Replace whole system to match the SEER??
I have a 10 SEER Heat-pump/AC unit that was installed 2 years ago. (I think the guys that did it were on the fly-by-night side.) It is 10~12 ton. I have also the original Rheem air blower system (1990), and a Hydrokinetix thermal storage unit that acted up 3 weeks ago.
Two companies have looked at the system (in both cases the technician called the owner to come out to look at it). One said it was "scary" and that the original 1990 installation has significant code violations. Both said that the whole system needed to be replaced because the air blower wasn't working properly. Both said the heatpump needed to be replaced to match the new air blower. (It needed the same SEER, and 10 is too low now.)
I think I'll have to bite the bullet ($$$) and follow the advice.
I have several questions to help me understand where my $$$ is really going.
1) I understand that 'SEER' is an efficiency rating. How is it measured, and how much different is, say, a 10 SEER heat pump from a 15 SEER heat pump?
2) Why do the blower and heatpump need to have the same SEER rating?
3) The blower is a fiberglass box with a squirrel cage fan. What would wear out in such a simple system?
4) What sort of annual maintenance should be done on a system? (In 9 years of living in the house I haven't done any to the HVAC system.)
(signed) I am curious and chilly.
10-12 tons is huge for a home (1.5-5 tons is the size for a typical residential outdoor unit), so I'm sure that's a mistake. Matching equipment is important (brands and SEER). I think it's worse to have a lower SEER air handler than a lower SEER outdoor unit. You should probably do yourself a favor and replace both units if you can afford it. A volumetric difference in coils can potentially cause pressure issues (at least that's what I've heard), and you lose efficiency and probably all warranties. Mismatching has never been uncommon practice, but it was never recommended by any manufacturer (obviously). You should get yourself a few quotes to get an idea of pricing and equipment offerings. Good luck. Blowers are electrical and can die. They can also get dirty. You should find out what the contractor means by "bad." Maintenance/inspection at least once a year to make sure the system is working properly is not a bad idea.
Post the model number and brand of the 10 SEER outdoor unit,chances are there is an air handler that is a rated match for it.
Higher SEER system will save operating cost.
Heat Pump Info
RyanHughes -- I looked up the records, and my heat pump is a 2 ton unit. I was WAY off on saying it was 10-12. Thanks for catching that for me.
Dash -- the unit is Comfort-Aire model HRC-1048-1Z (made by Heat Controller, Inc. in Jackson MI). Their website no longer lists HRC models.
Have a safe and prosperous New Year,
That's a Fedders made unit, nothing under 13 SEER is made these days. I wouldn't have a problem putting it on any modern air handler, preferably one with a thermostatic expansion valve, aka TXV. They give better performance. You do not need to replace the heat pump!
That is a 4 ton unit by the way. A dealer talking to you about a new air handler should check out the duct system and be sure it is up to snuff and can handle the 1600 CFM needed for the 4 ton.
Make sure the Hydrokenetic water level isn't low.
If you have the air handler replaced, make sure they clean teh hydro coil while its exposed.
By now, it should be restricted by normal dust and dirt.
Thanks for the 4 ton info. The people who installed it said it was 2 ton, but the manufacturer told me this morning that it is 4 ton.
Winston Churchill wrote in his "History Of The English Speaking People" that when the Romans occupied England they had indoor plumbing, central heat, public hot spas, and knew how to insulate houses against the wind and winter. After the Romans left, Churchill comments that, "My ancestors went cold and unwashed for 1800 years."