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Question DetailsAsked on 10/17/2013

hvac replacement

Our Heat pump that stopped functioning recently. 5 or 6 years ago we purchased a new furnace inside and were told that it was capable of handling a larger heat pump unit. We never did anything about the HP. Now we are told that we will have to replace both because of the R-22 issue. We are all electirc. Can anyone help us understand what is best. Don't know what is wrong with the HP - haven't serviced it or touched it since the new furnace when we had it "charged" - our house is not large -4 smaller bedrooms and 2.5 bath. Any help is appreciated!!!

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2 Answers


First , I think when you state "furnace" it is really an air handler or an electric furnace with a coil, since you state it's all electric.

The industry has known about the phase out of R22 for years, many contractors choose not to believe it would happen. Many consumers are in the same boat, due to bad advice.

However ther is a loophole in the phase out law that has allowed new outdoor units to be manufactured, that do not have R22 in them, but are rated for its use, must be added in the field, costly as well.

So you could ask about these, ask for "dry Charged R22" units.This may be the lowest cost today, but will not be as energy efficient and R22 if needed for repair, will continue to rise in cost!

Best to replace both the indoor and outdoor unit, for the lower operaating and repair cost in the future.

More info. at Consumer Tab


Answered 6 years ago by BayAreaAC


In addition to BayAreaCool's comment:

Unless you have a very odd system, the heat pump provides heat/cooling via a heat enchanger unit that is in-line with the furnace - essentially a radiator in the furnace ductwork for forced air systems, or tied into the plumbing outside of the furnace in baseboard systems. There would normally be no need to replace the furnace if the HP is not working - just fix or replace the HP with its heat exchanger.

If you review the comments on Freon and R-22 coolant in the Home > HVAC link (in Browse Projects at lower left) you will see why R-22 is being phased out (EPA regs) and its rapidly increasing cost - can run $500 or more, and going up constantly, to recharge a typical home A/C or Heat Pump system. Therefore, when a Heat Pump quits, if the repair cost is substantial it is commonly more cost-effective in the long run to replace it with a new unit that does not use Freon. However, with a bit of heat exchanger modification and surrounding duct section adaption, it should not require replacement of the furnace UNLESS it is one of the baseboard heating furnace systems that incorporated the heat exchanger in the furnace housing itself (not just in the ductwork a foot or three from it, as is usual) - in which case replacement could be cheaper than retrofitting a new heat exchanger into the system.

Answered 6 years ago by LCD

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