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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    10

    Amana ASZ14 v. Amana SSZ14

    I am shopping for a new heat pump. My house is 2-story (finished basement), faces NW in back & SE in front, 2063 s.f. outside measurement, 14 windows, in Knoxville TN. I use the a/c only when the heat gets too high w/thermostat at 79; winter thermostat is 57 - which has to stay on.
    I have an estimate for a 3-ton Amana ASZ14, which has a 2-stage compressor. Since I don't use much a/c, do I really need a 2-stage compressor? Wouldn't the Amana SSZ14 be more than sufficient?
    It's absolutely necessary, monetarily, that I keep electrical use to a minimum. I have done the energy star Home Energy Yardstick, which resulted in a 9 - probably because I don't use much a/c & keep heat so low. But, 57 is too low for a senior!
    Thanks for any help. Of course, if someone thinks this unit is not really good, please advise. I am running a 15-year old Janitrol 3.5 ton, which runs great. I am aware that Goodman makes both Janitrol and Amana.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Yuma, AZ
    Posts
    2,361
    The money to replace the working unit will buy a lot of electricity.
    Make sure that your existing unit is clean and well maintained.
    If you must buy, the single speed will be a good choice for the money.
    The dual capacity system will be somewhat more comfortable.
    "I have never let my schooling interfere with my education."
    Mark Twain
    More at: http://www.quotationspage.com/subjects/education/

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    10

    considering your advice

    Thank you, Lynn.
    Yes, my current system has been well maintained. The duct work was cleaned about 5 years ago, which improved air flow immensely. The money for a new unit is coming from other than what I have to live on, so I feel it is a necessary purchase - if I use more than what I can pay for, the electric & water will be shut off - not much of a decision there. I really do want to be able to use a/c when it's hot and up the winter heating about 2 degrees, so i won't freeze to death. I will get the company's owner to give me a price on the single stage unit. Thanks, again.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    In a boiler room
    Posts
    7,184
    hikergirl, just FYI you would get a lot more responses over in the residential hvac subforum.

    Welcome here, BTW.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    10

    Arrow Amana ASZ14 v. Amana SSZ14

    I am shopping for a new heat pump. My house is 2-story (finished basement), faces NW in back & SE in front, 2063 s.f. outside measurement, 14 windows, in Knoxville TN. I use the a/c only when the heat gets too high w/thermostat at 79; winter thermostat is 57 - which has to stay on.
    I have an estimate for a 3-ton Amana ASZ14, which has a 2-stage compressor. Since I don't use much a/c, do I really need a 2-stage compressor? Wouldn't the Amana SSZ14 be more than sufficient?
    It's absolutely necessary, monetarily, that I keep electrical use to a minimum. I have done the energy star Home Energy Yardstick, which resulted in a 9 - probably because I don't use much a/c & keep heat so low. But, 57 is too low for a senior!
    Thanks for any help. Of course, if someone thinks this unit is not really good, please advise. I am running a 15-year old Janitrol 3.5 ton, which runs great. I am aware that Goodman makes both Janitrol and Amana.
    This thread has been moved to this new home.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    10

    MOVED...

    ...Heat & Air Residential

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    10

    I still more information...

    Yet another sales person gave me even more information on the Amana ASZ v. Goodman SSZ (yes, I found out the SSZ is Goodman, not Amana). There is supposed to be a single shut-off very close to the outside unit. The one I have was placed several feet away - this guy told me that is illegal and very unsafe. So, my question is: Is this outside disconnect necessary? This person is the first to point it out, even though I have inquired of the others what is it and what is it for.
    I have had 9 interviews - 9 companies. I'm tired of hearing different things from different guys. Is it possible for someone on this site to give advice? Or, just to answer questions? I'm running out of patience and really want to just kick them all to the curb. But, at over 15 years of age for the current unit, I really need to get this replaced before winter. Many thanks.

  8. #8

    We have an Aman ASZ-18

    Quote Originally Posted by hikergirl View Post
    Yet another sales person gave me even more information on the Amana ASZ v. Goodman SSZ (yes, I found out the SSZ is Goodman, not Amana). There is supposed to be a single shut-off very close to the outside unit. The one I have was placed several feet away - this guy told me that is illegal and very unsafe. So, my question is: Is this outside disconnect necessary? This person is the first to point it out, even though I have inquired of the others what is it and what is it for.
    I have had 9 interviews - 9 companies. I'm tired of hearing different things from different guys. Is it possible for someone on this site to give advice? Or, just to answer questions? I'm running out of patience and really want to just kick them all to the curb. But, at over 15 years of age for the current unit, I really need to get this replaced before winter. Many thanks.
    Significant saving in electricity and we live in Tupelo MS. Great for comfort. We're straight electric on the heat side, but it did a great job last winter

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Yuma, AZ
    Posts
    2,361
    Quote Originally Posted by hikergirl View Post
    .... There is supposed to be a single shut-off very close to the outside unit. The one I have was placed several feet away - this guy told me that is illegal and very unsafe. Code requires a disconnect within sight and within 50 feet of the equipment being protected. So, my question is: Is this outside disconnect necessary? This person is the first to point it out, even though I have inquired of the others what is it and what is it for. Avoid this company with the scare routine.
    I have had 9 interviews - 9 companies. I'm tired of hearing different things from different guys. Is it possible for someone on this site to give advice? Or, just to answer questions? I'm running out of patience and really want to just kick them all to the curb. But, at over 15 years of age for the current unit, I really need to get this replaced before winter. Many thanks.
    My advice is talk to friends and family first for referrals. Chose the company over the equipment and price. The sales person should listen to you and talk with you not at you. That is a good start. Look for a pro who also tells you about improvements that can be made to your home to improve comfort and reduce energy costs. Avoid someone who knows everything about everything. Test the person's truthfulness and honesty with a side conversation about something that you are knowledgeable about, such as cooking, health matters, Irish setters or whatever.
    "I have never let my schooling interfere with my education."
    Mark Twain
    More at: http://www.quotationspage.com/subjects/education/

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    10

    Single disconnect

    Thank you, Lynn.
    OK, the single, outside disconnect is supposed to be within 50' of the outside unit. I don't believe any company has used scare tactics, because this last guy was the first one to address this disconnect. The outside unit will have to be moved from the present unit's location, because the present unit was installed about 4" from the house. Directly opposite the house side are 2 upright posts - both to support one side of a small landing for the deck's stairway. Apparently, the present unit was installed after the deck was installed (prior to my owner- ship). This means that there is not sufficient room for a new unit; a new unit will have to be located around a corner of the house, which means that the refrigerant lines, new disconnect, etc. will have to be in a new location. Here's is what he has itemized for the Goodman 15 seer 3-ton split heat pump:
    - Rehook duct
    - Rehook drain; run new if possible*
    - Low voltage wire to outdoor unit (I believe this is for single disconnect)
    - New line set
    - 2 new disconnect boxes
    - New t-stat
    - Pre-cast pad
    - 1 year free maintenance
    * What is currently in place runs through a box, along with dryer venting, to the outside. When unit is moved, having a new line would require a pump, because it would have to run up, from air handler, into ceiling space, across ceiling space, then out the concrete wall and down to the ground. I'm not interested in increasing the cost and will opt to keep current drain line.

    This same guy said the Amana ASZ & Goodman SSZ both have 10/1/10 (parts/labor/compressor) warranties. Another sales person said they have limited lifetime compressor warranties, with 10 year parts & labor. And you wonder why I'm so confused. I'll have to check the Goodman Web site.

    I have been shopping to the extent that I have, due to having very limited funds. I have read on this site that the manufacturer of the unit is not as important as the installation.

    Asking around for recommendations on brand/contractor is not a good idea - my friends are from church, a very well-heeled parish, making me the odd "man" out. I am using the TVA/Energy Star list of recommended contractors. The only person I have spoken with had her system replaced last December - it's gas; mine is electric.

    Maybe someone can refresh my memory: an air handler must be variable speed in order to qualify for Energy Star, because it will raise the seer 1 point. There would not be a rebate if I go with single speed. Maybe I'm getting 2-stage compressor confused with variable speed air handler??

    I'm getting there - just look like the tortoise.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Yuma, AZ
    Posts
    2,361
    Quote Originally Posted by hikergirl View Post
    ... I don't believe any company has used scare tactics, Good, I understand why it was mentioned and why the unit must be moved. The work description is reasonable.

    This same guy said the Amana ASZ & Goodman SSZ both have 10/1/10 (parts/labor/compressor) warranties. Another sales person said they have limited lifetime compressor warranties, with 10 year parts & labor. And you wonder why I'm so confused. I'll have to check the Goodman Web site. You will find that Goodman gives additional warranty to people who register their equipment. That makes it more complicated. Check it out and be sure to register for the extra warranty.

    I have been shopping to the extent that I have, due to having very limited funds. I have read on this site that the manufacturer of the unit is not as important as the installation. That is so true.

    Asking around for recommendations on brand/contractor is not a good idea - my friends are from church, a very well-heeled parish, making me the odd "man" out. Most people are frugal with air conditioning regardless of income and they all value value. I am using the TVA/Energy Star list of recommended contractors. That is good. ...Maybe someone can refresh my memory: an air handler must be variable speed in order to qualify for Energy Star, because it will raise the seer 1 point. No, but it is a good investment. There would not be a rebate if I go with single speed. I suspect that 15 SEER single speed will qualify but every utility is different. Maybe I'm getting 2-stage compressor confused with variable speed air handler?? Either one is a good choice. I would pick the variable speed motor over the 2 stage compressor if I had to make that choice.
    .
    Don't confuse rebate with a federal tax credit. The system may qualify for a tax credit, but if you are not paying income taxes, a tax credit is worthless to you.
    "I have never let my schooling interfere with my education."
    Mark Twain
    More at: http://www.quotationspage.com/subjects/education/

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    10

    System finally changed out

    Lynn: I finally had the heat pump & air handler replaced. The air handler is variable speed - according to Goodman, the matched set gets a 14.5 SEER - not the 15 I was told.

    The biggest problem I had with the install was that the unit would not shut off, even after running for 5 hours straight. I was given a couple of "reasons": t-stat has to acclimate to my house after being in a hot truck all day; the air handler is pulling less than 1 amp, so I shouldn't worry. My logical brain said there really was a problem.

    I had a service call the morning following install. The guy checked all the wiring and did not find any problem there. I was given a "free" condensate pump, which was leaking, so he moved it off the floor so it would be quieter & tightened the nipple that went from the pump to the drain line. The problem persisted.

    Later that day, the service manager showed up. He found the problem - a wire had been installed improperly and was feeding back into the air handler - whatever that means. All I know is that the problem was solved.

    I do have three questions for you, though: 1) There are 2 bundles of wires coming from the air handler and 1 bundle coming from the condensate pump. There are a total of 13 wire nuts on these bundles. I'm concerned that the wires are exposed. Should they be? The company said there's not enough room for them in the air handler??? 2) The way the shut-off was installed really creates a problem for me - it was not installed on the main duct above the air handler, as the old one was but on the back of the housing for the air intake. There is a space between the air handler and the air intake housing. Behind there I keep a number of tall items, such as 1/4-round, fluorescent tubes, etc. Now I have to be extremely careful when removing anything, as all the wiring for the shut-off is draped across that area. Does this sound right to you? 3) Once the condensate pump shuts off, the pump housing may be empty of water but the drain line is still full of water. What will become of that water when I turn over to heat? Am I going to have to disassemble the drain line to remove the water?
    Thank you so much for all your great advice!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    68,564
    Quote Originally Posted by chuckcrj View Post
    hikergirl, just FYI you would get a lot more responses over in the residential hvac subforum.

    Welcome here, BTW.

    If a post is in the wrong forum. or you think another forum will give better responses. Report it, and ask for it to be moved. Duplicate threads are either deleted, or merged. Duplicate threads are against the rules.
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