Heat Pumps--Carrier vs. Amana vs. Gibson

homer_zn5October 27, 2011

Well, we are in need of a new HVAC system. We're replacing our defunct oil furnace, and moving to a heat pump, with a corn stove backup (already installed the corn stove and used it last year).

We have gotten three quotes, and rather than comparing each of the three options from each installer, I'll give you the quotes for the comparable higher end systems. All are 4 ton, 16 SEER, 2 speed compressor, variable speed air handler, external sensor super duper thermostat.

Carrier: $8300, including cleaning of ducts.

Amana: $8300, including 5" pleated filter added on.

Gibson: $7800, including 5" pleated filter and addition of two 8" ducts.

Amana and Gibson come with 10 year parts and labor. I like the guy installing the Gibson, but I've never heard of them, and can't find any reasonably unbiased review of all the brands on heat pumps. Any opinions?

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I would not even bother to comment on any of those quotes without complete model numbers of outside condensers, inside air handlers and all details of the related equipment including thermostat/control.

What is your location?

If a cold winter climate, you should definitely look at Carrier's new Greenspeed Heat Pump system.

However, these are the minimum specs you should be looking for.

both outside and inside units should be replaced to have a properly matched system.

15 SEER, 12.5+ EER, 9 HSPF
best matching VS air handler
full BTUs in both cooling and heating for your rated size
R-410a refrigerant(same as Puron)
scroll compressor preferred
electronic demand defrost preferred
thermostat with "dehumidify on demand" feature
staged backup heat strips
new and correctly sized refrigerant lineset
10 yr warranty on parts and compressor

you want a thorough inspection of your ductwork system. size, overall condition, supply and return lines, insulation qualities, leak test, etc.

any hot/cold spot issues in your home should be addressed.

My personal recommendation is Trane/AmStd, Rudd/Rheem, and Carrier/Bryant.

Depending on your location, I would not purchase a new system that did not have electronic demand defrost.


    Bookmark   October 27, 2011 at 5:03PM
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Thanks, Dunes.

All are 16 SEER, 12.5+ EER. The Gibson is only 8.5 HSPF. The other two are 9.5 HSPF.

The Amana is the ASZC16 Heat Pump, with the matched air handler AVPTC426014 that is variable speed matched, Comfortnet compatible, with the Vision Pro 8000 Thermostat. Scroll thermostat, new linesets (we don't have any existing linesets--window AC is what we've used forever).

This is a 1200 square foot farm house with an existing oil furnace that is being replaced. Ductwork is 6" and well installed, by all accounts.

The Carrier is the 16 SEER Infinity with matching air handler and controls.

I am soured on Rheem, as our oil furnace was a Rheem that has crapped out on us in less than 8 years. Rheem could care less. I'm located in Indiana, Zn 5 as my screen name implies.

We have a dearth of competent Trane installers around here (my parents went through that debacle in the last few years with the local Trane folks), and parts are not easily obtained without a long distance trip.

I like the warranty on Amana, and it seems to get good reviews. Everyone was quoting a new, matched system with new components from the ground up (with the exceptions noted above). Seems no one has an opinion on Gibson, but I like the installer. The other two seem more than capable, also, with good track record and recommendations.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2011 at 5:33PM
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gibson is made by nordyne i believe........ amana is made by goodman mfg. so in my opinion because you don't have any competent trane dealers in your area in my opinion you only have one choice.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2011 at 12:07PM
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and poor choices at that...


    Bookmark   October 28, 2011 at 12:25PM
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