Trane Heat Pump - right choice for Illinois?

Looking for some input from you guys and gals. I inspected my first home in seven years that was actually equipped with a heat pump. Can’t say I have heard of too many here in our neck of the woods in blustery cold Chicagoland.

I would not think this would be a good choice overall in HVAC equipment in our climate. Any midwesterners have any input? Thoughts? The unit was older too, built in 1989.


What are the specs on it?
I have seen a few downtown but doubt they are a best choice for the Midwest.

Did you have fun trying to figure it out?

Here is discussion on them making me ask if they had other sources for heat in addition to the heat pump ?

Average Life Expectancy of a Heat Pump Unit is 8 - 12 Years
15 Years…
IF Maintained every 6 Months.

A Unit at 22 Years…
is Well Beyond Design Life Expectancy.

Report accordingly…



So we have what looks to be a Trane XV80 gas forced air furnace, 2002 model year? Serial # 2391TPM1G.

On the back of the furnace there is an “add on heat pump”?

Then the condenser unit outside, is not really a condenser but a heat pump unit? Dated 1989.

From what I could tell, when I called for heat at the thermostat the heat pump first kicked in, because the outside “condenser” fan kicked on. After a long wait, the gas furnace finally kicked on. So in response to your question Bob, my guess is the heat pump is the primary heat source. As a backup or secondary source the gas forced air furnace kicks on…which around here is likely more often than the heat pump.

That’s my buest educated guess. Again, since this is the first one I have ever come accross i was hoping for some more input from others. For sure the outside unit, at 22 years of age is likely at or near the end of its useful lifespan.

Just because the unit was MFG in 89 does not mean its at the end of life depends on how it was operated. In your area the Cooling season is not as long as mine and if that unit was mine and I was operating in your Cold A!! weather I would be operating in the emergency heat mode 90% of the time with gas furnace only. The heat pump would only be operated in mild weather when very little heat was desired or needed. Unless as a inspector you gather the operating history on the unit it would be very hard to just say end of life based on age alone.

In my opinion a heat pump air to air is never the right choice for up north now a ground source heat pump is another matter I like them

What you have is a Heat Pump (1989)
that has a gas Fired Furnace as a Backup…
That is why you are seeing the cycling of Gas Furnace to Heat Pump.

Bottom Line…
come Summer…
AC is 22 - 23 Years Old…
Far beyond life expectancy of AC
Even further beyond life expectancy of a Heat Pump…

Client should be anticipating and estimating cost of replacement of the HVAC / AC system.

Would this unit not be used during the cooling season for AC? If the average lifespan of a conventional AC condenser unit around our area is 12-15 years I would certainly say at 22 this unit is on borrowed time. Usually I tell the client to immediately plan on budgeting for replacement. My 2cents.

Sorry Joe! We must have hit the send button at the exact same time. I concur with you. She’s done for.

That sounds about right John but you never answered my question as to if they have any other heat source there.

hey Bob. Read up a few posts and you’ll see. Its a heat pump with secondary gas forced air furnace as a back up. Or in this case I would bet it’s on much more than the heat pump is around here. I think they got rooked into buying an uneeded accessory!

Furnace is fine
Client needs to obtain Estimations for new AC / Heat Pump for Cooling (Primary)

(Heat/ Secondary)

Keep in mind with the stat set on emergency heat the heat pump does not operate gas furnace only operates. My guess is that past owner has used the heat pump very little or it would already be dead in the water. How many months out of the year is the unit used for cooling in ILL not like OK or TX AZ

an AC used
if successfully for 22 years
will likely fail this year

Recommend replacement.

I hear ya Charley. You certainly have more days running your AC than we do, but even here the average AC unit only lasts about 12-15 years. We get our fair share of 80-90 degree cooling days with very high humidity levels.

As long as the unit is functioning, the seller isn’t going to give them a dime anyway. But at least I can tell them to anticipate replacement in the near or immediate future and start budgeting. You are right, the heat pump likely has lots of life left, but i will disagree with you on the AC, as it likely does not.

How can you recommend replacement with the unit sitting there performing as intended. We all don’t have deep pockets some have to run to failure.

I prefer recommending budgeting for replacement and running to failure;-):wink:

Ah John the heat pump and the A/C unit are the same just one compressor doing both jobs

My Recommendation Stands for Obtaining Estimations for Replacement NOW
(without warranty)…

I see nothing wrong with the buyer knowing what its going to cost to replace the unit in the near future but don’t hold your breath waiting for replacement before close of escrow

Yes I was speaking of the “add on heat pump” component attached to the back of the furnace unit.

The outside compressor unit at 22 yrs of age, serving dual purposes during those years of service, both as AC and heat pump, in my opinion, based on age and industry averages, may be nearing the end of its rope. Budget for replacement. LOL!!

Seriously, thanks guys for your input. Much appreciated.

[quomponentote=jreim;773958]Yes I was speaking of the “add on heat pumpattached to the back of the furnace unit.

That is just the controls not the meat of a heat pump the compressor is the big expense