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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    8
    Hi everyone -

    Just bought an older home, and the time has come to replace the circa-1966 American Standard forced-air gas furnace. The previous owners never added central AC, so we're doing that at the same time.

    I've gotten estimates from a number of local reputable HVAC companies, and now am not sure which way to go. All are roughly the same price - so that's not the issue. (except the Bryant, which is almost double all the other quotes).

    The house is approx 1700 square feet, 2-stories, with a finished basement and semi-finished attic. Ductwork is orignal galvanized steel, with supplies and returns in every room.

    Here are my choices:

    Comfortmaker
    Furnace: C9MPN 100,000 btu/90% efficiency
    AC: CAC4 36,000 btu/15 SEER

    Goodman
    Furnace: GMS9 90,000 btu/95% efficiency
    AC: CLQ 36,000 btu/15 SEER

    Trane
    Furnace: XL90 100,000 btu/90% efficiency
    AC: XL14i 36,000 btu/15 SEER

    Bryant
    Furnace: Plus90i 100,000 btu/94% efficiency
    AC: 165A 36,000 btu/15 SEER

    Assuming all the installers are equal, which equipment would you choose? I'm leaning towards the Trane - if only because the Bryant is so much more expensive.

    Thoughts?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Huntsville,AL
    Posts
    4,125
    get/ do a load calc

    get the past 18- 36mo of fuel usage

    was the house comfortable last yr?
    harvest rainwater,make SHADE,R75/50/30= roof/wall/floor, use HVAC mastic,caulk all wall seams!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    8
    cem-bsee:

    I just bought the house, so I have no idea if it was comfortable or not or how much fuel they used. I also have no idea how to do a load calculation.

    The existing furnace is shot, though - rusted heat exchanger, cracked flue - and has to be replaced.

    Given that 3 different contractors gave the same sizing, and one (Goodman) was only slightly smaller, I'm really not all that concerned that the sizing is wrong. I just want to know which equipment to go with.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Southern NJ
    Posts
    962
    There's alot more equipment on the market then just those. They all have the same components. Compressor, fan(condensor and evap and combustion), contactors, etc....

    Compressor can be either scroll, piston, etc.....

    Fan can be BLAH, BLAH, Blah.....

    I do commercial work, but in my opinion, since the 10 SEER systems aren't being manufactured any longer....I see ALOT of homeowners getting F-D. You'd be surprised, $$$$$$!


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Suppy NC
    Posts
    4,513
    trane all the way

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Southern NJ
    Posts
    962
    UH-OH, here comes the Biased ones! Or the salesmen!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN, USA
    Posts
    34,475
    I did a reality check on your bids. The Choo Choo claims 15 SEER with the XL90? Hardly, best it will do is a little over 13 SEER at best.

    Goodman? Nope, CLQ36 will do 14 SEER but without variable speed indoor unit as well, no 15 SEER.

    Comfortmaker? Nice unit but only 14 SEER without variable speed indoors.

    Bryant? Only dealer quoting variable speed. Only dealer who will give 15+ SEER. If he is using the Evolution control, he can provide bells & whistles (and humidity control) the others can't. But his bid ought to be noticably higher and you say it is.

    I wouldn't lean Trane if he told you he's giving 15 SEER

    By the way, did any one do a load calc? Seems like WAY TOO MUCH capacity for 1700 sq ft. Oversizing kills efficiency and comfort!!!!!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    8
    BaldLoonie -
    They all did measurements, but I have yet to see an actual "caclulation" per se.

    Is there any simple way for me to do a load caclulation myself?

    I do like the Bryant unit - and the possibilities offered by the evolution control, etc. But that dealer wants to charge the cost of a small new car - and it's going to take 15-20 years to recoup....just in time to be replaced.

    I'm waiting on a Carrier quote - since the equipment is roughly the same as Bryant - to see what they come back with as far as price and size.

    [Edited by njguy99 on 06-14-2006 at 08:51 AM]

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    The South
    Posts
    2,216
    njguy99

    Assuming it is within one's budget,I personally think a new furnace without var speed blower is a mistake for many reasons including better dehumidification in AC mode, operating eff(cheaper to operate var speed blower), quieter to operate, better room to room temp comfort, and better air quality if equipped witha whole house air cleaner cabinet.

    If you are looking for great heating eff, look at the Rheem mod system with var speed blower and MOD stat. I don't want to bash the models mentioned but they can not touch this Rheem model.

    I also suggest that ductwork be thouroughly inspected as to overall condition, supplies and returns,insulation properties, size, and particularly air flow to 2nd floor,basement and "semi-finished" attic area.

    I would not purchase a new system without seeing a written load calcualtion from my dealer.

    IMO

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    8
    Based on some of the responses here, I just called around and asked about variable speed.

    The Goodman salesman offered me the GMV95 (90,000 btu) furnace instead, with the CLQ (36,000 btu) air conditioning unit.

    What do you all think of that combination?


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