View Full Version : Lennox or Trane?
01-26-2005, 08:38 PM
I've been planning installing a heat pump in my house for many months now. My house currently has only an oil heat and no a/c. I got several different companies quotes and I have narrowed down to two very similar quotes:
One company provides LENNOX, another company (Home Depot associate) provides TRANE. What I need done in my ~1600+ sq.ft. house (officially is almost 1800 sq. ft. but...?)
is to install a heat pump on top of an existing oil heat furnace (LENNOX furnace) and replace all ductwork in the house. The house is very old (1883-1965) but in good shape. All ductwork is in the basement and in the crawlspace next to it. The furnace is in the basement. Some ductwork has old asbestos (?) wrapping on it. The rest is square and made from some kind of metal (stainless steel?). Part of the house, approx. 700 sq. ft. has either a slab floor or has an inaccessible (without major demolition) ductwork. So I hope I described the situation.
Now about the price quotes: LENNOX guy quoted $8200 for the job (heat pump, ductwork, April Aire house filter, bypass dehumidifier, digital thermostat, fuelmaster kit, insulated ductwork, first year service, 10 year parts, labor and compressor warranty, 15 seer, 3 ton eq. HPX-15) while TRANE guy quoted $8800 (similar stuff, 4" media filter, but 14 seer, 3 ton eq. probably XL14i) but came down to $8200 as well after I showed him the LENNOX guy's quote. Both guys are really nice and friendly and have done quite a lot to make sure all will be done correctly (let's hope) and the inaccessible ductwork gets more air flow. LENNOX guy even crawled in crawl space and took pictures of existing ductwork. The TRANE guy also crawled in there.
Since I saw TRANE on TV I naturally "know it better". But I'm really puzzled now. I've read both Lennox and Trane are the top best ones. Some say CARRIER is great too. Which one to go with? Could you please help me decide and if any suggestions you would have I would really appreciate your help as this is the "spend all my savings" job which really has to be done before summer as I get this cough problem and mildew/mold (?) in summer which goes away in winter (cough stays).
Thanks in advance!
01-26-2005, 08:51 PM
I see that you are new so i'll be the first to tell you that you aren't suppose to list prices.. i work for a 5 star carrier dealer so i'm a little biased but lennox and trane are both great units. get a quote from a 5 star carrier dealer in you're area. also i'd replace everything the entire system . my final decision would be who i feel most comfortable with. all 3 are the best..
01-26-2005, 09:16 PM
i agree with matt i work for a 5 star lennox and tran dealer.however, if you are going to replace 3/4's of what you have now,take the extra step and replace it all.that way if a break down ocours,you will have warranity for all
01-26-2005, 09:24 PM
Thanks for the suggestions. What do you mean by "replace it all"? Do you mean replace the existing LENNOX furnace as well? But that will cost extra several thousand $. The existing LENNOX furnace is about 6-7 years old and is in a good shape. The main problem is with which brand to go with and whether the price quotes are to high, normal or low (?). I understand I should not post the price as this is manufacturer's interest or so, but I really would like to discuss the price quotes as well. I think why not let other homeowners have such info as price quotes? In any case I won't post prices again (even if I feel I live in a free country) :o)
01-26-2005, 09:26 PM
I say the guy that took the extra effort and fore sight to crawl back in there with a camera will most likely give you the better quality install due to the fact that he took pictures to refrence to if he were to get the job and be prepared with the needed materials the other guy will need to rely on memory and may not recall what the house even looked like,plus not a fan of Home Depot subbing work out as you should be aware the is no recourse to take against home depot should the Contractor mess up your system, they have covered themselves from that by subbing out also they dont need to be licensed they are only selling boxes and not concered with the customers comfort, leaving that up to what ever contractor will do their work. usually another Trane dealer that ends up bidding against himself or at least one in our area has. good luck but I would go with the camera guy both pieces of equiptment are good but the install will make or break the job no matter what the Brand or seer. Oh yeah the ones that say the Carriers are great are usually owners of a Carrier and not watchers of the zillions of commercials ran to get a name recognized, well maybe Im a little partial too
[Edited by obxtech on 01-26-2005 at 09:33 PM]
01-26-2005, 09:38 PM
Thanks everyone, especially to OBXTECH. That's very good info you wrote. I was also wondering why Home Depot subs to another company and on their proposal form the 10 year warranty is not included and after asking the guy (very friendly and helpful by the way) he told me he will write the warranty down by hand himself on the Home Depot form. Actually this makes me sad a lil' bit because I really wanted a TRANE, but another TRANE guy quoted way high near and over 10K and now I will probably definitely go with LENNOX, but before I do that (sorry service people) I might get a quote from CARRIER.
By the way, how CARRIER (Cary) ranks among the other two (Lenny and Tranny)?
Oh and the TRANE guy told me that LENNOX has this round opening on top where all the leaves and debris will get stuck. What do you think?
Thanks again for the great help! Very nice forum! Glad I found it. Actually it was #1 in Google search ("hvac forum").
01-26-2005, 09:48 PM
Just remember bottom line is go with the guy most likely to give you the better Quality install as I have seen some bad installs with most all brands none of which will work properly or give you the performance it advertses if installers cut every corner they can just to get done and get paid. you can actually pay for a 14 seer system that if not properly installed only give you 10 or 12 seer that means that the poorly installed job ends up costing you more everyday you use it!
01-26-2005, 10:27 PM
By the way, the guy who crawled in and took pics of the existing ductwork is a salesman, not a technician.
The company he works for is new in the area (actually located in another state 60 miles away) and it bought another (local) HVAC dealership which went bankrupt.
I understand that a proper install is most important.
How do you know who will do the best install without trying them? That's where the problem is.
Question too: why pricing is not allowed to discuss in here?
01-26-2005, 10:40 PM
Ask for refrences, also the guy with the camera should have pictures of jobs completed even better he should have before and after pictures which he should be using as a sales tool to show the customers up front the ability to do nice quality work. we have those available in our company, I also do sales but I have done installs and service for 25+ years and am able to point out problems a "salesman" usually misses.
01-26-2005, 10:42 PM
How would I know that the HVAC install job is done well (or not)? Should I post photos of the whole thing on here after the job is done? Thanks again.
01-26-2005, 10:46 PM
why not have them e-mail you some photos of jobs they have done and post them before you commit
01-26-2005, 11:07 PM
carrier is the same quality as trane and lennox look at infinity series very nice go with a higher efficency. i would go 14 seer or higher variable speed air handler 2 speed condenser ..what ever you do don't let them sell you the entry level of any of the 3 get the higher eff system..
01-27-2005, 04:04 AM
on a heat pump would go with Trane... end of story. a camera huh? Now what would a guy need a camera for, for that? Maybe so he can ask someone else? lol...
as far as subcontracting from home depot. They call the Trane dealer. He could have called that same dealer and got a better bid out of it.
01-27-2005, 06:24 AM
One thing to remember, at least with Trane, is that these super SEER units may not get what you are expecting with the old furnace. Trane certainly won't get 14 SEER from the 14i unless you have a variable speed indoor unit.
01-27-2005, 02:12 PM
Actually I'm glad I got a yet another company come and inspect my furnace. They told me that if I want a 15 seer TRANE my existing LENNOX (6-7 year old) frnace may not be good enough for a 15 seer unit. Well, I can't afford a new furnace right now and while the existing one is in a very good shape why should I replace it. So it seems to be a good idea to get as many different companies come to your place and inspect everything as possible. None of the previous companies told me that my existing furnace may not be good for a 15 seer unit! They all said will add to existing whatever seer you want. Some agreed it is possible to increase the existing LENNOX furnace blower's speed (that was suggested by someone who is remodelling homes). Now I will also get CARRIER people to come inspect and give me a quote. Sorry, but I'm not wasting that mucho dinero on a wind.
Thanks for all your valuable comments! Have a great weekend.
01-27-2005, 04:30 PM
i don't know how any unit will get 15 seer w/a 8 yr old furnace..maybe one of the experts on here would know more than i about the hole furnace but i don't see it happening with a old furncace.i'm in florida and if it's 8 years old and you are replacing any part of the system and trying to get 12 seer or higher we do an entire system swap. you may think you got a 15 seer but with out 7/8 copper or bigger and the right metering device clean coil you may just be paying for it not getting it. now i'll be honest we don't see many furnace in fl,mostly a/h's so i maybe a little off..if so i'm sure the guys on here will correct me but you're gonna spend the money do it right ...
01-27-2005, 07:50 PM
Well, I'm in Western NC, in the mountains at about 2100 feet elevation. I'm also concerned to spend all my money and not get a good system while I can't afford to get a new furnace which all together with the ductwork and a heat pump will probably cost way over my budget. But what can I do with the old furnace? Is it really old? Is it common to sell a used furnace? It was installed in 1998, so it is not 8, but rather 6,5 years old, not even 7 years old yet. What seer system is best for it? Someone told me that in the very near future there will be no systems below 13 seer. I'm really confused now (though more informed) and am definitely not ready to go ahead with any contract yet. I hope in a few weeks I can get enough info and that others can learn from it as well.
Thanks again. It's a very nice forum.
01-27-2005, 07:54 PM
Guy who installs Trane, Lennox, Comfortmaker, Goodman etc. told me that Lennox makes their own parts and in case of emergency Lennox equipment is more difficult to service while many other HVAC sys have universal parts. Is that true?
01-27-2005, 08:00 PM
Where are the lennox dealers in Canada these days? Where are the lennox dealers going in the next 10 yrs in the US?
01-27-2005, 08:29 PM
it is confusing if all you need is a systemm and high efficency is not the major concern then go with a 12 seer goodman heat pump system it will be the lowest price and have the same 10yr parts warranty and 1 year labor that trane and lennox offer ask the dealers that you've talked to for a quote on goodman 12 seer unit. i'd be suprised if they don't sell them almost every contractor sells them. we are a carrier dealer but also sell alot of goodman just because of the warranty and price. having a 6 yr old furnace isn't a problem but trying to get higher than 12 seer, i think is not going to be possible.
01-27-2005, 08:45 PM
Just a side note: I find it interesting that since none of us have "a dog in this particular fight," we chose to overlook what the HO did to the guy that had what he felt was the best product and most thorough proposal. He felt perfectly comfortable showing that price to the competition to get his price down. Too bad that the guy that went the extra mile, took pictures of the existing system, and gave the best price on the front end, will probably not end up with the job for his good efforts. No wonder I am a strong proponent for charging for our expertise and proposals. How many guys are going to be paraded through this home before a decision is made? Why stop with 3 or 4. There are bound to be more than that listed in your friendly yellow pages. Start at the A's and go to the Z's. No telling what kind of deals you'll stumble across. Sorry, just an opportunity to restate the obvious.
01-28-2005, 12:10 AM
At the very beginning last year I got a price quote for a heat pump and was going to go with it. Before a heat pump could be installed I was told to rewire the whole house (electric) otherwise a hvac can not be installed. After I was finished with the electrician I spent all my money and there was nothing left to pay for a heat pump. Someone (even same heat pump guy) suggested to get more quotes since I was on a budget. I got 2 more quotes and was comfortable with them but no credit. About a year later I saved enough for a heat pump and maybe a ductwork and called one of the three. I expected to spend about $4K to $5K. They told me that in order to install a heat pump ductwork has to be replaced. Same story - save more money. LENNOX dealer salesman quoted a ballpark for heat pump + ductowork as $5,5K which sounded good to me, but after he got back it was around 10K plus $3K for attic insulation with cellulose (high!). Called another dealer, did not get a good response, they either forgot or were late etc. I'm glad I did not install HVAC last year. I don't want to get bad heat pump install for my last money. If HVAC people want to charge for visits etc. they can. I haven't heard of such practice though. Some especially electricians quote enormous prices, others don't want to show up for a significant job. All kinds of things. There were guys who came (for remodel job) and never brought quotes back. Waste of my time too. So everyone wastes everyone's time. Otherwise you can't learn. It's part of the deal. Do you know many who signed the very first quote? Well, unless they have lots of money to waste or are completely incapable of learning or don't care. A new homeowner must go through all this to learn where they stand, how much it costs etc. Now since you can't discuss pricing in this forum it means people instead of seeing prices on the web will be bothering companies getting quotes instead of simply reading those quotes on the web. So not allowing to discuss prices and then complaining that someone gets to many quotes is controversial. Where else do I get info from? I don't want to spend all the money on a bad install or on an equipment which will never be efficient enough.
HVAC people have choice not to come out and give quotes, but that's part of "advertising". How many visitors to a website buy from it? About 1% or less. If you are unwilling to give free quotes - you're out of business or deal with the very rich. To much choice is bad, to little choice is bad too.
01-28-2005, 12:36 AM
I guess 6 years old is considered an old furnace. I understand that I must go with 12 seer or less if I want
to keep the old furnace. No one told me that before, that's why I'm thankful for this forum. I either have to save for another year and get for example a 15 seer TRANE LENNOX or CARRIER with new furnace (which I guess will run well into teen k's) or go with a low seer with old furnace. Getting several quotes is also about who can solve the slab problem and the cold spots problem best. It's USA, competition, free market, capitalism, not some socialistic country where they assign you a government HVAC technician whom you must give a bottle of vodka or a bribe for him to do a better job for you. Smart customer smart homeowner gets the best service and quality while smart companies gets the best customers. Actually I'm still leaning towards the company with the sales guy who made photos, it's just a matter of clearing up on what seer will be the best and seee what he says. He's a salesman and not a technician, that's a lil bit a brake, because he said he can't bring his technician to my house.
What's gonna happen if there's an emergency? I'll most likely go with LENNOX even if I wanted a TRANE and when I saw a CARRIER I thought it's pretty cool too! So I wish there was just one brand.... There's a TRANE guy telling me "not to go" with LENNOX since leaves and debris will get traped in it's top fan opening. I was and still am somehow confused, but thanks to this forum the fog is getting thinner. And SORRY if I offended someone by words or by getting to many quotes.
01-28-2005, 01:27 AM
Originally posted by enigma
Smart customer smart homeowner gets the best service and quality while smart companies gets the best customers. quote
SEER SHNEER !
01-28-2005, 10:26 AM
I don't know what "shneer" means, but buying and installing a low bottom ranking equipment like Goodman is a bad investment. I rather wait another year and install the best stuff I can buy and the one that brings the best performance for the money.
02-10-2005, 01:21 AM
I've decided to go with LENNOX. The sales guy has made the most effort of them all. Trane (subcontracted by Home Despot) dealer was nice too and both LENNOX and TRANE quoted same price for similar seer units, but several people suggested not to go for a H/D subcontracted deal. I've noticed no warranties were provided on a Home Depot form. So I'll give a chance to LENNOX who seems to be a pioneer of a/c.
05-01-2005, 12:29 PM
An e-mail of job photos does not necessarily ensure anything other than the fact that you've got some nice digital pictures accessed nearly anywhere on the web.
If the install contractor gives you a written contract illustrating their guarantees, warranties and specifics of what will be done, they will have to stand behind their word given in writing.
There are numerous well established companies who are just as guilty of shoddy work as a smaller company.
Bigger does not mean better but it does allow for more perpetuation of myths because of a larger clientele volume.
05-01-2005, 07:31 PM
Dont listen to anyone else do what's best for you get 10 more quotes if you dont feel comfortable with the others.Goodman is as good as any it all depends on a good install.A lot of Goodman's are done by hacks because they sell to anyone.Goodman's warrenty is better than any of the others you mentioned and for that price I'm sure it would include a brand new variable speed furnace.That would be the best move in your situation.(you should be able to donate your old furnace and use it as a tax write off.Good Luck.
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