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  1. #1

    Confused my head is exploding trying to figure out which furnace to pick

    ugh - this whole process is annoying. anyone want to chime in on lennox g71 or rudd ultra 95(climate masters), trane (air masters), or kenmore furnances (sears)? we are looking for 95% modulating gas valve variable speed. we are keeping the house for 5 years and then we might keep it as a rental for another 5. need something that can accommodate two floors (basement and main floor) as the basement is a living area.

    anybody's two cents is greatly appreciated.

    thanks!

    pac

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    southern IN
    Posts
    527
    Brand of furnace is irrelevent. You need a high quality service replacement company that offers the services you need, then follow thier recommedations only after checking references. Don't let this process become "annoying".

    The wrong company with what is percieved as a great product can turn disasterious!
    The first man gets the pearl, All the second gets is the shell

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN, USA
    Posts
    34,102
    Only the Lennox & Ruud (and it isn't called Ultra 95) are modulating. Only the Ruud is fully controlled by a special thermostat. The Lennox uses a 2 stage stat and guesses from there. I did hear that this could be changing for the better.

    Trane's XC95 is 3 stage not modulating though they try to call it that. Sears units are ICP, they are 2 stage at most.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Tn.
    Posts
    1,344
    Pick the people you like best instead of the brand you like best.
    Like aruddick said

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Burlington , Mass
    Posts
    469
    You'll want to keep in mind, If you want the 3 stage furnace from Trane or American Standard, from what I was told, no zoning allowed.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    East central Indiana
    Posts
    477
    Just out of curiosity, what attracts you to a variable speed furnace? Seems like a lot of money to put into what will soon be a rental home.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    67,930
    Could be a 3500 dollar a month rental.
    Contractor locator map

    How-to-apply-for-Professional

    How many times must one fix something before it is fixed?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    115
    Always hated people that bought cheap on the "won't be mine someday" train of thought. Glad the OP ain't one of them.....

    Pacific: Props to you. And so-

    Won't bore with lots of details, but interviewed lots of dealers while deciding my unit. It is AMAZING how many dealers and techs have NO BUSINESS in todays HVAC industry. I can't speak for the nation, but I'd suggest half, maybe more are simply not qualifed in my area. That's not to say most can't change a relay or a coil, but real duct sizing? balance? local calc, adjusting ducting for seasonal loads (thermal, wind, etc). Maybe not so many. And then able to get into the science of it when things don't go as planned? Even smaller. Maybe real small.

    Now that might fire up some of the pros in the forum, but then the folks in this forum are already by and large excempt. Their very presence suggests they're intellectually engaged in their industry.

    So, as has been said, interview dealers as you number one tool. insist on quotes and tell them you expect to know how and why it was sized and ducted. Few will pass that test, many will try to BS you. Some of the BS will be impressive, but it's still BS unless it done by the numbers.

    Moving past that, own unskilled (but not clueless either) preferences are:
    Carrier
    Trane
    Lennox
    The rest

    I've probably shorted somebody somewhere, but I promise this: You buy a Carrier or a Trane, you at least tried to do it right. Just remember, the wrong Carrier is probably worse then a correctly sized and installed goodman (I wonder if robotec still frequents this site...)

    Finally, take a look not just at dealers, but at what they suggest: A dual capacity scrool HP with a variable speed air handler I would think would be the entry level in my book. I don't know beans about today's gas (or other) furnaces, but enery isn't getting any cheaper and HP's are the cats meow for at least mild heating. Many run them HARD for heat deep into winter. But for darn sure they aint' much more then a

    Dual fuel vs hybrid are religous arguements that many wage. I'll pass, and besides it vary's by climate and energy availability in your area. The point is to find somebody using their darn head.

    By the way, I have two rules on how I buy, be it business or personal. I pay 10% for quality and trust. Always. I pay another 10% to keep my money in the local community. And if your dealer can't be within 20% your either getting screwed (it happens) or the quotes, despite appearences, aren't the same.

    Did I mention how it's ducted MATTERS? I think quite a bit. And I'll bet most homeowners that buy a system can't tell me how the ducting was done....

    Goog luck. dan

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    somewhere between heaven and hell
    Posts
    957
    For some it can be annoying. Not familiar with tranes 3 stage but 2 stage are pretty nice also. My mainline is comfortmaker which somebody mentioned ICP that who is making comfortmaker along with arcoaire. heil, and tempstar. They are very quite and heat pretty nice if sized properly. Talk about annoying I gave a quote the other day for every furnace that I carry and that is 4 different brands. Gave him my recommendation he wanted prices on both 92% and 80% furnaces single and 2 stage. He said he is cheap. Gave him high end and low end brands. Brand and price shouldn't be more important than the actuall install it self. A name brand such as carrier or lennox can be the worse furnace you ever had if it wasn't installed correctly. Variable speeds are nice but I would make sure I would get a extended warranty on it or on any brand as far as that goes. If control module on variable speed motors goes out after warranty it can get spendy.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    54

    Now there is some wisdom!

    Hit the nail on the head. Repeatedly.

    Quote Originally Posted by danf58 View Post
    Always hated people that bought cheap on the "won't be mine someday" train of thought. Glad the OP ain't one of them.....

    Bingo!

    It is AMAZING how many dealers and techs have NO BUSINESS in todays HVAC industry. I can't speak for the nation, but I'd suggest half, maybe more are simply not qualifed in my area. That's not to say most can't change a relay or a coil, but real duct sizing? balance? local calc, adjusting ducting for seasonal loads (thermal, wind, etc). Maybe not so many. And then able to get into the science of it when things don't go as planned? Even smaller. Maybe real small.

    No kidding. I had to call over TEN contractors to find ONE who would do a calculation. Wow....... Most just guessed and refused to do more as it was "too much work" and they have better things to do. That does no include getting business from me!


    Now that might fire up some of the pros in the forum, but then the folks in this forum are already by and large excempt. Their very presence suggests they're intellectually engaged in their industry.

    Indeed. Truly helpful and courteous people here. Too bad they weren't local as i'd hire one!

    So, as has been said, interview dealers as you number one tool. insist on quotes and tell them you expect to know how and why it was sized and ducted. Few will pass that test, many will try to BS you. Some of the BS will be impressive, but it's still BS unless it done by the numbers.

    I got some world class BS and ducking. All want a sale, but few want the work that goes with it. I would have been BS'd many times over had I not come here.

    Did I mention how it's ducted MATTERS? I think quite a bit. And I'll bet most homeowners that buy a system can't tell me how the ducting was done....

    I have no idea myself--and should probably learn.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    East central Indiana
    Posts
    477
    Seems like, roughly speaking, there are two kinds of customers...

    1. The "Git R Duns". These people are perfectly happy to have a single stage 80% Concord or Goodman, and a simple 13 seer (or lower, if on clearance) AC. Occasionally they'll go 90% if the gas company rebate is large enough to compensate the extra costs. These people are utterly indifferent to drafts, humidity control, etc. If the building is at a more or less set temperature, they're happy as larks. These people constitute the vast majority of my customer base, and I myself fall into this category. The advantage to this kind of customer is that you get full payment immediately in cash (although the payment is usually modest), and the only call back you get is the rare case when there's "no fire in the box." Another plus is that they usually have brothers, cousins, and uncles in need of cheap HVAC.

    . The "Comfort Connosuiers". These people want top of the line, variable speed, high efficiency units. Even the thermostat matters to these people. Red to white over a 1.5 degree differential is not enough. To get a job with these people, you better be able to talk the fanciest of talks. In the past, boss never dealt with these people. Now, I occasionally have to deal with them, because I'm the "college boy"--a moderately well-spoken math major. Even though I'm personally indifferent to the finer points of comfort, I memorize a lot of words and terms before going out on the bid. The boss punctuates my nonsense with excessive body language and jokes. He's a natural salesman. We've actually gotten a couple bites in the last months. These people will pay ridiculously well, but they seem oh so nit picky. The job will never be perfect, and whatever void in the pit of their souls they're trying to fill with elite comfort systems will always be there.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    115
    It is AMAZING how many dealers and techs have NO BUSINESS in todays HVAC industry.
    Few will pass that test, many will try to BS you. Some of the BS will be impressive, but it's still BS unless it done by the numbers
    I memorize a lot of words and terms before going out on the bid. The boss punctuates my nonsense with excessive body language and jokes. He's a natural salesman. We've actually gotten a couple bites in the last months. These people will pay ridiculously well, but they seem oh so nit picky

    I... uh... I ah, well... see, ugh.. ah..

    What do you know, I'm without words. I suppose I'll simply let the quotes speak for themselves...

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    54

    I am a 3rd kind of customer.

    Quote Originally Posted by ECIndHVAC View Post
    Seems like, roughly speaking, there are two kinds of customers...

    1. The "Git R Duns". These people are perfectly happy to have a single stage 80% Concord or Goodman, and a simple 13 seer (or lower, if on clearance) AC. Occasionally they'll go 90% if the gas company rebate is large enough to compensate the extra costs. These people are utterly indifferent to drafts, humidity control, etc.

    . The "Comfort Connosuiers". These people want top of the line, variable speed, high efficiency units. Even the thermostat matters to these people. Red to white over a 1.5 degree differential is not enough. To get a job with these people, you better be able to talk the fanciest of talks. In the past, boss never dealt with these people.
    I am in neither category and am not simplistic like #1 nor overly fussy like #2. Instead, I want the best overall VALUE, even if it costs more. A 10% greater cost yielding a 25% greater value is OK by me.

    What I want are consistent, straight answers and no BS. Don't tell me what you think I want to hear. Tell me the truth and back it up with numbers. Don't tell me that I am "oversized" and then decline to do a calculation as virtually ALL did. Such would likely repeat the same mistakes. After spending some on this board I quickly realized just how little most salesman know.

    I don't think I was asking too much and was up front about being serious about new equipment, if justified, and able to afford it. I won't waste your time, so don't waste mine. Don't think this was unreasonable, but many sales drones did as all they wanted was a check, accuracy be damned. I don't think so.

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