25 Year Old GE Heat Pump Is Dying. Which New One To Buy? - HVAC - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum

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Old 12-14-2009, 02:09 PM   #1
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25 year old GE Heat Pump is dying. Which new one to buy?

I live in Sacramento, CA in a home bought in 1984. It is about 975 sqft and fortunately laid on the lot with two small windows facing the sun during the year, the rest always in the shade. It has a two ton GE Weathertron HP and has been pretty efficient for this installation. Electric bills run $50.00 during the summer and the most was $120.00 for a very frosty February a few years ago. Have had it checked bi-yearly since new and up until it needed a new starter capacitor for the compressor this sommer has cost me nothing.

As of last Wednesday it (the outside unit) sounds like a bunch of rocks rolling around in a steel garbage can. Have to turn it off at night since it's so loud. Run it only during the day and it heats the house like it always has, just with a lot more noise.

I did check it out and it's not iced up. The fan/motor is spinning freely. I
turned it off, pulled the breaker, lifted the top of the unit and there nothing obviously loose. The only thing I can tell is if I thump litely on the side of the compressor, something inside metallically strikes the side. Same sort of noise when it's running. When running it's not continous but intermittant with pitch changes, it gets quieter for a few minutes at various times as well. I can only figure the compressor is the problem.

It is 25 years old so I figure it had a good life and it's time to replace it. After spending several days online trying looking at reviews and comments it does not look like like their are any real obvious winners in the heat pump market. So the question is, from all you professionals, which one would you buy? I would buy another GE but they were bought by Trane/Ingorsol Rand and they don't sound any netter than anyone else. Don't know how long it wll last and have a Trane rep/installer coming tommorow for a qoute. Will call several others as well. Any suggestions would really help.


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Old 12-14-2009, 02:26 PM   #2
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Old 12-14-2009, 05:26 PM   #3
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The old GE Weathertrons were good units. At 25 years your experience sounds like no exception.

Pick the absolute best contractor you can find and then accept whatever brand they recommend and are most familiar with.

Most systems use industry standard components like Emerson compressors, GE motors, etc. The differences among brands is far less then the differences among contractors.
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Old 12-18-2009, 02:37 PM   #4
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Varies by market but Trane dealers are way more expensive than anyone else in my locale and I'm not convinced their product/service is better than anyone else's. Unfortunately, you are goung to need to change your indoor coil also as your present one just won't cut it with a new outdoor condenser. And at that point you might as well just get a new air handler/coil combo.
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