How to Clean an Air Conditioner

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Subject: Hey Hater!

So is it really necessary to attack this articles author? I'm not an AC tech but I work at an HVAC company and even I know ice on a could doesn't "mean it's a heat pump in defrost mode"'!
Not every condenser is a heat pump! An iced coil can be caused by low refrigerant, poor air flow (clogged filter) or running it at low temps with without head pressure control.
Oh, and average homeowners having access to a volt meter and youtube... Is part of what keeps the HVAC industry alive. Don't encourage people to do their own electrical troubleshooting- that's irrisponsible. That's not an insult to customers, they shouldn't know how to do that, that's why there are professionals.
If you're going to bash other industry professionals atleast be accurate and responsible with your advice.

Michael Ponsano

Subject: Air conditioning and refrigeration

I am a licensed refrigeration contractor and refrigeration teacher, contractors classification C-38 if you are in california, for the last 30 years and in all my years I never came across a lubrication fitting for a compressor. As far as the fan motor goes on the condenser if its less than 20 years old they usually have sealed bearings and you do not lubricate them. To clean a condenser coil.... turn the hose on it! It rains in it and on it so a hose will do no damage. Just remember the fins only. Gaining access to the the inside unit or the evaporator requires a lot more that just opening up a door. A lot of times you have to separate the heater from the evaporator to get to it and then there is all that pesky duct work. Resealing it is a lot more that just reversing the process. Ice on the condensing unit means you have a heat pump and the defrost is not working. Not a job for most homeowners but if you know how a voltmeter works Im sure there is a u-tube video to show you how to trouble shoot electrical controls. Im going to stop here.

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I second the original question (still unanswered). Speaking as someone who logged in today to try to find an attorney, I see this category as one that's exactly what I have my Angie's List membership for:

1. It's important that I find a good one
2. I'm not an expert enough to know myself who is a good one
3. The industry is full of advertisements and misinformation
4. I wish I knew what experiences other people have had

I don't care about lawns--I planted mine in clover and don't have to mow it. When I do need to mow I use a rotary Fiskars mower, which is great--or a scythe. That's right--a scythe (the European type, which is smaller, and it's very good exercise). Gas-powered mowers, chemical fertilizers and weed killers--all nasty stuff that gets into everyone's air, soil, and water. I'm sure my neighbor doesn't like my wildflowers, semi-wild pockets of fruit bushes, and unmown areas and yes, dandelions (I have 10 acres) but that's too bad. It's better habitat for wildlife, especially the pollinators on which our food supply depends. I think this obsession with the Great American Lawn is a waste of time and resources. Plant some food instead.

I'm not sure Angie et. al. want you to have a complete answer to this question. By re-subscribing at the Indiana State Fair in 2012, I think I paid $20.00 per year for a multi- year subscription. Maybe even less. At the other extreme--and I hope my memory isn't faulty about this--I think the price, for my area, for ONE year was an outrageous $70.00. And they debited me automatically without warning. I had to opt out of that automatic charge. I like Angie's List, but if some of the companies they monitor behaved the way they do in this respect, they'd be on some sort of Pages of Unhappiness. I'll be interested to see if this comment gets published or censored out of existence.

That's very difficult to answer without seeing the house. As one poster said, the prep is the most important part. On newer homes that don't have a lot of peeling paint, the prep can be very minimal even as low as a couple or a few hundred dollars for the prep labor.

On a 100 year old home with 12 coats of peeling paint on it, then the prep costs can be very high and can easily exceed 50% of the job's labor cost.

A 2100 sq ft two story home could easily cost $1000 just for the labor to prep for the paint job. That number could climb too. Throw in lots of caullking  or window glazing, and you could be talking a couple or a few hundred dollars more for labor.

Painting that home with one coat of paint and a different color on the trim could run roughly $1000 or more just for labor. Add a second coat  and that could cost close to another $1000 for labor.

For paint, you may need 20 gallons of paint. You can pay from $30-$70 for a gallon of good quality exterior paint. The manufacturer of the paint should be specified in any painting contract. Otherwise, the contractor could bid at a Sherwin-Williams $60 per gallon paint and then paint the house with $35 Valspar and pocket the difference. $25 dollars per gallon times 20 gallons? That's a pretty penny too.

That was the long answer to your question. The short answer is $2000 to $4000 and up, depending upon the amount of prep, the number of coats, the amount of trim, and the paint used.