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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2019
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    New Heat Pump Needed - Varying Info on Quotes

    Hi all,

    Brand new to the site and would love some insight on my current situation. I recently moved into a 110 year-old home (3,200 sqft, but 1,200 is unfinished basement) in the Pacific Northwest that has a 2005 Carrier 4-ton single stage heat pump and air handler. We have a ton of windows, some of which were replaced, and I'm sure very little insulation in the walls.

    Once the weather got colder, we noticed the temperature coming through the vents was fluctuating quite a bit. A tech came out and told us the compressor was broken and needs to be replaced. He recommended replacing the whole system on a 15 year old pump. We are currently using the back up electric furnace to heat the house.

    We have now received quotes from five different companies, and asked for options of replacing only the heat pump, the heat pump and air handler, or switching over to a gas furnace and A/C.

    Three companies only install Daikin, and two install Carrier. The two that use Carrier were the only ones who quoted us and even recommended just replacing the heat pump because our current air handler was a high-end model in 2005 and functioning properly. From reading many posts on this site, I know it is not recommended and risky to only replace part of the system. However, this was admittedly a large expense we were not anticipating.

    Whether it be for Daikin or Carrier equipment, we have received vastly different recommendations on the type of heat pump (single, double stage, variable) and some of the techs recommended switching over to gas because it would be easier to heat the house.

    The last company who came out did a pressure test with the air handler and said our system was under too much pressure. Essentially, the ducting was installed before the heat pump, and is too small for the current pump. Because of this, he only recommended a few, less powerful heat pumps.

    I know that for whichever system we go with, the install will be the most important part of it functioning well, but I am curious to know if I can get away with only replacing the heat pump? If not, are there specific questions I should be asking to determine the right size and power of heat pump or A/C / gas furnace?

    Thank you in advance for your help and I'm happy to provide any additional information needed.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    6,300
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    Propane or natural gas? look at other lesser known brands, chances the overall price will be less. Better off installing a matched system instead of just the OD unit.

    Don’t know what you mean by lesser powerful Heat Pumps. If your keeping your existing smaller sized ductwork without any modifications a new system won’t help much.

    Did the other 5 companies you called verify that your compressor was bad?

    Do not know what Daiken and Carrier policy is if you only change the OD section and leave a 15+ year old indoor section in place in regards to manufacturers warranty. Could easily be cut in half as it’s not a matched new ID section to OD unit?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2019
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    14
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    Thread Starter
    Thanks for the reply. We currently have natural gas in the house. It seems like most companies around here only offer the higher end brands like Carrier and Daikin.

    As for less powerful heat pumps, I guess I meant more of a basic model, like single stage compared to variable. Unfortunately, based on the estimates, we won't be able to to make any modifications to the existing ductwork. I did speak with another tech who quoted us and said the ductwork is not ideal (most likely installed when there was an oil tank), but won't put stress on the system.

    I don't believe the other companies verified that the compressor was bad, as they only sent sales people to give us estimates on new equipment. I can certainly find out what the warranties would be if we only replace the heat pump and leave the existing air handler. From what I have read, Daikin offers one of the best warranties, and Carrier's is decent.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    6,300
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    Myself,...seeing you have natural gas at your residence I like a gas furnace with a uncomplicated Heat Pump, called a Hybrid system, switches to gas or HP depending on OD temperature. Certainly would need to take care of the ductwork. Amana has even a better warranty than Daiken ( same company ) thou the Daiken typically has a better parts warranty ( up to 12 years to the Amana 10 years ) but depending on tier level and model the Amana OD unit or furnace you get a whole new furnace or OD unit if compressor ever fails to original registered owner and a new furnace if the HX ever fails to original registered owner, whereas the Daiken you get either a 6 or 12 year new OD unit or furnace if your hung up on best manufacturers warranty.

    Anyway that’s my worth.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2019
    Posts
    14
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    Thread Starter
    Thanks so much for your recommendation. Temperatures around her only get below freezing anywhere from 1-3 weeks total during the winter. If we were to switch over to a gas furnace, would you then still recommend a new heat pump, or replace with an A/C instead?

    I guess our ideal situation would be to simply replace the heat pump (lowest cost) and leave the air handler as is, provided the two components are compatible and don't drastically reduce warranties. The tech I spoke with today said if we do that, we can most likely get another 5-10 years out of our current air handler.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    New England
    Posts
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    If you want to keep the Air Handler, and it’s a 13 SEER unit I’d just put a lower tier brand, such as a 13 SEER Goodman or similar. Should get 10/10 warranty. You never mentioned if your system is R22 or R410A as that affects your metering device, I’m sure the bidding Contractors mentioned that? Blowing out lineset with nitrogen wouldn’t hurt also.

    If you have a acidic burnout ( why compressor failed ) may need more work cleaning system $$. I would hire a contractor and have them send a experienced tech. first to check your compressor to see exactly what happened. Could be something simple that caused your compressor from starting, especially if the breaker never tripped. Shouldn’t cost more than one hour labor plus trip charge and tax.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2019
    Posts
    14
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    Thread Starter
    So the air handler is a Carrier FV4BNF005. From what I found online, it has a SEER rating of 14 and uses R410A refrigerant. I also saw that it has a dual speed fan, but one of the techs mentioned we could only install a single stage heat pump because our air handler is single speed.

    The tech who originally diagnosed the issue said that our refrigerant levels were low, which most likely caused the compressor to fail. I can have someone else come out and determine exactly why it stopped working.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    SW FL
    Posts
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    Quote Originally Posted by samepdx View Post
    Hi all,

    Brand new to the site and would love some insight on my current situation.

    I recently moved into a 110 year-old home
    (3,200 sqft, but 1,200 is unfinished basement)
    in the Pacific Northwest that has
    a 2005 Carrier 4-ton single stage heat pump and air handler.

    We have a ton of windows, some of which were replaced,
    and I'm sure very little insulation in the walls.

    Once the weather got colder,
    we noticed the temperature coming through the vents was fluctuating quite a bit.
    A tech came out and told us the compressor was broken and needs to be replaced.

    He recommended replacing the whole system on a 15 year old pump.
    We are currently using the back up electric furnace to heat the house.

    Thank you in advance for your help and
    I'm happy to provide any additional information needed.
    First Step
    _____ ACCA Manual J calc

    Second Step
    __________ Equipment Selection
    __________ Suggestion: Hybrid / Heat Pump + Natural Gas Furnace
    ……………………………………….. Switchover ~ 44'F

    1st _ Heat Loss / Conceptual
    ___ 67,000 BTU/HR +/- 24%

    Presumed
    1. 410 Square Feet of Glass
    2. 2 Story
    Attached Images Attached Images   
    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

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    6,300
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    Quote Originally Posted by samepdx View Post
    So the air handler is a Carrier FV4BNF005. From what I found online, it has a SEER rating of 14 and uses R410A refrigerant. I also saw that it has a dual speed fan, but one of the techs mentioned we could only install a single stage heat pump because our air handler is single speed.

    The tech who originally diagnosed the issue said that our refrigerant levels were low, which most likely caused the compressor to fail. I can have someone else come out and determine exactly why it stopped working.
    If your refrigerant level was truly low, and you have a low pressure switch on the OD unit, then it could have easily opened the switch preventing the compressor from running. If that’s the case, the compressor could be OK the leak could be in the evaporator coil, or somewhere else.

    If it’s in the coil, then installing just a new OD unit is not going to solve your problems, having a leaking ID coil. So suggest having someone ( real experienced Tech. ) check your system then make a termination. If the tech. Uses a electronic leak detector and picks up a leak at the ID coil, have him pinpoint it with the electronic then have him use soap to verify with bubbles and show you. Matter of fact have them show you with soap wherever the leak is. If it’s determined the ID coil is bad, they may still make replacement coils for that model? Probably will cost a arm and leg, as big name companies are known to charge contractors big bucks to have that lofted brand on your property.
    Last edited by Bazooka Joey; 12-11-2019 at 08:31 AM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    SW FL
    Posts
    9,736
    Post Likes

    ENVELOPE PROPERTIES + ODT COMPARISONS

    Walls: R-4 Board
    Ceiling: R-25

    Heat Loss: 55,800 BTU/HR at 24'F
    _________ 33,160 BTU/HR at 42'F ODT
    ___ ___ ___ __ __ __ APPROX. Switchover Temp.

    Known Energy Use
    could be used to determine which
    presumed BUILDING THERMAL ENVELOPE
    more closely represents YOUR Home.
    Attached Images Attached Images    
    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

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    SW FL
    Posts
    9,736
    Post Likes
    OPERATING COST

    __ EXAMPLE __

    $_. _ _ / THERM NATURAL GAS

    ?? _ $0. _ _ KW-HR
    ____ ~ 0.11
    Attached Images Attached Images   
    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

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA
    Posts
    2,187
    Post Likes
    You can still get a Carrier, or one of the sister brand's (Bryant, Payne, Day-Night, etc) outdoor unit to match your indoor unit. If you are looking for an economical solution have the line-set and indoor unit pressure tested. If there is a leak find out where and repair if possible. Just change outdoor unit. If the leak is in the indoor unit then replacement is recommended for a 15 year-old unit.

    Get a second opinion on the compressor being dead either way.
    Climate Control Solutions for your Home or Office

    Serving Northeast Philadelphia and Surrounding Areas

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Southold, NY
    Posts
    25,760
    Post Likes
    Quote Originally Posted by samepdx View Post
    Hi all,

    Brand new to the site and would love some insight on my current situation. I recently moved into a 110 year-old home (3,200 sqft, but 1,200 is unfinished basement) in the Pacific Northwest that has a 2005 Carrier 4-ton single stage heat pump and air handler. We have a ton of windows, some of which were replaced, and I'm sure very little insulation in the walls.

    Once the weather got colder, we noticed the temperature coming through the vents was fluctuating quite a bit. A tech came out and told us the compressor was broken and needs to be replaced. He recommended replacing the whole system on a 15 year old pump. We are currently using the back up electric furnace to heat the house.

    We have now received quotes from five different companies, and asked for options of replacing only the heat pump, the heat pump and air handler, or switching over to a gas furnace and A/C.

    Three companies only install Daikin, and two install Carrier. The two that use Carrier were the only ones who quoted us and even recommended just replacing the heat pump because our current air handler was a high-end model in 2005 and functioning properly. From reading many posts on this site, I know it is not recommended and risky to only replace part of the system. However, this was admittedly a large expense we were not anticipating.

    Whether it be for Daikin or Carrier equipment, we have received vastly different recommendations on the type of heat pump (single, double stage, variable) and some of the techs recommended switching over to gas because it would be easier to heat the house.

    The last company who came out did a pressure test with the air handler and said our system was under too much pressure. Essentially, the ducting was installed before the heat pump, and is too small for the current pump. Because of this, he only recommended a few, less powerful heat pumps.

    I know that for whichever system we go with, the install will be the most important part of it functioning well, but I am curious to know if I can get away with only replacing the heat pump? If not, are there specific questions I should be asking to determine the right size and power of heat pump or A/C / gas furnace?

    Thank you in advance for your help and I'm happy to provide any additional information needed.
    That's telling me the ducts are too small and this contractor is doing his job. Did they recommend what could be done to correct the issues or give any solutions?

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