Puzzled by furnace quotes
I am working on replacing my 30-year-old furnace. I got a bit from contractor A....highly recommended by people I know, highly rated on Angie's list, etc. Quoted a Bryant 925t fully installed with humidifier. Second bid from local gas company, Carrier comfort or Ruud Achiever 90+ at a vastly lower cost. Contractor B, despite being HUGE, no online reviews of any kind, anywhere. I'm puzzled by the staggering difference but also a little concerned about the lack of reviews on Contractor B. Is the Bryant that much more superior to Ruud or Carrier? I don't want to overpay, but I don't want a crappy install either. Any words of advice?
Edited to remove prices and add that I am struggling with comparing the apples...
Last edited by jrmsp; 11-26-2012 at 05:44 PM.
prices are not allowed ...I am sure they will dissapear soon...... you need a good install and compare apples to apples
it was working.... played with it.... now its broke.... whats the going hourly rate for HVAC repair
Unlike where a Ford dealer can find out what a Chevy sells for, hvac contractors really don't know what other contractors charge. When times are lean one might go low to get the work while another might go high to pay the bills. Along with that there's no authority to ask.
As far as reviews, I would put very little regard in them. They are by non-professionals who really wouldn't know good from bad. An install can't be rated by if booties were worn or a guy looked neat. That's nothing to do with the installation. The work is a technical issue and only a person in the business would know (and not all of them).
On a furnace of that age I would want to see a building load calculation done. That's a mark of a pro. The exception is if the contractor has done other homes similar to yours where he would be just repeating himself.
A lot of big contractors focus on commercial/industrial work and might not do a lot of resi business.
There is also a sometimes large difference in what one contractor pays for labor over another.
As brand names go there is less differences than one might think. Sometimes a contractor just likes one over another. Sometimes it's what one is used to. As for Carrier or Bryant, both are made by Carrier.
Furnaces are simple machines compared to, for instance a car or a nuclear reactor. What's not simple is choosing a contractor. It's a jungle out there.
If you find one you trust with the job you've got to stick your neck out. I have to do the same thing when I go looking for something I'm not familiar with. Fortunately in your case a system isn't being installed, just a furnace.
Tracers work both ways.
Originally Posted by hvacker
I'm with Carmon, picking a contractor you trust that will install the equipment properly is way more important than the brand.
I finally managed to read the writing in the quote; the cheaper Ruud and Carriers were single-stage whilst the higher Bryant quote is two-stage. Is dual a huge advantage?
In most cases 2 stage will produce a more comfortable house because it will run longer cycles to make the temps more even throughout the house. It won't have a realistic ROI over single stage if any but is sold for increased comfort, same with 2 stage air conditioning.
Originally Posted by jrmsp
look into the Bryant Extreme, awesome efficiency