Problem with new Amana 18 SEER heat pump - Page 2
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  1. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    17
    Not really. We kept the thermostat lower to keep the electric bills down and our great room/dining room with the vaulted ceiling was always colder than anywhere in the house. But we also did not have any cold air returns in any of the rooms. That is why we had all new duct work put in the house and cold air returns installed in the ceilings in all the rooms. We were hoping to be able to keep it a little warmer with a little lower electric bills by going with the 18 SEER system.

  2. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    67,591
    Duct work/air flow was probably the main problem, not unit size.
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  3. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    SW Wisconsin
    Posts
    4,781
    How much is propane a gal there?

    Evansville winter design is 4-F at 99%; 9-F at 97.5%.

    Depending on price per gal, I think I might have gone with a propane furnace &, standard A/C.

    Here the last propane I got was, $2.049 a gallon.

    This has been a mild winter here; I use a RM-TH with a SWING temp differential setting & can control on/off cycle times &, the temp drops the way I want them.

    It appears the H.P. is oversized with inadequate airflow...
    Last edited by udarrell; 02-18-2012 at 09:14 PM. Reason: oversized...

  4. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    17
    Not sure what propane cost is. We were just told it was double the cost of natural gas and the heat pump was less expensive to heat/cool. Plus we would lose our total electric price from our electric company.

  5. #18
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    SW Wisconsin
    Posts
    4,781
    Quote Originally Posted by dj1993 View Post
    Not sure what propane cost is. We were just told it was double the cost of natural gas and the heat pump was less expensive to heat/cool. Plus we would lose our total electric price from our electric company.
    Here is a link to Indiana propane prices; plus a history of prices.
    http://www.eia.gov/dnav/pet/pet_pri_wfr_dcus_SIN_w.htm

    There may be better pages for price comparisons, here is one:
    http://www.duke-energy.com/indiana/s...ting-costs.asp

    Everyone can check prices in their state; it's pretty much on target as far as WI prices are set at this winter.

    This winter your prices are higher than WI prices. (Look up WI)

    When you look at the pricing history, the question is; will prices go up or down.

    Electrical power rates are likely to continue an upward trend.

  6. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    17
    So what should we do now? We are going to be building the 500 SF room addition this spring. Is there anything we can do now since the comments seem to suggest we have an oversized unit for our present house. Demand a static pressure check? Isn't this something the Amana tech rep should have insisted they do?

    We would hate to downsize to a unit that just handles our current house and then have too small a unit in a few months. We have an attached insulated garage (not as well insulated as the house though). Could we add ductwork to it for now until we add the addition or is that not a good idea? Is there any other suggestions or things we should request the installers do before going to a different manufacturer or system?

  7. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    67,591
    The garage is not allowed to be connected to the same duct system that serves any occupied area.

    Was it an actual Amana tech rep, or a tech rep from the local Amana distributor.

    It will still be over size after you add your addition.
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  8. #21
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Eastern Shore, MD
    Posts
    798
    have them perform a manual J on your home...

    have them find out how much air your machine is actually pushing

    if your unit is oversized, have them put the right one in

    if its not pushing the right amount of air, have them fix it, whether by dip switch or duct improvements


    like i said, im not impressed with amana's tech support(was it terry?), they look at equipment, not everything else... even with an oversized heat pump it should still lower your energy bills quite a bit if its moving the right amount of air and is charged correctly...you may run into comfortability issues in the summer, even in low stage, but it should heat well and efficiently

  9. #22
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    17
    He was from Amana and covers this area but lives in Ohio. There is no local Amana rep in this area according to our installers.

  10. #23
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    17
    It was not Terry. It took a couple of weeks to get him here. He was not here long and left his vehicle running in the driveway. Did not look under the house or at any of the ductwork. Did not bring any equipment. He had them check to make sure the heat strips were not coming on at the same time. He decided it was because the thermostat wire was probably in close proximity to the high voltage somewhere and told them to change it to shielded wire (which they did) with no change. They have contacted him since then and unable to get any more feedback.

  11. #24
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    17
    I really appreciate all the comments and help from all of you. We have been dealing with this for 1.5 months and didn't know what direction we needed to go. We will talk to the installers tomorrow and talk to them about the manual j and the other suggestions that have been made.

  12. #25
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    17
    An update to our problem.

    We talked with the installers on Monday. Talked to them about the suggestions for a static pressure test and Manual J. We were told they did not have the equipment for a static pressure test. They also said that their experience showed that a Manual J usually undersized the unit and then it had to run a lot to keep up (due to being undersized).

    Talked to the local distributor that day who said they had talked to factory tech rep. He suggested installing the newest type thermostat (ComfortNet #CTK02BA). We shut off our heat pump again for 24 hours just to see what our energy usage was without it. We used 52 Kw in 24 hrs (about the same as the last time we did it 50 Kw).

    Yesterday, they installed the new thermostat (the 5th or 6th one we have had) at 1015. During the evening last night, it was cycling on for 7-10 min. and off for 7-16 min. Outside temps were 43-47. This morning, it was 34-39 outside and it was cycling on for 12-19 min and off for 3-7 min. Thermostat set at 68.

    Today the distributor tried to tell us that this is the way the unit is supposed to cycle. Then they suggested that we reset the differential on the thermostat. It is factory set to run when temp drops 0.8 degree and that would correct the problem.

    Today just got our electric bill online. We used an average of 102 Kw/day from 1/19 to 2/17 and the average daily temp was 38 degrees. It was better than our last bill of 117 Kw/day, but more than half of the last bill was running on the electric heat strips because the heat pump wouldn't work and new unit not installed til 01/03.
    Now the distributor is wanting to see our energy usage for last year when the average daily temperatures were 30 & 31 degrees. We used more electricity because it was colder and we were using a old 12 SEER heat pump unit.

    I have several questions:
    1) How much energy saving should we expect from this new 18 SEER unit at these temps? Are we being unrealistic that it should not be using over 50 Kw per day to run this unit?
    2) What will resetting the differential on the thermostat accomplish? Should that be done?

    3) Do we demand the static pressure test? What is the reading that we should get if we have it done?

    4) If this was you, what would you do?

  13. #26
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    SW Wisconsin
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    Quote Originally Posted by dj1993 View Post
    An update to our problem.

    We talked with the installers on Monday. Talked to them about the suggestions for a static pressure test and Manual J. We were told they did not have the equipment for a static pressure test. They also said that their experience showed that a Manual J usually undersized the unit and then it had to run a lot to keep up (due to being undersized).
    The test instruments to do a static pressure test are simple & low cost.

    If manual J is performed correctly it will not under estimate the heat-loss or heat-gain.

    Talked to the local distributor that day who said they had talked to factory tech rep. He suggested installing the newest type thermostat (ComfortNet #CTK02BA). We shut off our heat pump again for 24 hours just to see what our energy usage was without it. We used 52 Kw in 24 hrs (about the same as the last time we did it – 50 Kw).

    Yesterday, they installed the new thermostat (the 5th or 6th one we have had) at 1015. During the evening last night, it was cycling on for 7-10 min. and off for 7-16 min. Outside temps were 43-47. This morning, it was 34-39 outside and it was cycling on for 12-19 min and off for 3-7 min. Thermostat set at 68.
    Could you dress to be comfortable at say, 65-F?
    Lowering the setpoint 3-F should increase the off-time a lot & the runtime a little; that also depends on the outdoor temps & wind velocities.

    Today the distributor tried to tell us that this is the way the unit is supposed to cycle. Then they suggested that we reset the differential on the thermostat. It is factory set to run when temp drops 0.8 degree and that would correct the problem.
    Do you have the instructions to set it for a wider temp-differential?
    I have mine set so it drops 3-F before cycling on again; at around 32-F outdoors it will stay off for an hour to 1.5 or more hours & run for arond 18 minutes ending up one degree above the 65-F set-point.

    Today just got our electric bill online. We used an average of 102 Kw/day from 1/19 to 2/17 and the average daily temp was 38 degrees. It was better than our last bill of 117 Kw/day, but more than half of the last bill was running on the electric heat strips because the heat pump wouldn't work and new unit not installed til 01/03.
    Now the distributor is wanting to see our energy usage for last year when the average daily temperatures were 30 & 31 degrees. We used more electricity because it was colder and we were using a old 12 SEER heat pump unit.

    I have several questions:
    1) How much energy saving should we expect from this new 18 SEER unit at these temps? Are we being unrealistic that it should not be using over 50 Kw per day to run this unit?
    A lot of factors other than the performance rating of the equipment determine how much it will save on electric usage.
    2) What will resetting the differential on the thermostat accomplish? Should that be done? Yes, depending on how you dress & feel comfortable, I would definitely widen the temp-differential.

    3) Do we demand the static pressure test? What is the reading that we should get if we have it done? Yes, plus air flow delivered to the rooms is important as it could have leaky ducts. Or were the ducts checked for leaks? I would want both air flow checks performed &, for a number of reasons HVAC contractor Techs ought to do both checks. Checking the pressure drop & velocity change across a clean filter of a specific type is also good data to know or have on record.

    4) If this was you, what would you do? All of the above; plus before doing the manual J, I'd have a Home Energy Efficiency Rater/Audit performed &, do all the retrofitting work that indicates it's cost effective. If the system doesn't stay off long enough then your home has too much heat-loss, or the room-stat is getting cold air from somewhere.
    Last edited by udarrell; 02-22-2012 at 02:35 PM. Reason: Typos...

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