Repair or Replace HVAC Compressor?
LESLIE: George in Pennsylvania is on the line with a geothermal question. What can we do for you?
GEORGE: Well, we had – I have a geothermal system now. It’s 15 years old. And a couple weeks ago, the compressor went up. And the guy came out who normally services the unit. He went – he recommends not replacing the compressor. He recommends an entirely new unit, everything, the whole shebang.
TOM: OK. How old is the existing system, George?
GEORGE: Fifteen years old.
TOM: OK. I would agree with that.
GEORGE: Oh, OK. OK. That’s …
TOM: That pretty much your question?
GEORGE: Why, yeah, that’s my – because my stepson, who is in the field, keeps insisting to me that – just to replace the compressor. But I – after I went online and I saw the pros and cons of doing that and I hate to just do piecemeal and something happen, you know. I spend money for a compressor and a couple years later, something else goes up.
TOM: Well, the old saying is you don’t want to throw good money after bad.
GEORGE: Right. Sure.
TOM: And if the system is 15 years old, I mean frankly, George, it doesn’t owe you a dime. That’s pretty good life expectancy. So you’ve gotten all your money out of that.
If you replace the whole thing, you’re going to get a much more efficient system out of it, because everything is balanced in systems today. Plus, there’s new refrigerants that are safer. So, I really do think you’re better off replacing it.
GEORGE: Oh, great. OK, OK. Fine. How do you feel about buying a – I want to say another – he wants to do – this guy is recommending not another hot-water heater, like a storage tank to keep the water hot so that we don’t have to use the hot-water heater as much as we do now.
TOM: OK. That’s not an unusual approach. I have a storage tank in my home because my hot water is provided by my boiler, not by a water heater.
GEORGE: Right, right. We used to have that.
TOM: And so by having a storage tank next to the boiler, the storage tank can supply a certain amount of hot water and the boiler doesn’t have to come on every time we need more hot water in the house. So that’s not an unusual approach.
The other thing that you might want to think about is a tankless water heater. That’s another way to go.
GEORGE: Oh, OK. OK. Fine. OK. Well, great. That was quick. You answered my questions. I appreciate it.
TOM: Alright, George. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.