Amana 16 SEER Communicating System
We are replacing our house heat pumps with one 5 Ton Amana 16 SEER Communicating System and three zones using EWC equipment. We had gotten several quotes and felt most comfortable with this installer. He has done several of our neighbors and our building contractor said this guy is the only one he uses. Everything seemed great until our last conversation.
Several questions we have.
1. When we asked a specific question about the communicating system we will be getting, he said something like "Well, that's what they tell me it will do." and then he said something like "You will be the first one I've installed with this system." All of our quotes had communicating systems, regardless of brand so I don't think that's the new technology. Unfortunately we got sidetracked in our discussion and didn't get back to that. We don't think we are getting anything extra fancy...we don't want that. We know of two houses he's doing work on right now (but don't know the owners) and everyone who recommended him gets Amana equipment. Has Amana or EWC just come out with something new or is this guy just not usually installing this equipment? I'm confused about what is 'new' to him to install. And if this is new, should we wait a month? We could wait if needed.
2. Completely different question. Our Manual J load calcs mostly came in at 3.8 or 3.9 Ton but his came in at 4.2. He says that's probably because of the large number of sunroom windows (floor to ceiling facing west) that the others must not have considered. He ran it several times to double check his work. He also says the square footage should be based on the outside of the house, not the interior and that could have made a difference as the others used interior numbers only. Is it correct to do the outside? Given #1 above, I'm more hesitant now about him.
3. There is a chance (50%) that we will put in a small addition in a year or 18 months. So we agreed with the 5 Ton he recommended for the house 'as is'. Therefore if we put the addition on, it's easy to add heat/cool to the addition. If we never put the addition on, are we putting in too large a unit? Should it be only 4 Ton if the Manual J is between 3.8 and 4.2? I guess the question is, how bad is it to have a 5 Ton when only a 4 Ton is needed?
Zoned system coming out to 4.2 tons, go with 4 tons. you may never build that addition. In first stage the 4 ton will be anywhere from 2.8 to 3.2 tons. The 5 ton system in first stage will be anywhere from 3.5 to 4 tons.
Not sure if Amana's communicating system uses the Climatetalk protocol.
I think I answered my own question. I googled EWC zones and came up with the EWC website which says the UT-3000 with ClimateTalk is new. And I'm pretty sure that is what we are getting. Just not sure how new it is. Anyone have experience with it?
You may be getting an Amana Comfortnet system but I don't think (if memory serves) it'll set-up as communicating, because I don't think Amana has a communicating system that'll work w/zoning.
Now, they can set it up to work as a legacy system and it'll operate just fine.
I am supprised the different calcs came in that close. 3.8 - 4.2 is not a bad range at all. I would go with 4 Ton, odds are you will still have capacity with a small addition. As has been said comfort net will not be fully communicating in a zoning application, so I dont know if you are going to get fully modulating zoning supply dampers that can communicate with the variable speed blower. Maybe the new EWC board will allow for that? We use alot of EWC controls for simple zoning but use the trane controls for fully modulating as the EWC boards that were out when we started zoning higher seer equipment wasnt out, and trane has a great, simple system but that has been a while back and things could have changed. If there was some miscomunication between you and the HVAC contractor when you were talking why not call him back and clarify.
Supposedly the new EWC zone panel is compatible with Goodman/Amana and Rheem/Ruud. I do not sell/install Goodman/Amana, so I cannot speak for them... however the EWC system will work with Rheem/Ruud. One needs to remember the A/H and H/P (or furnace and AC) must be the proper units to communicate with the EWC zone board. The class for Ruud units is early March... can answer your questions a little better in a month.
Personally... I would use two complete systems. Heat Pumps do not play well when a zone is too small... they tend to get upset and act out...<grin>
Seriously; trying to force too much HP capacity (in heat mode... HP's are more sensitive to duct capacity) down a zone not large enough for it... is a mess with endless problems.
As to the addition... you can always add a mini-split for the new room... or duct in another zone and add a mini-split for the sunroom. Lots of options to choose from.
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