This is going to be a bit vague, but I’m hoping it might be useful.
We are having a technician look at our condo’s heating and air-conditioning unit tomorrow. It needs to pass an inspection, but also will need some work.
The unit is in a closet on the balcony. I do not know many details about it, but I know it uses chilled water from an outside supply piped into the entire condo association.
It currently works. But…
[li]I have been told “the solenoid is broken” and “You may need a new motherboard” by a the condo association’s handyman.[/li]
[li]The metal duct leading the chilled air into the condo is rusted through in a few places. I taped it up with duct tape (on an actual duct – go figure!) but I know that’s a stopgap.[/li]
[li]The cinderblock wall beside the unit has dark smudges on it.[/li][/ul]
Since it still functions with the “broken solenoid,” it’s remotely possible that the unit needs as little as a new metal duct. I don’t know how much that would cost, but it can’t be that big a deal, can it?
The flip side is that my spouse has declared that the smudges on the wall are “mold.” She has a fear of “toxic mold,” reinforced by all the people who want to sell us stuff, and she believes having the work done will run into many thousands of dollars, including mold remediation.
She will be the person staying home to talk to the tech tomorrow.
I am hoping to gather some experiences and/or technical knowledge in this thread that will arm me to avoid being miserably ripped off in the decision of what to pay for. I know it’s a longshot.
Our location is Northern Virginia, and cost-of-living is fairly high here.
For all I know, the smudges could be toxic mold. Or regular mold. Or mildew. Or soot. I am concerned that my spouse’s reaction will cause dollar signs to light up in the eyes of whoever does the inspection.
For history, we did once have a guy come over to look at the jammed kitchen garbage disposal, and she paid $525 for a new one without blinking.
But maybe she’s right, I admit to knowing nothing about HVAC and little about home-repair costs in general. Perhaps I’ve been spoiled by having a good auto mechanic who is conservative about spending my money, or maybe I’m just cheap.
Sorry to be so non-specific…I just learned today, after leaving the house, that this was happening, so I didn’t even get to look for a model number.