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The consensus estimate among AC professionals (those with Master licenses) is that 90% of the problems with HVAC systems is which person installed it. This is because there are so many variables that occur during an installation. I will list 4 of the hundreds of problems and their cause and effect.
1) Water leaking from coil
2) Low airflow to a room
3) High humidity level in house (cold, clammy feeling)
4) Different temperatures around a room
1) Water leaks - A) Coil dirty and freezing up causing water to bypass drain pan. This could be due to leaks around the filter due to improper sealing techniques during installation. B) The drainline may be plugged up due to unsloped sections of the drainline allowing slimemold to build up and harden in those areas.
2) Low airflow to a room - A) Dirty Coil as in 1. B) Duct to room not large enough for the distance. C) Duct not properly layed out.
3) High humidity - A) Too large of AC, it is sized improperly causing short cycling B) improperly placed thermostat C) Duct Leakage
4) Temperature differentials around room - A) improper grille type (the throw of the grille is not enough to distribute the air around the room. B) Insufficient duct size C) Improper layout of the duct (kinks, bends).
I did not cover equipment position in the house, return air sizing, filter type, condenser cleanliness, or even refrigerant charge level. These are just the "tip of the iceberg".
My license number is TACLA017041C
The TACL stands for Texas Air Conditioning License.
The A after that stands for unlimited class (unlimited tonnage such as chillers).
The C after the number stands for Process Heating and Cooling (refrigeration)
These are the highest designations and the hardest to get. The pass rate of either exam is approximately 20%.
Other contractors may have this high a designation but most have a B designation limiting the size equipment they can work on.
The easiest license to get is the EPA license that anyone (even those without any knowledge about AC's can get) It basically lets you know that that person has sat through a class about the current federal regulations regarding ozone depleting chemicals. These are the people that are typically working on your air conditioner. In many cases, they are installing the equipment in your house as a part time summer job.
The extreme difference in exertise is more prevalent in the large companies and most notibly the homebuyers protection programs. The smaller AC companies generally have more knowlegeable workers since the helpers are working directly with the owner/operator. This is an apprenticeship type of service business where the expertise of the person working on your AC is responsible for 90% of the repair. The large companies take 90% of the money to support large pools of marketing people and executives. This means that 90% of the money doesn't go to the person doing the work!
When I design your system, it is with the idea of having the least amount of down time and the least number of service calls during the lifetime of the equipment. To see a sample of what detail I look at when designing a system for your house, download the following PDF type file.
Please email Rick at email@example.com with any suggestions and comments.