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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    19
    I've had a manual J calculation done on my house and a single unit, 5-ton air conditioner will handle the load. Thanks for all your help in determining this.

    The Bryant series come highly recommended, but they carry a correspondingly high price tag. They do offer the possibility of zoning (even with a single system unit) but that adds $ to the overall cost, which is already pretty high.

    Are Bryant units that much superior to others to justify the cost? A 5-ton unit is being quoted at about $XXX {no pricing). Are there other brands you would recommend? I'm looking for reliability, low cost of repairs, warranty, and energy efficiency, along with the ability to remove humidity from the air. Noise level is not as important as the first three.

    I'd be looking at a combination AC/gas powered heater unit, not a heat pump or separate units.

    Any suggestions and recommendations gratefully appreciated!

    [Edited by arpa on 06-20-2006 at 06:27 PM]

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    478

    Depends

    Carrier, York, Rheem, Ruud, Lennox and the likes are good as well. However, purchasing an AC does not have to be buy-the-most-popular-one thing.

    Get the load calculation done properly (which you have done ), size the ducts properly, and choose the least ownership cost unit for you (after considering initial cost, installation cost, maintenance cost, and utility cost for the period of use).

    E.g. we don't normally buy the most expensive torch light for emergency, and seldom use.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    168
    You might get a quote on a Rheem/Ruud unit. Basic reliable systems.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Los Angeles, CALIFA
    Posts
    1,134
    Always remember, you get what you pay for. Bryant is a pretty reliable brand. Warranty on the new Bryant products are 10 compressor & 5 years on parts. However, if you buy the bottom of the line Bryant product, the warranty is only 5 Years compressor and parts.
    Do as I say, not as I do

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    The South
    Posts
    2,138
    snowbunny

    As you probably already know, Bryant is the sister company to Carrier. Some of both these brands' models are identical with possibly some cosmetic differences. Bryant is good equipment but unless I was going to take advantage of their Evolution controls(same as Carrier's Infinity), you could look at other equipment that is less expensive. Suggestions would include Rudd/Rheem and Armstrong. You do get a better warranty with Trane/Am Std high end AC/Heat Pumps paired with matching air handler or gas furnace.

    BTW, there is anecdotal evidence that Carrier/Bryant zoning controls are pretty slick equipment.

    Load calculation for accurate sizing,good ductwork that has been sized properly, and finally a good install are other important components of a great installation.

    IMO

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    19
    The cost for the base unit for the Bryant is around $6k and for the zoning (in a 3000 sq ft house, 4bdr/2.5 bath) is $XX!!! So that means to take advantage of the zoning features is $XX, if that is the main reason to choose Bryant.

    Can the zoning be added later as a retrofit, or must it be added at the time of install and ductwork?

    I can't see paying $XX for the zoning -- I'm thinking $XX for an AC system for a 3000 sq ft house that's worth about $250k is a bit overkill, but would love any opinions either way.

    [Edited by arpa on 06-20-2006 at 06:29 PM]

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    24
    If you are only paying ~$XXX for a 5 ton unit with the size house you have, then maybe I should look at Bryant. Without breaking the site rules I can tell you that the price you have for the equipmemnt is "cheap". I have about 2000 sq, ft. brick home, 84 yrs. old, with lots of southern facing windows (with 50% Vista film) and about R-4 in my attic and flex-ducts. The house is in Saint Louis, MO so I have high heat and humidity. Two different sizes have been bid, 4 & 5 ton. Bids run from $XXXX for a 4 ton Infinity system and ~$XXXX for a 5 ton Lennox system. My requirements were to use R410a, be 16 SEER or higher, and use my existing ductwork.

    I am still waiting for the bid on a 5 ton Infinity system, but I don't know if the guy will price the zoning he talked about in the bid. He has recommeded a 5 ton Infinity system by experience. My personal selection, based on the sales rep, came back out today to measure for a Heat Gain/Loss Calculation. This company was in the middle of the pack, so I had to go on something. I don't know how to decide between Lennox, Carrier, Trane or ComfortMaster since the bids are pretty close.

    After talking with my wife we will be adding about $XXXX to go with a heat pump system as well.

    [Edited by arpa on 06-20-2006 at 06:30 PM]

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    628
    Your not supposed to be posting prices. Where you live and what the climate is like, type of contruction, and local labor force all make price discussions worthless, and it really annoys some of the pros.

    The following is just one consumers opinion.

    Bryant and Carrier seem to me to be the top brands, with everything associated with a top brand including price. Goodman seems like the cheapest. Some of it is Cadillac and Chevy type issues, features and name, some of it is maybe higher standards, but both are going to cool your house fine for at least a few years without a hitch. What happens with any early problems, and what happens after 5 or 10 years, thats part of what you pay extra for.

    Different brands do have a lot of variation in costs, so do different contractors.

    No major brand sells bad equipment. Find a good contractor and worry less about the brand.

    Get 3 bids and see if somebody doesn't have an approach that you feel more comfortable with.

    If you read a bunch of the posts here you will see that people have many opinions on how and why to do the same basic thing, you may get some ideas from the situations of others.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    19
    I do apologise for posting prices, though what I posted was for equipment only AFAIK and not labour etc.

    I guess apart from being able to zone, I'm wondering if there are benefits to a Bryant/Carrier such as longevity etc that might make me go that route. Always important is whether or not there is a possibility of adding to resale value -- and the only thing that would be a plus would be the zoning as buyers generally don't discern based on the brand of the unit.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    628
    Resale is part of the reason I picked Bryant, but when looking at a house, before thinking about buying, just that all important first impression during the walk through with the agent etc., does it feel "nice" in all the rooms?

    If you pass that first test, and someone is actually considering making an offer, thats when the other bits come to play, Seer rating, energystar, actual utility costs, maybe brand name, but plenty of consumers only know brands from advertising.

    Nothing wrong with a little pride of ownership from buying the best either.

    Two weeks from the 4th of July you aren't going to be getting a bargain from anybody anyway. My "guess" is that the best price you can get from a cheap contractor on a cheap system is what has gone up the most. Good contractors are less likely to price gouge just because they are busy.

    ***********************

    Nobody here can say what needs to be done in your house, you have to depend on a local contractor who knows your area and looks over your house in person. Different local contractors may have different ideas, just make sure you go with a good one.

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