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Heat pump question

charliechitlins Member Posts: 1
A single lady friend called me for advice and exposed an area of home engineering I know nearly nothing about.
I've never had a heat pump
Here's the Q.
2 of the elements of her heating system are, a heat pump outside, and a bunch of stuff up in the attic that it's attached to.
It's all maybe 20-25 years old.
The heat pump has gone bad, like anything that sits outside for that long.
The problem is, nobody wants to replace just the pump and claim that the whole system needs to be upgraded...estimates in the $ range.
Of course, she assumes people are trying to hose her because she's a woman and clearly has some dough.
Is there a cheaper way out?
BTW...the attic is accessible by a 2'x3' hatch in the ceiling of a closet.


    HVACNUT Member Posts: 4,590
    edited December 2018
    If the system is that old it probably uses R-22 refrigerant which is no longer acceptable, or available.
    A complete new high efficiency heat pump by a competent contractor is what is needed.
    And theres no pricing allowed here.
    And you're in the steam section, not A/C heat pump.
    Erin Holohan Haskell
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 9,756
    Maybe the good Christmas Elf Erin will move you to the correct category on the site.
  • ratio
    ratio Member Posts: 3,173
    @charliechitlins, you can edit that number out of your initial post, click on the little gear-shaped thing that appears beside the star in the right hand side of the post title.

    Regarding the rest of your questions, like @HVACNUT said it's gonna be the old refrigerant. Most if not all of the old refrigerant system will need to be upgraded to use the new refrigerant. It will be fairly expensive and possibly invasive (holes in walls type stuff maybe—I dunno). Going through a 24x36 inch hole to do the work will make it more expensive, not less.

    They do make equipment for the old refrigerant still, but that stuff's expen$ive. There wouldn't be any savings, I believe, and you'd still be left with some 20+ yo equipment that's 5-10 years past it's life expectancy.

  • Erin Holohan Haskell
    Erin Holohan Haskell Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 1,862
    JUGHNE said:

    Maybe the good Christmas Elf Erin will move you to the correct category on the site.

    Got it. Thanks!
  • John Mills_5
    John Mills_5 Member Posts: 935
    While you can hack a new outdoor unit on an old coil, heat pumps are very picky about having a matching coil due to the refrigerant needs differences between heat & cool. Heat needs less juice so it is common with an older coil that holds less volume to cause high head pressure with the new heat pump. We've found some jobs like that, back in the R22 days, where the refrigerant level had to be adjusted at the beginning of each season. You throw a 14 SEER 410 unit on a 25 year old R22 designed coil and there will very likely be problems.
  • unclejohn
    unclejohn Member Posts: 1,757
    For the heat pump to have lasted that long she most likely has another heat source for the lower level of the house. But yes she does need to replace both the indoor and outdoor section.
  • Ironman
    Ironman Member Posts: 6,868
    Charlie, do you really like chitterlings? I had to ask.
    Bob Boan
    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 9,756
    One or two story house.....2 systems?
    What state....how much heat needed?
  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 4,536
    Charlie merry Christmas your friend isn’t being hosed. Whether she seems loaded or dead broke she will get the same sales people telling her the same story. The costs to just replace the outdoor unit is certainly much lower than a whole new indoor and outdoor, but zilch responsibility will be assumed by the HVAC guy if and when the R22 gas leaks out for whatever reason, or, the indoor unit starts fussing, or on and on and on.

    The HVAC people wish not to be in the crosshairs if the new outdoor unit and the old indoor unit doesn’t work superbly. It’s a losing battle, the old equipment just needs to go

    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    [email protected]
  • rgilbert100
    rgilbert100 Member Posts: 1
    How does the energy consumption of a hyper heat Mitsubishi system compare to an 80% efficient hydronic system?