• Report: #600270
Complaint Review:

Rheem Air Conditioning

  • Submitted: Tue, May 04, 2010
  • Updated: Thu, November 11, 2010

  • Reported By: Jim — Fountain Inn South Carolina U.S.A.
Rheem Air Conditioning
5600 Old Greenwood Road Fort Smith, Arkansas United States of America

Rheem Air Conditioning Rhuud "not their problem after $12,600.00" Fort Smith, Arkansas

*UPDATE Employee: Check your facts

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I purchased a home in 2004, and it had two 20-25 year old Trane HVAC unit's in it (one upstairs, and one downstairs). Both units functioned, but my home was consuming about $400.00 a month in electricity.

After consulting a friend who was in the HVAC business, I made a decision to go ahead and replace the old units with (what I thought was) more efficient units. So hearing about Rheem/Rhuud, I felt that they were excellent quality units, so I purchased the downstairs unit first for $6600.00. I had the entire system replaced, along with all the ductwork.

Here is what I was expecting by getting these units replaced:

1) Lower monthly electric bills

2) the upstairs to cool better as it would get up to 90 degrees even with the air running.

3) High-quality, efficient units that would last a long time.

So it began. In Oct of 2004, our downstairs unit was installed, and it was great. It cooled well, and we were happy. BUT, the cost for running the unit did NOT decrease. This was a minor issue I guess, so we ignored it. Well, with our new unit installed, we also felt we should keep it up. and have it maintained on a regular basis, WHICH Hill's Service Company promised would be a regular thing they would perform (Lie #1). Hill's NEVER at any time EVER came out to service or even check the system, or replace the box filter for the furnace that was supposed to be replaced on an annual basis, no checks were ever made to the system or anything. As a matter of fact, only after multiple phone calls and emails would they even respond with a "Yes, we'll do it" (which they never did).

So, I got the filters myself, by going under the house and getting the measurements, and ordering them, and I replace them myself.

About 3 years goes by, and we notice that the upstairs unit probably should be replaced. We felt this HAD to be the eletrical drain on our house, and it wasnt cooling the upstairs anyway. So we call Hill's again (don;t ask me why, I just didn't know who else to call at that point), and get another unit for upstairs. So they spec out a system and assure us, that it would cool everything wonderfully and be rally good for our power bill.(Lie #'s 2&3)

This unit cost us almost $6000 to be installed (now that comes to almost $13,000.00 for our systems to be replaced), and...no change. As a matter of fact, our power bill went UP that next summer from the previous ones.

And, as they were wont to do, they did not maintain this unit either. As a matter of fact, I had to have words with the owner, Robbie Hill, about there lack of customer support after the install, and bug him to death to finally get my owners manuals for the new units, which they ceremoniously left on my front porch (even though I was home), and got soaking wet from the rain that day. We don't use the front door, so it was out there a while without us knowing it.

OK, so this is where the fun begins. In July 2008, our downstairs unit got struck by lightning, great. So we call Hill's, and the finally dispatch a tech to come "fix" it. They came out when I was not there, after I told them to speak to me only as my wife did not know anything about it. The tech found a blown main circuit board, and it also blew a hole in the evaporator core. They soldered the core and replaced the board, and refilled it with R-22. During the time of repairing the core, they suggested that we replace the unit, but they didn't have one in stock so they were just going to repair it. My wife told them that was ok (she didn't have a clue what they were talking about, and couldn't relay this to me later on, otherwise I would have jumped all over them and told them they needed to just wait and replace the core. I don't believe in patching a unit that was under warranty.)

Well, they sent us a bill for almost $800.00 for their "repair". Well needless to say, I did not pay it, because less than a month or so later, all the freon leaked out again, we found more holes, the fan relay and condensor went out, and I finally got another person (a reputable HVAC company) to repair it. They saw the core and also said they never should have repaired that, but replace it. So the downstairs unit was fixed.

More fun... about 9 months ago, the upstairs unit went out. So I called my HVAC tech back out (not Hill's) and he diagnosed it as a bad AHU motor. This was a motor that Hill's convinced me was a "much more efficient and reliable motor" as it was a new variable speed-type. Well, the bearing's burned up on it and it went out, and we had to have it replaced under warranty. This was in the middle of the summer of 2009.

So now, the upstairs unit, two weeks ago, has now completely leaked out of freon. At this point, I had had it with these junk Rheems, or the bad installer, or both. I filed a complaint with Rheems customer support, who, at first, was willing to help with phone calls...until they contacted Hill's about the history of our unit's. Hill's lied through their teeth telling Rheem that they suggested we replace the evaporator core, but that we REFUSED it!!! Liars.

So after not hearing from Rheem/Rhuud support, we finally called them to find out if they decided to do anything, and they blew us off and said it was not a warranty issue, and it was our problem.

So In conclusion:

1) The new units cost me $12,300.00

2) The new units are MORE expensive to run than the old Trane 25 yr old units

3) The upstairs, when it works, is only cooling to about 85 degrees in the hot summer months

4) The units have broken down more times than I am confortable with

5) the upstairs unit is still broken, and I am going to have to pay AGAIN to have it fixed.

6) No effort by Hill's or Rheem/Rhuud was given to truly try to get my problems resolved.

Maybe I am just expecting too much? Or am I too picky?

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 05/04/2010 11:36 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/rheem-air-conditioning/fort-smith-arkansas-72903/rheem-air-conditioning-rhuud-not-their-problem-after-1260000-fort-smith-arkansas-600270. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 UPDATE Employee

Check your facts

AUTHOR: anymouse - (United States of America)

The contractor you refer to was hired by you, not by Rheem.  That contractor is certified by the EPA, licensed by your state government, and independently owned.  They are not authorized, certified nor franchised by Rheem.  Rheem had absolutely no input regarding which HVAC contractor you hired to design and then installed the systems for your home.

If that contractor promised you would save X% on your utility bill, it was foolish on their part.  There are simply too many variables involved in heating and cooling any structure for anyone to be able to give an accurate savings amount. And, it was that contractor that designed your upstairs system, not Rheem. Rheem only built some of the parts your contractor used in his poorly designed system.

Your filter should be changed more often than annually.  Try every 90 days, at least. More often if you have pets, a lot of dust or you buy those expensive high density filters.  If you waited a year to have someone change your filter for you, then you abused the equipment.  The longer that filter stays in place without being changed, the more particulate matter it collects.  This results in less and less air being able to get through, which results in overworked equipment and components and a continually decreasing ability to heat and cool your home.  Read this as gradually increasing utility bills resulting from increasing run times. In short, that equipment was poorly maintained.  That equipment belongs to you, and maintaining it is ultimately your responsibility.

You already had poor experience with your contractor, and were dissatisfied with their service.  Yet, when you had a problem later, you called them because you didn't know who else to call. There is this publication many of us call the phone book. In this publication, there is a section often called the "yellow pages". In this section, companies advertise their goods and services, complete with phone numbers at which they can be reached. Among those good and services, one can find "heating and air conditioning installation and repair". It's in alphabetical order.  Try it sometime. It's amazing.

Rheem is a large corporation.  However, they do not control the weather. Your unit being struck by lightning is not something that would be covered under anyone's warranty. It falls under the Acts of God clause in most warranties.  That sort of thing is what home owner's insurance is for.  Conveniently, vendors of such a service might be found in the aforementioned "yellow pages". But, in this case, the contractor you hired (again) did not do the right thing.  Again, it does not appear Rheem was involved in any of the decision making process in this situation.  You've stated you "don't believe in patching a unit that was under warranty". As I've already observed, this is not something covered by any warranty; your home owner's insurance should have replaced the unit altogether.

9 months later, your new HVAC company (figured out how to use the yellow pages?)diagnoses a bad blower motor in the air handler. A "variable speed", or ECM motor responds to pressure changes in the system and alters its output to maintain airflow.  Based on your earlier statements about the filters not being changed, I would suspect that as the filter became more and more clogged, the motor was working harder and harder in an attempt to maintain the airflow.  If this is the case, it is no wonder the motor burned out.  ECM motors are more energy efficient by far than the older style PSC motors, and are generally more reliable.  But, you have to maintain the system, which by your own implicit admission, you were not doing.  This same circumstance is likely what led to your freon leak.  Poor airflow = poor heat exchange between the air and the freon = poor transition of freon from liquid to vapor = increased refrigerant pressure = component failure = leak.

Even if Hill's lied, there is enough in your own report for the manufacturer to not get involved in any of this. Your complaints are a result of the contractor you hired (both in system design and in service), your failure to properly maintain the equipment, and an act of God.  All of these things are beyond the manufacturer's control.  However, like so many other consumers, you have chosen to slam the big name because they didn't step up and fix something that really wasn't their responsibility at all.  You've put their name on the internet in a negative context, when the lion's share of the responsibility is yours.  If you had called a different HVAC contractor early on, instead of choosing to feud with Hills, you probably could have avoided all of your problems except for the lightning strike.  You can't ever hide from God.

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