Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 13 of 20
  1. #1

    Somewhat scratching my head

    Greetings,

    I've spend numerous hours researching various HVAC Mfg's and installers and one of the key takeaways I've read so far is that the installer workmanship is a larger factor than today's differences in manufacturer quality. That being said, and perhaps it's just my previous understandings and biases getting in the way, I'm concerned about Amana/Goodman quality over American Standard. My preconceived assumption is that Goodman is what new home builders put in to keep the home prices inexpensive but you replaced with someone else down the road. This may be completely wrong on my part but I want to be honest with where I'm coming from and I'm willing to be corrected.

    I'm trying to decide on a replacement gas furnace and air conditioner in the Chicagoland area for a two-story 1900 sq ft home built in 1991 with furnace in the basement. Both installers (Amana/Goodman, American Standard) pointed out that my existing furnace is oversized for the ductwork which currently is at 125K BTU and they both plan to reduce that to around 90-100K BTU. I'm fine with that. I'm not sold on whether to go with either an 80%/13 SEER combo or a 95%/13 SEER combo yet. I'm not sure the cost savings over the long run will bear it out as I'm been playing with the energy savings calculators. I like the idea more energy efficiency only if I can recoup it before the parts warranty expire.

    So my options at this point (Trane guy coming out in few days) are as follows:

    Option 1a: Amana furnace ASX130361 (or is it SSX? They wrote ASX) / AMH80904BN (13 SEER a/c)
    Option 1b: Amana furnace ASX140361 (or is it SSX? They wrote ASX) / GMH950904CX (14 SEER a/c)

    Option 2a: American Standard Gold SM Furnace/Allegiance 13 A/C
    Option 2b: American Standard model unknown with 14 SEER A/C. Not quoted yet but talked about.

    The 80% bids are competitive with each other but the 95% ones are wildly different. It makes me curious as to why it's so different. Manufacturing quality or installer oddities thus I'm bringing in a third bidder. BTW, both installers seem to have good consumer reviews. So it makes me wonder whether the Goodman is prone to problems if it's not that much more for the high-efficiency model. It's hard to find good reviews on manufacturer quality.

  2. #2
    Update: Took a step back and realized that Option 1b is including the 14 SEER unit at the same price. Still not sure if it's an older model or mistype. Will need to check on that tomorrow.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    SW FL
    Posts
    6,428
    90,000 BTU/Hr seems drastically oversized for a 1,900 Sq.Ft. residence in Chicago even at a low ( -6'F design) temperature.


    I would expect a Manual J analysis to indicate in the ball park of 48,000 BTU/Hr and $1,380 annual gas cost (6,000 H.D.D. /80% efficienct furnace) at $1.20 per therm.
    _________________________________________ Infiltration = 16,000 BTU/hr
    ___________ 260 square feet of windows at U 0.55 ________ = 11,000 BTU/hr
    A 95% furnace might save up to $ 230 per year over an 80%.

    What are your monthly gas bills and co$t per therm over the last few years?
    Designer Dan
    It's Not Rocket Science, But It is SCIENCE with "Some Art". ___ ___ K EEP I T S IMPLE & S INCERE

    Define the Building Envelope and Perform a Detailed Load Calc: It's ALL About Windows and Make-up Air Requirements. Know Your Equipment Capabilities

  4. #4
    Average cost per therm for the past 12 months: $0.40/therm
    Total therms for the past 12 months: 1,050 therms
    Total invoice cost for the past 12 months: $678

    This year was warmer though so the numbers are probably 25% higher in a normal winter.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Anderson, South Carolina, United States
    Posts
    7,762
    90% + systems heat exchangers last a lot longer than 80% do. So your furnace will last longer and save you more money on utility bills. Also I would recommend a manual j load calculation. If your home requires a smaller furnace it will cost less up front and save more utility costs

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Keokuk, IA
    Posts
    5,520
    Quote Originally Posted by jtrammel View Post
    90% + systems heat exchangers last a lot longer than 80% do. So your furnace will last longer and save you more money on utility bills. Also I would recommend a manual j load calculation. If your home requires a smaller furnace it will cost less up front and save more utility costs
    They do? How? I thought the primary HE was virtually identical to the HE in a 80% unit, and just the second SS condensing HE was the difference. I would have assumed they were roughly the same.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Cincinnati, Oh
    Posts
    5,317
    Quote Originally Posted by dmileusnich View Post
    Option 1a: Amana furnace ASX130361 (or is it SSX? They wrote ASX) / AMH80904BN (13 SEER a/c)
    Option 1b: Amana furnace ASX140361 (or is it SSX? They wrote ASX) / GMH950904CX (14 SEER a/c)


    The 80% bids are competitive with each other but the 95% ones are wildly different. It makes me curious as to why it's so different. Manufacturing quality or installer oddities thus I'm bringing in a third bidder. BTW, both installers seem to have good consumer reviews. So it makes me wonder whether the Goodman is prone to problems if it's not that much more for the high-efficiency model. It's hard to find good reviews on manufacturer quality.
    I don't like either option.
    ASX14 (14 seer a/c) with a AMVC95 (2 stage, 95% efficient, variable speed blower motor, gas furnace), + a TXV, sounds better to me.
    Without looking up my specs, I think you can get 15 seer out of that setup.

    If you can swing some extra cash, go for the ASZ14, which is a heat pump, and you can use "duel fuel". Very efficient.
    Using a honeywell IAQ thermostat, you can maximize your efficiency, and accurately control your humidifcation in the winter, and also gain dehumification in the summer, making your air conditioner act as a whole house dehumidifier.

    In chicago, I wouldn't go 80% efficient furnace. Here's a secret they haven't told you yet, or their not aware of:

    Your warranty is standard 10 year parts, lifetime HX on the amana furnace. Lets say you purchase the labor warranty too.
    Technically speaking, you should be covered for the next 10 years, practically no cost to you.
    Except that next year (or the year after), the DOE is banning 80% efficient furnace installations in your state (and most other northern states). Meaning that you would be responsible for the added cost of upgrading to the high efficiency model, if your furnace developed a crack. Even if it's 2 years old.
    Warranty coverage does not apply to "upgrades" required by federal standards.

    Not to mention the money your throwing out the window in efficiency.

    If your going to use the Goodman/amana dealer, I would suggest Amana equitment from him. Not goodman. Not "Amana Distinctions". Amana.

    purchase the 10 year labor warranty. This isn't a gimmick. I promise you, you'll save money with it.


    As far as the 90% HX vs 80%, I'd say 90's are LESS reliable (although minute), as an 80% doesn't have the chance to have a plugged secondary.
    I wouldn't use this as a deciding factor on purchasing a unit though.
    "Better tell the sandman to stay away, because we're gonna be workin on this one all night."

    "Dude, you need more than 2 wires to a condenser to run a 2 stage heatpump."

    "Just get it done son."

    Dad adjusted

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Anderson, South Carolina, United States
    Posts
    7,762
    Quote Originally Posted by motoguy128 View Post
    They do? How? I thought the primary HE was virtually identical to the HE in a 80% unit, and just the second SS condensing HE was the difference. I would have assumed they were roughly the same.
    I just base that on my experience, I've changed out tons of 80% furnaces for cracked he but never a 90%. I've replaced pulse furnaces that are 30 yrs old and tested for cracks in them just out of curiosity and never found a crack. Also it seems since most manufacturers offer a lifetime warranty on their 90% furnaces that they are built to last longer than 80s. That statement was based on my experience. Most 90%ers out there have not been in operation for 20+ years so maybe this fall i will find a cracked 90% HE. It really all boils down to installation and proper duct sizing in the end.

  9. #9
    One of the installers mentioned the banning of the 80% units next year and I wasn't sure if he was being honest on that because I never heard of that before. It's good to hear you repeat that. Regarding the number of BTU's, I was playing around with some of the simplified calcuators (keeping in mind I'm not the one to do this) and I initiially got the lower number mentioned by dan around 58K but then I used another calculator where I could add in sq ft for windows and doors (21 windows) and I get a number around 90K. Thanks for input on the type of equipment. I was going to go back and look at upgrading the units based on what they selected. The installer that mentioned the banning of the 80% units is also offering a 100% reimbursement and removal of unit if I'm not satisfied for any reason with what they put in that's good for an entire year after the install. Sounds like a pretty good guarantee.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Northern VA 38 degrees N by 76 degrees W
    Posts
    5,062
    Quote Originally Posted by hvacvegas View Post
    I don't like either option.
    ASX14 (14 seer a/c) with a AMVC95 (2 stage, 95% efficient, variable speed blower motor, gas furnace), + a TXV, sounds better to me.
    Without looking up my specs, I think you can get 15 seer out of that setup.

    If you can swing some extra cash, go for the ASZ14, which is a heat pump, and you can use "duel fuel". Very efficient.
    Using a honeywell IAQ thermostat, you can maximize your efficiency, and accurately control your humidifcation in the winter, and also gain dehumification in the summer, making your air conditioner act as a whole house dehumidifier.

    In chicago, I wouldn't go 80% efficient furnace. Here's a secret they haven't told you yet, or their not aware of:

    Your warranty is standard 10 year parts, lifetime HX on the amana furnace. Lets say you purchase the labor warranty too.
    Technically speaking, you should be covered for the next 10 years, practically no cost to you.
    Except that next year (or the year after), the DOE is banning 80% efficient furnace installations in your state (and most other northern states). Meaning that you would be responsible for the added cost of upgrading to the high efficiency model, if your furnace developed a crack. Even if it's 2 years old.
    Warranty coverage does not apply to "upgrades" required by federal standards.

    Not to mention the money your throwing out the window in efficiency.

    If your going to use the Goodman/amana dealer, I would suggest Amana equitment from him. Not goodman. Not "Amana Distinctions". Amana.

    purchase the 10 year labor warranty. This isn't a gimmick. I promise you, you'll save money with it.


    As far as the 90% HX vs 80%, I'd say 90's are LESS reliable (although minute), as an 80% doesn't have the chance to have a plugged secondary.
    I wouldn't use this as a deciding factor on purchasing a unit though.
    The manufacturers are still required to supply the heat exchanger for the duration of the warranty. There is nothing requiring a consumer to upgrade to a 90+ due to a part failure.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Cincinnati, Oh
    Posts
    5,317
    Quote Originally Posted by second opinion View Post
    The manufacturers are still required to supply the heat exchanger for the duration of the warranty. There is nothing requiring a consumer to upgrade to a 90+ due to a part failure.
    Except that the warranty isn't a replace hx warranty. It's complete unit replacement warranty on cracked hx.
    "Better tell the sandman to stay away, because we're gonna be workin on this one all night."

    "Dude, you need more than 2 wires to a condenser to run a 2 stage heatpump."

    "Just get it done son."

    Dad adjusted

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Tallahassee, FL
    Posts
    6,051
    I would recommend dual fuel and 80%.

    There is no ASZ14 it is SSZ.

    That has the lifetime unit replacement on compressor as well. If compressor fails you get entire new unit for life.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Cincinnati, Oh
    Posts
    5,317
    Quote Originally Posted by SBKold View Post
    I would recommend dual fuel and 80%.

    There is no ASZ14 it is SSZ.

    That has the lifetime unit replacement on compressor as well. If compressor fails you get entire new unit for life.
    http://www.amana-hac.com/Home/Produc...1/Default.aspx

    It's an amana, not a goodman.
    "Better tell the sandman to stay away, because we're gonna be workin on this one all night."

    "Dude, you need more than 2 wires to a condenser to run a 2 stage heatpump."

    "Just get it done son."

    Dad adjusted

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Comfortech Show Promo Image

Related Forums

Plumbing Talks | Contractor Magazine
Forums | Electrical Construction & Maintenance (EC&M) Magazine
Comfortech365 Virtual Event