As a homeowner who bought an Amana dual fuel furnace/heat pump system two years ago, I know that it's natural to focus initially on the hardware and the purchase price, but that's the wrong way to think. The great HVAC system that you want calls for more than just hardware. It includes an analysis of the heating and cooling loads needed for your specific house. It involves examining the required airflow and whether your present ductwork can deliver it without cold/hot spots and without leaking conditioned air (I found to my surprise that my old ducts leaked 50%!!). It also involves LOTS of details related to line sets, T-stats, CPH's, jumper settings, CFM balancing, refrigerant charges, ramping profiles, etc. to deliver the combination of comfort and economy most folks want. Screw up these details with a sloppy install and even the best hardware devised by man will work like a piece of junk.
I bought Amana (their good stuff, not the Distinctions line) because the performance stats were openly published on their website; their heat pumps had the highest HSPF ratings; their components were first-rate; and their warranty was unmatched. I bought my system from a top-rated local authorized dealer who helped fine tune the system after the initial installation. I believe that little glitches will always occur, so one has to be sure that the manufacturer and the installer will stand by the product and not charge extra for doing so. In my case, that is exactly what happened.
So, do your homework. Then choose a top-notch dealer who does not cut corners. This may cost you a bit more (or maybe not). But it will save you lots of time and money in the long run. Amana is an excellent choice. I think so because I could have easily gotten any system out there, but chose Amana (with a 10 year full labor warranty) to maximize performance and minimize repair costs. There are other good systems out there as well. I hope you find one that suits your needs.
It's all about the client's best interest here; i agree 100% with you.
Originally Posted by Mr Bill
You failed to mention this though; IF the compressor in the Amana unit fails for a lifetime ( 99 years ) to the original homeowner, they will receive a whole new unit with a brand new warranty.
I can't talk for any other pro members here, but i'd charge the same amount to replace an in-warranty compressor as i would a whole new unit.
Now who really benefits from the new unit? Correct.....the homeowner; well so do we really. I'd much rather change out a unit than a compressor.
I don't beleive Carrier has a warranty that even comes close.
Do they Dash?
It would cost more to change out the whole unit. Since down the road, the indoor unit/coil would need to be changed also.
Originally Posted by fixed right
And what warranty will that new unit have?
You're right there; unless....... the contractor recomended a coil replacement at the same time. Which, we would probably do if the system was over 10 years old. Plus the homeowner would get a better warranty if they replaced both. And of course their investment at that time would be about 1/3 since the unit would be mostly free.
Originally Posted by beenthere
Something else to consider is; did the coil contribute to the compressor failure? Probably did.
Warranty? It's hard to say what will happen down the road, that's for sure. But i do know Amana requires the indoor coil be matched to the OD unit, otherwise you don't get the extended warranties.
Good point beenthere. Your input is always much appreciated.
I think our decision is almost made, thanks to all of you for your input it was very valuable. I do have one last question though. Many of you recommend the dual-fuel system. We burn wood as our primary source of heat so is that still the best choice? One of the contractors says yes and one says no. Is the air conditioning as efficient with the heat pump?
Do you burn wood 24/7. Or do you let it go out when you go to bed?
If your not burning wood when your asleep. The dual fuel makes sense.
Yes, a heat pump can cool as efficiently as a straight A/C can.
My 3 cents
We bought a top of the line Amana HP 18 SEER, non dual fuel.
Did well during brutal winter and had to kick to E. heat, only once.
A/C has done well, but we had to put a new RV in it in March-after only a year.
Now it was done free, during annual inspection, which I was very thankful-but now I'm a little suspicious of this unit.
I recommend the Amana based on its superior heat qualities and warranty-that's it, though
We burn wood 24/7. Currently, our gas furnace is only used when the temperatures are between 35-50 outside, when the wood heat is too much heat. Are dual fuel and a heat pump the same thing?
Originally Posted by Kat2161
No. I blv the dual fuel (gas) is to be your emergency heat source, if the temps get too cold for your HP to work efficiently. Our heat pump warmed great all the way down 25 degrees, I was amazed.
We chose not to get gas b/c of allergies and our loan said we had to use electricity.
HP are a wonderful thing, kinda noisy outside, but still I wished I had gotten one sooner
Last edited by Stamas; 05-18-2010 at 08:50 AM.
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Dual fuel relates to having a backup source of heat for use when the HP is not able to supply all of your heating needs, or when it is no longer economical to use the HP. Having multiple fuels to rely on protects you against spikes in the cost of any one of them, since you can switch to whichever is cheapest at the moment. Your furnace is between 80% and 95% efficient. A good heat pump is up to 400% efficient (actual % depends on outside temperature --the colder the outside temp at any given time, the lower the efficiency.) Most of the time, you'll probably be in the 200-350% range. This huge advantage over gas is needed to make up for the fact that, at first glance, electricity is almost always more expensive than gas per unit of heat produced. However, after factoring in the efficiency advantage, your HP will be cheaper to run than your furnace above a specific temperature (known as the economic balance point, or cutoff.) The balance point is computed using your HP's COP (an efficiency rating) and the relative cost of gas and electricity in your area. The HP would likely satisfy your heating needs down to somewhere around 25-35 degrees F (the exact temp depends on your home's heat load and the capacity of the HP unit you buy.) The point at which the HP no longer satisfies 100% of your heat needs is called the balance point, and is not related to the economic balance point.
Originally Posted by Kat2161
Thank you all for your help, our decision is FINALLY made! We have decided on the duel fuel with the Amana. The deciding factor for us was the lifetime warranty. I just want you to know that all of your inputs played a huge factor in our decision. Without your opinions, we would not have done the duel fuel or labor warranty and we chose both. And I feel good about our decision. Thanks again!
This is what matters more than anything else.
Originally Posted by Kat2161
Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards". - Vernon Law
"Never let success go to your head, and never let failure go to your heart". - Unknown
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