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catzilla
05-01-2007, 06:28 AM
Just bought townhome with heat pump - the neighbors all use different service companies and they have been told to have the unit serviced in July of each year. My company is recommending spring and fall - they say it doesn't make sense to do it in the summer. What do you think?

jimbo
05-01-2007, 06:58 AM
HVAC companies get really busy in the summer when it is hot. They like to get some service work in earyl spring and fall, to keep their crew working when big repair/replacement calls are fewer.

The equipment could care less when you perform maintenance, and a heat pump system requires very little. Coil cleaning is a good idea, and general cleaning and inspection is a good idea. This service should not cost an arm and a leg, and a good company will not be trying to sell you costly repairs every time. Many people do not bother to get the coils cleaned and put anit-legionaires tablets in the condensate pans. These folks get by for a few years, but sooner or later get bit.

To repeat the answer to your specific question: it will be easier and cheaper to find a service company in spring and fall. In the heart of the cooling and heating seasons, everyone is busy, and no one has any time for inspection calls.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9E-u5YNi8B4

catzilla
05-01-2007, 10:16 AM
Thanks - this company was actually suggesting twice a year check ups - in the spring and fall, but to me that sounded like overkill.

hj
05-02-2007, 05:41 AM
A friend of mine had his unit serviced every spring, and every time they found an expensive item that had to be taken care of. One year he forgot to have it serviced and he didn't have any problems, so he decided to see how long it would go if he did not have it done every year. It was about 10 years later when it finally needed a minor repair.

catzilla
05-02-2007, 04:14 PM
Do you know approximately how long a heat pump will last? Mine is a 13 yr. old Rheem and the home inspector listed it as an item I may need to replace in the next few years. I know the previous owner didn't like to pay for maintenance or repairs and I wanted to keep it in good working order. Just afraid of what you just mentioned about the service guys always finding something to fix and if it's really necessary - I guess you just have to find a company you can trust.

jadnashua
05-02-2007, 04:22 PM
They can last significantly longer, but it could go tomorrow. One thing to consider is that there are new Federal requirements on the new ones, and there are significantly more efficient models available. The minimum efficiency is now much higher than it was even a few years ago. Still, probably not worth replacing before it fails, but it may warrant some investigation so you have an idea what you want when it happens. Note, because the new ones use a different refrigerant, you will need to replace the evaporator coils and lines as well, making it almost like a new installation, not just a replacement.

The Trane guys said they had one compressor that just keeps going in the factory...much older than yours.

Many of the new compressors use a scroll compressor verses a piston type. These can be longer lasting, but just like anything, the quality of construction determines the ultimate result.