Hi. Looking for some expert guidance. I am replacing my split system furnace (gas) and AC. Live in a split level home and suffer from lack of heat and AC "upstairs" and too much hot/cold downstairs (seems to be common problem in splits). I've narrowed it down to the following systems:
Trane XC-95 (80K BTUs) & XL-16i (3 ton) v. Coleman Echelon 9.M & 8T.
Quoted the following prices (I live in NJ): Trane $ (by 2 dealers) v. Coleman $ (by 2 dealers). Understand I can get $1,500 tax credit for both (gonna still be out $30-40K on the Obama stimulus package!!!) and about $450 rebate from my utility. In addition, if I go with Coleman I can get a $1,700 rebate.
One Trane dealer told me that Coleman is "cheap" and Trane is higher quality (when I pushed him and cited to some of what I'd learned about Coleman he indicated he didn't have time to research all of his competitors' products because there were too many out there--guess that speaks volumes). However, according to my research, Coleman = York (Johnson Controls) and their high efficiency units have received some type of recognition for innovation and are recommended by some HVAC folks who use both. In addition, the Coleman furnace is a "modulating" furnace which, I've been told is better than a variable speed staged unit (like the Trane) for a split level home (it will keep steady heat at low level so I'll have heat longer & still be efficient). Any thoughts? I'm leaning toward the Coleman because it's even more efficient than the Trane and, after the rebate, will be about $ less. Is it true that the Coleman products are identical to York just have a different tag on them? In addition, many of you HVAC pros out there seem to indicate that the brands are all solid (give or take) and that it's really the install that makes or breaks the system).
Any expert guidance would be GREATLY appreciated!!! For some reason, it's impossible to find any objective ratings (Consumer Reports won't rate 'em, other than repair rate and the brands vary between 13-16% which is negligible--they say there are too many variables to consider other ratings). Also, it's impossible to find actual pricing information (amazing in this day and age with the net--I thought it would be like researching a car--"invoice prices" and retail prices would be available--scary for consumers who are about to shell out a big chunk of change!!). Thanks!!