I'm new to this -- a homeowner in chilly Minnesota who has solicited bids to replace a 20-year old 90% Lennox furnace and a 6-year old Carrier a/c unit (plus a 21-year old water heater). In addition to the $1500 federal rebate, Minnesota has a special program that provides up to 35% off on high-efficiency replacement equipment. So, although my current system is working, more or less, it seems like the perfect storm of rebates means this is when I should replace the equipment, which is getting long in the tooth anyway.
I had several estimators out to price the job. I'm trying to decide between two bids. Here's the first:
Bryant 355CAV060080 80K BTU 95% eff nat gas furnace w/ multi (3) stage gas valve & variable speed blower motor designed for low cost constant fan operation. Adapt to existing 2.5" pvc piping.
Bryant 124ANA036[ 124ANA036 ] 3.0 ton 16.00 SEER a/c condensor with Puron refrigerant. 13.0 EER. Corresponding Bryant cased cooling coil. ARI 3320320
Bryant EZ flex 4" high eff 20x25 media type filter. Change twice yearly. [ EZ ]
SS angle filter boot[ 25-X-20"-SS-ANGLE ]Angled for superior performance.
Honeywell Vision Pro Touch Pad programmable thermostat. [ TH8000 ]
Aprilaire 600 humidifier w/ auto trac control[ 600 ]
**Lifetime factory heat exchanger warranty on furnace
10 YR FULL PARTS AND LABOR on furnace
10 yr compressor warranty - a/c
5 yr parts / 2 yr labor - a/c
Prices include sheetmetal, venting, gaspiping, a/c pad, refrigeration lines, electrical, labor, permits and tax.
Here's the second bid:
1-Lennox G71MPP-60C-090 natural gas furnace 88,000 BTU’s input,
95.0 % AFUE, Precise Comfort Modulating gas valve and Air-Flex variable speed blower technology.
1-Aprilaire 600A automatic humidifier installed
1-Aprialire 2410 high efficient media air cleaner
1-Honeywell T8321 digital prog.stat w/dehum.cont.
1-Lennox XC14-036, 3 ton high efficiency condensing unit,
1-Aspen/Lennox CA48D44 evaporator coil with factory TXV
36,000 BTU’S, 16.0 SEER/13.10 EER, R410A refrigerant
1-Line set tubing 3/8 x 7/8 x 25’
Warranties on these units are 10/2 (parts, labor).
Is there a reason to prefer one of these over the other? Is Lennox better than Bryant, or vice-versa? My house is 2500 sq. ft, 2-stories plus basement. The old furnace was 88,000 btu (also a Lennox, I believe), 90%. Different estimators have varied in their recommendations, from 80,000 btu (3 estimators), 88,000 btu (1 estimator), 100,000 btu (2 estimators). The ones who did the most careful measurements and calculations came in at 80,000 and 88,000 btus. (They also said an oversized furnace is less efficient.)
The prices are rather different -- the Bryant system is a good bit less than the Lennox. The Bryant also comes with a 10/10 warranty on the furnace; that's $ additional for the Lennox. The a/c units are about the same on warranty, with the Bryant having an edge.
By the way, both companies are rated quite highly by the Twin Cities Consumers' Checkbook and by Angie's List. Neither has complaints lodged with the BBB.
Any help in figuring out this stuff would be most appreciated!