I’m going to start off the review by stating that the problems I’ve been having with my AC unit could be due to poor workmanship or poor manufacturing, or a mixture of both.
The previous homeowner used Academy to install the HVAC unit in 2013 and I purchased my condo in 2014. Since then, I’ve had problems with it for 3 years in a row( 2016, 2017, and 2018). The first year in 2016, I hired an independent contractor and he refilled my refrigerant.
In 2017, the AC stopped working in May. I called Academy since they were the ones who had originally installed the unit. They came, refilled my refrigerant, and put a dye in to look for any leaks. They said that I should be good for 2 years, but I made a mental note to call them in the fall to look for leaks so I would not have this problem again the following summer. 2 MONTHS later, my AC broke down again.
Academy said it was the indoor coil that was broken, and I needed a new one. Thankfully the previous homeowner registered the parts for a 10 year warranty so the part itself was not expensive, just the labor. Unfortunately, it took the indoor coil days longer to ship than expected, so my AC unit built up so much condensation and water leaked from my upstairs to my kitchen downstairs. I spoke directly with the owner, and there was nothing he could do to rush the delivery process. Finally, when the indoor coil arrived, they fixed it, and it worked swimmingly…up until this May 2018.
Again, like clockwork, my AC stopped working. The first guy from Academy came out and couldn’t understand why the outdoors unit wasn’t turning on, and said that it may be the compressor. He took pictures and videos to show his boss because he was very confused. After this, I called up another HVAC company (One Stop Air Conditioning & Heating) for a second opinion. This guy, Miguel, quickly found the problems: the reversing valve was running on heat rather than cool (we fixed it by programming my ecobee3), and there was a huge leak from the copper pipe that lead from the outdoor unit to the building. I am APPALLED that the service guys from Academy did not find this at all. I am wondering if that has been leaking from 3 years ago, and I paid to get other things fixed because of that leak.
Academy was scheduled to come look at my unit again, so I showed the guy the source of the leak and he said that he could fix it for me. I asked how much it would be, as Miguel quoted $500. He promised me that it would not be more than that, but of course, the price turned out to be much higher. He reasoned that he took off some pounds from the refrigerant and time off his labor, but it still was more than estimated. I am incredibly unhappy.
To add on to my displeasure, when I had a follow-up appointment, I waited over 3 hours (3pm-6:30pm) for the service person to come. I called the office around 4:30 to ask how long I should wait for and was told that he would be there within the hour. The guy finally came at 7:15pm but I had other plans so he missed me. I had to block off another time in my schedule another day to wait for another service person to come.
I seriously hope that this will be the last year of my HVAC troubles. If it happens again next year, you bet that I will not be contacting Academy for servicing or repairs.