The Sanyo brand name is well known for electronics and has made inroads into the air conditioner industry. Unfortunately, at the corporate level, Sanyo has suffered some huge losses starting in 2006, ending up with the company being purchased by Panasonic. Panasonic has announced it will eliminate the Sanyo brand name except for a few products.
Sanyo Ptac Units: Discontinued
The PTAC in PTAC air conditioners stands for packaged terminal air conditioning. The “package” in this sense is a self contained unit, much like a window air conditioner. Both of these are also called unitary air conditioners.
The most common application for PTAC units are in hotels or motels where there is an outside wall to mount the unit into. This has several advantages – windows are not blocked and noise is reduced considerably because of the insulation provided by the wall. Another advantage, from the business’s point of view is the ability to operate them at a much lower cost than a window air conditioner. This is partly due to their better air exchange (most are considerably bigger than window units) and partly due to the ability to shut them off remotely (for instance, when a room is not occupied).
Other advantages over window units are the ability to act as both an air conditioner and a heater, depending on the time of year or room temperature. Units simply switch operating cycles, essentially acting to cool the outside when they are in heater mode. They also have a better way to handle water that condenses on the cold coils – it is blown over to the hot side and evaporates there. This reduces the energy required to run the cooling cycle.
Leaving the market
With the reorganization, Sanyo stopped selling PTAC systems in the US market. This created a problem for parts suppliers and the service technicians. Units are still in service however and Sanyo does have options available.
One option is to purchase in Canada, where the units are still being sold. A list of retired products is on the Sanyo site4. They have closed the site, Sanyo-ptac.com, which may indicate the new owners (Panasonic) may drop this product line altogether. From a consumer’s point of view, this is unfortunate. The HVAC community generally thought highly of these units. Some have even gone so far as to put up Youtube videos of working Sanyo PTACs.
Currently, Sanyo offers split systems that can do the job of PTACs, although the setup is completely different. Their split systems run several indoor cassettes (much smaller than a typical PTAC) from a central condenser. While the functionality is the same, the cost to install is higher and can’t be done for a single room like a PTAC can. The “buzz” in the HVAC forums is that Sanyo units (in the US) are being replaced by Amana using the existing cutout in the wall.
Current information about units still available through Canada can be found at the NRG website. This company distributes both their branded products and Sanyo PTACs. They do include the phrase, “Only for sale in Canada.”
Here's a link to some Retired Sanyo Ptac manuals via Sanyo's website.