Need help selecting a central ac brand?
I have read consumer reviews and 50% of people love a brand and 50% say it was worst ever. Doesn’t matter what brand name – results same. So I am hoping you service people can make a suggestion based on your repair experience – I am in the sweltering south with high humidity – need a good quality unit. Thanks so much
James Conley answers:
I just put a new heat pump in. It came down to an Amana (I didn’t even know that made anything but refrigerators) and Trane. Both have long warranties – 12 years on the compressor for the Trane and lifetime on the Amana – 10 years on the air handler for both.
In the end I felt better about the company offering the Trane so that is what I bought.
There is a tax rebate for installing efficient systems so you may be able to re-coop $1500 if you install a new system this year.
My Amana Fridge is not working…light is on but freezer fan only works when I flick it………..HELP?
James Conley answers:
Your statement is kind of ambigous; do you mean the freezer works but the refrigerator doesn’t, or is the whole thing not getting cold. Also, about the fan; do you mean when you flick the fan it starts working; (keeps turning until the next time it shuts off; then you need to re-flick again)? Also, you didn’t say if the compressor is running or not, or if ANY coldness is being produced. Nothing was given about the type or model of the unit. Here are a couple of possibilities to check I can’t get specific:
I am assuming you have a regular “frost-free” top-freezer, bottom refrigerator unit.
If the only problem is the fan not starting by itself, (but runs once you flick it) [coldness is being produced, but not being circulated] I would check to see if the bearings are gummy or stuck. You may need to remove the fan and carefully re-oil and check to see that it spins freely. Try a light oil like 3-in-one, or similar product.
If the compressor is NOT running, here is one thing you can try; find the defrost cycle timer motor (it is usually at the bottom front of the refrigerator, behind the removable trim piece. You may need a flashlight and small mirror to look for it (it is often behind a sheet metal bracket) these motors switch the unit between a run mode and a defrost mode; if it stops working when it is in the defrost mode you will get no coldness. The timer usually, but not always, has a a place where you can use a screwdriver to manualy turn it though the cycles. Usualy, you don’t have to remove the timer to do this. In most cases, The “screwdriver interface” can only turn 1 direction. With the refrigerator plugged in, slowly turn the timer unit untill you hear the compressor start, then leave it. See if any coldness is being produced in the freezer. If it seems to be working, you only have a temporary repair, you will need to replace the timer motor, but it is an easy repair and the part doesn’t cost very much. (Just be certain you get the proper replacement for your refrigerator)!
I hope this is of some use to you, no gaurantees! If neither of these fixes the problem, you’re probably going to have tocall somebody.
I am looking to buy a new French Door refrigerator.?
Which brand is the best? Which brand should I stay away from??
James Conley answers:
GE has a nice looking new line that functions very well, but get the GE Profile if you can afford it. You may have an authorized GE Scratch & Dent dealer in your area! Call around, because these are where the deals are. The models that we sell are usually just minor side cabinet damage, function every bit as well as undamaged units and do contain a full warranty if marked as ‘appearance damage’, and on french door Profile models can be as much as $1000 dollars off! Some dealers sell ‘as-is’ units, be wary of these, they DO NOT have the full warranty! The other brand I recommend for French Door is Whirlpool (which owns maytag, amana, and KitchenAid as well as a few other brands – the whirlpools tend to be the nicer more stylish units within a decent price range). Brands I am wary of are LG, Samsung, and Amana, due mainly to professional experience as a Service Technician. I am actually in appliance sales as well as service, so keep in mind that everyone has a bad experience with one brand or another. Keep an open mind to suggestions made here. A lot of people will have a one or two bad experiences with a brand and that doesn’t necessarily mean you should rule it out. It will in the end come down to the deal you can get combined with the style and color options you like, as well as features like water or ice in the door (or both) or number of doors. Reasons I don’t like the LG models is the way the refrigerator section doors seal – note the lack of mullion (the middle flapper you see on other brands that rotates to seal the doors together). They use a cam system seen as white clips near the outside top of the doors and they tend to break with regular use. Unless you are handy with a screwdriver you will be paying 70$ dollars or more to have these replaced more often then you should. Samsung, in my opinion, just has a generally bad repair rate in the refrigerator department. They had to at one time outsource their repair / warranties to Whirlpool (a deal no longer current). Amana is a decent unit made by Whirlpool, but in comparison is cheaply made, and on the white black or bisque models there have been a lot of cases of the handles falling off (they are very light and cheaply made!). Kenmore models are made by other manufacturers (kenmore does not make units, they are simply a re branded product made for sears by other companies), so do your homework (consumer reports, consumer affairs) on this brand’s models before you commit to one. Unless you know how to tell who made a kenmore, you may get something made by LG or Frigidaire or who really knows! I hope this helps!
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