange unit inside the house. When done, he informed me that my compressor was dead and needed to be replaced at over $3500. Since that was a blow to my savings, he offered an extended payment plan on a new system for $8500 that had a 10-yr warranty, which he pitched as a better deal than spending $3500 on my used system.
In March 2011, I installed a new 5-Ton Trane Heat Pump with Air Handler, but I did not get the extended warranty, so the limited warranty was up in July 2016. Regardless, this technician informed me that my system was dead and these were my 2 options, $3500 or $8500. I told him that I was in shock and needed some time.
The next day I came to Thumbtack and found Jonathon Morgan of J and J HVAC. I explained to Jon what happened and he said he could be out between 4:30PM and 5:00PM today. He showed up just after 4:30PM. We set the thermostat to cool and went outside to start the compressor since the tech did something to keep it off. Jon's assistant pulled a panel and found the cover to the start solenoid removed. When they fired up the unit , it sounded quiet and was pulling the hot air from inside the house out through the fan. I ran inside and checked that the AC was putting out cold air and went back and told Jon that it was working fine. All along the only problem was the loud noise. Jon suggested that removing the start cover is what the technician did the day before that made the unit run quiet when I noticed that it began to work normally, and explained the noise that these solenoids can make and surmised that the cover was at least part of the problem with the noise. He inspected the solenoid to be good and the compressor was humming along quietly and pumping hot air out of the house. So, we were both satisfied that the problem was resolved with the removal of the solenoid cover that Jon insisted was sufficient repair. Since he was in the neighborhood already, he wasn't even going to charge me to come by, but I have asked him to send me the bill and I will gladly pay it. Not sure if he will or not.
In summary, the first company tried to sell me an expensive service that I didn't need, and worse, a new system claiming mine was out of warranty and defective and likely going to cost more down the road. Then Jon came along and like magic, my problem was resolved with a $40 service call. How amazing the difference between these two service companies. One is a rip off taking advantage of customers none the wiser. The other is a decent company bent on serving the customer with no more or no less than needed to resolve the problem.
Do yourself a favor and stay away from these companies with big advertising budgets on TV. They're sleek and slick, winning your confidence with smiles and personality. This technician showed me everything he was doing and explained each step, up until the part when the unit got quiet and started working. And then he got as quiet as my fully functional 6 year old compressor, yet had the audacity to lie to me and tell me that it was broken.
Jon from J and J HVAC is my new AC guy if ever I need service again. He won me over with his professional demeanor and excellent support to not sell me anything I didn't need.
Thank God that I came into contact with Jonathon Morgan. I was really stressing out on spending $3500. And now I don't have too.