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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    168

    Amana vs Ruud/Rheem Heat Pump

    I have frequented this site and learned much over the years. It's time to replace my old 4 ton Ruud AC as I want to get a new system (AC/heat pump) which will quality for the tax credit. Heating is strips as the house is all electric. As I know installation is no 1, I will use the HVAC company that I have been with for years. They are pros. They have always been primarily Carrier with Ruud as a second line. Recently, I checked the website and they are Carrier, Amana, and Goodman. In talking to them this morning, they have moved away from Carrier to Amana/Goodman. But, they can do Ruud for me as they just purchase it at the local distributor. The fellow I talked to today threw a new wrinkle into the mix in promoting the Amana, especially the warranties. This would not be the rebranded Goodman, but the "real" Amana. I pretty well know what the major components need to be, but my main question centers on this:

    Thinking of quality of build and reliability, is there really any difference between a Ruud/Rheem (UPQL-JAZ or JEZ) and the "true" comparable Amana?
    I know the warranties are a plus with Amana, but I am disabled and would really like to concentrate on the brand that has the least breakdowns as those breakdowns can be kind of difficult. On the other hand, the warranties do need to be considered. Would appreciate any advice from those with Amana and Ruud/Rheem experience. As I aside, my HVAC people have been very helpful to me over the years and I want them to be happy with the deal we ultimately make.

    thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    California
    Posts
    145
    Amana heat pumps have very high heating efficiency (HSFP of up to 9.75). You can look up their COP and other specs online at the Amana website, which is very helpful in determining when to use aux heat. I have a dual fuel ASZ16 setup. It has cut my total energy consumption by over 50% and my total energy bill by over 20%, even though electricity in my area is fairly expensive. The warranties and regional tech support are very good, but as everyone here will tell you choosing the best installer is paramount. So is making sure that the unit is sized right using a proper heat load calculation (aka Manual J). Also, make sure that your ducts are sized correctly for the higher airflow that heat pumps require. Older flexible ductwork may be undersized and/or leak heat. Replacing them will increase comfort, save BTU's, and reduce airflow noise when your fan is running high (such as during recovery periods.) Good luck in making the right choice.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Pleasant grove, UT
    Posts
    225
    Amana/Goodman now has the best first year failure rate of any manufacurerm, with the least amount of failures. I've been an Amana dealer now for over 10 years, and honestly i can tell you the reliability is there as long as it's sized and installed properly. Size and installation is the most critical thing to be concerned with.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    California
    Posts
    145
    Quote Originally Posted by fixed right View Post
    Amana/Goodman now has the best first year failure rate of any manufacurerm, with the least amount of failures. I've been an Amana dealer now for over 10 years, and honestly i can tell you the reliability is there as long as it's sized and installed properly. Size and installation is the most critical thing to be concerned with.
    Do you often install crankcase heaters with your HP units? Have been advised that they can help reduce that startup groaning noise. Would be curious to know what your experience has been with that.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Pleasant grove, UT
    Posts
    225
    Quote Originally Posted by HPGui View Post
    Do you often install crankcase heaters with your HP units? Have been advised that they can help reduce that startup groaning noise. Would be curious to know what your experience has been with that.
    We don't install HP's. We're a gas heat/a/c market.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN, USA
    Posts
    34,196
    The UPQL is a great unit. We've only installed the JEZ versions. That diagnosing stuff is neat. Amana has the Comfort Alert module on some of their better stuff too. One advantage to the Ruud is demand defrost. It only defrosts when the control detects temperature conditions indicating frost. Last I knew, Amana used a timer and would defrost when the coil was below freezing for the timed period meaning hundred of unnecessary defrosts in a cold climate.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    168
    Thanks guys, I appreciate the help.

    We have made the deal and install will happen in the week after Christmas. I have confidence in the company I work with. I love Ruud equipment as my present AC is 25 years old. It is a tank. But, the company I use does Amana/Goodman as it's primary lines now. The quotes on comparable Ruud/Amana equipment were close, although the 2 speed Ruud was the highest. Anyway, I have a bias toward using the equipment that a company uses as it's primary brand as they have good experience with it so I went with Amana over Ruud.

    I did not do 2 stage compressor, but rather single stage ASZ 14 unit which when paired with the correct Air Handler will get the fed credit required stats.
    So, $1500 dollar credit on the 2009 tax return. As we are in a dry climate with little dehumidification needs, we are going to try and ramp up CFM to around 1800 for the 4 ton unit to get more sensible. The unit will be a bit oversized which will help on the heat pump side in the winter. Improvements I have done on the house (insulation, soffits and turbines, indoor storm windows have tightened things up nicely) so, I think, the heat pump will satisfy winter needs without backup. In summer, we will get nice sensible capacity to help with our main issue which is summer heat. I looked at old Bin data and we have around 600 hours/yr over 90 degrees.

    I found this site some 3 years ago and have been off and on over that time period learning. I have learned what I needed to learn, made the improvements to the house I needed to do, and developed a knowledge of just what kind of system would fit our environent. As I have an older Ruud (probably 8 SEER) and heat strips as we are all electric, you can see what kind of benefit we are going to get from a heat pump and AC with EER of 13.

    So, I would say that this is what this site have been created for. Thanks.

    Thanks, especially to Baldloonie and Irascible. As Irascible deals with designing systems in dryer climates, we have had multiple personal emailing which helped me so much with that issue. His website has some very nice illustrations of designing systems to ramp up sensible.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    Eastern PA
    Posts
    68,944
    Good choice. That Amana ASZ14 heat pump with the AEPF airhandler is really a great little system.
    Government is a disease...
    ...masquerading as its own cure…
    Ecclesiastes 10:2 NIV


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    168
    Hey Robo,

    I have a question. My understanding is that Amana uses the same air handler from 3.5 to 5 ton. Does this mean the coil is larger able to be used up to the five ton capacity. I know with the variable speed we get real flexibility in CFM. But, is the coil itself larger or 5 ton? Hope I am asking this question correctly. I forgot to ask the fellow I work with and can do so later. Again, with larger coil and ramped up air speed I get more sensible in this dry climate.

    thanks

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    Eastern PA
    Posts
    68,944
    Quote Originally Posted by jdb52 View Post
    Hey Robo,

    I have a question. My understanding is that Amana uses the same air handler from 3.5 to 5 ton. Does this mean the coil is larger able to be used up to the five ton capacity. I know with the variable speed we get real flexibility in CFM. But, is the coil itself larger or 5 ton? Hope I am asking this question correctly. I forgot to ask the fellow I work with and can do so later. Again, with larger coil and ramped up air speed I get more sensible in this dry climate.

    thanks
    The coil is larger, to accomodate the higher efficiency models up to 18 SEER. With txv control of the refrigerant, you will get high efficiency with good heat transfer control.

    If your weather is very dry in the cooling season, you can definitely benefit from a blower speed as high as your ducting system can handle it under .8 static pressure, preferably not exceeding .5 static pressure for the best efficiency of the variable speed blower.
    Government is a disease...
    ...masquerading as its own cure…
    Ecclesiastes 10:2 NIV


  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    168
    Thanks, that's exactly what I need to know. So, now we have the flexibility to ramp the system as much as the ducts will allow. I think we are going to get great sensible capacity in the summer, but also very good heat work from the heat pump in the winter. I have never had humidity issues on what are relatively short run times in the summer. After we tightened up the house, the 4 ton unit was a little oversized, but it hasn't mattered as to moisture removal. So, this oversizing will create more capacity in winter and I think should handle our needs without strip activiation. Will know soon as the install is set for the week after Christmas. I now have 20Kw electric heat strips and they are expensive to run.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    SW FL
    Posts
    6,295

    Question Locale?

    Quote Originally Posted by jdb52 View Post
    I have never had humidity issues on what are relatively short run times in the summer. After we tightened up the house, the 4 ton unit was a little oversized, but it hasn't mattered as to moisture removal.

    I now have 20Kw electric heat strips and they are expensive to run.
    You're in New Mexico, I guess?
    Designer Dan
    It's Not Rocket Science, But It is SCIENCE with "Some Art". ___ ___ K EEP I T S IMPLE & S INCERE

    Define the Building Envelope and Perform a Detailed Load Calc: It's ALL About Windows and Make-up Air Requirements. Know Your Equipment Capabilities

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    Eastern PA
    Posts
    68,944
    Quote Originally Posted by dan sw fl View Post
    You're in New Mexico, I guess?
    Some parts of Utah and Arizona are also dry enough to not be concerned at all about humidity.
    Government is a disease...
    ...masquerading as its own cure…
    Ecclesiastes 10:2 NIV


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