Is the recall in effect

You mentioned a York evaporator recall on some of their AC units. Do you have any more details on when and which ones? I am in the unpleasant position of having to replace coils less than 2 years after moving in to a new home. I want to see if the builder knew they were putting garbage in. What do you think of Trane ACs? Thank you for your time and expertise.

Answer from Green Energy Efficient Homes

The only details I can find on a York evaporator recall that is officially acknowledged by Johnson Controls (the manufacturer of York) are for units made before 2007. A letter went out to HVAC dealers in October 2007 at the following web address, which is no longer active as of January 2015:

I doubt you would be able to do much in terms of approaching your builder for compensation (or suing them) based on the fact that a York evaporator recall may have been in effect for your vintage of York AC unit when it was installed. After all the point of a recall is that the manufacturer acknowledges there was a problem in the manufacture of the system and offers to remedy it free of charge.

From what I’ve seen and read, the main reason builders install York AC units is that they are cheaper than many other brands. While that doesn’t necessarily mean they are poorer quality, York does seem to get more than its fair share of complaints. On the other hand, many of those complaints may be the result of faulty installs, as up to 80% of HVAC failures are the result of incorrect sizing or errors made during installation. As you can imagine, a builder who is churning out new homes by the dozen may not only choose a cheaper AC unit, but may rush the install job, and may choose a smaller than required unit to save a few extra dollars (e.g. install a 40,000 BTU unit where a 60,000 BTU unit is indicated by a proper cooling load analysis). That will naturally lead to more failures early in the units’ life.

I know people who are very happy with their York units – but they are one-off installs on existing homes, rather than units that came with a new home. That means the team that installed them knew what they were doing: they did a proper sizing of the system for the local climate, size of the home being cooled, and levels of insulation; and they installed the unit properly in terms of ductwork sizing (or tying into existing ductwork), locating the condenser unit where it gets good airflow, and charging the system with the right amount (and type) of coolant. Get any of those things wrong, as may happen when a builder does their own install or hires an HVAC team to do a low-cost rushed job, and you’ll run into trouble.

You ask if I would recommend the Trane AC unit. The thing that impresses me about Trane is their drive for energy efficiency. But if I were in the market for a new air conditioner I would put most of my effort into two things: finding a dealer I trust to do a proper sizing and install, and choosing the most efficient unit that dealer has for my needs and budget. Trane would definitely be one of the brands I would entertain, and York would almost certainly not. But I’d consider Lennox, Goodman, Nordyne (and the other companies that rebrand it) as well if the installer had a good vibe and good references.

12 replies
  1. Henry B
    Henry B says:

    This home we built is only a couple of years old. Of builder installed York A/C. I’m a fanatic about rinsing of cooling fins, changing filters and using bleach in the pipes monthly. Why? Because I don’t want issues and that’s all I’ve had with York. They are replacing a leaky coil as I write this. The labor is ridiculous. To manufacture and sell a product that people rely on should be a crime. $1600 out the door just now. Will it be reliable? Who knows. This is just wrong.

  2. Bruno V Iozzo
    Bruno V Iozzo says:

    i have lived in my new home for 17 months and i had to call a cooling system service company. I was approached by the cooling system company tech, stating i have a leak in the coil. To replace the coil it would cost 1600 dollars. i was also told that this has been a ongoing problem with the york cooling systems. I was also told than the tech could run a sealant through the system to seal the crack for 500 dollars. i was also told that this is a manufacture faulty system

  3. Chuck B
    Chuck B says:

    6/2/16 I was a Coleman dealer until Johnstone took over the national distribution of the Coleman brand. My concern here is the comment that York sent letters to all dealers notifying them of the “Blue Fin” recall. No they didn’t. They notified distributors and let them handle the recall. York never supplied model numbers nor serial numbers of the affected coils so it was on the dealer to locate and identify the subject coils. It was an impossible task, as in my case shear volume precluded us from going to every house and see if the coils in question were installed. Yesterday I visited a customer with a blue fin coil that has been leaking for some time unknown to me.After spending hours of the phone with Johnstone and UPG today (which had no record of a recall at first) I discovered the recall was discontinued. When a manufacturer knows of a defective product it should be on them to supply necessary information to insure replacement. UPG did not. Therefore the home owner has no recourse but to pony up for a new replacement coil. It should be noted that UPG did replace thousands of coils but it is becoming evident that they missed just as many. Sorry to be the tidings of bad news but it is what it is.

  4. Fred
    Fred says:

    I have York roof top units, 6 of them. One has had the condenser coil fail at the braising into the system after only 2 cooling seasons. York won’t return my attempts to contact them and the installer is not helping. I am concerned that the other units may fail also and they won’t inspect. Anyone have similar situation.

  5. Claudia
    Claudia says:

    I moved into my house in July which is three years old. The previous owner replaced the coil once and now it needs replaced again. While the coil is under warranty it will still cost $2000 to fix. I’m considering replacing the whole unit with a Lennox thru the Costco plan or an American standard with a local company. Any advice on how to proceed?

    • Robin
      Robin says:

      Given the failure and the relatively poor reputation of the York brand, and the $2000 cost, you might want to consider replacement if the price difference isn’t too great.

  6. Susan Laframboise
    Susan Laframboise says:

    Can the independent company who installed a York unit between Jan 01, 2008 and Nov 22, 2016 be liable, a) if they knew the coils were inferior and/or recalled prior to installation and/or b) if they failed to notify the customer when they became aware of the recall?

  7. Marilyn Zim
    Marilyn Zim says:

    Our York System was installed 4/2/2021. Serial # 7117j61958, Model # SM663610. This is the air handler.
    The outside unit serial # W1K9263222 and Model # YCE36B22SA
    We have had constant problems
    Numerous calls to the installer, we were told we needed a pump to keep it from backing up.
    TODAY after it stopped cooling correctly, we called the installer again. The first time we were told there have been problems with York units. Today we were told he drained “gelly”, whatever that means. He did say, he was going to come out regularly to check it and mentioned there had been issues with York. We travel a lot and in fact returned from a trip and found this current problem. We’ve only had this system since April 2021 and have been having problems since. We don’t want to end up paying to have the coil replaced. Can you help me

    • Robin
      Robin says:

      Unfortunately I’m not able to help with specific technical issues with furnaces. Your story does however sound consistent with what I’ve heard over the years about York quality not being at the top of the heap. Then again sometimes the problem is with the sizing of the system or the installation work. I suggest you ask the installer to provide more details about what they think the problem is. If you have to replace the coil there’s always the option of writing to York itself and complaining. They may provide some relief.


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