Wednesday 12 July 2017

Aircon con (or just a rip-off?)

When we bought our house about twelve years ago, it came with a renovated kitchen and bathroom and Daikin reverse cycle split system airconditioner installed in the family room. I was flabbergasted by the price the receipt showed that previous owner had paid for the aircon unit (around $6500).

So, when the air con started playing up last summer (it would shut itself down after running for about 5 minutes, and after restarting it about 12 times it would fault out and refuse to restart unless the mains power was shut down to reset the system) I suspected it might be quite expensive to have it repaired. The error message indicated that there was an over-voltage fault, which suggested something wasn't running properly in the exterior fan unit. At the time I tried getting the company that had originally supplied and installed the unit to come for a service call, but during summer the waiting time for a booking was several months! So I waited until mid-winter to make a booking...

The initial service call cost almost $300 (I had to agree to the basic call-out fee and provide my CC details before they would make the booking), and revealed that the fan unit had failed and would need replacing. Apparently the control unit (PCB) was also damaged and would need replacing. At the time the service guy indicated that this would cost a few hundred dollars, and he said that a quote for the repair would be sent through. I wasn't delighted by the prospect of having to pay over $500 to repair a 15-year-old unit with parts that would 'probably' last five or so years, especially since it was quite likely that other pieces of the unit may fail due to age.

Well, the quote arrived yesterday, and it was a whopper! $500+ for installation (apparently it will take their 'professional' repairer 3-4 hours to simply replace a fan unit and a PCB board!), around $300 for the fan unit, and around $600 for a replacement 'motherboard'. All up, around $1400 on top of the $300 already paid to identify the fault. The icing on the cake was that the quote stated that there may be other faults that won't become apparent until the fan and PCB have been replaced and the unit tested... so basically we could pay $1700 and still not have a working air conditioner!

Considering that Aldi often sells split system air conditioner units for only $499 (a 6.4kW system), I've decided to not proceed with repairs to the Daikin system. Instead, I'll shop around for a decent, bargain-priced unit, and gets some quotes for installation. Hopefully I can get a brand new system installed for less than the cost of getting our old system (maybe) repaired.

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