Heat pump problem

I have a Lennox HS-18 Heat Pump. I recently had a problem with a dirty air filter and was told if the same problem occored again to open the outside unit and press the red reset button. The problem was because of restricted air flow the unit sensed a problem and shut down the outside unit, leaving the inside blower blowing cool air continuosly.
I changed the filter and reset the switch. When I do that I hear a clicking noise on some sort of a switch above. But this switch never actually makes contact to allow the unit to go on. If I touch the switch it will make contact and work, however once the temp gets to the thermostat setting the unit goes off and won't go back on.
Does anyone have an idea if I am doing something wrong or does this sound like another problem? I plan on calling the serviceman again but I wanted to check here as well!
Also, anyone have a ROUGH idea how much a complete new unit installed might run? This thing seems ancient and inefficient. Just a ball park figure would be appreciated!
Peter
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wrote:

Hint #1 You shouldnt have to be resetting a switch to make your unit run properly. Hint # 2 Your serviceman is an idiot. Call a different one. Preferably, one that can read and diagnose refrigerant pressures. Hint #3 Which ball park should I base this on? Bubba
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I'm not sure what to make of what he told me, I am relatively new at heat pump understanding. My unit appears to be pretty old. I had been buying Naturalaire MERV 10 filters and I changed them last year every 3 months with no problem. This year I had one that was 1 that was slightly over a month old when my original problem started. He "reset" the outdoor unit and I replaced the filter. The next filter only lasted for 3 weeks. I was told that I should never use MERV 10 or MERV 8 in the winter and he put in a cheap blue fiber filter and told me to only use these. I could use the others in the summer if I wanted to. Last winter was much colder and I had no problems whatsoever. Unfortunatly, I am in a new town and don't have many people to get references from. I am posting so I can get feedback on what they are telling me and learn for myself. Does the filter scenario sound right to you? It didn't to me. I have had dirtier filters last year that didn't stop the outdoor unit. Thanks for your input!
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wrote:

Without bashing the tech too bad, how about if I just say, "He just may not understand refrigerant, filters, pressures, air flow, high pressure switches, electricity and customer knowledge. Maybe he is just really a painter? You may want to look into your condo assocaiation for answers. Maybe, if they have monthly meetings, attend one and ask those in there who they have used in the past and their experiences? Bubba
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Peter V wrote:

The switch you're referring to is called a contactor. If it won't pull in on its own, then you either have a faulty contactor or low control voltage to its magnetic coil.

See above.

Prices can vary wildly. For 1.5 ton heat pump you could pay anywhere between $3000 and $10,000, depending upon the type of system purchased and upon who you purchase it from.
Richard Perry
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Thanks, that makes sense, something doesn't seem right with that switch. My unit seems to be pretty old. Almost every unit in my condo complex has these same units and they all appear to be old as well. Probably people don't replace them because they don't intend to live there for a long period of time. I'm not sure if I want to replace or have someone better come check this from top to bottom and assess it.
Peter
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Peter,
It must be an HP18 to be a heat pump. An HS18 is a straight air conditioner. That system was rated around 8 SEER.
Those high efficiency pleated air filters ar highly restrictive to air flow. This will cause the compressor discharge pressures to run high in the heating season, often high enough to trip the high pressure switch. It will be worse in mild weather, which is why you are having trouble this winter. Pleated filters often reduce air flow as much as 20%. Go back to the cheap blue filters. If you must have pleated filters, put in a new system with a variable speed indoor blower unit, as they generally are a more powerful blower.
Prices for a new system will vary with brand, size, efficiency, contractor, and area of the country. If you live in LA, it will generally be more expensive than if you live in the boondocks. If you need duct mods, that drives the prices up. My prices vary from $3500 to $10,000 depending.......
Stretch
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Peter V wrote:

That would be entirely up to you. Someone "better"? Yes, definitely. BTW, if the system is problem free, then you should be able to use any type of filter that you want to use. Putting in a cheapo fiberglass filter isn't a fix, it's a patch. It s a bad patch at that, since it will allow additional dirt to accumulate on your indoor coil, and a dirty indoor coil is very possibly already the cause of the excessive head pressure.
Richard Perry
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