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  1. #1

    Confused 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.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    winnipeg
    Posts
    1,330
    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

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    New Mexico
    Posts
    5,737
    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.
    "What Fools these mortals be"....Puck

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Northern VA 38 degrees N by 76 degrees W
    Posts
    5,062
    Quote Originally Posted by hvacker View Post
    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 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. That doesn't mean you should pass.
    There is also a 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.
    X2

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Anderson, South Carolina, United States
    Posts
    7,772
    I'm with Carmon, picking a contractor you trust that will install the equipment properly is way more important than the brand.

  6. #6

    Hardware diff

    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?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Anderson, South Carolina, United States
    Posts
    7,772
    Quote Originally Posted by jrmsp View Post
    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.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    ohio
    Posts
    100
    look into the Bryant Extreme, awesome efficiency
    read,learn,grow.....repeat.

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