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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    110
    I asked this in another thread, but that thread became rather heated and so it go burried. Not sure if I'm allowed to ask brand-name questions. Sorry if it is taboo, and I'll understand if I'm told same.

    I'm currently negotiating between three contractors. Contractor A sells Trane and only Trane. Contractor B is pushing Carrier (not sure if he sells anything else). Contractor C sells Trane, Carrier, and Bryant and is pushing Bryant. It makes it hard to compare pricing because I'm not sure if I'm being qouted the same things.

    Asked B & C what they think of Trane: B (Carrier guy) says Trane and Carrier are identical. Both are great. C (Byrant guy) says Trane is the cadillac and he wouldn't push that to me (I guess I don't come across as one who drives a cadillac) and says that Bryant and Carrier are in fact the exact same units.

    Asked A (Trane guy) what he thought of Carrier and Bryant: says all others suck and that the only good buy is Trane.

    So then if I take all of it at face value and balance it out: Trane=Carrier=Bryant and either all three are great or all three suck. Or Trane/Carrier/Bryant are all quite different and I've not idea which is good/bad/ugly.

    Comments?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    1,462
    Do some reading on here and you will find (and I agree) that the brand does not really matter as much as the installation. In other words the best unit in the world put in wrong will not work correctly and the cheapest unit installed correctly will give good service.

    Always be leary of a salesman who bashes a product other than the one he sells. This is a sign of his own weak ability to convince you why you should buy from him; a sign of lack of knowledge or dishonesty on his part.

    Some units from some manufacturers do have different features such as variable speed blowers, 2 stage units and better controls to get different performance from the unit. All three of the brands you mention are quality brands. Each makes different levels of equipment from the introductory budget level to the higher tier, so just like cars, you can buy a Geo or a Cadillac from the same manufacturer. Make sure you are comparing apples to apples and make sure you pick the best contractor, not the name brand.
    If all else fails....Try reading the directions!

    Tell it like it is and let the chips fall where they may.

    Any views or opinions stated here are strictly my own.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN, USA
    Posts
    33,918
    First, both brands, or all 3 whatever, have several grades. Be sure you are comparing like models. Builder, mid line and high end.

    Carrier & Bryant are mechanically identical, cosmetically different. Trane has similar models & features but no way related to the others. We can debate for years on which is best.

    You can look over your bids closely to see if all are doing the same. Lineset, disconnect, stat, etc. Post the model #s of what you are looking at and we can help tell you if you are comparing like machines.

    http://www.johnmills.net/outdoorunits

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    110
    ***RE: You can look over your bids closely to see if all are doing the same. Lineset, disconnect, stat, etc. Post the model #s of what you are looking at and we can help tell you if you are comparing like machines.***

    I've asked a more formal reply in relation to this in a new thread (asking for what all should be in a bid).

    Let me ask this here, though: What do you mean when you refer to "Lineset, disconnect, stat, etc." in my bid? There is nothing even close to that amount of detail on any bids I'm getting. I don't even know what those are.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    110
    ***RE: posting exact model and brand of furnaces so experts can tell me if they are the "same"***

    Trane:
    Furnace -- TUY080R9V3
    AC -- 14SEER 3.5 Ton 4TTX4042*1000* with Cased 410 Comfort Coil RXC037S3HP

    Carrier:
    Furnace -- 58MVB080
    AC -- all I have been told is "TXA 13 SEER with TXV Coil" at 3.5 tons.

    Bryant: (contractor isn't telling me)
    Furnace -- can you tell me what is comparable?
    AC -- can you tell me what is comparable?

    My own Manual-J, using "HVAC-Calc" software program:
    Total Heat Loss (BTUH): 48,000
    Total Heat Gain (BTUH): 34,000 (approximately 33,500 being Sensible Gain).

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    South Jersey
    Posts
    86
    All of the brands you mentioned, Carrier, Bryant, Trane are quality brands. American Standard makes Trane, they are also a quality brand. Lennox, Rheem and York are also quality brands. That's not saying thet some of the lesser known brands (Armstrong, Tempstar, Arcoaire, and a host of others) are not good relaible equipment, they are usually not as technically advanced or highly marketed as the big guys. If sized and installed correctly, all of the above will heat and cool your house to your satisfaction. Like an automobile, it depends on the features you want and what you are willing to spend for those features. Listen to Baldloonie, all brands have low grade (builder grade), mid-grade, and high-grade. Choose mid-grade and up on equipment from any of the above manufacturers, get the 10 year extended warranty, have routine maintenance done 2x a year on the equipment and you'll be happy, happy camper.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    The South
    Posts
    2,148
    dhh

    You should be aware that your furnace blower rating must be at least equal to the tonnage on your AC condenser size. Being fairly familiar with the Trane models, I believe the Trane furnace selection has a 3 ton rated blower which will be incompatible with the 3.5 ton Trane AC condenser. Plus I would look into the next size up RXC evap coil.

    IMO

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    110
    Re: Trane furnace blower and AC condensor compatability --

    How about some more commentary on that observation? The reply indicating the quoted Trane furnace blower is not compatible with the quoted AC condensor

    Furnace -- TUY080R9V3
    AC -- 14SEER 3.5 Ton 4TTX4042*1000* with Cased 410 Comfort Coil RXC037S3HP

    Also, why do you recommend a different coil? Can you offer some insight on the relationship between the coil, the condensor, and the furnace/blower?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN, USA
    Posts
    33,918
    The coil is fine. You can go bigger but no reason to.

    BUT!

    The blower is a nominal 3 ton meaning the max it is designed to put out is around 1200 CFM. Typical airflow for cooling is 400 CFM per ton so your system should move around 1400 CFM total. You can get close with that furnace if the control is set right but if your duct system is at all restrictive, you are putting a good strain on the motor.

    Really ought to bump up to the 100 furnace with 4 ton drive. That way the dealer can reduce the speed a bit for your 3.5 ton A/C.

    Of course with a heat gain of 34,000, that's really right about a 3 ton A/C! Do you want it particularly cold inside?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    110
    "Of course with a heat gain of 34,000, that's really right about a 3 ton A/C! Do you want it particularly cold inside?"

    This gets back around to a discussion of whether or not a contractor should or should not be performing a Manual 'x' rather than just going by rule-of-thumb. A debate that apparently will never be settled (at least on this forum). My Manual-J indicates a 2.5 to 3 ton (depends on the numbers I put in). Contractor A (the Trane guy) originally recommended a 3 Ton because he lives in the general vicinity and has a house of generally comparable size and wished he had put in a 3.5 Ton...although his house is a few hundred sqft larger. I don't know why he decided to recommend a 3.5 Ton to me, then (having originally indicated 3 Ton when I asked for 2.5 Ton). Contractor B recommended 3.5 Ton because "bigger is better" (which was exactly his rational for the furnace sizing also).

    Hence all my worrying about whether I should be demanding a Manual 'x' before accepting the contracts.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    169
    trane is best but without a load calc, you are guessing, all our installs get a load calc.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    169
    bigger is not better. properly sized and properly installed is better. 80% of units in phx az are oversized. that keeps me in business. check out the nci website (national comfort institute) you would be amazed at what the truth is.

  13. #13
    Alarm! Bigger is worse. Go for right sized.

    Manual J and psychrometrics should tell you the right size for you. But it depends on correct inputs. If you/the contractor have put in the right data, then follow the results.

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