Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    38

    Why so many problems with Heat Pump?

    I'm looking at purchasing a Lennox system (from costco). All of the energy advisors I spoke with say that heat pump is the way to go.

    And from doing some searches on the forum, most will agree that it is not the brand but the installation.

    But why are there so many problems being reported with equipment failures for all types of brands? This link was an eye opener!

    http://www.furnacecompare.com/heat-pumps/reviews/

    I’m really nervous about spending $K and upwards only to deal with service calls and repairs month after month! Please tell me that this is not so. What is your annual maintenance and repair cost? Is this going to offset any savings from the heat pump?
    Last edited by beenthere; 05-06-2011 at 08:29 PM. Reason: price

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Here and there
    Posts
    4,803
    Consider the install .
    i belong to peta ... people eating tasty animals. all my opinions are just mine.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN, USA
    Posts
    34,052
    Remember, usually it is one who has problems that find these internet rating sites and complains. And since we are only hearing one side of the story, we have no idea what the truth is. As jpb said, consider the installation. Too many installers are hacks and aren't sizing & installing the equipment properly. That gives the equipment and brand a black eye. Heat pumps are much more complicated than straight cool units and are less forgiving to a poor installation.

    But now on the other side of things, customers are beating us down something fierce on price and that trickles down to the product. Stuff these days is so cheaply made and full of lousy 3rd world made components as a result. So yes, today's stuff doesn't hold up like the past either. Until John Q Public is willing to pay for quality, we will be putting out more troublesome HVAC equipment as well as many other lines of products.

    Always wise to get an extended warranty backed by the equipment manufacturer. Don't look for the bottom bid and research your dealer extra carefully.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    The South
    Posts
    2,187
    cold

    what is your location?

    what size are you looking at?

    I think there is alot of junk out in marketplace for HPs

    these are my minimum specs for a new HP system. both outside and inside units should be replaced to have a properly matched system.

    15 SEER, 12.5+ EER, 9 HSPF
    best matching VS air handler
    full BTUs in both cooling and heating for your rated size
    R-410a refrigerant(same as Puron)
    scroll compressor preferred
    electronic demand defrost preferred
    thermostat with "dehumidify on demand" feature
    staged backup heat strips
    new and correctly sized refrigerant lineset

    you want a thorough inspection of your ductwork system. size, overall condition, supply and return lines, insulation qualities, leak test, etc.

    any hot/cold spot issues in your home should be addressed.

    I would only use authorized dealers for the various brands that provide quotes. see mfg websites.

    I would look at Trane/AmStd,Rheem/Rudd,Carrier/Bryant.

    I would not purchase a new HP system that did not have electronic demand defrost.


    you want a new system that offers a minimum 10 yr warranty on parts and compressor.

    IMO

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    1,253
    Quote Originally Posted by cold55 View Post
    I'm looking at purchasing a Lennox system (from costco). All of the energy advisors I spoke with say that heat pump is the way to go.

    And from doing some searches on the forum, most will agree that it is not the brand but the installation.

    But why are there so many problems being reported with equipment failures for all types of brands? This link was an eye opener!

    http://www.furnacecompare.com/heat-pumps/reviews/

    I’m really nervous about spending $K and upwards only to deal with service calls and repairs month after month! Please tell me that this is not so. What is your annual maintenance and repair cost? Is this going to offset any savings from the heat pump?
    cold55,

    I took a quick look at your survey link and selected Carrier as it is a widely known brand. I specifically looked at the low rated responses and in each case it was clear the problems were most likely a problem with the installation much more so than the equipment.

    A unit that needs to be recharged with refrigerant has a leak - plain and simple, but there are complaints that the system has to be constantly recharged. It is more than obvious no one has bothered to find and fix the leak. That is not an equipment problem it is a hack company that did a great job of hacking the install. Then the homeowner complains about Carrier.

    Another complained that the first Carrier equipment had the compressor fail after only five years and they were having problems with the new replacement Carrier system. Again, compressors rarely fail in five years. More than likely the compressor was killed by a poor installation - lack of air flow is one reason, improper refrigerant charge could be another, and there are more reasons. The problems that shorten the life of the first system are still there and the same hack company may well have done the replacement system so the problems just continue.

    Strongly suggest that you not go through a major retailer for your new system. Do a search for skippedover on this board and you will find that he has put together a very comprehensive list of ways to find a top notch contractor to do a top notch install. You will have great system with a great install and many trouble free years of comfort.
    Last edited by beenthere; 05-06-2011 at 08:30 PM. Reason: price

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    38
    what is your location? Seattle

    what size are you looking at? Lennox XP17 3.5 ton with SL280 LP furnace & Honeywell IAQ duel fuel thermostat.

    you want a thorough inspection of your ductwork system. size, overall condition, supply and return lines, insulation qualities, leak test, etc. any hot/cold spot issues in your home should be addressed.

    ****I had few retailer come out and none of them did this. One was interested in selling me a tankless water heater, the other didn't even give me a bid, and the rest just gave me a bid without looking at my duct, insulation, leak, etc. After a few of them, I just thought that this assessment and calculations were not necessary since no one did it anyways. I'll go and do some searches on skippedover and see what I find. Got any installers you could recommend?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    The South
    Posts
    2,187
    cold

    Of course I have not seen job but price seems questionably high.

    plus as another poster said, I would not purchase HVAC through a big box retailer.

    IMO

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    10
    Excellent point about review sites. I have plenty of appliances at home that are great, yet I'll never go and post about it. On the other hand, if i wasn't happy with something...

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    nebraska
    Posts
    1,629
    Yep keep it perspective. Lennox sells tens of thousands of heat pumps every year. Some are installed by bone heads who can't follow installation instructions and some just have parts go bad but for most folks they run trouble free for many years. They also offer a 10 year labor warranty at an addional cost if you're really worried about break downs.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Comfortech Show Promo Image

Related Forums

Plumbing Talks | Contractor Magazine
Forums | Electrical Construction & Maintenance (EC&M) Magazine
Comfortech365 Virtual Event