Air Handler Replacement

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  #1  
Old 10-06-11, 07:50 PM
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Air Handler Replacement

My electric air handler is in dire need of replacement. It is original to the home (29 years old) and has been giving me problems ever since we moved in three years ago. First the blower motor burned out, which I replaced, and it has flooded three times now because the drain line keeps clogging. The evap coil is in bad shape (dented and corroded fins) and I just noticed what appears to be mold growing inside (white fuzzy matter). My issue is this--the outdoor heat pump is only about 7 years old and works fine, so I'd rather not have it replaced if I can avoid doing so. However, it takes the old type of freon which, if I understand correctly, has been phased out. If I have a new air handler installed, do I automatically have to have the heat pump replaced as well?
 
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Old 10-07-11, 02:43 PM
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NO, you don't have to replace the outside unit, YET. You will need to find a contractor who is willing to get a R22 air handler or one who is willing to field convert the air handler to work with R22 by installing a R22 TXV.
 
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Old 10-07-11, 05:16 PM
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Gotcha. I've been looking at Goodman air handlers (I have a Goodman heat pump) and they come in R-22 models that are R-410 compatible. They aren't as expensive as I thought. Found a couple online for about $500-$600. I need an electric air handler with auxillary heating coils. How much should I expect for labor? I live in Northern Va.
 
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Old 10-07-11, 06:03 PM
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call around, each location is different and so is each contractor.
 
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Old 10-07-11, 09:58 PM
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Just an FYI.

If you plan on buying this from online, Goodman will NOT honor the warranty. There also may be dealer who will not put this in if you order this on your own.
 
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Old 10-08-11, 12:09 PM
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This project will require removing and capturing the freon and then opening the system. This requires an EPA certified service person - it's not a DIY job.
 
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Old 10-09-11, 10:37 AM
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Also, the air handler has auxillary heating coils (10 kW), which seems more than adequate. I'd like for the new unit to have a lower wattage coil not only because 10 kW seems overkill, but for the sake of my electric bill during those peak winter months where the heat pump alone doesn't suffice. Next step down would be 8 kW. Home is in Northern VA and there are a few weeks during the winter where it drops into the teens. My auxillary typically kicks on when below 30. Would 8 kW suffice for a 3-story 2,000 sq ft home? There are 15 registers and 3 returns if that factors in, and yes, I understand that a load calculation would be needed to give an exact estimate, but I simply need to know if 10kW is more than enough, would dropping down to 8 kW suffice?
 
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