Winter means cold, and for some areas, the cold is not welcome, like inside your home. Upgrading or installing a heat pump can help keep your whole house warm for a fraction of the cost of running a central AC system.
If you are unsure what a heat pump is or how it runs, we wrote all about it for you over here. However, for those that already understand heat pumps and are looking for the best heat pump brand, Amana may have something to offer.
This article will review the Amana heat pump line, explain what to look for when shopping for a heat pump, and compare Amana to other big-name brands.
Overview Of Amana Heat Pumps
Amana is essentially now Daikin. Since the joining of Daikin and Goodman (Daikin bought Goodman in 2012), Daikin began gathering other acquisitions as well, one of which was Amana. Amana is still innovative, reliable, and built entirely in the US. However, their design, components, and features are all near-identical to Daikin models.
This poses a bit of confusion when shopping around and trying to find the best heat pump brand. Even the model numbers are similar. However, they are different names and have different capabilities. Amana is still its own company and makes a high-quality and affordable product.
Amana offers 7 different models that range from 16 to 21 SEER.
Heat Pump SEER Ratings & Tonnage: What You Need To Know
Heat pumps have a lot of measurements that you need to be aware of before you buy. One of those is known as the tonnage. While tons can refer to weight, in the case of HVAC, it does not. A ton is equivalent to 12,000 BTUs. Using tons, you can quickly tell how much capacity a unit has. A 2 ton unit, for example, uses 24,000 BTUs while a 5-ton unit uses 60,000.
The tonnage directly correlates to the size of your home. A 1-ton unit, for example, is ample enough for a home up to 600 square feet. 2-ton units cool and heat up to 1200 square feet, and so on.
Aside from the tonnage, you also need to be aware of efficiency ratings. There are two main ratings to note. The SEER rating is the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, which tells you in numerical form how efficient the system is at cooling during the summer months. A higher SEER value means a more efficient system. 16 to 18 SEER is considered good, 19 – 20 is great, and 21 SEER or higher is excellent.
Likewise, there is a rating for winter efficiency. The Heating Season Performance Factor (HSPF) tells you how efficient the system is when in heating mode. This number is smaller than SEER but tells you the same information. HSPF 8 to 9 is great; HSPF 10 or higher is excellent.
Amana Heat Pump Range (Side By Side Comparison)
The chart below displays all of the Amana heat pump models. We compare each heat pump based on SEER and HSPF ratings, compressor types, tonnage, and costs. You can look through to find the model that matches your needs. Then read the reviews below to make sure that model is what you need.
|Heat Pump Model||SEER||Ton||Home Size||Compressor Type||HSPF||Cost (Unit Only)||Cost + Install|
|Amana AVZC20||21||2 – 5||1200 – 3200 sq. ft.||Variable Speed||10||$3800 – $5000||$6800 – $8000|
|Amana AVZC18||19||2 – 5||1200 – 3200 sq. ft.||Two-Stage||10||$3500 – $4700||$6500 – $7700|
|Amana ASZC18||18.5||2 – 5||1200 – 3200 sq. ft.||Two-Stage||10||$2600 – $3400||$4600 – $6400|
|Amana ASZC16||16||2 – 5||1200 – 3200 sq. ft.||Two-Stage||9.7||$2200 – $3300||$5200 – $6300|
|Amana ASZ16||16||1.5 – 5||900 – 3200 sq. ft.||Single-Stage||9.5||$1400 – $3000||$4400 – $6000|
|Amana ASZ14||15||1.5 – 5||900 – 3200 sq. ft.||Single-Stage||9.0||$1000 – $2100||$4000 – $6100|
|Amana ANZ14||15||1.5 – 5||900 – 3200 sq. ft.||Single-Stage||8.5||$1000 – $2000||$4000 – $6000|
Amana Heat Pump Reviews
The Amana line is highly similar to the Daikin heat pump models. In fact, you will find that many components and parts are nearly identical. Because the same parent company runs them, it stands to reason there will be a lot of similarities.
Amana heat pumps are separated into three categories based on the compressor types they have. Variable speed compressors are the most efficient and cost the most. These are followed by the two-stage and single-stage models, which have slightly lower efficiency ratings and costs.
Variable Speed Heat Pumps
The top of the line Amana units come with the AVZC20 and AVZC18 models. These are the only two models that come with variable speed compressors and have the highest efficiency (21 SEER/10 HSPF and 19 SEER/10 HSPF, respectively).
The AVZC20 is the only one of the two that is ComfortBridge compatible. ComfortBridge is a feature of Amana HVAC systems that communicates through all components to make minor, incremental adjustments based on temperatures, humidity levels, and other sensors to maintain your indoor temperature and level of comfort.
These are also the quietest models that Amana offers, with ranges (when running on high) around 59 to 60dB. Part of this is due to the noise-reducing sound-control top. On top of that, they both qualify for the new 2-year total unit replacement warranty (registration required) and have a 10-year parts and lifetime compressor warranty on top.
Two-Stage Heat Pumps
Two models fall under the two-stage category. The ASZC18 and ASZC16 come with Comfortbridge compatibility, quiet operation, and high efficiency, too.
You will find that the cost is noticeably less than the variable speed models. However, that doesn’t mean they are worthless. Both of these models have high SEER ratings (18 and 16.5), which make them more than applicable in all regions of the US.
With a 10 HSPF each, they both also perform better than models twice the cost in the winter. While they don’t operate in as low of temperatures as Bosch or Trane (about -13 degrees), they will still produce a lot of heat in ambient temperatures down to 20 degrees.
Like the variable speed units, these two models also have the same 10-year parts and lifetime compressor warranty. You will also find intelligent diagnostics on the control board to help identify and troubleshoot any issues.
With a low cost, low maintenance, and high output, it is hard to find anything bad to say about the two-stage heat pumps from Amana.
Single-Stage Heat Pumps
Lastly, there are three models that use a single-stage compressor. These are the most affordable models in the lineup and fit almost every budget. When you factor in unit cost, installation labor, and setup fees, there aren’t many models in any brand that cost less.
With that lower cost, though, you do lose some functionality. None of the models here are compatible with ComfortBridge, and none come with onboard diagnostics. The ASZ16 is the highest efficiency model with a 16 SEER and 9.5 HSPF. It, like all other models already covered, qualifies for the federal tax credit.
The ASZ14 and ANZ14 are identical in almost every aspect. However, the ANZ14 is designed for northern state installation. It features a more durable shell for colder climates and will run better than the ASZ14 in cold weather.
The ASZ14 then is made for the southern states. Its shell is made to withstand scorching summers and perform better in cooling mode over hot days than the ANZ14 model. Each model here also comes with the 10-year parts warranty, but not the lifetime compressor coverage. However, they all qualify for the 2-year unit replacement coverage, which can save you a lot of money if there is a problem from the start.
Considerations When Buying An Amana Heat Pump
A heat pump can replace your HVAC system. If you already have a central AC, for example, a new heat pump will be more efficient and can install directly into your existing ductwork, saving time and money. For new construction, you can opt for a standard heat pump or a mini-split system that doesn’t need ducting.
You need to also consider noise levels. Amana heat pumps aren’t the loudest out there, much quieter than those of Rheem. But they aren’t as quiet as Goodman or Lennox, either. On average, you will find that Amana heat pumps range between 58 and 72dB, just like Daikin.
One of the most important factors will be the unit size, both in physical measurements and in output capacity. This is where tonnage will come into play. You want to ensure your heat pump will mount correctly in the space provided.
More importantly, though, you want to ensure it is the right BTU output for your home. If you buy a 5-ton unit, for example, and have a 1500 square foot home, the system will be too large. It will lose a lot of efficiency and end up costing you more each month.
The compressor type is also a big factor to consider. Variable speed compressors are the most efficient and quietest running types. They are also the most expensive. Two-stage compressors combine efficiency and cost, but maybe too much for some budgets. In that case, a single-stage compressor is your only option.
Finally, you want to understand costs and warranties. Unit costs are one thing, and you can search around finding one within your budget range. However, if that budget doesn’t also include the cost of installation, you will be stranded.
Professional installation can get expensive (Up to $10,000 in some rare cases). It is highly worth it, though. The warranty of the system is also important to understand. Each brand will have a different coverage term and conditions. Others require you to have a professional install, and some ask for registration within a specific time by offering to extend the warranty period.
Understand the true costs, installation, set up, and warranty before you buy so you can plan and budget better for the model you need without having to settle.
Tax Credits Explained
The federal tax credit program is designed to give you an incentive to buy and install highly efficient systems in your home. With the program, qualifying heat pumps will earn a $300 tax credit.
To qualify, your new Energy Star certified heat pump (and your home) must meet a few requirements.
You must own and live in the home. New construction or rental properties do not qualify. You also must have the unit professionally installed. While this requirement isn’t outlined on the website, it is on the tax form. Improper installation is also one of the driving factors behind the legislation that gave us the credit.
For heat pumps in a split system, they must have a minimum of 15 SEER and 8.3 HSPF. If either rating is not at or higher than these values, the unit does not qualify. For packaged systems, the minimums are 14 SEER and 8 HSPF.
If you, your home, and your system all qualify and are purchased and installed before December 31, 2021, you are eligible for the tax credit. Next is to fill out tax form 5695 and submit it with your income tax return.
Knowing How To Calculate A Heat Pumps Power Consumption
Knowing how much your heat pump will cost (or save) you before you buy and install is a great bit of knowledge to have. With a simple math formula, you can find out the cost for any time period you wish.
You only need to know four things to get the cost of running the heat pump.
- Input wattage of the unit as a whole. This is usually found on the model itself, in the owner’s manual, or on the spec sheet found online. You want to divide the watts by 1000 to get the kilowatts (kW). If you can’t find the wattage, you can multiply volts and amps together, resulting in watts.
- Cost per kilowatt-hour (kWh) for electricity where you live. You can call your energy provider or look at your last monthly statement. The current US average is 13 cents ($0.13) per kilowatt-hour.
- Next, you want to estimate how many hours, per day, the unit is running. During the peak months (summer and winter), the average runtime is between 4 and 6 hours per day. Note that these hours are when the unit is actually on and moving air, not just set to on at the thermostat.
- Finally, you will need the total number of days you want to know the cost of. For summer or winter months, use 90 days. If you want to know an average monthly cost, use 30 days, etc.
Once you have all the information, you just need to use the formula: kW x $.kWh x hours x days.
For example, if we have a heat pump that uses 4200 watts, we divide by 1000 to get 4.2 kilowatts. We will use the national average of 13 cents for our electric costs. We will further use 6 hours per day to get a high estimate and want to know the coverage for 90 days.
The formula (and result) then, looks like: 4.2 x $0.13 x 6 x 90 = $294.84.
Amana Heat Pumps Vs. Other Brands
How does Amana stand against other well-known brands? We compare the Amana heat pump line against Goodman, Carrier, and Trane to find out.
Amana Vs. Goodman
Goodman and Amana both work under the Goodman Global Group as North America’s leading HVAC provider for the Daikin brand. Each company, though, does have its own manufacturing and components.
Goodman is more well-known and has a slightly larger stable of heat pumps. They also have slightly more expensive units, but also more dependable ones. This doesn’t mean Amana is not dependable, as they are and quite so.
Goodman, though, is one of the few rare companies that covers the compressor under a lifetime warranty (if registered) and all other parts for 10 years. Amana, being part of the group, also offers the same warranty on some of their models. Others may receive an additional 2-year full unit replacement which can set Amana higher up the food chain than Goodman, depending on the model you choose.
However, in almost every other category, Goodman is the smarter choice. Unless your budget requires you to go down to the entry-level Goodman models, where you can spend the same amount for a slightly higher SEER and performance rating in Amana.
Amana Vs. Carrier
Carrier is easily the biggest (and oldest) name in the game. They are popular based on their nameplate alone, but they also have the product to back it up. What you will not find through Carrier is a cost-effective model.
While Carrier heat pumps do have entry-level or lower-end models that are more affordable, the total cost will always be more than Amana heat pumps, which may have higher ratings (depending on model).
Amana’s warranty is much better than Carrier’s, but the components inside the Carrier models need less maintenance and break down less often. However, a Carrier heat pump, like any other brand, will eventually break down. When that happens, whether Amana or Carrier, it is better to have the warranty to back you up.
Amana Vs. Trane
When it comes to Trane heat pumps, there aren’t much better in terms of quality and durability. Bosch can compete in that arena, but Amana is simply outclassed here. While Amana is durable, Trane is more so. Where Amana is strong, such as in compressor efficiency, Trane is stronger.
Amana does hold the better warranty once again, though, and offers models at much lower prices. And because all of their models qualify for the tax credit and all of Trane’s models do not (most do, though), Amana is still a solid choice.
For homes with a tighter budget that are looking for an upgrade and want to be more efficient, Amana is great. However, homes with more budget, larger areas to heat and cool and new construction will find a better deal with Trane.
4 Reasons Why You Should Hire An HVAC Professional When Installing A Heat Pump
Aside from the legal ramifications of working on or with a refrigerant-based system, there are plenty of reasons to hire a professional HVAC contractor for your heat pump installation. Unless you hold the required EPA and HVAC certifications and have the tools, knowledge, and experience to do so, a professional should be hired.
However, that isn’t enough to sway the die-hard DIYer. For that, we have a few other reasons to consider professional installation, regardless of the upfront costs.
There are many safety concerns when installing HVAC equipment. Personal safety is at the top, of course. However, you also need to consider the safety of the equipment, installation points, and structural integrity of the home and surrounding areas.
A professional installer will ensure all of these are safe, and the unit is installed according to manufacturer specifications for distances, airflow, ducting, and other measurements you may not think about.
Increased Efficiency Due To A Correct Setup (Lowering Energy Costs)
Just because you buy a system rated at 21 SEER doesn’t mean that is how well it will perform. Improper installation is the leading cause of damage and lower efficiency levels. It is for this very reason that the federal tax credit program was put into place.
A proper, professional installation will have your system installed and set up to function at its best performance and ensure you can drain every ounce of efficiency from the heat pump.
Correct Model Will Be Supplied
When working with a contractor, they will handle the home and model measurements and ensure the correct size for your project is ordered and received. They also handle the shipping and delivery and will keep you informed the entire way.
With the math-heavy Manual J measurements, you will be assured to get the exact model and size you need without having to guess on your own. Also, because they are responsible for the order and receiving of the unit, you will have a faster installation date, and the setup will be done in a timely manner.
Heat pump warranties are great, and they cover almost every part and situation needed to protect your investment. What they don’t cover, though, is the labor costs for repairs or replacements.
However, with a professional installation, you will also get a labor warranty. If something is wrong or you need to replace a part, that warranty will kick in and cover most of the labor costs involved with the new part.
Troubleshooting Tips & FAQs
In this section, we will look at common issues and their fixes with Amana heat pumps. We will also answer some of the frequently asked questions.
Amana heat pump not heating or cooling correctly
When the system stops heating or cooling as expected, there are a few things to check. First are the obvious things like the thermostat. Make sure it is in the right mode selection and that the correct temperature is set. Also, you will want to ensure the fan is set to AUTO and not OFF.
After that, check the air filter for dirt or clogs and replace as needed. If the system is still acting up, check the condenser coils for dirt, debris, or even ice. For ice, see below. If the coils are dirty, cleaning them will help restore airflow and proper refrigerant cooling.
If all that fails, it is time to call an HVAC tech for proper diagnosis and repairs.
Amana heat pump trips breaker or freezes up
If you find the system is iced over, there are two main causes. The first is an easy fix; the air filter is clogged or damaged. Replacing it will prevent the ice in the future. If the filter is clean or it still ices over, the cause is most likely due to low refrigerant, which means there is a leak somewhere.
You will need to call a professional so they can locate and repair the leak and refill the refrigerant to proper pressure levels.
Amana heat pump blower doesn’t run
If the blower isn’t running, it is either mechanical or electrical. For a mechanical issue, the blower itself is impeded somehow. Usually, debris got in the blower and is preventing it from rotating.
The more likely cause is a burnt blower motor or a loose power wire connection. For this issue, it is almost always better to call in a professional. There are many wires (high voltage) capacitors, contractors, and other components that supply power to the blower.
Once the burnt contact or motor is identified and replaced, your system will be back up and running.
How do I reset my Amana heat pump?
Amana heat pumps require a power cycle for a reset. You will need to turn the system off at the thermostat and then find all breakers controlling the heat pump (usually, there are two). Turn both breakers off and wait at least 3 minutes (up to 5).
Restore the breakers and then turn the system back on at the thermostat. Note that on some occasions it is necessary to perform the power cycle twice for a full reset.
Are Amana heat pumps quiet?
Amana heat pumps aren’t as quiet as some other brands, but they aren’t the loudest models, either. With a range between 50 and 60dBA. While lower-end models can get louder when running on high, it shouldn’t be much of an issue unless mounted directly outside a bedroom window.
Amana heat pump replacement parts?
Amana replacement parts are readily available anywhere Amana HVAC equipment is sold. You can also find replacement parts online through sites like Amazon and Sylvane. In a pinch, you can also find compatible Daikin and Goodman parts for most models. While this may void the warranty, it will be the same or similar part and will work just as well.
Are Amana heat pumps any good?
Amana heat pumps are considered entry-level heat pumps. They aren’t the highest-rated models in the market, but they are durable, reliable, and worth their cost. Each model offers great efficiency, low maintenance, and simple installation.
You will save a lot of money with Amana brand heat pumps compared to some other brands, but you may miss out on more advanced features that the higher-end models are equipped with.
Amana offers heat pumps for all budget ranges and efficiency needs. With the top of the line AVZC20, you can get up to 21 SEER and use the ComfortBridge technology for smart communications, smart thermostats, and comparable air handlers.
While Amana may not be the most popular HVAC name out there, their heat pumps are well-reviewed, highly rated, and highly durable. For smaller homes, tighter budgets, or those looking for a great deal on an entry-level heat pump, Amana is a brand that is hard to beat.
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