heat pump compressor replacement?


Old 12-29-07, 09:35 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 3
heat pump compressor replacement?

Can anyone share the pros and cons of replacing a heat pump compressor ($1600) vs getting a whole new system ($8000)? I have a 20 year old Traine heat pump which I know is at the end of it's life-expectancy but I'd like to keep it going for a couple more years. Last year we had a "hard start kit" installed and it ran fine until last week when it stopped working and blew the circut breaker in our main electrical box. A tech came out and said the compressor is shot (we're heating our 1200 sq ft condo with the aux heat). The tech suggested that we consider replacing the compressor if we don't want to spend the $8000 to rplc the heat pump and air handler right now. If I can spend $1500 for a new compressor and get another two years out of the unit I might do that...but what should I consider in making the decision?
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Old 12-29-07, 09:44 AM
mattison's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Cinti, OH
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You may get by a couple years with a new compressor but in my opinion it's money out the window. A 20 year old heat pump is a few years beyond the average life. A new system could potentially save you money in the long run.
Old 12-29-07, 09:55 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2007
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Thanks for the response. We're planning on moving in 2-3 years so we won't reap the long-term benefits of a brand new system (except maybe in resale value of the condo). But I just wanted some reassurance that a new compressor isn't a foolish thing to do...don't want to invest $1600 now and then have some other major issue next year that requires more money. Question: until we make a decision is it ok to heat the house using the aux heat function?
Old 12-29-07, 10:26 AM
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Southeast USA
Posts: 1,067

spending more than $500 on a 20 yr old system is just throwing good $$$ after bad. Not a good decision even if you plan on moving. I don't know where you live and where you get a replacement cost of $8000, but you would be better off buying a lower end and less expensive system than spending $8000 on a premium system or $1600 on a new compressor. You would get better comfort, better operating cost, and at least a selling tool when moving over an old 20+ yr system.

Old 12-29-07, 10:33 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2007
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We're in CT and the $8000 is an avg estimate for replacing both the heat pump and air handler. We've got quotes from 4 reputable companies ranging from $6400 to $9000. Neighbors with same condo layout 2 doors down from us paid about $7k earlier this Fall. I hate to put any money into this old inefficient unit but I'm also in pain about spending $8k and moving in two years. We have one more tech coming on Monday to confirm that compressor is really shot then we'll make our decision. Thanks for the input. much appreciated.
Old 12-30-07, 04:17 PM
harveje's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: North East Ms.
Posts: 122
U should be able to flush the lines and install a lower end outside unit (like suggested above) for the price of replacing the comp. Just make sure the tonnage and line set is the same.

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