Heat pumps in Florida

I was under the impression that heat pumps were prevalent in Florida. Talked to an HVAC technician today and he said not so. Don’t assume anything. Look for the reversing valve in the high line coming out of compressor, otherwise it’s a “straight cool” system in his words. Also, local codes prohibit any condensate drain lines from connecting to any drain pipe. They must all drain directly to the outside(primary and if there is one secondary). He also said on a typical replacement compressor the cost would be $900.00. If the homeowner had the whole unit replaced (including condensor coil) it would be $500.00. I assume labor not included, didn’t ask. But he is not allowed to give this info to the homeowner. He is a tech and not in the sales dept.

Without additional info I would take it as bar room talk

Heat pump or electric heat strips or nothing – add one more thing - real furnaces and gas heat exchangers in out side HVAC units. Don’t know if an HVAC tech can say what is the most prevalent

His cost quotes are also subject to the same lack of documation bar room talk

It might be all correct but – Who knows


**M1411.3 Condensate disposal. **Condensate from all cooling coils or evaporators shall be conveyed from the drain pan outlet to an approved place of disposal. Condensate shall not discharge into a street, alley or other areas so as to cause a nuisance.

There is a lot of gas in Fla (hot gas ???) !

You can tell if it is a heat pump by looking at the thermostat. The heat/cool switch has an EM Heat or AUX Heat setting.

$900 is high (but true), $500 is B.S. !

I always look for the reversing valve. A do it yourselfer could go to home depot and install a thermostat meant for a heat pump but they really do not have a heat pump. They can make it work regardless.

Heat pumps are very prevalent around here, James and Chris. Remember too, that the Trane models don’t always have visible reversing valves, they are often contained inside the cabinet.

You can sometimes see if the unit is a heat pump by checking the thermostat, but more than once the thermostat has been a heat pump model, and the system has been changed to electric heat and straight A/C.

Around here if a home has a heat pump it can NOT be converted to a straight elec. furnace. If it is already an elec furnace and needs an upgrade it can be swapped out to either another straight elec furnace, a new heat pump or a gas furnace but never allowed to switch from Heat Pump to straight elec. (legally!) You can not always go by the thermostat as I have found more than one home with a Heat pump thermostat installed that did not have a Heat pump. Just be careful and check “every” location for some kind of confirmation that you do indeed have or don’t have a heat pump. Heat pumps are extremely popular in NW Florida. Oh yeah, NO straight electric furnaces can be installed in NEW construction here. Check with your local HVAC companies to see what can and can not be done in your area.

Thanks for the heads up Blaine. When I called my clients agent on last inspection her office secretary asked if I was licensed in Charlotte county. When the agent returned my call from the road she also asked if I was licensed with Charlotte county.(I wish all agents were this conciencious). It turns out she is on the licensing board. She told me she recently had an inspector from Cape Coral argue with her over this. He stated he could inspect anywhere in Florida. When pressed further about being licensed in our county he answered no. I’m sure this goes on alot unfortunatley. I believe you told me as much a few months back. I know who this person is but believe I’ll let sleeping dogs lie.