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By CondoAssociation.com • December 9, 2015

HVAC problems with newly purchased condo in PA

HVAC-unit-in-condo.jpgI am the same person who asked the question yesterday about noise from the water pump.

Our unit is 1800 square feet, with 12 ft ceilings. For the entire unit, we have 2 through-the-wall PTAC units (13,000 BTU). Those particular units provide heat and cooling - though possibly in the most inefficient way possible.

The issue is that they are nowhere near big enough to handle the space. The main room unit is taxed with 1200 square feet or so - nearly double what that unit can handle. The bedroom situation is even worse. One unit for 2 rooms and the developer cut a 2'x4' hole in the wall between rooms for the air to circulate. Not ideal.

The problem is, when we bought the place, it was empty and the power was off. There was no way to check to see if the system actually worked. When we did get in (August 1st in Philly) it was immediately apparent that the system wasn't going to cut it.

We complained, and after some back-and-forth, the seller agreed to have the units checked which the front room unit was found to be faulty. They replaced it and we thought the problem was solved.

Quickly we found that the unit just couldn't handle the space. So, understanding that it's our responsibility to fix the issue as we bought it as is, we applied to the HOA have a suitable HVAC system installed.

We had a licensed HVAC guy come by and give us an estimate that involved hanging 4 mini-split units high on walls (2 in main room, 1 in each bed room) and the placement of 2 condenser units in a shared ally tucked harmlessly under a fire escape stair case.

The area under the staircase is barely even accessible from the alley as the staircase nearly takes up the width. In no way would these condensers be impeding access or getting in the way.

So I formally asked the board (with supporting pictures, estimates and a detailed scope of work description) through the building manager.

After about 2 weeks, I asked the manager about the request and he said they were worried about the noise level of the condensers. Also, they weren't sure that we would be allowed to drill four 2.5" holes in the brick for drainage/coolant lines. he said they might require us to hire a structural engineer to come out and take a look.

This was about 3 weeks ago. I haven't heard anything since and no one's responding. Technically, I haven't gotten a response at all.

My questions are: Is there a law in Philly where if after a certain amount of time passes and you haven't heard a response, it's considered a yes?

And, since this is a vital system, shouldn't there be some expediency to the process? It's about to get cold. Thanks all.

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Please note that blog comments and postings are not legal advice, rather only the opinions of our readers.

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