One of my two 1986 vintage Trane heat pumps has stopped heating and cooling. I think the compressor has finally kicked the bucket; it has been very noisy for the last few years. Now the cooling fan runs, but the compressor doesn't. I suppose it could just be low on freon, but I think the unit will likely have to be replaced (I'll have a service man check it out to be sure). It is a 2 ton unit, one of the old GE units with the Trane nameplate. The other unit continues to work like a charm.
My question is this. Is it possible to replace the outside unit and leave the existing air handler in place? I'm sure this isn't the best approach, but I don't plan on living in this house but a few more years and would like to avoid replacing the entire system unless absolutely necessary. I had the two air handlers serviced a couple of years ago (fan blades and duck work cleaned) and both units continue to operate well and are still quiet.
I would appreciate your well-informed advice. I'm trying to become a bit better informed before actually beginning my search for a local contractor to do the work.