Assistance Needed Comparing Lennox-Trane-Amana
We recently moved to a home that was built in 1988, 2600 sqft. with 10' - 14' ceilings, one story in the Dallas, TX area. Our home was all electric until recently in which we ran gas into it so we plan to convert to gas heat. Our last electric bill was $900 so we need to do something soon to get that cost down. Our current insulation is a major issue as well and is probably about an R-14 worth of fiberglass insulation. We plan to bump that to an R-38 rating as soon as the new system is installed.
I have multiple bids and am trying to determine the best system to have installed. Most say we should stick w/ a single 5 ton unit vs. 2 smaller ones. Right now none seem to qualify for the federal tax credit.
Lennox XC14-060 w/ G60UV-60C-100 gas furnace (I can upgrade this to the XC-21 for a little more money if that would be wise)
Trane XL16i (4TTX6060B) w/ XV80i gas furnace (UD100R9V5K)
Amana ASX16C (ASX160601) w/ AMV8 gas furnace (AMV80905CX)
I had a Rheem bid but it doesn't really interest me. I also have an American Standard bid but it is way out of the ballpark on price.
I like the Amana warranty and it is priced in the middle of the other 2. One installer said that Amana has made some changes recently that he doesn't like and he has sold Amana for 15 years.
The price on the Trane is a little more than the Amana but only by a small margin - I would say negligible. One company said the aluminum coils is not a good design though.
The Lennox is the least expensive but again it is a 14 SEER vs. the 16 of the other two. I could bump to the XC21 Lennox for a little more and still be less than the other two which makes me nervous. I really haven't heard anything negative about Lennox.
I should mention too that we will have all new ducts installed because our old ones are dry rotted through. All installers have pitched R6 ducts vs. R8. Comments?
My problem is that everyone has their own opinion on contractors as well as manufacturers which is making it hard to select and compare.
Thoughts or comments would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
Last edited by home1; 02-06-2010 at 05:11 PM.
Reason: Removed prices
If the old unit is working? I would insulate my house first-
Originally Posted by home1
It works (well it runs) but it literally runs 24/7 both during the summer only cooling to 82 balmy degrees and warming to about 66 this winter. It is the original unit so its 23 years old. The insulation is a given and will be done whether we do the new system or not. We are trying to way our options and budget accordingly.
if it runs all the time -- I wonder if air is entering and leaving your home
i would recommend the trane xl20i with the xc80 or xc95 furnace as for as the all aluminum coil would not be concerned about it they work great, the reason they do not want to do r8 ducts is because it is a pita to work with. if you are going to have it all replaced the contractor should do a new load calculation on the house.
My recommendation (in order)
- insulate attic
- caulk and seal windows
- check weather stripping at doors (replace)
- add clear film to any sliding glass doors or large windows
- check outlets (are they insulated? if not add insulation there - cheap/easy)
- get new load calculation
Why do this? Insulation may save you more than buying a new system (and no operational costs). This should let you buy a smaller unit (lower initial and lower operating costs).
Here in FL many use 500 SF/ton as rule of thumb which oversizes most units. Not sure about Dallas as you will need more heat capability.
Two units gives you more control and helps avoid hot/cold spots (my opinion).
Don't worry about the aluminum coils. It mattered in Okinawa (surrounded by Pacific Ocean). It somewhat matters here on Merritt Island (ocean and salty river/lagoon) but not a lot.
Also, it would cost more initially but you might want to price out a geothermal unit. If you tend to have +$500 electric bills it might pay for itself exteremly fast -and it will qualify for tax incentives.
Best of luck to you and pardon length of the post.
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