Four ways companies try to cut costs:
1. The easiest and least noticeable method to reduce line-set costs by using thinner lower grade copper. It's not noticeable by the customer and saves money.
2. Using a smaller diameter copper than the system requires. Customers won't notice and you'll save. Also, some companies will use both a smaller diameter line-set and thinner walled lower grade copper. The system will work just fine, but customers will see much higher electric bills, plus their systems will develop leaks much earlier than they would have, had the proper line-set and copper been used.
3. Piecing the line-set together from scraps, hiding the welds in the ceilings, attics, or walls. The company trying to find the leaks will go nuts trying to find it. Customers won't notice, after all they can't watch all the time!
4. Overlooking kinks in the line-set. While the customer won’t notice the kinks, they will notice the higher electric bills. Also, kinks put additional stress on the compressor.
Another scam that is common in this industry is companies that don’t evacuate the system before releasing new Freon. By leaving air moisture in the system, acid is being created, which is extremely damaging and can lead to system failure. Because the acid moisture combination makes the compressor work harder, your electric bills will skyrocket.
Some companies “forget” to re-check the Freon levels after the system is running. This causes customers’ electric bills to soar by 11% and puts stress on the compressor.
Other companies use a lower SEER evaporator coil than the air conditioning is rated for. This, again, causes electric bills to dramatically increase. Meanwhile, other companies will tell you that your existing evaporating coil works just fine. Be advised that using an old evaporator coil may negate the energy efficiency you paid for when you bought the unit.