Two years ago under a home warranty call my heat pump a Janitrol CPH36-1FB (3 ton?) was replaced with a Payne PH10JA042000 ( 3 ½ ton?) unit. At that time it was recommended that the indoor air handler, a Janitrol/Goodman A36-10 (3 ton) be replaced because the accumulator had a lot of rust. Since it was actually still working the home warranty company would not allow replacement. Fast forward to a week ago and trying to heat my house the outdoor unit would not work. It would cycle on and off and then eventually it would not even do that. I called in the original company that had put in the new heat pump and they said there was leak and all the Freon was gone and that the air handler needed replaced. I was able to run on emergency heat. Since I no longer have a home warranty service I called around and got quotes based off of the information on the tag on the air handler, a 3 ton unit. Using a new company, I had a new 3 ton Ducane air handler installed. Everything was fine for a few days, then once again the outdoor unit was not running. Called in the new company and they found there was no Freon in the line. They traced it to the reversing valve in the heat pump. The tech said the problem is having a 3 ½ ton heat pump installed with a 3 ton air handler. He said that the original installers of the heat pump should have never have done this and that the heat pump should never be bigger than the air handler, smaller is ok. He also said that if all that I do is fix my heat pump that I will probably have leaks twice a year somewhere in the system. He recommended that I install a new 3 ton system.
My Questions are:
1. Is it true that the heat pump should be equal or less in size than the air handler?
2. If this is such a bad situation how was I able to get along two years with a 20 year old air handler before there was a problem?
3. If I pursue fixing the heat pump as is, can I expect more leaks to occur due to the heat pump size?
A long winded question, but I wanted to make sure I gave all the background information.
New to this site, I appreciate any and all help. Thanks.