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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA
    Posts
    58

    Modulating Furnaces (Rheem, York, Coleman)

    Is there a mechanical difference between the Rheem, York, and Coleman modulating furnaces? My thoughts are that York and Coleman are the same equipment but Rheem is a different design but I'm not sure.

    Should a modulating furnaces be matched with a variable speed blower? The coleman comes with either a VS or constant speed blower. Wouldn't I be better off with a two-stage variable configuration over a modulating constant speed?
    (Located in Philadelphia, PA). Not sure why they even offer a modulating with constant speed?

    The installer says that modulating is the best (compared with 2 stage), but is it a more complicated system and therefore more likely to have problems?

    Thanks, Mike

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    DC Metro Area (MD)
    Posts
    3,371
    Here's what I believe the difference is: York (and possibly Coleman as well) uses an internal algorithm to control the modulation. Rheem uses a thermostat to control the staging. Some people here are partial to Rheem modulating furnaces. I'd wait to get some more professional input for some more opinions and to confirm what I've said, though.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    7,680
    You'll get a bunch of different responses, but ultimately the mod furnace from Rheem has been out for 10 years now and has had virtually no issues. In fact we have seen customers who've had the mod sell their home and when they buy a new home, they rip out a new system and have a mod put back in before they even hang the curtains.

    The York/Coleman have been out for about a year.

    The differences are that the Rheem fires at 5% intervals, the York in 1% or at least has the ability to. The Rheem uses the thermostat (actual temoerature) to control the stageing, the york uses some algorithems and guesses. The Rheem has a 5 year parts and lifetime furnace replacment warranty if the HX fails, the York has a 5 year parts and lifetime HX warranty, meaning you get a new HX.

    The Rheem has won more than a few industry awards for design, reliability and contractor preference. And was awarded the consumer digest best buy award. You'll get opionions both ways, but you will be hard pressed to beat the Rheem mod with any product out there.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA
    Posts
    58
    It sounds like if I go with Rheem equipment I should consider the modulating but if it's going to be a york/coleman the two-stage, VS is a better way to go.

    I have a small 1300+ sq ft home (cape), brick exterior. My general feeling is that the modulating is not really needed. Am I missing something?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Grottoes VA
    Posts
    5,856
    The Rheem mod is needed for comfort. You like to be comfortable right? If you don't want to be comfortable just get any old furnace.

    In fact any modulating furnace is designed for comfort, I think the Rheem has a better design. IMO
    Karst means cave. So, I search for caves.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA
    Posts
    1,378
    The mod will increase your comfort and increase air filtration since it is designed to run longer cycles with the output matched to heat loss. Load calculations are very important. Oversized mods become expensive single stage furnaces.

    With the Rheem make sure you are getting the Rheem mod stat.
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    67,875
    The York/Coleman doesn't have a constant speed blower.

    Its a multispeed motor. Its speed is controled by the furnace board. As the input increases so will the blower speed. Ans as input decreases so will the blower speed. Based on the discharge air temp sensor feed back to the board.
    Its speed varies simuliar to a VS blower, it uses a Baldor ball bearing motor, it has the same wattage consumption as a standard multispeed motor.

    Both the multispeed and VS Y/C mods are rated at 95% efficiency.
    Not sure about the Rheem efficiency.

    If you want to set your yemp back and have quick recovery in the morning, the Rheem mod will recover quicker then the York using its board.
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