No wonder it's so freaking hot in here

Hot air coming from the registers… smells like burnt metal. Aww F***.

Run outside and the A/C unit is smoking stinking up the whole backyard, you can hear the engine grinding but the fan isn’t moving. I just spent a small fortune (for us) to have it installed ~ 4 years ago.

Aren’t these units supposed to have an auto-shutoff if the fan refuses to turn, or when there’s not enough coolant in the system? I checked the fan and it does turn freely, the entire unit has been kept clean etc. I can hardly breathe in heat/humidity and I’m going to have to run constant O2 regardless of what I’m not doing.

If I run our bathroom fan - will that help vent hot air that builds up near the ceiling? or would I be just wasting electricity?

Expensive A/C units probably have all those things. The cheap ones in my crappy house don’t. A/C guy had to replace the motor in my A/C just a few months ago.

KEeping cool:

Sleep naked with your windows open like everyone else has for thousands of years.

got a ceiling fan? moisten your torso and arms with damp hand towels and let evaporation cool you off.

fill the tub with cold water and lie down in there until your body temp drops a bit

If the motor is running can you manually push the fan blades to start them going? If so that means you’ve just got a blown capacitor. Less than ten bucks will have your AC running again. Though if you let it just sit there and run until the magic smoke came out, you’re going to have to get a new motor. An SPC motor for most condenser units shouldn’t set you back more than $80 or so, most go for a lot less. I wouldn’t suggest trying to set it up yourself. That’s a lot of electricity. Based on your description these two are the only things I can think of that might have happened. If the compressor is messed up, that’s a whole different ball of wax.

You should check on your warranty before doing any tinkering yourself. A lot of units tend to be covered for 5 years or so.

Yea I’m hoping mine does.

Bahimiron - It’s all black in there. I think it’s much more than a blown capacitor.


Sometimes I just hate life. The unit was installed 5 years +1 month ago. It has a 5 year limited warranty. How is it they can get the timing down so perfectly on this stuff?

Not sure if anyone’s reading, but if so - would it be worth my while to call Bryant - the maker of the unit?

I called the people who installed it and I can’t get a price out of them so I’m really worried about a huge bill for emergency repair. I’m really out of my element here and nto sure what I should do to try and get warranty coverage.

I’d make a call. They will likely cut you a break if you’re 1 month out of warranty. Or, at least, a decent company would. Not sure what Bryant is like.


We have fairies in the backyard, so I wouldn’t doubt it’s their troublemaking friends.

I’m trying to turn this into an adventure , “See how long I can rough it in the house”. I have 4 fans, a ceiling fan and the bathroom fan going and laughable it’s just getting hotter (85* when I started typing, now 86* and rising). They did not build this house for ventilation - it’s more like a solar oven. I guess I could stand to lose a couple pounds though, so that’s a positive.

Go hang out in the bog with the frops. That should cool you down.

Now I need a cold bath.

Years of practice, stress tests and research… We’re good like that in the industry…

Anyways, ask about getting a whole new condensing unit. Google the part number and see if it uses R410 refrigerant. If it is R20, you will most likely have to replace the indoor unit(s) as well. I believe the US, and not just Massachusetts has made R20 completely illegal even for service calls.

warning <rant> warning

Just got off the phone with Bryant - I am furious. They have no compassion - it’s all pass the buck…

Let me paraphrase. The installer said I needed to talk to Bryant to find out exactly what fail-safes are built in my model. I know if the unit has a failsafe to shut the compressor down or the motor in case the fan gets stuck or the coolant runs out - this might mean Bryant is potentially responsible even though the unit is beyond the warranty period. I explain my whole situation to her, my health, the critical need for A/C, we’re not rich, we maintained the unit perfectly - I’m very congenial through the whole conversation though it won’t sound like it in my badly parahrased text below

I ask her what fail-safes the unit has - she tells me,
“We don’t have that information”.
I tell her, “But the local dealer said I need to verify with you to see what fail-safe’s are built in”.

We go round and round for 15 minutes, I’m just trying to get some basic information from her… in the end,
“If it’s a day over warranty we don’t do a thing”
“Sorry it will hurt your health but you’re past your warranty”
“You should have bought our extended warranty program”
“We (Bryant) doesn’t have that information”

Honestly, I understand typical CSR situations and how helpless their jobs can be. This is not one of those cases. She’s a manager, this is her job, she works for Bryant.

Me, “So let me get this straight - You make these, you sell these, and you know nothing about them?”

Her, "<she keeps talking around my question not ever answering it> Talk to the installer".

Me, “I DID talk to the installer, which is why I’m calling you”
I press her further, saying for the billionth time, “THEY MAY NEED THE INFORMATION FROM YOU…”

She then goes on to say, more corporate baloney “Oh, well you need to get that information from the regional distrubitor”.

Me, “What’s that? Are they a level above the installer? You’re talking about middlemen right? Why would they have any more information than you or the qualified installers - they’re middlemen, whereas you design and build the units”

Her, “We can’t help you with that”.

Me, “But what if it was within the 5 year period?”

Her, “We’d be responsible”.

So let me get this straight. The people who design, engineer, and build this stuff don’t know anything about it.

With the emblem “Whatever it takes” in the lower left of their homepage can’t help me with a simple question. It’s a dead end and the only people who supposedly can answer it - are people who do NOT work for Bryant.

Honestly, sounds like the installer is passing the buck, too. They certainly have channels through which they can get technical information from the manufacturer, and he could totally find that information if he wanted to. If you’re paying him to fix it, he shouldn’t be redirecting you elsewhere; if you’re not paying him yet and you were trying to see if you could get warranty repair, I guess you have your answer.

So… your installer told you there may be a way to hold Bryant liable for repairs outside of the warranty, you called Bryant asking them to provide information on your out-of-warranty repair that may cause them to be liable, and she stonewalled you for a quarter of an hour? They probably high-fived when you hung up.

Unless you have a personal relationship involved, the world is a cold place that doesn’t care one way or another. But it’s not personal, it’s business, as the quote goes.

The other problem with home repair is the relatively low margin/high headache value for random off-construction repairs. A couple hundred bucks here and there just doesn’t add up to much when they start adding up fuel, costs for hired labor, parts, hours spent tracking down random issues, ect. Not many shops want to get involved unless it’s a big project; and the ones that do are often underqualified yokel-entrepreneurs with a sketchy past and a hit-or-miss approach to their work. Sucks as well.

<-- fan of Trane

My AC is a piece of shit, too, but thankfully it hasn’t died like that (yet). It’s been 90F out and when I come home the house is 77F (its set to 79 at work) and will run until midnight or so to get it down to 75 (what I have it set to cool too).

During the weekend with the house set to 75 it can’t hold the temperature during the day and it will rise up to 77 (without cooking) and run without stopping. It’s 6 years old now. It was my biggest home owning mistake, and I don’t want to pay $8k to fix it.

Ah, this is so true. The quality of your whole cooling system is a vastly underrated purchasing decision.

If the AC has a five year warranty and it breaks down after more than five years have passed, I don’t think there is much you can do, Jeff.

FWIW. Goodman air conditioners seem to be pretty good, we have one in our house and our previous house has one too. They have a ten year parts warranty (no labor warranty, that was a one year warranty from the installer).

From what I am told, 10 years or so is about all you can expect from most units anyway.