Cost of a new Heat Pump system - ADVICE NEEDED!

Old 08-28-00, 09:56 AM
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I desperately need some advice...I've lived in my townhome for about 6 years. The home is about 10-11 years old. The heat pump (heater and AC) has never been particularly efficient - esp in winter. For the past 3-4 years I've had to have someone come in a recharge the freon in the outer unit (in the summer), and have been plagued by an indoor pipe that gets clogged and leaks water onto the basement floor. Because the system is older, it's not as efficient as the newer ones. I've been told that it would be more advisable to get a new one installed rather than pay to have someone find the leak (or leaks). The price I'm being quoted is $4500 for a Lennox Elite 14 (SEER rating of 15, & HSPF of 9) and multiposition, variable speed blower coil, both installed including new thermostat. The other alternative is a Carrier system (for $4000) with similar features, but the Lennox warranty is a lot more robust (5 year parts, for Lennox vs. 1 year for Carrier). Does this seem reasonable? I literally FREEZE in my home every winter (I've even purchased 2 portable electric heaters that I run in the basement and bedroom, because the current system is so expensive to run...). Can someone please tell me your thoughts on this? I've been calling other dealers to get quotes, but they say it can be anywhere from mid 3000's up to mid 4000's. Any advice would be appreciated! Robin
Old 08-28-00, 03:00 PM
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Hi Robin:

Are you being quoted new equipment & ductwork or just new equipment? A heating/cooling system is one of the most expensive sub systems in a home. If you are about to spend this much money, may I suggest that you insist that your bidders do a room by room heating/cooling load calculation and evaluate the present ductwork. The goal is SYSTEM performance and not just EQUIPMENT performance. It sounds like your present system has never been up to snuff and, since this is a major retrofit, might as well get it right this time. If you plan to stay in this home, you want a system that's maintains comfort without putting you the utility bill poorhouse. Alomg with the load calculations, you will want to evaluate your insulation and windows. Another consideration is a different energy source for heat. Is natural gas avilable in your area? If so, compare the cost of a heat pump vs. a gas furnace in straight energy dollars. If you go to, you can purchase a one usage load program for $39. It's easy to use and it will alsosize the ducts. $39 to check what the contractors are telling you is a bargain. Let us know if you need more help. Thanks. John.

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