Replacing outside unit for heatpump/AC


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Old 05-22-09, 06:06 AM
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Replacing outside unit for heatpump/AC

Hello,

We have a 25 year old Trane heatpump/AC with electric heat strips on the inside unit. Over the winter, we had to get a new blower motor put in but that's been about it.

I went to turn on the AC yesterday and the blower worked but no cold air was coming out. Checked the breaker and the 30 amp for the outside unit was tripped. I reset it and it buzzed/crackled for a second then was fine. As soon as I turned the thermostat to cool, it tripped again. I set the thermostat to "off", reset the breaker and went outside to check the outside unit. It was humming but the fan wasn't turning.

As soon as I switched the thermostat to cool, it tripped the breaker again. I tried the same thing with heat and had the same results. As long as the thermostat is set to "off", the outside unit just hums and doesn't trip the breaker. Every minute or so, it will make a different noise like it's trying to start but can't then goes back to humming.

I'm going to replace the run capacitors and the breaker this weekend but if that doesn't work, I'll have a service call for Tuesday.

Now my question - if it's something major (compressor, motor, etc.) it will probably be better in the long run to replace the unit as it's almost 25 years old. However, the economy being what it is, I'd rather not spend 5 or 10K right now. Is it possible to only replace the outside unit and leave the inside furnace in place until it dies/the economy straightens out/we hit the lottery?
 
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Old 05-22-09, 06:36 AM
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I wouldn't waste your time or $ on the caps, theres a 95% chance you have a grounded compressor. Get a meter and check the comp terminals to ground.

If you do need to replace the unit it would be foolish to not replace the entire system, sorry.
 
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Old 05-22-09, 07:53 AM
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Are heatpumps the way to go or should we go with a regular electric furnace and A/C? (St. Louis, MO)

House is about 2000 sq ft. (first floor and finished basement). Double glazed windows, and I'll be blowing more insulation into the attic. Right now there are (2) 30 and (1) 60 amp breakers for the HVAC system.

The main cost savings I could see with an electric furnace without a heat pump would be that we could use a setback thermostat summer and winter since nobody is in the house from about 7:30 to 5:00 every day.
 
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Old 05-22-09, 07:57 AM
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If you do have a grounded comp and need to replace the system I would stay with a heat pump, something that meets the Fed Tax credits
 
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Old 05-22-09, 10:05 AM
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ground-source heat pump

stay away from electric heat except for emerg. systems. you'll be paying the cost of this country going green.
 
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Old 05-22-09, 06:08 PM
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no natural gas in the house? That's the most economical and HOT.
 
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Old 05-22-09, 06:31 PM
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Nope - the house was built in 1965 and had an oil furnace at one time but now the whole house is electric with no gas service. If I want gas service, they want me to switch all my appliances over but the stove is 2 years old, water heater 6 months old and the dryer is 4 years old.
 
 

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