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  1. #1

    Advice for replacing furnace / A/C

    Hi,

    I'm considering replacing my 24 year old Lennox Whisperheat and possibly my 18 year old A/C as well. I haven't really had problems with them, but the furnace is oversized and with current incentives it seems like a good time to proactively take care of business. I've received several quotes from dealers including Amana, Goodman, Bryant, Carrier, and Lennox. I threw out the Goodman quote and will likely do the same with Amana. That leaves me with the following options for the furnace:

    Lennox EL296UH070XV36B, 70,000 btu, 10 year parts, 5 years labor (Actually dealer did recommend against variable speed and offered alternate model EL296E)

    Carrier Performance 59TP5A060, 60K btu, 10 year parts, 1 year labor (2 stage, variable - very confident in sizing and offered to run heat loss calc if we move forward)

    Bryant Preferred 925TA42060EIT, 60K btu, 10 year parts, 10 year labor, but requires service from them every year to maintain labor warranty (2 stage, variable - originally was convinced about 80K unit but ran quick calc (no measurements were taken except size of house)
    (offered discount on A/C unit if I replace at this time)
    (this dealer also recommended Payne as an alternative saying that they were identical with exception of cabinet aesthetics)

    Carrier came in with the lowest bid. All three dealers are proposing the same things... re-working return, air cleaner, humidifier and chimney liners, etc.

    My house is 85 years old, 1600 square feet, 2 story with newer windows throughout in southern Michigan. I blew about R50+ in the attic and it has had insulation blown in the walls (I verified a nice blanket of insulation in wall when I remodeled bathroom).

    Anything I should be concerned about if I decide to keep my current A/C?

    Should I be concerned about the variable speed fan not reaching second floor? All other dealers didn't see this as a concern and thought variable speed would be better.
    All 3 dealers are reputable, so it's making this really tough.

    Any feedback you can provide would be appreciated.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Rochester, NY, USA
    Posts
    14,418
    Variable speed is the ONLY way to go.

    I can''t tell if the furnace size is correct without seeing your home, but anyone that does NOT recommend a V/S blower, I would eliminate from the running.
    LOVE has four letters

    So does BEER, DEER,GUNS AND FISH

  3. #3
    Any problems leaving the old Lennox a/c with new carrier? Its hard to wrap my mind around going from 78% 100k btu to 96% 60k btu. The Bryant guy mentioned a design temp of 5 degrees. Seems to make sense. Sound right? He also mentioned that he assumed steel insulated doors. I have 2 old wood single pane glass doors with storm doors that I intend to upgrade in the future. Would this make much of a diff? Heat loss calc result was 48k btu.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    68,603
    Just curious. Why did you throw out the Goodman and Amana quotes.
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    How many times must one fix something before it is fixed?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Rochester, NY, USA
    Posts
    14,418
    Quote Originally Posted by beenthere View Post
    Just curious. Why did you throw out the Goodman and Amana quotes.
    common sense (just bust'n on ya)
    LOVE has four letters

    So does BEER, DEER,GUNS AND FISH

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Rochester, NY, USA
    Posts
    14,418
    Quote Originally Posted by Old College Try View Post
    Any problems leaving the old Lennox a/c with new carrier? Its hard to wrap my mind around going from 78% 100k btu to 96% 60k btu. The Bryant guy mentioned a design temp of 5 degrees. Seems to make sense. Sound right? He also mentioned that he assumed steel insulated doors. I have 2 old wood single pane glass doors with storm doors that I intend to upgrade in the future. Would this make much of a diff? Heat loss calc result was 48k btu.
    nope, no problem at all with the a/c. 5° should be fine. I won't comment on furnace size as I would have to see your house and do a Manual J,
    LOVE has four letters

    So does BEER, DEER,GUNS AND FISH

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by beenthere View Post
    Just curious. Why did you throw out the Goodman and Amana quotes.
    Goodman contractor told me he wasn't up on technology and price was almost same as Carrier. Amana dealer has a really good reputation and offered good warranty but tried to package extra stuff in to make it seem like a deal.. it wasn't... and I didn't like his arrogance. Price was higher than all others. Oh yeah... Bryant guy said not to use a 2stage thermostat with a 2 stage furnace because it defies the logic built into the furnaces. Sound right?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
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    68,603
    Quote Originally Posted by Old College Try View Post
    Bryant guy said not to use a 2stage thermostat with a 2 stage furnace because it defies the logic built into the furnaces. Sound right?
    Not if you want comfort. best to let the thermostat control staging for comfort.
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  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    DC Metro Area (MD)
    Posts
    3,371
    Quote Originally Posted by Old College Try View Post
    Lennox EL296UH070XV36B, 70,000 btu, 10 year parts, 5 years labor (Actually dealer did recommend against variable speed and offered alternate model EL296E)

    Carrier Performance 59TP5A060, 60K btu, 10 year parts, 1 year labor (2 stage, variable - very confident in sizing and offered to run heat loss calc if we move forward)

    Bryant Preferred 925TA42060EIT, 60K btu, 10 year parts, 10 year labor, but requires service from them every year to maintain labor warranty (2 stage, variable - originally was convinced about 80K unit but ran quick calc (no measurements were taken except size of house)
    (offered discount on A/C unit if I replace at this time)
    (this dealer also recommended Payne as an alternative saying that they were identical with exception of cabinet aesthetics)
    The Carrier 59TP5 has a multi-speed ECM motor, but it isn't the same as a variable speed motor. Same with the Bryant 925T. Both are a step above standard PSC motors, but the variable speed motor provides more versatility and can help improve comfort in the summer. Would have to step up to the Infinity for that I believe.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by RyanHughes View Post
    The Carrier 59TP5 has a multi-speed ECM motor, but it isn't the same as a variable speed motor. Same with the Bryant 925T. Both are a step above standard PSC motors, but the variable speed motor provides more versatility and can help improve comfort in the summer. Would have to step up to the Infinity for that I believe.
    Thank you for pointing that out. Now I'm even more confused about what to do. Is it worth moving up to a 2 stage furnace with the multi-speed motor? Does the variable speed motor provide much benefit in heating or is it more about the cooling?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    The South
    Posts
    2,216
    All three of these furnaces are nice. If I am not mistaken, the Carrier and Bryant are similar if not identical, Carrier and Bryant are sister companies.

    Ryan is correct about the blower motor difference. You do get better dehumidification in AC cooling with variable speed blower motors. There are other benefits but I consider that to be the main one. What is your location?

    What thermostat was quoted for each system? Since all three have two stage heating, you want a true two stage thermostat that will give you best and full functionality of these furnaces.

    Anything about a whole house filter cabinet?

    Unless this is just a budget consideration, you should go ahead and give serious consideration to replacing your 18 yr old AC condenser now.

    You should see some good savings from these furnaces because of efficiency and getting sized correctly.

    IMO

  12. #12
    Can anyone explain the lennox constant torque motor to me? Is it like an ECM with different speeds? Is it better or worse? Talking about the EL296E

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    3,603
    The ECM motor is a constant torque, not a variable speed. It is a step up from standard motor, but below the cost of a variable speed. Once this variable speed motor or controls go out of warranty, you'll have a very expensive part to replace out of your pocket. Great motor, just gotta remember once out of warranty, it'll be expensive to replace.

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