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Question DetailsAsked on 8/27/2014

I need to replace a 3 ton electric packaged heat pump. Current unit was a low end Trane 10 SEER from 17 years ago.

I realize that the installer is a or more important than the brand. Each has done a new load calculation. The brands carried by the four businesses I've had quotes from are Amana, Carrier, Trane, and Rheem. All are looking at the higher level 14-15 SEER systems (there's note much choice in packaged units), and most have similar warranties.

All things being equal, is there a preference among the pros out there between these brands? Amana has the lifetime compressor warranty, but stories of failures abound. Lifetime warranty is of questionable value if it needs replaced every 3-5 years.

Thanks!

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2 Answers

2
Votes

I will try to give the short answer here... From a maintenance aspect, I prefer to work on Carrier or Rheam units. "Amana" has been bought and sold many times over the years and not sure whom is the maker these days. Trane units, while well designed, are NOT the easiest to maintain or repair.

You are wise in recognizing that the installer is the MOST important part of the equation. This is the person that must stand behind the makers warranty. Being that a all-in-one packaged unit only requires minimal skills to place and connect the power and ventilation trunk points, more concern needs to be focused on the technical skills of the maintenance team. It should also be noted that most localities also require permit and inspection when doing these change outs. Failure to do this is sufficient reason for the homeowners insurance to void a claim at a later time.


Lastly, I would consider the feasibility of a heat pump vs a gas pack. While the cost of installing a gas line to the unit will add to the price, the gas heat is more comfortable and better suited in most areas. Remember to factor in the cost electric usage in those areas where the mean winter time temperatures are below 45* F and supplimental electric heat is used.

Answered 6 years ago by PapaBill

0
Votes

Thumbs up to PapaBill's comments - and my experience with brands is the same, especially with Amana being a constant maintenance problem and Trane being hard to work on. To me, Carrier, Rheem, GE have reputations that support buying them and getting reasonable product and maintenance warranty - my personal preference for specifying units is Carrier - not the best but far from the worst and reliable at reasonable cost.


On the insurance thing - there have been several significant court cases about insurance companies trying to avoid coverage because work was not done to code or not inspected - not that you should not have it inspected if code requires a permit, but the courts have held in several significant cases that not-to-code construction is not cause for denying coverage under an existing policy, though if the insurance company does a home inspection when the policy is being underwritten (VERY rare - usually they do a drive-by at most) and finds out-of-code items (hard to do from the street) then they can require they be upgraded to code before they will offer insurance to you. Some insurance companies are starting to take a small step in that direction by charging a surcharge on homes with water pipes or electrical that is more than a certain number of years old (say 25 or 30), though since I have never heard of them refusing to cover such houses even on new policies seems that is more a revenue than mass risk protection thing.

Answered 6 years ago by LCD




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