View Full Version : High end furnaces
06-07-2005, 12:22 AM
We are looking to put in a furnace and central air at our cabin (current is electic heat) and replace a set at my father-in-law's house. Being in the upper midwest (Minnesota and Western Wisconsin), we are more interested in the high efficiency direct vent combustion furnaces.
While doing some research on-line, we have also talked with some installers in preparation to getting some quotes. One thing I wanted to check out was a comment that once you went to the higher end furnaces with direct vent combustion, the components were all the same.
For instance, the York, Luxaire, and Coleman ones or the Carrier, Bryant, and Payne ones were all coming down the same conveyor belt and a different sticker or emblem was slapped on them.
Is there truth or any portion of truth to that statement?
Thanks in advance for the help!
06-07-2005, 01:25 AM
Some truth. Some may be made in the same factory whereas others may be made in different factories by the same manufacterer. But to say the Carrier, Lennox, Rheem, and Goodman are the same would get you stoned.
06-07-2005, 05:44 AM
Stoned? Let me get a toke on that... maaan. ;^)
The wording makes it sound like literally all of them are made on the same line. As sadlier alluded that's not true. There's probably dozens of 90+ furnace designs. Almost all of them follow the same design principles. But different they are nonetheless.
Cabin implies snow and freezing weather. I have no idea the application, but be careful. I'm very hesitant to recommend a 90+ to people who let their furnaces run to keep things from freezing in vacation cabins that are unoccupied for days and weeks at a time. A 90+ has a water circuit, an air circuit, an electrical circuit and a combustion circuit. Guess which one is typically more troublesome than the three others combined. Any time you're dealing with the drainage of mineral laced acidic water you have the potential for sludge, blockages, leaks and other failures. It may not be too likely to happen if you get a quality installation by someone who understands your application. But nevertheless the 90+'s water circuit introduces potential problems not encountered by the 80+. Get reeeal unlucky (http://hphaa.com/services/installation/installation.htm#90%) and you’ll get repair bills and other damage that will make you regret the seduction of sealed combustion and 10% gas savings.
06-07-2005, 08:58 AM
To address the basic question you posed, i.e. "all units coming down the same conveyor belt with different labels slapped on them." Brands such as Carrier, Bryant, Payne, and Day & Night, are manufactured under the United Technologies Umbrella. To say they are the same is not correct. Although they may be manufactured under the same roof, they are also manufactured to different specifications. This doesn't mean a difference in efficiency, however, there may be a different control mechanism used on the Carrier than the Bryant. The difference may be in the motor, capacitor, relays, limits, paint, or any number of other areas. Although the differences may be subtle in a lot of instances, there are differences nonetheless. As you will hear repeated time and time again on this site, the importance of a good contractor is AS important if not more so, than the brand of product you choose. A good installation and subsequent service will go a long way toward an effective and efficient system, regardless of the brand of equipment. Good luck!
06-07-2005, 11:40 PM
I am glad to hear my initial thought that units manufactured under the same corporate umbrella may have similar components but each one is built to different specs. What is a reject on the higher end brand may be within the acceptable limits for the lower end brand.
In response to Irascible: Yes, snow and freezing weather is quite accurate. Normally what we do is blow out the water pipes and shut everything down during the winter. When we come up on weekends, holiday, etc. we start everything up. When I was a kid, I can remember the first few hours were cold to say the least. It was best to turn on the heat, carry everything in, and then leave to go out to eat. Since the recent prevalence of the kerosene turbo heater, initial warm up is much quicker. [Note: it is only used for initial warm up (<1hr) and we make sure we have more than adequate ventilation.]
Are there any known issues with letting a 90+ furnace (or an 80+ one for that matter) sit in below zero conditions for a period of time and then starting them up? It sounds like the water drain tube in the PVC exhaust might be one issue.
06-08-2005, 12:00 AM
The Goodman condensing furnaces are made in the same factory as the Amana condensing furnaces. Other then the aluminized steel heat exchanger and the mini-Norton adaptive ignition system that are on the Goodman's, the Goodman and the Amana are virtually the same.
06-08-2005, 08:28 AM
Our code prohibits locating a condensing furnace in a non-conditioned space, i.e. one that is subject to freezing temperatures. In fact, on new construction projects, where a high efficiency furnace has been located in the attic space, a physical enclosure, insulated, had to be constructed to house the furnace system. The duct could route through the attic (insulated duct that is) but the equipment hadto be in the enclosure. Also a small outlet was provided so that heat could be discharged into the space, which now could be considered a mechanical closet.
I have had Drs. and Pharmacists tell me that name brand and generic drugs are "the same." Trust me they are NOT. I am not a Dr. but think about it logically. If they were the same, they would be the SAME! The most significant difference is the 'fillers' that are used in the manufacture of generic medication. Believe it or not, some people can have an adverse reaction, not because it is a generic drug, but because of a reaction to the fillers!
Just as we should be questioned and held accountable for our recommendations and actions, also too, should we not be hesitant to question and hold these others accountable as well. Okay, I'm done.
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