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What is this?

David Meiland

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Not sure this question can be answered with the information I have, but...

Saw this outdoor unit at a house apparently built in 1971. The owner was surprisingly vague about what it did--thought it might be an air conditioner and seemed to remember running it as one many years ago, and also thought that perhaps it was supposed to work for heating, although he didn't think it did, and it definitely didn't when I was there.

It's almost inconceivable for someone here to want air conditioning, it's just not hot enough. However, the owner shared with me that the upper level of the house got extremely hot in summer, and they had HUGE west-facing glass, on the waterfront. AND, the indoor coil was installed as a separate unit downstream of the furnace, so it might have been added on to the system sometime after initial construction. So maybe someone decided--after building a house that overheats in summer--to add A/C and here it is.

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I see nothing that would suggest a heat pump. My favorite method is to look for reversing valves. I also chk filter/dryers because more than once I've found a label that indicated heat pump but the reversing valve had been removed and the filter/dryer wasn't bi-directional. This has happened on old units where heat mode was troublesome and techs would just remove the valve and set up emerg heat as primary heat.


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Sorry for being unclear about my question. Looking for confirmation that this is NOT a heat pump for heating and cooling, and is only for cooling. If so, probably the only one in the county (except at the grocery store).

Aside from a reversing valve, look at the control wiring. If there are only two wires, it can't be anything more than an AC unit. If there are 5 wires or more, then it's a heat pump.

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