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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    11

    Confused

    I'm gathering bids for a new a/c unit, furnace and ductwork, but am having problems comparing the variables of different quotes. I think I'm leaning toward either Trane or Carrier; want high quality (but don't need top of the line) and am willing to pay, but need recommendations on which is better. Would also like thoughts on single versus 2 speed - does the latter justify the huge price jump? Lastly, ductwork. I currently have rigid pipe; some runs are inefficient and need rerouting and all needs to be reinsulated if kept. Most suggest replacing all with flex duct, BUT some balk at the idea and say I'd be crazy to replace what's there (rewrapping is more expensive than replacing all with flex). Is one more efficient than the other? Isn't flex duct more prone to mold? So much information, so much confusion! Any help will be greatly appreciated!!

    [Edited by meeksy on 03-02-2005 at 03:51 PM]

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN, USA
    Posts
    33,929
    Everyone has their own opinion of brands and quality. Within a brand, be sure you are comparing like models as both Trane & Carrier, like many brands, have the builder stuff and the better units. Variable speed blowers and 2 stage compressors will get rather pricey. You'd have to decide if the comfort advantages are worth it to you.

    Only place I would put flex is in an attic. Then ask for the good R6 or better stuff. In a crawl or basement, I'd want hard pipe. If only certain runs have problems, correct only them. I don't know that flex is more prone to mold but it is more restrictive and doesn't have near the life of metal.

    You can wrap metal yourself rather easily too!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    1,195
    Bid prices are irrelevant on this board, but the comparative facts and opinions are free...

    Both brands are upper echelon, so three main questions I see. Several hinge on whether or not you are keeping the house as your residence, if you plan to sell, and what you can afford at the time.

    First, what level of equipment? Get variable speed indoors no matter what you put outdoors. Worth every penny in comfort and efficiency it will bring you.

    Second, whether to change the ducts. If the duct system is basically sound and well designed, address the poor performing rooms. Is is a complete disparity in air flow, or do they just not perform well? If the later, why not? Good metal ducts are better that good flex ducts. Good flex ducts are better than bad sheetmetal designs...

    Third, who do you trust to do the job? Sounds like the guys trying to hang on to the investment in metal might have your best interests in mind. Select the one you trust to make all the adjustments and guarantee satisfaction, assuming you let him do what he says needs doing...

    Good luck with your investment.
    "That's good enough..." usually isn't.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Office and warehouse in both Crystal River & New Port Richey ,FL
    Posts
    18,836
    Take a look at Carriers Infinity Control,it gets the most out of variable speed indoor fans.If you are in a humid summer climate,Infinity ,for sure.

    Two speed is the top of the line,worth it here in Florida.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    11
    Hi dash - So you'd prefer Carrier's Infinity against Trane's XL16i? These are the two models that the techs keep recommending, but American Standard has come up a few times. Aren't they the parent company of Trane?

    I'm in good ol' humid Texas, so the two speed is starting to make a lot of sense.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Office and warehouse in both Crystal River & New Port Richey ,FL
    Posts
    18,836
    Yes,and to be fair that's what we sell.

    The Infinity with a two spped here on the Gulfcoast of Florida,does a great job of controlling humidity.

    Use the "search " funtion on this site ,key word Infinity,to see what other homeowners think of their Infinity.

    I'll be in Austin ,next week for the Air Conditioning Contractors of America's annual meeting and trade show,any great restaurants or must see places?


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    2,927
    Originally posted by dash
    I'll be in Austin ,next week for the Air Conditioning Contractors of America's annual meeting and trade show,any great restaurants or must see places?

    How about Austin City Limits. You might even go home with an armadillo...

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    11
    I love Austin, but am unfortunately not versed enough to suggest anything. I hardly think you can go wrong anywhere you land there - it's a wonderful and fun city with lots of Texas hospitality.

    You're sure to have a great time.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    2,927
    Originally posted by meeksy
    I'm gathering bids for a new a/c unit, furnace and ductwork, want high quality (but don't need top of the line) Any help will be greatly appreciated!!

    [Edited by meeksy on 03-02-2005 at 03:51 PM]
    Oh,sorry meeksy.
    I think a good evaluation of your current systems ductwork and a good installation of any brand is where you should focus.Try Goodman.Flip a coin.Crash that big convention Dash mentioned,and find a contractor...

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Dothan, Al
    Posts
    3,453

    Meeksy

    Just my opinion, of course, but VS drives not wirth the money, unless slightly lower humidity is a major deal with you. VS systems costs much more, will costs much, much more to repair, and I don't think, will last as long.
    But they will give you better ( by a little ) humidity control.
    As far as ducting, trunk line should be hard pipe, period.
    insure it is well insulated. If ducting is in attic, as
    'Bald' said, flex duct is no problem ( agree R-6 ) on branch lines to reisters. But if some branch lines are not working right, be sure to upgrade trunk line, if you are going to upgrade branch line ducts.

    And the way I look at the higher priced energy. eff. systems, is like haveing a car with everything power ( windows, door locks, antenna, etc ). The car cost much to own, what is you had to keep the car 15 years and had to repair everything that broke, as you do in your HVAC system. Many more repair bills for a little more comfort.

    Anyway, I am a 'keep-it-simple-stupid' person.

    Ask your contractors what would be the price to replace VS blower. No motors will lasts forever

    [Edited by bornriding on 03-03-2005 at 12:20 PM]

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Office and warehouse in both Crystal River & New Port Richey ,FL
    Posts
    18,836
    Compare the operating cost savings of VS motor versus PSC motor,plus the fact the it(Variable speed) delivers the correct cfms,so you get full btus out of the system,for lower operating cost,and it's worth it.

    Get a 10 year warranty from mfr.,just parts or parts and labor,covers the system ,including the motor,so well worth the dollars.The VS motors are very dependable,but the warranty gives you peace of mind.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Thibodaux, LA
    Posts
    1,170
    Two speed YES
    Varaible Speed YES

    What Brand EITHER

    Choose the right contractor and everything will fall into place.

  13. #13
    Originally posted by meeksy
    I'm gathering bids for a new a/c unit, furnace and ductwork, but am having problems comparing the variables of different quotes.
    Well, well, well we meet again mr meeksy. You're that pompous engineer who I spent 3 good hours of my life with, explaining everthing, in the hopes of earning your business. You didn't trust me, you don't trust anyone except your own pompous, over stuffed ass do you? And here you are, after the fact, over analyizing everything, because you can't help being you. And yet you still know nothing. Pitiful. Good luck.

    [Edited by refrigeration mafia on 03-04-2005 at 12:28 AM]

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