DIY Home Improvement, Remodeling & Repair Forum > Appliances > HVAC > Do I need a new Heat Pump -- and what should I know




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Old 01-31-2008, 02:01 PM  
amr40509
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Default Do I need a new Heat Pump -- and what should I know

I am a generally handy guy, but don't know a lot about HVAC.

I live in Kentucky, so summer temps are about 85-90F, winter gets down to 10-15F at night.

I have a 13 year old heat pump that I've been having a few problems with. Last winter it froze up pretty badly and I had the 'board' replaced. This was right as the end of winter, and the compressor was lounder then normal all summer.

Then I was out of town for several weeks this winter and apparently it froze up completely (had about 5" of ice on the outside when I got home). I let it thaw (by going to emergency heat and catching some warm weather) and had a guy come look at it. It had a bad defrost sensor, which he replaced.

The sensor he put on the output line was getting up to about 140 when he tested it after this, coolant level was fine according to him. The compressor is now VERY loud. He says this was caused by liquid freon getting in it while it was frozen up.

Is my best option here basically to replace the outside unit? The outside and inside? Or just the compressor?



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Old 02-01-2008, 06:24 AM  
CraigFL
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A lot of people(mainly service techs from places who sell new units) will tell you to replace 13 yr old heat pumps because of potential maintenance problems and efficiency considerations. Every tech likes to work on new equipment! Personally, I wouldn't do it with mine unless of course it was some kind of unavailable part -- and even then I would make sure the part couldn't be repaired! I've had compressors replaced on my A/C units by independant service techs who repair units and are not in the business of selling them. The last compressor I had replaced was a 2T unit and was under $500 total cost including Freon.

I would find a good tech and replace as little as possible --- compressor --> outside unit--> whole system in that order.

My 2cents...



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Old 02-01-2008, 01:08 PM  
glennjanie
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Welcome Alex:
Craig had his compressor replaced by a very good friend or someone who is now bankrupt. Very few techs will replace a compressor that cheaply. The compressor is the heart of the unit and companies use a 'design life' of 12 to 20 years. If the compressor replacement cost is more than 1/3 the cost of a complete unit, I would go with the new one.
Glenn

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Old 02-01-2008, 02:10 PM  
CraigFL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glennjanie View Post
Welcome Alex:
Craig had his compressor replaced by a very good friend or someone who is now bankrupt. Very few techs will replace a compressor that cheaply. The compressor is the heart of the unit and companies use a 'design life' of 12 to 20 years. If the compressor replacement cost is more than 1/3 the cost of a complete unit, I would go with the new one.
Glenn
HA HA HA HA... Nice one Glenn.....

Actually, I'm a cheap old SOB who does most of my own work but I can't mess around with the Freon because I'm not certified. I found a good A/C repair man( His daytime job is maintaining the A/C systems for several plants in this area). He quoted me a $200 install with a compressor I provided which was this one:

http://www.home-ac.com/products/Copeland_Recip_2_ton_Compressor-11-18.html

His first shot was $975 with a compressor he provided. but I knew I could do better. The above one was $299 last year when I bought it...

Craig
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Old 02-01-2008, 02:21 PM  
amr40509
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Originally Posted by CraigFL View Post
HA HA HA HA... Nice one Glenn.....

Actually, I'm a cheap old SOB who does most of my own work but I can't mess around with the Freon because I'm not certified. I found a good A/C repair man( His daytime job is maintaining the A/C systems for several plants in this area). He quoted me a $200 install with a compressor I provided which was this one:

http://www.home-ac.com/products/Copeland_Recip_2_ton_Compressor-11-18.html

His first shot was $975 with a compressor he provided. but I knew I could do better. The above one was $299 last year when I bought it...

Craig
My interior unit seems fine, so I hate to replace it. Ballpark -- what should I be expecting for the exterior unit replacement? $5K??? I figure a standard unit, nothing fancy, should be fine as I don't plan to stay in this house for all that long.
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Old 02-01-2008, 02:47 PM  
CraigFL
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Here's a 5T Amana condensor unit for $2700 installed:

http://cgi.ebay.com/AMANA-5-TON-13-SEER-HEAT-PUMP-CONDENSER-INSTALLED_W0QQitemZ360017602863QQihZ023QQcategoryZ 115952QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

I would think you could do yours for much less...

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Old 02-01-2008, 07:32 PM  
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Hey Amr:
You shouldn't have to pay over $2500 for the outdoor unit. Look in the Yellow Pages for a dealer in Janitrol or Goodman (which is the parent company). Mr. Goodman has a privately held company and very closely copies some of the best brands but can sell them far cheaper, and with a 10 year warranty on the compressor. The last I knew they were using the Copeland scroll compressor which can't be harmed by liquid refrigerant because they don't use a piston to compress the gasses.
Its a good unit and should be at a good price. If you can buy your own unit, you can go to the local Community and Technical College and ask the HVAC instructor about the installation.
Glenn

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Old 02-01-2008, 07:34 PM  
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Hey Craig:
I didn't mean anything bad about you. I admire you for getting the job done for less. Its good to have some buddies around now and then.
Glenn

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Old 02-02-2008, 05:36 AM  
CraigFL
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Hey Craig:
I didn't mean anything bad about you. I admire you for getting the job done for less. Its good to have some buddies around now and then.
Glenn

Oh I know... I was just laughing at your humor...

BTW, this A/C guy is actually listed in the phone book so anyone can use him.

I own a small business that does repair work so I like to support similar businesses in the area. My business survives because we fix things instead of replace things which saves the customer money. I really dislike how we throw so many things away when they break and sevices places help us do it....
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Old 02-02-2008, 05:38 AM  
CraigFL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glennjanie View Post
Hey Amr:
You shouldn't have to pay over $2500 for the outdoor unit. Look in the Yellow Pages for a dealer in Janitrol or Goodman (which is the parent company). Mr. Goodman has a privately held company and very closely copies some of the best brands but can sell them far cheaper, and with a 10 year warranty on the compressor. The last I knew they were using the Copeland scroll compressor which can't be harmed by liquid refrigerant because they don't use a piston to compress the gasses.
Its a good unit and should be at a good price. If you can buy your own unit, you can go to the local Community and Technical College and ask the HVAC instructor about the installation.
Glenn

I agree but some people don't like Goodman although they are getting better. I'm also sure he doesn't need a 5T unit-- more likely a 2T which would be much cheaper...


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