Is this a heat pump?

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  #1  
Old 06-06-07, 01:08 PM
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Is this a heat pump?

I grew up in a house with oil/steam heat then moved to a house with gas/hydronic. Now we bought a 1970 vintage condo with electric/air so I am now trying to figure out this type of system as it is new to me. My electric bill last January was over $600 so I want to improve this before next winter - we're in Connecticut.

I looked at the Carrier outdoor condenser and it is a model 38CKC. The Carrier website lists this as an AC unit not a heat pump. However, on one of the freon lines next to the condenser there is about a 6 inch cylinder that says "bi-directional valve" on the label - so maybe this was converted for a heat pump???? Is that possible?

Thanks
Gene
 
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Old 06-06-07, 02:07 PM
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Wink

You just dont up and try to make a AC over to a heat pump. You dont say for sure where this is. Could be a suction line drier and they but a new compressor in there some time, Is it in the big copper line?
 
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Old 06-06-07, 05:22 PM
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38ckc

Is a split system A/C. A heat pump needs a reversing valve which looks like this:
http://toad.net/~jsmeenen/reverse.html
Can be installed that way or 180 degrees out.

Bi-Direcetional sounds like a liquid drier. In about a 3/8 inch copper line?

Sounds like your compressor was changed and the tech used a heat pump drier rather than an A/C drier. No big deal.

For the record, you can convert a heat pump to a/c and vice versa. But, there is a lot of homework as you are converting one model to another and parts not being changed (compressor, coil, fan etc.) must be identical between models, and you are buying parts (rev valve, deforst components etc.) to convert to heat pump. With all that said and done, it's cheaper and easier to just replace a heat pump with an a/c or vice - versa.

Not to mention warranty AND UL Listing.
 
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Old 06-06-07, 07:11 PM
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I went out and checked again - it says Parker Heat Pump Dryer on it and it is inline on the thinner copper tube about a foot away from the compressor. So I guess I'm **** out of luck. I wonder how much it would cost to convert to heat pump. I figure I spend about $3000 per heating season on electricity for the hot air system. I think someone said I could save 33% or about $1000 a year if I had a heat pump. So trying to figure how long it will take for a heat pump to pay for itself.

Thanks for any advise...

Gene
 
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Old 06-06-07, 09:15 PM
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Wink

Yes you will save a lot if you have electric heat now and go to a heatpump. If you will be in this home for the next 10 years . Go fo a heat pump with a seer of 15 or more that will give you a HSPFof 8.05 for the heat pump. Also get a V/S blower with it .be sure and get 3 bids for the job.
 
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Old 06-07-07, 08:15 AM
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Thanks Ed. 10 year payback is too long for me. I think all I would need to replace to convert my current split a/c heat system is the outdoor heat pump compressor and a reversing valve. I could probably install myself as all the copper tubes and wiring should support the new system. Should I attempt?

Gene
 
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Old 06-07-07, 04:53 PM
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Whoa Nelly!!

"it says Parker Heat Pump Dryer on it and it is inline on the thinner copper tube about a foot away from the compressor"

Do you mean that there is a small line coming from the compressor directly to this drier? If so does the line coming out of the drier go to the outdoor coil?

If this is true then you really are in some deep ****, my friend. The drier shold be in the liquid line, leaving the coil and entering the home. If it's in the actual compressor discharge line, there is a very high probability that much of the dessicant from the drier is now disbursed throughout your system. Which is bad, very bad.

As for he convert, no do not attempt. Bad, very, very, bad.

I said it could be done, but I didn't mean to suggest it should be done.

You'll need a lot more than a reversing valve which is about $200 bucks.

You'll need an accumulator to keep liquid from the compressor in heat mode. $150 to $200.

A defrost control board, maybe $125 or so.

Defrost and ambient air temp sensors, about $80 each.

Since you (nor I) have the equipment to make nice pipe bends to put all this together you will have a lot of elbows and couplings. Lots of places to leak.

And Nitrogen to bleed through everything while brazing.

Oh, you'll need TXV's for indoor and Outdoor units. $100 bucks or so each.

That is all assuming you've done the homework and verified that the indoor, outdoor coils and the same used by that manufacturer for the same size heat pump. And the compressor also.

Add all the numbers up and add some cash for time doing it and asking us questions, bounce that against a pro install. Change everything to new Heatpump. Don't open a can of worms.

Just because it "can" be done does not mean it "should" be done.

Think of that guy cutting you off in traffic. Yes you can hit his car and cause all sorts of damage, but should you do it? Of course not.
 
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Old 06-07-07, 09:44 PM
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Good answer thanks. Anyway I've got enough other projects around here that'll keep me busy for the time being. I just thought that most of those extra parts you spoke of were already integrated into a new outdoor heat pump unit out of the box. I wasn't thinking of keeping my Carrier 38CKC outdoor A/C compressor but instead just replacing it with a new outdoor heat pump compressor. Ah well, just have to pray for a warm winter up here next few years....

Thanks again
Gene
 
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