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Question DetailsAsked on 1/29/2015

Does the purchase of a new heat pump include an air carrier/blower/recirculator?

I have an old heat pump (1989 Trane). Yesterday, I smelled smoke so called the fire dept. 6 fire trucks and 10 volunteer firefighters later, I was told the heating coils strip had been fried along with my thermostat. Darkened insulation was found inside the unit. After asking around, I found out the heat pump itself wasn't damaged per se, and if the air carrier was repaired, I could still run the unit during the times when more moderate outside.
So I'm wondering if you get a new air carrier with a new unit?

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2 Answers


Sorry to hear of your fire - but at least you were home to notice it get started, and it sounds like it did not spread to the house, so congrats on that ! Quite some fire response in your area - good peace of mind there !

IF the paint and wiring insulation on the heat pump was not burned (as opposed to just sooted up), I would guess it is probably OK - sounds like auxiliary heating element at the condenser was what burned up ? If the heat pump got hot enough to burn the paint off or melt the insulation off the wiring, I would have it checked out by a technician for proper operation, and get the oil changed if it is type with an oil reservoir/sump in the system. IF it got hot enough to melt aluminum on it,, I would not trust it - and I doubt if a contractor will work it into a repaired system either.

Generally, in my experience (excluding a couple of minor companies who I know sell every component as a single item), generally a quote will include (not all components exist on all brands) the heat pump with housing, condenser and fan with shroud/housing, regulating solenoid/control valve unit, expansion valve (comes with evaporator on some brands), on-unit sensors/thermocouples, unit/fan/valve wiring, the manifold piping connecting those units, mounting hardware, and the evaporator - the in-house "radiator". The tubing between the unit and the evaporator varies in length by each installation so usually is an off-the-shelf item provided by the installer, and the heating element and its thermostat is usually a separate unit because there are usually options for how much power you want it to have. Sound/thermal insulation kit is usually an optional item too. But every bidder might be different, so be sure to check apples to apples when getting bids. Remember, it does not really matter in the least how it comes priced and pieced from the factory - it is the installed cost you are interested in.

I am afraid I don't know what the "air carrier" is, unless this is a single point of demand unit like for manufactured homes and motel rooms, where there is an air hood/shroud from the unit to the inside of the house. If so, that might or might not be included - I know some manufacturers have varied and dimensions from through-wall units to ground-mounted - to - windowside type units, so that would probably be a separate cost too, or added cost if not just a through-wall mounting.

Should not be too costly to replace the heating element too if the condenser/fan/heat pump are OK - though if it pulled the temper on the tubing near it (turned it orange or green or blue after the soot is wiped off) I would preventatively replace that section of tubing too, as it constitutes a potential corrosion or blowout point under pressure. Ditto to any wiring that got hot enough to melt or deform the insulation.

Unless you know an HVAC contractor you already trust, Search the List under Heating and A/C for contractors to come bid on your job - and I would have all look at it and make notes, but tell them to hold off on the bid till you talk to all and refine exactly what replacement parts/options you want to go with, then get a uniform scope of work to them so they are all bidding on the same end result.

Answered 5 years ago by LCD


OK - in looking at this response as a possible reference link for another question, I see I blew it when I first responded - obviously the questioner was talking about an AIR HANDLER with supplemental heating coils - generally used when the house does not have existing forced air furnace with ducts, or occasionally used as a feed-in to existing air ducts for an add-on heat pump or as a supplemental unit for an addition or such.

And no - unless a package wall unit, an air handler usually is not part of a heat pump system - it is an add-on accessory, as are the heating elements or burner/heat exchanger.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD

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