Hello All,

I'm trying to decide between Rheem/Ruud equipment and Carrier Infinity for two systems serving a four-floor new house, one system for the lower two floors and one for the upper two floors. Everyone so far has pushed Carrier. I have no beef with it except it seems quite expensive. I've lived with Rheem/Ruud in my current house for ten years and liked it. Reliable, does its job. I'm sold on the idea of two-speed compressors and variable-speed air handler fans for humidity control in the summer, but I can't tell from the consumer literature whether Carrier will really do that better. As far as I can tell, if I get a high-end thermostat from either manufacturer, it will use the compressor and fan in a smart way. But I can't really tell, and I'm hoping y'all know whether Carrier's stuff is really smarter-enough to be worth a lot more money. I'll also need an ERV for each system (very tight house), but I'd rather use Renewaire equipment for that if I can.

Any advice or opinions about any aspect gratefully appreciated. For example, I'm happy to be told I should use some other manufacturer. Read on for more background.

Getting going on building the new house has been an adventure. Builder #1 didn't work out, and I'm now trying to finish up specs with Builder #2. #1 and #2 use different HVAC subs and along the way I talked personally with both subs and got specs and bids (VERY different even though both Carrier). But neither HVAC outfit made me confident in them, mainly because I spelled out pretty clearly what I want in terms of functionality and each guy came back with recommendations that omitted important things...and back-and-forth on corrections has not been smooth. So, pretty clearly builder #2 and I better talk to another HVAC outfit...but first I want to have a better idea of what'll work and be cost effective when I go into that conversation. I got so frustrated with the first HVAC outfit being nonresponsive on the ERVs that I got on the phone with a tech guy at Renewaire and sorted out equipment and vent location issues with him. Great guy, really knows his stuff. Coming back to the main equipment, I'll have one gas furnace in the basement plus outside AC unit to serve the basement and first floor as a single zone, and one gas furnace in the finished attic space plus outside AC unit to serve the second floor and finished attic, each of which will be a separate zone, but the zone airflow control will just be manual dampers that I'll change a couple of times a year with the seasons. The house is going to be so well insulated that I'm not too worried about energy efficiency ratings on the equipment...midrange efficiency is fine. So, to me, except for the ERVs, it all seems pretty standard. I don't care about things like dialing up the system on my phone or having it tell me it has a tummyache or that kind of stuff.

Thanks much!

Mark