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  1. #1
    I am from Northren California. I live in a house which is 1400 sq ft. It has a carrier heat furnace gas based which is 20+ years old. I was thinking of replacing it to save on PG&E bill. I was shopping around and a Rudd guy gave me a quote to install the furnce, fix and wrap the duct, remove the asbestos pipe to the celing for $2000 for 80% Silhouette II gas furnance with a 5 year warranty on parts and labour.
    I got one from seers for $2600 + asbestos removal($300-500).

    Since i dont know much about Rudd, will any of you let me know how it compares with respect to carrier/trane. Though the Rudd guy showed me the consumer report which shows Rudd has fewer breakdowns, i would still like to get some feedback on the pros/cons of Rudd and which one is the best.

    Also can i save atleast 25% on the PG&E bill every month during the winter months? Currently it is around $200 per month and i would say with 25% saving it will be a break even in 4 years.

    Let me know what you think and suggestions are welcome too.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Concord, CA
    Pricing questions are not allowed.

    To the others:

    Just an FYI, your ducts are likely undersized. Most are. Do you have AC? Properly sized ducts will help with the furnace. But they REALLY help with AC, both in capacity and efficiency. If you're going to stick with your existing ducts, it would be nice to completely seal them. I doubt sincerely that that is what is going to happen by that one contractor. Sealing all the ducts is VERY time consuming. One full day of labor would not be unreasonable (which is a lot of dough). Each and every joint should be sealed, preferably with mastic - not tape. Many systems can lose on average 30% of their air before they reach your diffusers. Bring that down to less than 10% and you've just saved as much money on your utility bill as you have by buying that new furnace.

    Rudd, Carrier, Trane, whatever... The brand is not important (though I like Trane ). The installing contractor is by far the most important thing. Take a look:
    Is the contractor doing a heat load calculation? Is he pulling a permit? Is he addressing not just duct condition but room to room airflow (in other words, balance)? Is he special ordering high quality diffusers that will help maintain velocity and proper mixing instead of using the garbage carried by most wholesalers?

    It's very unlikely you'll save 25%. If I had to guess, only half your bill is gas. If that's the case then for you to save 25% on your total bill would mean saving 50% on your gas. Going from what might be a 60% efficient furnace to an 80% efficient furnace doesn't even come close. Plus that's only for the winter months. If you want to know how much you'll save, take a look at a summer gas bill and then all your winter gas bills. The summer gas portion of your bill is roughly your baseline gas usage. Add up how much more gas you use in the winter months. Perhaps 20% of that is what your savings will be. If I had to guess, that might amount to $150 for the whole year. If a REAL duct sealing is done, it might be 40% of the gas only portion of your bill, minus the baseline (or maybe $300 for the whole year).

    Most important suggestion: Keep reading this board until you become a zealous convert to the idea that the contractor is ten times more important than any other factor, including price. Then find a good contractor and pay him what he asks.

  3. #3

    Re: Rudd Furnance in california/PGE bill savings

    Thanks for your reply which was really good.
    One thing what i have seen in these posts are that nobody talks about a good furnance. Surprising to me.
    Just wondering why the furnance does not matter!.
    Using the car analogy, having a good car will not create any problems for years. Same analogy could be compared to the ducting also.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Concord, CA
    If you read the link then you should have some idea why the furnace is not nearly as important as the contractor. To continue with the car analogy, you can get the exact same car from a dozen different dealers and the quality would be the exact same. They all came from the same factory. The dealer is just a delivery boy. The furnace on the other hand is not a finished product. It's up to the installer to pick the correct combination of equipment for your application and install it. There are literally hundreds of ways that an installer can screw it up. And there are hundreds of combinations of equipment, dozens of which might be good for your application. If buying a car was a true analogy, then what you'd have is the car OEM sending the dealer hundreds of pieces of cars. Then the dealer would assemble them in dozens of different combinations and try to convince you that his car assembly is of the best quality and value.

    The other problem with picking by brand is that ALL opinions here are very subjective. It's like trying to ask a Chevy guy is opinion about Ford or vice versa. You're not going to get anything remotely close to a good answer.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Ruud has one of the best furnace lines in the industry if not the best. But yes install is as important as the equipment itself. With that said, using the same install, brand for brand you will be very happy with the Ruud.

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