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First Time Home Buyers - Heat Pump/Furnace Questio


Necrosaro420
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Hello, My wife and I are looking to purchase a new home. We found one that we really like, but when we looked at it, the electric? furnace thing in the basement had a sticker on it dated from 1979. I know this house has/uses a heat pump, could that be the reason why the furnace is so old? When you have a heat pump, does it use the furnace? Is it typical for a furnace to last that long if you are using a heat pump? Ive googled and googled and I am just really confused on it all lol.

They said the AC was 3 years old, isnt the heat pump built into the a/c unit outside?

Thanks!

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Hi,

Well, electric furnaces will last as long as the electrical components are still available from suppliers and there's still someone around who knows how to replace the components. It's possible that you've got an electric furnace which has had a split type central air unit incorporated into it with the compressor/condenser unit outside and the A-coil incorporated into the air plenum above or below the central heating unit. When you're heating the house, the resistance elements in the unit will provide the heat and when you run it in AC mode the resistance elements won't come on and it will function as the air handler for the AC system.

It's also possible that you could have the remains of an old electric furnace that's been gutted of everything except the air handler (blower) and a split-type heat pump has been incorporated into the system to heat the house.

However, the statement that the AC was only 3 years old, makes it sound like you've got a plain old electric central heating unit with the AC system incorporated into it.

If you want to know for certain, you'll need to get someone who understands HVAC systems to look at it - either a home inspector or an HVAC tech.

Mike

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Originally posted by hausdok

Hi,

Well, electric furnaces will last as long as the electrical components are still available from suppliers and there's still someone around who knows how to replace the components. It's possible that you've got an electric furnace which has had a split type central air unit incorporated into it with the compressor/condenser unit outside and the A-coil incorporated into the air plenum above or below the central heating unit. When you're heating the house, the resistance elements in the unit will provide the heat and when you run it in AC mode the resistance elements won't come on and it will function as the air handler for the AC system.

It's also possible that you could have the remains of an old electric furnace that's been gutted of everything except the air handler (blower) and a split-type heat pump has been incorporated into the system to heat the house.

However, the statement that the AC was only 3 years old, makes it sound like you've got a plain old electric central heating unit with the AC system incorporated into it.

If you want to know for certain, you'll need to get someone who understands HVAC systems to look at it - either a home inspector or an HVAC tech.

Mike

Not sure if you can tell if this is a heat pump, ac, or both? This thing is what is 3 years old, it shows a manufacture date of 2005, thats where I got 3 years from, they didnt "say" the ac was 3 years old. I just assumed that was the ac, or is it the heat pump, or both??

1183105f.jpg

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An older electrical furnace can be changed to an heat pump if the exterior unit is a heat pump and both units are wired right. On the exterior unit you should be able to fine the wording that says it is a heat pump and there will be a reversing valve. and a thermostat for the heat pump. Even with these items it may not be set up right.

Like Mike said if you want to know for sure get some one to look at it that knows what they are doing.

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Jason,

Can't disagree with any of the other posters.

Because I likely have grandkids as old as you, I want to stress getting an inspector to look at the house for you. YaYa, it sounds like I'm selling something and in a way I am. First time home buyers need a good inspector!

Don't follow the advice of your agent, unless the recommended inspector can demonstrate their independance to YOU.

An issue like your furnace is quite simple for a good inspector and you will be surprised what you can learn.

Good Luck.

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The sticker that said 1979 - is that a service history sticker? If that sticker is on some nearby ductwork, it may be older than the furnace that's there now.

Like the other guys were saying - get the thing inspected. Then you'll know.

Bravo, by the way, for being an attentive buyer, and doing your research.

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