GE Wall units.. no more heat pumps?

Discussion in 'HVAC Heating & Cooling' started by jimbo, Nov 14, 2012.

  1. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    My whole condo complex has GE AJ...series wall air conditioners. As our forced air heaters are dying with no repair/replacement seemingly available, some owners had put in AJ units with heat pump feature. Apparently they no longer are made like that, just straight cool. Anyone have different info???

    Our FAU are Suburban Dynaceil. I believe they went out of business shortly after selling Pardee Builders several hundred units! For at least 15 years we have been told that there are no parts...heat exchangers, control board, etc. available. Because of how they are installed...they are pancake units to fit in a shallow soffit...and direct horizontal flue and combustion intake.....there is no replacement available from anyone.

    Any other ideas?
  2. Dana

    Dana In the trades

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    I'm a fan of mini-split heat pumps for their quiet efficiency & comfort, but I'm not sure if they'll work in this situation. There are ducted cassette mini-air-handler options for some amount of distribution between rooms, flush-mounted ceiling cassettes that fit between joists, floor mounted wall units (about the size & shape of a small wall-furnace or fin-tube convector) as well as the more common 12" x 12" x 40" wall-blobs.

    The outdoor units are often wall-hung in multistory buildings but that's not always an option for aesthetic reasons. The refrigerant line max-lengths usually mean ground mounting pretty much stops at the third story.

    Heating mode efficiency in a San Diego climate would have a comparable or even better operating cost than 83% efficiency natural gas furnaces.

    They're not super cheap, but they ARE super comfortable, since the modulate and track the load for very stable room temps.
  3. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    We have approved a couple of homeowners to install mini-splits. Each unit has a patio or balcony, and the main electric panel is right there to connect the outdoor unit two.

    Aessthetically, we would never approve to change out the AJ sleeves to an AZ.....we jealously guard the integrity of the walls, and the outside look. These are all small one and two BR units. Same goes for a wall-hung.

    We are recommending that even the electric heat AJ is probably the best alternative. Least expensive, and although our electric rates are high, overnight winter temps seldom below 45, daytime in the high 60's. We don't really need no steenkin' heat!!!!!!!!!
  4. Dana

    Dana In the trades

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    2,784
    Location:
    01609
    " We don't really need no steenkin' heat!!!!!!!!! "

    Rub it in jimbo, just keep rubbin' it in... ;-)

    My mid-winter highs are well below your 99% outside design temperature.

    Water heater based fan-coils can sometimes be reasonable solutions to tiny heat loads too, but it doesn't solve the AC issue (which isn't so severe in your neighborhood either, except for maybe the top floor units/rooms.)
  5. Failure2Comply

    Failure2Comply New Member

    Messages:
    29
    Location:
    Virginia, USA
    GE "Zoneline" PTAC units are in my opinion the finest made. It is tough to beat their quality and warranties.
  6. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    But we are stuck with 'AJ" sleeves, no possibility to install an 'AZ' sleeve.
  7. Failure2Comply

    Failure2Comply New Member

    Messages:
    29
    Location:
    Virginia, USA
    I have not dealt with one in a while so not sure.
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