Advice on new Heat Pump

Discussion in 'HVAC Heating & Cooling' started by milz45, Feb 2, 2021.

  1. milz45

    milz45 New Member

    Jun 17, 2019
    I live in central Ohio and my heat pump is on it's last leg. I've had several come out to provide quotes on new units (HP and air handler). I'm not looking to get the greatest unit available, just one that will do a decent job and last for a while. We plan on staying in this house for at least another 8-10 years. The four I'm considering are:
    • Amana ASZ16 HP (16 seer / 9.5 hspf / 2-stage) with variable speed air handler
    • Bryant Preferred 226A (17 seer / 9.5 hspf / 2-stage) with variable speed air handler
    • Trane XL 18i (18 seer / 9.5 hspf / 2-stage) with 2-stage air handler
    • Bryant Evolution 288BNV (19 seer / 11 hspf / variable) with variable speed air hander
    Using the Amana as a baseline, the Bryan 226A is another $1200 installed. The Trane is another $2500, and the Bryant 288BNV is another $3200. I'm leaning towards the Amana, because it's cheapest and has a lifetime warranty on the compressor. It would be a nice upgrade compared to my current unit as well. But would appreciate some other thoughts and feedback. The prices of the Trane and Evolution freak me out a bit.
  2. fitter30

    fitter30 Well-Known Member

    Feb 2, 2020
    Retired service tech
    Peace valley missouri
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2021
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  4. WorthFlorida

    WorthFlorida The wife is still training me.

    Oct 28, 2009
    Orlando, Florida
    AC residential units are nearly all identical. Most use the scroll compressor by Copeland, however, some are coming in from Asian countries. When you look at the air handlers they all look like they are built by the same company with just a different label. What is different is usually the control circuits. Basic units (SEER 14) are almost interchangeable. When they go bad a generic unit will work fine. When you get into the SEER 16+ units is where the proprietary controls will vary and variable speed compressors come into play. SEER 18 as you listed all show two speed, etc.

    The outside condenser units will vary slightly. First is Bryant and Carrier are the same. Bryant is an upscale version where the housing is a little more robust with a better power coat finish over Carrier. Bryant may have a sound deadening blanket over the compressor for quiet operation and if the compressor sits next to a patio you want the quietest unit you can afford. Many companies now list a sound rating. Trane outside compressor unit cover is good but one small thing that it takes some maintenanc. Its all lover design causes rain water not to get to the coils to wash them down since they will accumulate dust, dirt pollen, etc. No big deal just something to know.

    Most AC units now uses an ECM (electronic controlled motor) motor for the air handler and condenser fans. They use 240v, convert it to DC for the DC motor and run very efficient. It's one way to get the SEER rating up one a notch. They are very easy to control the fan speed with a 1-12v signal input. When they go bad they are very expensive to replace. My Carrier unit fan when bad past one year but under the five years parts warranty. It still cost me $275 in labor. Most of these motors are made by Genteq, a division of Regal-Beloit Corporation. GE was first to patent this motor but GE sold off their small motor division. As you stated, lifetime warranty on the compressor but he labor will be very expensive. It might be cheaper to buy a new compressor unit.

    A SEER 16 unit is well worth the price as compared to the minimum SEER 14. Once you get over SEER 16 is where the price really jumps. as you seem to have mentioned. Regardless of what you choose, they all are about the same in quality and your electric bill will drop.
  5. Gregee

    Gregee New Member

    Feb 27, 2018
    Had 3 year old Lennox heat pump installed (XP14 with VS air handler) to replace a Trane XL13i (with VS air handler). Not been thrilled with Lennox, but regret not buying another Trane (American Standard). With weather now fluctuating a lot more (with some lows near 0F in DC/MD/VA), I'd recommend looking at inverter heat pumps that can handle lower temps near 0F if you have no gas backup. Otherwise, for all-electric, I'd also seriously consider the best Goodman heat pump with VS air handler I could get. Goodman has improved a lot since being bought by Daikin.

    Some variable speed compressors are made by LG. I've had very bad experiences will all things LG and will simply not buy anything LG anymore.

    Worth reading:

  6. milz45

    milz45 New Member

    Jun 17, 2019
    Thanks, everyone. I read through all your comments and looked into the suggested reading. Decided to pull the trigger on the Amana 16 SEER unit. I liked the installer and he had plenty of positive reviews. They were able to get the system in within a day. Worked from 8am to 7:30pm, rebuilt several portions of my plenum and duct work that were either rusted or damaged. House is warm now and I think I'll see a big benefit in the higher SEER level compared to my original unit and going from 1 to 2 stages on the hp. In the end, I couldn't justify the price increase for the more advanced units (and potential repair costs).
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