Is it a waste of money having heat pump checked every year?

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goshenBogle
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Is it a waste of money having heat pump checked every year?

Post by goshenBogle » Sun Jun 16, 2019 6:50 pm

Live in SW Virginia and have our condo heat pump checked every year. Nothing has ever been found that requred any work by the technician and I am out about $75 to $100. Am I wasting my money or are there reasons why this annual check should be performed?
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scubadiver
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Re: Is it a waste of money having heat pump checked every year?

Post by scubadiver » Sun Jun 16, 2019 8:33 pm

goshenBogle wrote:
Sun Jun 16, 2019 6:50 pm
Live in SW Virginia and have our condo heat pump checked every year. Nothing has ever been found that requred any work by the technician and I am out about $75 to $100. Am I wasting my money or are there reasons why this annual check should be performed?

I currently live in NY, but have owned a home in VA since 2008 with a heat pump. We do not pay for this service.

The advantage of the service is early identification of an issue before it severely impacts the operation of the unit, allowing you to avoid loosing heat or AC for a few days. Our VA house also has a wood stove, so loosing the heat pump in the winter wouldn't be the end of the world. In the summer I suppose it could get a bit sticky. If that became an issue, I would just check the family into a hotel for a few days or pay a surprise visit to the in-laws who are always excited to see their grandkids. Either way, I couldn't see paying someone for the privilege of getting a quote from them for additional work. YMMV.

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StevieG72
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Re: Is it a waste of money having heat pump checked every year?

Post by StevieG72 » Sun Jun 16, 2019 10:02 pm

Yearly maintenance should include cleaning the coils outside where the compressor is located and also the evaporator coils in the air handler. It is an easy DIY job, if you are paying for annual maintenance and this is not performed drop the service.
Fools think their own way is right, but the wise listen to others.

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Taz
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Re: Is it a waste of money having heat pump checked every year?

Post by Taz » Mon Jun 17, 2019 6:42 am

I skipped a year and the tech found water had accelerated the rusting of the capacitors. He also found that the previous company had placed the wrong size capacitor on the compressor side. Finally, he found that the manual "pull" outside breaker had partially melted possibly due to arcing necessitating replacement of the breaker & box..

A few ounces of prevention .......
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Broken Man 1999
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Re: Is it a waste of money having heat pump checked every year?

Post by Broken Man 1999 » Mon Jun 17, 2019 12:38 pm

We have the semi-annual visits to keep the units in tip-top shape.

Last service call the tech noted that is was about time for the summer visit so he just changed our repair call to an inspection visit. Turned out the issue was the drain for heat pump upstairs with air-handler in attic had a partially blocked condensate drain. The unit would run, then stop when the sensor signaled the overflow pan was full, turning it off because it looked like drain was plugged. After a bit, the drain would lower the water level in the catch pan, and it would run again, for a bit.

A couple of other times the techs would replace something that a service bulletin had made them aware of, no charge. They probably loved that, paid for their visit via my inspection, and also via service bulletin.

The company has never jerked us around on anything, so I am comfortable they have dealt with us honestly.

As with anything, a little investment in time could possibly save homeowners some money.

But I did find Air-Conditioning on my list of things I do not do; it was right near the top of the list, under Plumbing and Electrical. :D

Broken Man 1999
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whodidntante
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Re: Is it a waste of money having heat pump checked every year?

Post by whodidntante » Mon Jun 17, 2019 12:41 pm

If I had them out I would insist that they either clean the condensate drain or eat their lunch off of it.

megabad
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Re: Is it a waste of money having heat pump checked every year?

Post by megabad » Mon Jun 17, 2019 4:28 pm

StevieG72 wrote:
Sun Jun 16, 2019 10:02 pm
Yearly maintenance should include cleaning the coils outside where the compressor is located and also the evaporator coils in the air handler. It is an easy DIY job, if you are paying for annual maintenance and this is not performed drop the service.
+1 on this. Otherwise complete waste of money in my opinion. FYI, cleaning the indoor coils in many units is a relatively big job that no HVAC company in my area would include as part of a typical "tune up". They should at least clean the outdoor coils though as that takes 5 mins or so.

meebers
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Re: Is it a waste of money having heat pump checked every year?

Post by meebers » Mon Jun 17, 2019 7:51 pm

I get marketing mail from the guy who has been my Heat pump repairman. He is a good honest guy, but he says that any manufacturers warranty, in the case of a problem, relies on minimal annual maintenance. He is suggesting semi=annual @ $95 a pop. It has been 3 years since he installed my latest heat pump and I have not started a maintenance contract.This is what he says a normal visit would be;

Check and tighten electrical connections, Clear drain line, Treat drain pan, Check coils and reversing valve, Check filters, Check for proper Freon level, Check blower wheel and fan blades, Measure temperature difference, Lubricate moving parts, Measure amp draw, Inspect air handler cabinet, Check thermostat operation, Check safety switches, Measure capacitors and Inspect contactor.

I do some things myself like cleaning the electronic filter, put vinegar in the condensate line to clean it out and monitor flow, listen to air handler and outside unit for "normal" noise and most import, if its hot outside and cold on the inside I can conclude that a call is not necessary. My electric bill for this HP/house is about average $135 month 2300Sf in the middle of hot and humid Florida. :P YMMV

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