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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2014
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    Question Does a heat pump's main components fail sooner due to double duty?

    I'm looking to have my a/c and gas furnace replaced soon and was considering a heat pump. I live on the Gulf Coast in Alabama and we don't have many days where it stays below 35 for any extended time, so I thought that a heat pump may save me some money due to the increased efficiency. However, I got to thinking that basically all the components in a heat pump are being used year round. With the evaporator and condenser swapping duties (maybe additional expansion/compression wear) in the winter and summer, and with the compressor being used as well - would the average life of these components be shorter than an a/c with a gas furnace? Or do the components seem to last the same as just an a/c that is only doing work during the summer?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
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    There are a lot more components to fail on a heat pump than on an just an A/C system.
    Also, you'll be using the system more than with just an A/C system.

    That's simply part of having a system that functions in both heat & A/C modes; either accept it on those terms or don't go for it, it is a decision you have make after weighing all values of the various options.

  3. #3
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    Aug 2002
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    When installed properly that's the last thing to replace

  4. #4
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    Feb 2009
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    No not really

  5. #5
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    Mar 2009
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    in cold environments, yes, in your case, I'd think the opposite, as heat pumps are built more durable to account for the additional run time, also, heat pumps have compressor heaters that will aid longevity by keeping the compressor oil free of liquid refrigerant!

    the one issue with heat pumps is that it's sized for the a/c load, so your house may require electric strips that could offset the efficiency if needed on cold days.
    The TRUE highest cost system is the system not installed properly...

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  6. #6
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    May 2014
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    Thread Starter
    Quote Originally Posted by vstech View Post
    in cold environments, yes, in your case, I'd think the opposite, as heat pumps are built more durable to account for the additional run time, also, heat pumps have compressor heaters that will aid longevity by keeping the compressor oil free of liquid refrigerant!
    Thanks vstech. Just to make sure I understand you, you are saying that you would expect a heat-pump to last longer than an air conditioner in my environment? If so, how much longer? 2-3 years?

  7. #7
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    Thread Starter
    Thanks udarrell. This makes sense to me, but I wasn't sure about how they may be designed for extra durability as vstech mentioned. I assume that in your experience you see heat pumps have problems sooner than a/c on average for comparable systems?

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    heat pumps are no more efficient that a straight ac with furnace. if i had natural gas i would want a gas furnace .here in virginia we replace alot of heat pumps at 11-14 years
    Go Trump

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
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    LIFE EXPECTANTCY
    Annual Maintenance agreement should be pursued to
    maximize probability that HEAT PUMPS AND A/C units will last at least 14 years.

    Analogy -
    How long would an automobile last
    with and without regular maintenance? ... 20 YEARS & 3 Years
    ________________________________ .. ..
    Designer Dan
    It's Not Rocket Science, But It is SCIENCE with "Some Art". ___ ___ K EEP I T S IMPLE & S INCERE

    Define the Building Envelope and Perform a Detailed Load Calc: It's ALL About Windows and Make-up Air Requirements. Know Your Equipment Capabilities

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
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    Quote Originally Posted by dan sw fl View Post
    LIFE EXPECTANTCY
    Annual Maintenance agreement should be pursued to
    maximize probability that HEAT PUMPS AND A/C units will last at least 14 years.

    Analogy -
    How long would an automobile last
    with and without regular maintenance? ... 20 YEARS & 3 Years
    ________________________________ .. ..
    Good points. My home's heat pump will be 19 years old this August.

    PM twice a year; pleated filter; replaced run caps and contactor 8 years ago.

    Heat strips wired only to em heat and defrost.

    Pick a temperature and leave it alone!

    Years ago I read an estimate by the Department of Energy that on average a heat pump runs between 3000-3300 hours a year.

    Assuming this runtime for your automobile, you would rack up 198,000 miles per year on your car.

    That's 66 oil and filter changes, 6 sets of tires, 6 brake jobs and no telling how many worn out parts to be replaced or repaired all in one years' time.

    Kinda makes you respect just how reliable your A/C equipment is, doesn't it?
    JUST A LITTLE CLOSER AND THE LITTER BOX IS ALL MINE!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
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    Quote Originally Posted by hippomoe View Post
    I'm looking to have my a/c and gas furnace replaced soon .... to last the same as just an a/c that is only doing work during the summer?
    Air Source Heat Pumps are going onward over 30 years in Cincinnati-Dayton OHIO and just need replaced to MAYBE drop the total electric billing with rates and KWH becomming less of the bills... MAYBE saving 12%to 17% , only on that portion of the Heat and COOLING...

    In Cleve Oh and nearby 16 below days, although a minisplit got a lotta news.. all and like any heat pump produced so little at 10f above zero to 16 below, we will still SHUT THEM OFF UP HERE at 24f to 27f , depending...

    POINT:

    They last as long as
    other component OEM's valves and contactors and capacitors and sensors pieces parts do
    JUST LIKE
    any A/C and
    OUTLAST new furnaces by over 10 years from the latest 1990's furnaces, generally.

    Finally:

    IF ~~~~~~~~~ Hot Water Heating is a significant portion of the bills:
    Check out a SMALLER split GeoThermal over the Gas furnace as a dual fuel watersource package then
    that can INSTANTLY produce hot water
    while in cooling and as a spin -off to ON-DEMAND HW 100% Priority in / out of heating which only a very few GTHP OEM's have and fewer mastered with not having control boards changing every 2 years...

    search "most efficient geothermal"
    then
    look at single and two speed and VFD variables
    and ask EACH ONE OF INTEREST:
    Do you JUST DESUPERHEAT HW (smalll generator)
    or
    is the HW heating 100% temperature controlled as in ON DEMAND and
    in HEAT RECOVERY (one patented in 1981, who has built for Water Furnace, Trane Comm ERV's, and Carrier Comm Water-Cooled A/C)
    as does the most efficient rated closed loop GTHP at the EnergyStar(tm) site "most efficient GT Energy Star" .

    If you have more Cooling to do and use HW... and are most anywhere in the country, it is considerable, SEER's over the 50's
    EER's high speed over 30's
    and lowspeed-midspeed EER's over 43- with "FREE-er" HW throughou[deduct highest eff furnace and ht p and hw maker, combined- and if you qualify for 30% tax credit (3 year carry over) and add residential values... how does 3 to 5 year ROI sound with only changing air filters and some every 2 year vinegar flush of the HW (or even every year)

    ALL A/C and HTP need some contactors inspected every 5 to 8 years , now. Ask for the better replacement contactor then.
    Process cooling: NO COMPRESSORS Earth-Coupled since 1996
    ... however, much still needs to be hybridized energy transfer.

    CLOSED LOOP 2015 listed EER's
    even 49+ now; and "blended from low to high variable speeds" for 32deg.F ~ E-Star

    Perhaps you need a 32F Chiller/HW-Heat: buy a GEO-T Heat Pump (GHP with Heat-Recovery)
    http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?...mal_heat_pumps

    http://www.hydro-temp.com/products.html and Bosch/Carrier and AquasystemsInc.com

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