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  1. #14
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    DC Metro Area (MD)
    Posts
    3,371
    So, you have a conventional gas furnace, evaporator coil, and air conditioner system now, as I understand. You were quoted for a "heat pump and air exchanger" - my question is does this mean getting rid of the gas altogether and installing an air "handler" and heat pump, or just installing a heat pump and a new evaporator coil to go along with the furnace. FYI, an air handler has a fan and an evaporator coil, and no furnace is used along with it. I'm just not clear on what the replacement plan is--get rid of gas and go straight electric, or keep the gas and just add-on a heat pump (which would essentially mean the gas heat is never needed except for very rare occasions, and only provides the airflow).

    One more thought...if the compressor burned out, I'd see about replacing the copper lineset that goes from the outdoor unit to the indoor unit, if easily done. Otherwise other measures would need to be taken to ensure contamination is removed from the system.

  2. #15
    The tech recommended flushing the lines, using an acid neutralizer, and then adding the freon back in (regardless of replacement or new).

    with regards to the current system, the furnace is gas. The furnace is located in the attic along with the ac coils attached to it. The main ac unit is located outside. The tech suggested switching from an ac unit, to a heat pump. Not really sure of the advantages, however the new unit (heat pump, air handler and coil) would all be electric. I live in phoenix, so not sure if heat pump is better, and also not sure if I will save going from gas to electric for the heat. Old ac unit is 12 seer and new heat pump unit combined is 15 seer.

  3. #16
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Augusta, GA Beaufort, SC
    Posts
    10
    If it's a warranty compressor, I'd replace the compressor. I wouldn't recommend replacement unless there were other problems, leaks, etc.

  4. #17
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Montana
    Posts
    983
    I personally am not familiar with how cold it gets in Phoenix in the winter. How often do you use the heat? If you don't use the heat that much, I would be more inclined to buy an A/C rather than a heat pump. Gas is usually cheaper than electric, and since you already have it(gas), I'd stay with it. Heat pumps work well in warmer winter climates where your source of backup heat is electric strips or propane. You will more than likely have to replace the indoor coil so that the efficiency matches with the new outdoor unit. Flushing the refrigerant lines should be done. I think a lot of your decision is going to depend on your budget. There would be an advantage to replacing your furnace if you went with a variable speed blower and a high efficiency A/C. If your budget is only for a A/C or heat pump, I would probably go with an A/C and new indoor coil. Whichever route you decide to take, make sure that the equipment you're going to have installed meet the criteria for the tax credit that is available. Might as well take advantage of Uncle Sam if he's willing to put some money in your pocket because it doesn't happen often.

  5. #18
    It usually doesnt get much below 40 in the winter (usually stays around the 50-60 degree mark) and we run the gas heat usually only dec to feb (3 months). The new unit being quoted would have the variable speed fan (not exactly sure why this helps) but was told this would help save electricity.

    So it sounds like the main options are:

    1) replace current compressor (along with filter, contactor, capicitor) and flush freon and replace with new.

    2) replace current ac unit and coil with new ac and coil, keeping current gas furnace.

    3) replace gas furnace with new heat pump, air handler and coil.

    Does this sound about right? Thanks again.

  6. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    376
    Unless your electric rate is sky high, I would go with a new heat pump...

  7. #20
    electric is averaging about $.12 pr KWH. Gas averages .77 per therm.

  8. #21
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    2,876
    Since the tech is telling you to have the lines flushed and an acid treatment put into the lines I will assume it was acid that killed your last compressor....


    No matter what your decision is, if they are going to reuse that lineset, make sure that nitrogen is flowed during any and all brazing, make sure the system is pressure tested and make sure that when they pull a vacuum on the system they use a micron gauge.....

    .....acid is caused by things in those lines (moisture) that isn't supposed to be there....a good and thorough install is the key to a lasting system.....


    Good luck
    I need a new signature.....

  9. #22
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    68,308
    If you change the outdoor unit, you need to change the indoor coil.

    With your posted rates. It would cost you more to heat with a heat pump then with a gas furnace.

    Most heat pumps would only be cheaper at outdoor temps above 60(and thats if the furnace was only 80% efficient).
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  10. #23
    how long does a gas furnace usually last? do any parts go bad? do they need to be serviced?

  11. #24
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    68,308
    Some last only 7 years, some last 40 years.
    Yes, there are parts that can wear out. And a furnace should be checked annually. For safety and proper efficient operation.
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  12. #25
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Athens GA
    Posts
    1,234
    Quote Originally Posted by acproblems View Post
    The tech recommended flushing the lines, using an acid neutralizer, and then adding the freon back in (regardless of replacement or new).

    with regards to the current system, the furnace is gas. The furnace is located in the attic along with the ac coils attached to it. The main ac unit is located outside. The tech suggested switching from an ac unit, to a heat pump. Not really sure of the advantages, however the new unit (heat pump, air handler and coil) would all be electric. I live in phoenix, so not sure if heat pump is better, and also not sure if I will save going from gas to electric for the heat. Old ac unit is 12 seer and new heat pump unit combined is 15 seer.
    I really suggest you replace the line set on a new unit.
    You can't reuse the freon,its acidic AND its r22.Your new unit will be r410 and it will come with the new unit .You might need to top that off with a longer than 15' line set.
    I have used acid netralizer for very rare occasions but I don't like doing it.It means adding something extra into the system of freon and oil,something extra that the compressor was not originally designed to process.

  13. #26
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    376
    At .77 per therm, the APPLIED cost per therm is about .83 give or take (assuming 90% condensing furnace)....

    A heat pump with a 12 eer rating (not seer) at .12 per kWh will give you about .83 per therm assuming no useage of the electric back-up heat and with outdoor temps above 40šF...

    The heat from a heat pump will not "feel" as warm as with gas but will keep the house at the desired temp. A heat pump will also take longer to warm the house up from a set-back. But honestly, if your typical winter lows are 40š, a heat pump will do just fine...

    Here in VA we see winter low temps typicaly in the low 20šs and occasionally down to
    10šF and heat pumps do very well here...

    Just my .02

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