Manufacturer Recommendations
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Winston Salem, NC
    Posts
    3

    Manufacturer Recommendations

    I have read the rules and hope I don't step out of line here (I apologize in advance if I do).

    We are starting to look at replacing some of our HVAC units in a 300,000ft2 building and I need some recommendations. The building is made up of multiple buildings (connected) and is heated and cooled by everything you can imagine (except a chiller). All of our cooling is DX (3-50ton) and we have everything from package units to splits, VAVs to zoned systems . some gas packs, some hot water and even some electric heat. We have over 100 units that range in age from 1972 (it is a 50 ton Trane and it runs well) to 2011. Most units are occupied from 6am to 10pm 7 days a week. All replacements will be of like kind (except the zoned units which may become VAV systems) but will be re-engineered.

    We have our own HVAC techs that are experienced and factory trained however the equipment they are trained on (that has been installed in the past 10yrs) hasn't preformed well. We buy factory direct (no bid) and have an installer place the units and do the warranty work for 1yr.

    I have heard the good and bad from the guys around here (and the equipment reps) but I thought I might reach out to see what a wider audience of professionals might have to say. While price is a factor it is not the most important factor and we can spec what we want. I want our guys to be able to easily maintain and work on this stuff. We are getting ready to drop a lot of money and want to get it right.

    Recommendations?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Philadelphia PA
    Posts
    2,190

    DEPENDS OF Course

    Are you a single tennant/ owner that wants to transition to lowest operating cost ( I suspect) or a multii Tenant situation where tenants pay for their utilities.
    Then there is the situation of doing a survey that begins to replace oldest, most costly operating costs, but that would mean you know what your zone costs are
    In general, the lowest kw per ton is going to be a central system with Chilled water followed by water to air heat pumps for diversity and potential Geo
    F\ollowed by the zone damper schemes that you have already

    Without a sketch and some data, just guesses

    If you need a real solution I can send you to my guy (ME) for a real answer
    You have got to learn from other people's mistakes! Because God knows you don't live long enough to make them all yourself !!!!!!!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Down by the river
    Posts
    1,604
    Ease of maint would be going geothermal or central chiller/boiler, as we as best bang for buck. You could replace the bigger rtus with rooftop ahus and put bcus in other places. I hate rooftop farms. 6 or 10 100 ton rtus is one thing, but 50 5-10 ton is rediculouse. Just my opinion
    It's hard to stop a Trane. but I have made one helluva living keeping them going.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Central Texas
    Posts
    155
    I think the OP is asking for "Which manufacture should they spec?"

    My thought would be to look at whichever Distributor you have the best repore with. Why pick a piece of equipment just for the name brand if you can't get the sales rep or parts dept to return your call?

    That being said, I'd look to stay with the top 3-4 brands. Carrier, Lennox, Trane, or York. Each will have the range in sizes that you need and can provide the factory support you will want.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Winston Salem, NC
    Posts
    3
    Manufacturer reliability and serviceability are what I am looking at. We are contently looking at Trane, Carrier, York and Lennox. Distributor relationships can be made (most are in place) but if the equipment has constant failures due to design or construction then we are stuck rebuilding the units while they are on the roof. I do not presume to think that any equipment, in today's market, is 100% bulletproof but one of those 4 has to have a leg up.

    Who's equipment would you put on the roof if it was you place? Why? I have heard the sales pitch for each of them, I need to hear from those of you that work on the units.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Down by the river
    Posts
    1,604
    Quote Originally Posted by mikefightsfire View Post
    Manufacturer reliability and serviceability are what I am looking at. We are contently looking at Trane, Carrier, York and Lennox. Distributor relationships can be made (most are in place) but if the equipment has constant failures due to design or construction then we are stuck rebuilding the units while they are on the roof. I do not presume to think that any equipment, in today's market, is 100% bulletproof but one of those 4 has to have a leg up.

    Who's equipment would you put on the roof if it was you place? Why? I have heard the sales pitch for each of them, I need to hear from those of you that work on the units.
    I may be a little biased, but. Here it is. I work on them all, Trane seems to be easier to work on, the smaller 5 ton rtus I think are cookie cutter but the bigger units are very well engineered. I dont see much carrier but would be my second. I would not even consider a lennox they have to many bells and whistles. York I have the least experience with.


    So Trane it is
    It's hard to stop a Trane. but I have made one helluva living keeping them going.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Palm Beach,Fl.
    Posts
    947
    I find myself saying "WHY WOULD YOU BUILD IT LIKE THIS!?" much less with Trane than any other manufacturer. I have a strong dislike for Carrier's part support but they make a good unit as well.

    I just replaced 30 tons worth of corroded condenser coils on a 6 year old York RTU that was well taken care of. The same roof has about a dozen Trane RTUs approaching 10 yr's that are still operating and looking very good.
    Quote Originally Posted by k-fridge View Post
    The laws of physics know no brand names.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Baton Rouge, LA
    Posts
    1,110
    Carrier makes to many specialty parts that require you to purchase a simple item from them because it has been made so you can't find a reasonable replacement part. I also find Carrier is bad about making replaceable parts easy to replace.

    I dislike York and anything JCI made.

    I am running into a lot of 15 year old Lennox parts that are no longer made or kept in stock. When I got to replace a whole unit cause Lennox no longer sells the board or the heating elements I get a bit mad.

    Trane's residential units have been making me mad lately but commercial wise they seem to have the easiest to repair and parts that can be replaced with none oem stuff. They also have the best tech support and usually you can find good manuals.
    If you're too "open" minded, your brains will fall out.
    Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Winston Salem, NC
    Posts
    3
    Quote Originally Posted by SoFlaDave View Post
    I find myself saying "WHY WOULD YOU BUILD IT LIKE THIS!?" much less with Trane than any other manufacturer. I have a strong dislike for Carrier's part support but they make a good unit as well.

    I just replaced 30 tons worth of corroded condenser coils on a 6 year old York RTU that was well taken care of. The same roof has about a dozen Trane RTUs approaching 10 yr's that are still operating and looking very good.
    Thank you for the replies- This is what we are running into with our Trane units- "Why would you build it like this" but we don't have any exposure to any other brands <15yrs old because Trane is what we have speced. We take care of our units but out of 12 RTUs put in in 2009 we have had to replace 4 compressors because of poor design (oil not staying in a compressor- they have engineered a fix) or workmanship (broken fittings- piping in a bind causing them to fail) or parts (compressors that just fail). With all of that said TRANE WILL STAND BEHIND THEIR PRODUCT and we have had no issues with getting parts under warranty but

    I have heard some good things about Lennox (from locals) but it sounds like they have issues as well. Why has the industry sunk to where it is? I haven't heard ANYONE- ANYWHERE say "this is a great brand!" I don't mind kinks but I would like to put a unit on the roof and it just work!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Down by the river
    Posts
    1,604
    Quote Originally Posted by mikefightsfire View Post
    Thank you for the replies- This is what we are running into with our Trane units- "Why would you build it like this" but we don't have any exposure to any other brands <15yrs old because Trane is what we have speced. We take care of our units but out of 12 RTUs put in in 2009 we have had to replace 4 compressors because of poor design (oil not staying in a compressor- they have engineered a fix) or workmanship (broken fittings- piping in a bind causing them to fail) or parts (compressors that just fail). With all of that said TRANE WILL STAND BEHIND THEIR PRODUCT and we have had no issues with getting parts under warranty but

    I have heard some good things about Lennox (from locals) but it sounds like they have issues as well. Why has the industry sunk to where it is? I haven't heard ANYONE- ANYWHERE say "this is a great brand!" I don't mind kinks but I would like to put a unit on the roof and it just work!
    Re- read his first sentance, he say's basically he has less of this with Trane over other brands.

    just speaking out loud here, but it's not just this industry sinking, but industry in a whole Auto, Tv's, appliances you name it. The outsourcing to foreign labor, cheaper build costs and higher retail costs to make more profit. Everybody is cutting corners to make more dollars
    It's hard to stop a Trane. but I have made one helluva living keeping them going.

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