I have the following equipment in my townhouse:
Trane TWJ730 (Weathertron XE 800) heat pump, 2.5 ton
Trane TWV736 3 ton indoor air handler
Trane BAY96x1410 heater package
Trane BAYSTAT239 thermostat.
These were installed in 1991. The house is an interior-unit, 3 level townhouse (approx 2100sq.ft.). The entire house is controlled by 1 thermostat.
The control for the blower motor is shot. Basically, the blower remains on no matter what the compressor is doing or whether the FAN switch is set to AUTO or ON. Earlier in the spring I'd hear the switch struggling (loud CLICK-CLICK! CLICK! sounds), and occasionally the fan would shut off. But now the fan runs 24/7.
I had an authorized Trane technician inspect the system a few weeks ago. He indicated that the electrical contacts for the fan control circuitry/switch in the air handler were probably fried. However, he said that since the heat pump is heating and cooling fine, there would be no harm in just leaving the air handler alone. He said it would cost so much to fix the circuitry in the air handler that given the system's age, it would be better to just replace the entire air handler.
While I don't mind that the fan runs continuously, I am worried that its going to just give up pretty soon. With the Washington, DC summer rapidly approaching, and given that my wife is pregnant (and will be throughout the hot summer), being without A/C for any length of time is not something I want to endure.
So my questions are these:
1. Should I even be worried about the blower suffering a complete failure? Or am I being prudent in trying to correct this now?
2. Do you agree with the technician's assessment that I shouldn't try to just repair the blower circuitry, given that the equipment is 14 years old?
3. Can I replace the air handler itself, or do I have to replace the outdoor heat pump and the thermostat as well?
4. If I can just replace the air handler, do I have to stick with Trane?
5. What questions should I be sure to ask a dealer who comes to give me an estimate?
Thank you very much in advance for your help.
Potomac (Montgomery County) MD