Hello all, I am new, just stumbled upon this site looking for answers to
Just bought a home 2 months ago, in upstate NY, this is our first home.
The home was built in 1979, and everything in it seems to be original to
that date. (and I mean everything) I have several sources of heat, oil
furnace for the most of the house, and electric baseboard and fire place
for the living room portion of the house on a slab (an addition made I
My issue is this York heat pump located in the basement. It is connected
to the duct work of the oil furnace. I know very little so I've been
trying to figure out its use. So far I've read that it works with a ac
unit that should be outside. There is a cement platform outside and what
looks like connections on the outside wall of the house next to this that
seemed to have been for a central air unit(again, I know little).
My question would be, is this York Champion & Sunpath Heat Pump a unit
that I can use stand alone for heat (either as a supplement or a backup to
my furnace) or does it require an outside unit to function. If yes is it
an efficient alternative to fuel?
When we first moved in I turned on the thermostat for the heat pump, and
im sure heat was coming out of the vents, it could have just been warmer
air. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks
You need an outdoor unit for the Heat Pump System to work, otherwise,
you are only using the OIl Furnace for heat. Sounds like theyve
roughed in everything for the Heat Pump System minus the outdoor
unit. As to which system (the oil heat or electric Heat Pump) is the
more efficient to use for heating...depends on your locales oil prices
versus electric rates which you would have to investigate more. You
will need the outdoor unit for cooling , come next summer keep in
That doesn't really make sense to me, though.
If I understand correctly, the OP has an air handler in the basement,
connected to the pre-existing oil furnace duct work, but no outdoor
I don't think anybody would have installed it that way. I'd bet there
was a compressor outside at one time, and it has since been removed or
I'd also wonder about the duct sizing. Heat pump warm air is not as
hot as furnace hot air, so you need bigger ducts. If this is just
connected to the furnace ductwork, I'd doubt whether either heat or
air conditioning ever worked very well. Unless by sheer dumb luck.
Of course it could be the other way around - heat pump installed first
and failed, and then oil furnace added to the heat pump ductwork. But
in a 30 year old house in New York? Seems unlikely.
The air handler MIGHT have auxiliary strip heaters that might still be
connected, so maybe he really did get some heat out of it. That would
be expensive though.
Either way, hes going to need an outdoor Heat Pump or A/C unit before
he has cooling for next summer . If he gets the Heat Pump outdoor unit
now, he will have his choice of which heating system to use , plus,
he will have a backup heating source in case one should fail.
Problem is, if he adds an outdoor heat pump now and doesn't check that
the duct sizing is calculated properly, it is unlikely the system will
This is one of those cases where he really does need a qualified tech,
one with some actual knowledge, to look at his system.
Ah, he's living in a 32 year old house with oil heat, heat pump heat,
electric baseboard heat, fireplace heat, and probably a couple more he
doesn't know about it.
What are the chances of a botched job? <g>
But most likely it's fixable.
I would call your local professionally trained, licensed, insured, master
technician to do a complete system assesment and explain to you exactly what
you have, what condition its *really* in, and any recommended repairs, etc.
Things you are daying are not making sense.... York Champion is a package
heat pump unit that should be outside on that slab, and be connected to the
house by ductwork, control wires and power wires. I have no idea why it
would be in the basement.
With the right controls package, you can use the heat pump in conjunction
with the oil furnace so it will heat with the heat pump until the outside
temp gets down to around 30F or so, and when the OD temp gets lower, it will
switch to the oil furnace for heat. Only your local Master Tech can tell you
for sure whats possible after he does the system assesment.
Not being there, and not being able to *SEE* what you have and how its
configured, I'm just guessing here.
Whoops. Good catch. My assumption it was an airhandler was wrong.
But then, who would expect a package unit in a basement?
Then again, how the heck did they get it down there?
Unless it's a very leaky basement, I wouldn't think there'd be enough
air exchange for it to run long. Or is this sometimes done? I
haven't seen a unit in a basement. Condensers for reefers, sure, but
not a heat pump.
Some older Geothermal units were in the basement and the cooling/heating
underground water was piped in. In fact a number of Central air
conditioners in the 1930's had the condenser sitting next to the furnace
and had the water line cooling the condenser. The water line was a
domestic(city water)trickler with the exhausted water going to water the
lawn and/or used to fill pan roofs over summer porches to cool them.
A method also used to cool and heat ancient Roman and byzantine homes
etc. One major problem they had witht the water trenches is that they
also used them as toilets.
His machine is an air to air package heat pump, *NOT* a geothermal, or
That thing got into the basement somehow... it will come back out. The real
questions are whay was it put there in the first place??, and where is he
going to find an honest, licensed, insured, professionally trained. master
HVAC tech in New York.
In the sixties and seventies Fedders made a packaged heat pump that
could be installed inside an attic, basement or outside. The condenser
air was supplied through an inlet duct to the outside and the
condenser exaust was discharged through a duct to the outside. I have
also seen at least one other brand that was installed in a basement
with the condenser connected to the outside through ducts.
On 1/7/2012 10:35 AM, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
I haven't come across one of those yet but some years back I was
involved in upgrading the electrical system at a multistory nursing
home where all the outdoor condensing units were removed and a couple
of Trane screw compressors were installed in a large motor room along
with the first indoor cooling tower ever installed in The Southeast.
It was an interesting setup with huge louvers on the wall of the
building for intake and exhaust of the cooling tower air. I imagine
they're quite common in cities that experience severe cold weather.
I kind of wonder if he really knows what that unit in the basement
really is. For all we know it could even be a pump for exchanging
formaldehyde from blood in cadavers. Now that is Permanent cooling! ;-p
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