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  1. #1

    Tempstar vs. Carrier?????

    Comparing ‘high-AFUE' furnace (e.g.: Tempstar VS90, two stage, variable blower) and 14 SEER A/C. Tempstar vs. Carrier. I know both are owned by the same parent company. I have heard they use many of the same parts and, in fact, many internal parts on a Tempstar have the Carrier name on them (true?). That said, other than a low four figure price difference for the package, is there much difference? Any of the pros here have any concern or praise for Tempstar, presuming proper sizing and a quality, professional installation comes with it? Thanks!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN, USA
    Posts
    34,089
    The furnaces are made in the same factory but are 2 totally separate animals. Both would do a great job if installed & sized properly. Tempstar can't touch Carrier's Infinity control however. Featurewise, Tempstar will compete with about anything else out there however. Tempstar has a little better warranty than Carrier.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by BaldLoonie View Post
    The furnaces are made in the same factory but are 2 totally separate animals. Both would do a great job if installed & sized properly. Tempstar can't touch Carrier's Infinity control however. Featurewise, Tempstar will compete with about anything else out there however. Tempstar has a little better warranty than Carrier.
    Thanks for the honest opinion. I've been from Rheem, to Bryant, to Carrier to Tempstar. All have great products (I really like the Rheem mod), which has made the selection very difficult. This site has very much impressed me with it's usefulness and everyone is very professional. The biggest lesson I've learned is it is not so much the manufacturer as it is the installer that is most important. I think I have found a great system and great installer. I even had a 'load calc' done. I'm going with the Tempstar VS90 and a 14SEER 410A A/C. It will probably be installed sometime next week. I can't wait to post a photo of my new system on here to see it torn to friendly shreds with; 'why this', 'why that', 'where's this', 'why didn't they do that', etc.... Was it you who said JC himself once posted an install and it was found to be less than perfect? Thanks again!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN, USA
    Posts
    34,089
    We put a Mod in Friday, had a bad stat so left it on the original Honeywell for the wkd and had it running 3 stage. It was on low and I went upstairs to where Mr. & Mrs. were in the kitchen. I said "hear that"? and they say "we don't hear anything". I say "that's the point, your furnace is on running at the speed it will much of the winter". Talk about thrilled customers.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    7,680
    If you "really like the mod"... why not pull that trigger?

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by docholiday View Post
    If you "really like the mod"... why not pull that trigger?
    The biggest reason was because I didn't like the Rheem contractor as well. He was obviously knowledgeable, but not very friendly. I called him twice after receiving his quote with some questions about sizing and how the mod system worked. He seemed to be 'put out', frustrated or to busy. I got a second quote from another local Rheem contractor, which was a couple hundred more. That contractor implied they have not installed very many mods because they were 'temperamental' and steered me toward Bryant, so I was not comfortable with them either. Thus, although I was personally sold on the mod, I didn't have much luck with contractors. A close second was because Rheem was considerably more in price than Tempstar. Importantly, the Tempstar guy has worked on my old system for several years. I trust him and he gave me a good price on a quality product. Tempstar may fall slightly short of a Rheem mod, but I've found it to have a lot of value for the cost and otherwise equally comparable to the other name brands out there. Has a good warranty also. Thus, Tempstar won out.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    7,680
    Consider asking the guy you like to install a Mod? Tell him you want him to do the work, but you would like him to install the Mod.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by docholiday View Post
    Consider asking the guy you like to install a Mod? Tell him you want him to do the work, but you would like him to install the Mod.
    I'm curious why you're pushing the mod so much? Agreed, it has the added benefit of the fully modulated burner, but other than that the Tempstar seems to stack up well to it. Thus, I'm having a hard time justifying the extra grand + for a mod. I'd be interested in any specifics as to what difference between these two systems would justify the greater expense. Thanks for you advice.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN, USA
    Posts
    34,089
    I know we ain't supposed to talk $$ on here but if the Mod is $1000 more than the T*, it ain't the equipment. The top line T* shouldn't be that much less than the Mod. And if you are looking at a good 2 stage stat vs the Modstat, still isn't gonna add up to near that much diff.

    Compare bids carefully. All gonna do the same thing? Intake pipe? Chimney liner for the water heater? Extended warranties?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Omaha, NE
    Posts
    309
    Hi,

    I can't speak for the recent Tempstar (2006 or 2007 models) but my Tempstars are now 16 years old (I will replace them soon simply because of age) and they work just fine. Mind you these are "vanilla-run-of-the-mill 80% eff" furnaces.

    The only thing ever replaced were the Hot Surface Ignitor (replaced in 2001). This is actually normal, because for most furnaces the HSI goes out at 8-10 years anyway.

    In my previous home, I owned 2 Carrier furnaces (91% eff) for 2 years, so not long enough to comment.

    If you ask me "would I use Tempstar" again? I'd say yes, especially if I can get a nice price break compared with Carrier.
    With Carrier, you pay for the name.

    These days with globalization of parts for cars, computers, furnaces, you never know where the parts come from (mostly China), so brand name is less and less important (my Sony TV was made in China anyway).

    I'd use Tempstar again, good product, reasonable price.

    cn
    Omaha NE
    2-story home 4000 SF
    Both furnaces are in basement closet.

    1991 Tempstar 80% eff.; 120K BTU (for 1st flr + basement)
    1991 Tempstar 80% eff.; 80K BTU (for 2nd floor)

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by BaldLoonie View Post
    I know we ain't supposed to talk $$ on here but if the Mod is $1000 more than the T*, it ain't the equipment. The top line T* shouldn't be that much less than the Mod. And if you are looking at a good 2 stage stat vs the Modstat, still isn't gonna add up to near that much diff.

    Compare bids carefully. All gonna do the same thing? Intake pipe? Chimney liner for the water heater? Extended warranties?
    I’m trying hard to respect the no pricing rule also. The bottom line is I have a quote for a 'top of the line' VS90 T* with humidifier, upgraded filter, all the new 'stuff' that needs to go with it to make it function properly and the difference is several bits more than the number you suggest. At that, I think I got a really good price quoted on both the T* and the Mod. Believe me, I'm the type that goes over, over and over things to be sure I understand what I'm buying and I get the best value for the buck. I wish I had the cash on hand I didn't have to worry about it. I have to be convinced I'm making a quality decision before I pull the trigger. Drives my wife crazy....and probably contractors....definitely car dealers....sometimes myself. I'm confident I've compared apples to apples.

    The site has been a tremendous help. I've seen dozens of quotes from you and other pros, like HeyBob and BaldLoonie. Most all make a genuine attempt to be non-biased. Although I haven't exactly figured out who's behind this site (my guess would be Rheem?), I have come to respect your opinions. I guess the point of this post was to run my decision up the proverbial flagpole and see if someone said I was nuts or pointed out a critical flaw in my logic or Tempstar. I have not gotten that impression, although I am probably a bit nuts.

    Thanks again!

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