View Full Version : Am. Std. vs. Payne
09-27-2005, 10:49 AM
First, I want to say thank you to the site administrators and the professionals who hang out here. Sites like these fill a big gap for consumers, otherwise there would be no resources to find advice on things like HVAC. THX.
I received two quotes, one from a chain store (Sears) and one from a local contractor. The quotes are for very similar package units, where the most significant difference (to my untrained eye anyways) is the brand, and the price. First is the Payne PY2P package gas/electric unit. It's rated at 12 SEER and 80% AFUE. The second is a YCX from American Standard, which is rated the same for both SEER and AFUE, but it has a longer warranty (they are both 3 tons). Except for small differences, as far as I can tell they are very similar.
In any event, the Payne is from the chain store and the A/S is from the local contractor. A friend of mine who buys and fixes up houses recommended the local contractor, and when I talked with them they seemed like a respectable, professional company: they have been in business for 18 yrs, they answered all my questions w/o hesitation, they said that they don't have any significant turnover for installers, which presumably makes them very competent, and were straightforward with the disclosures. The Sears guy was very knowledgeable, but he was only the sales person.
Now, I suspect that most of you will say to just go with the local contractor. However, something is bothering me. From what I can surmise from reading this forum, the local contractor's unit is arguably better (A/S), and they might have more experienced installers, yet it is cheaper by about 1450.00, w/o any haggling or anything. I am used to look at disparities like this with suspicion, so I hope you understand my plight. Is there something I should worry about, does something smell funny here?
Oh, and to make it even more suspicious, the thermostat for the A/S is better (more bells and whistles), the system has a longer warranty, and they offer 2 yr. no interest financing!!!!!
Again, I thank you for your time and consideration, and I look forward to reading your opinions.
09-27-2005, 01:02 PM
Did I violate any of the forum rules? No one seems interested in responding, or at least making a comment. Maybe I am just paranoid. I will check back later. Best regards to everyone.
09-27-2005, 01:16 PM
Normally we leave $$ amounts out of things but I won't change it.
Around here, we never quite know what kind of price our chains will give. If a lady is home alone or elderly people, often they start very high hoping the customer won't know any better and sign on the dotted line. But if the customer balks or a businessman is home, they will be thousands less if they have to. May be the case here. They are trying to get on the high side but if you called and said someone else blew them away, they'd drop way down. Pretty sad way to do biz but we see it all the time.
Since I work for a locally owned American-Standard dealer, you know which way I vote :)
09-27-2005, 01:17 PM
Sears is a middle man.
They bid jobs & hire a local contractor to do the work.
Everything gets marked up to make a profit for the middle.
The consumer pays the difference, but gets to charge it on their Sears card.
There is a good chance that the installers don't drive Sears trucks or wear Sears uniforms, because they are not Sears employees.
The only advantage with the chain might be a possible recourse in case something is not done to your satisfaction.
Local contractors can & should be able to beat the price of the chain stores, unless the chain is enjoying a price break, due to volume sales.
Don't worry, be happy, and go local.
09-27-2005, 02:06 PM
I thank you for the responses. I think the "middle man" explanation might be the reason for the price difference (sorry about posting $$ amounts, I thought that I could post the difference, but not the total price).
I feel bad about having to say no to the Sears guy, because he was very helpful and knowledgeable, but so was the local contractor, who is also listed in the A/S website. I think I will go with the local guy. But, one last question before I take the plunge here: are the 2 systems quite comparable (Payne PY2P and A/S YCX)?
09-27-2005, 02:21 PM
Payne is Carrier's builder line and A/S is a premium line. That being said, rememeber, the equipment is only one component of the system. The installer actually builds your system.
09-27-2005, 06:29 PM
Thank you for all the replies.
I have read a lot about the quality of installation, and as Ruud-man suggests, it's clear to me that this should be a determining factor in choosing a contractor. However, other than their knowledge, thoroughness when evaluating the job, willingness to answer all my questions openly and honestly, and maybe a recommendation (the local contractor was recommended by a friend, as stated above), what else should I look for prior to signing on the dotted line?
What I mean is that, for a consumer, there are very few ways to determine that before committing to a deal.
On another note, am I correct to assume that, installation being comparable, Am. Std. is better than Payne (I don't mean to disparage any brand, I just want to be more informed)? I know that car analogies are bad, but is A/S more like a Toyota vs Payne more like a less reliable or less well reputed brand?
Again, thank you for your prompt and knowledgeable responses.
No both systems will be reliable (knock on wood)
09-27-2005, 11:03 PM
Drk (and everyone else),
This something that confuses me. If both systems would be as reliable, provided that both were installed correctly, then what is the difference? I mean Ruud-man said, as have many other pros in this forum, that although installation is key, there are differences among brands.
I hate to go back to the car analogy, but I have to in order to make sense out of this. It is well known that Toyota is reputed to be more reliable than say Chrysler. The thing is, if I have a hack repair or maintain my Toyota, it is more likely to fail than if I had taken it to a good mechanic. Same goes for the Chrysler. However, at the end of the day, if both cars are worked on by good mechanics, the Toyota still has a better record of reliability than Chrysler (by the way, I just picked Chrysler arbitrarily, although I do believe that Toyota has a demonstrated superiority over other brands).
Now, does this apply to AC units? I apologize if I seem somewhat stubborn on this point, but I am only speaking from the consumer point of view, and as such it is hard for me to believe that there is no difference among brands. After all, I am about to sink a good (for a teacher at least) amount of money in an AC/Heater.
I reiterate my gratitude to this forum's administrators and participants. Consumers would be utterly lost w/o it.
09-27-2005, 11:39 PM
It has been said many times, but it is all in the installation. Try not to focus on the brand. Just like a bad mechanic can screw up your Toyota. A good one can keep it purring.
I would say it sounds like you are in good hands with the American Standard Contractor. Hopefully since he has been in business for 18 years he is reputable, and will stand behind his product and installation.
09-27-2005, 11:44 PM
I think Payne is a great system personally. Like its already been mentioned, its a Carrier product. We were Carrier dealers for a long time & installed many Paynes with very little trouble out of them. My vote would be go local with the Payne. I wouldnt ever buy from a retail store. I used to do sub work for one of those home improvement stores. It was outrageous how they'd mark my stuff up. Sad thing is the customer didnt know any better & financed it through them.
09-27-2005, 11:51 PM
Sorry for the confusion. We here know the installation can make or break a job. That said, the installtion and procedure being equal the equipment then makes a difference. I personally would take the AS over the payne but thats just my experience with service talking.
09-28-2005, 12:08 AM
DRK has a tendancy to make lame remarks that don't make any sense, always one liners with nothing to back it up, so I would'nt get to confused about that.
You already stated a referal from a friend, A/S is a good product, and you said you were happy with the knowledge from the contractor, I'm suprised the price didn't sell you already, if you have good warranties then why worry? Go with your gut instinct, unless you want to dump a bunch of money into a Sears "bottom of the barrel" unit.
09-28-2005, 01:25 AM
Once again, I thank you for your time and professional opinions. I think I leaning towards doing what 2Hot2Coolme said and go with the local guy. I will think it over two or three more days and then make a decision. Best regards.
2 hot what else was I to add to that comment? The question got answered by others, Why would I say them again. That doesn't make much sense.
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