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  1. #1
    I have a 1225sq ft house in SoCal, currently with a 2.5 ton Payne system. I have had 7 companies out to give me estimates on new 3 ton systems and have done a bit of research, but am having a hard time making a decision.

    I'm not sure its possible to find, but I'm looking for some nonbiased opinions.

    I can get a 14 seer Rheem (R22) with a variable speed furnace for the same price I can get a 13 seer Carrier (choice of R22 or Puron) with a single stage furnace or a 14 seer Carrier with Puron with single stage furnace.

    The Carrier guy is throwing in an extended warranty and 2 years of maintenance. He is not a Carrier authorized dealer, but gets permits and seems like a nice guy. The Rheem place is an authorized dealer, but does not get permits.

    Not only am I torn between Rheem and Carrier, I am still torn between R22 and Puron. While most my research on the net says puron is the way to go, only Carrier sales guys were trying to get me to go with the new refrigerant, everyone else was really pushing to stay with R22.

    TIA!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Office and warehouse in both Crystal River & New Port Richey ,FL
    Posts
    18,836
    A lot of the "most everyone else "guys ,have little to no experience with Puron/R10a.


    I'm a Carrier guy ,but go variable speed with Rheem ,if that's what the budget dictates.

    1.V/S
    2.SEER
    3.Puron


    http://www.410a.com if you haven't been there already.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN, USA
    Posts
    33,934
    First, 3 tons for 1225 sq ft seems excessive. If your current 2.5 ton doesn't do the job, may be duct issues not just undersized. Spending a little money on insulation or window tinting may be a better investment than a bigger A/C.

    The Rheem system is great equipment but pricing scares me. Is the Rheem dealer particularly low and cutting a corner or is the Carrier dealer particularly high? Read the fine print carefully to be sure the Rheem guy is doing everything the Carrier guy is doing. Not pulling permits if required by law scares me too. On the other hand, what does it mean if the Carrier dealer is not authorized? Where is he getting his equipment? How about future warranty & support?

  4. #4
    Baldloonie,

    All the questions you ask are the questions I've been asking myself and why this decision has been so difficult. Both the Carrier and the Rheem guys prices were much higher, but the Rheem guy and another Rheem guy started a bidding war with each other and then my Carrier guy lowered his prices and added in the extended warranty.

    I was actally considering going cheap with a 10seer Rheem with single stage furnace vs the other Rheem guy with a 13seer VS, when the 1st guy said he would let me talk to his Rheem rep to get a better understanding of if I needed/wanted VS. I got another call, and when I called him back he said he had talked to his rep and they could give me the 14 seer VS at the price he originally quoted me for 14seer single stage which was a few hundred more than the other Rheem guys 13 seer VS. Hope that made sense.

    I don't think the Carrier prices are necessarily overpriced as I've had other Carrier bids that were even higher. Part of the issue is rebates I get from the electric company and whatnot. The Carrier guy gets his product from US Air I think its called. He tells me that it is fully warranted by the manufacturer and it doesn't matter that he is not an authorized dealer. Of the 7 bids I had only Sears, this guy and one other get permits even though they are required by law. Sears and the other were several thousand more though for the same product.

    I had our ducting looked at and was told it was sufficient. None of our windows get much direct sun light and we have little attic space for insulation as we are single story with high vaulted ceilings. Our current coil is completely blocked by the morons before us using the wrong size filter, so that may be hy we only feel a trickle and why our house doesn't cool below 80.

    Thanks for all the input!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Posts
    3,708
    Thats so funny..they started a pricing war and even the carrier guy follow suit.

    Hey Supermom..maybe you should let them keep fighting.Heck
    at this point you might even get two stage equipment for even a lower price then whats was quoted before.

    LOL!


  6. #6
    I wouldnt go with a rheem, im my opinion they are junk. I would recommend getting some estimates on american standard or trane. If your going to spend the money... get something good. Good luck!

  7. #7
    I had an estimate on a Trane and it was more than double the price for the above mentioned systems. I could get a 14 seer American Standard VS for about a grand more than the Rheem or Carier, but I'm already maxed out budget wise.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN, USA
    Posts
    33,934
    I wouldnt go with a rheem, im my opinion they are junk.
    Care to be more specific and your credentials for bashing a popular brand?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Northern Virginia, Fairfax County
    Posts
    641
    Originally posted by imnosupermom
    Of the 7 bids I had only Sears, this guy and one other get permits even though they are required by law. Sears and the other were several thousand more though for the same product.
    I am a homeowner in Virginia. You will get what you pay for. Make sure the big difference in prices for systems of similar capabilities are not due to the prices for the equipment, unless you are getting manufacturer's promotion prices. Could be the differences will be between CHEAP installation and GOOD quality installation. It looks to me like the operators who do not get permits are bootleg guys. Stay away from them. Do they have licenses if required by the state? Insurance? Stay away from CHEAP, it will cost you later, maybe big-time. Go with contractors with good reputations. How long have they been in business for themselves? Check with your Better Business Bureau and county/city consumer affairs office for any complaint record before your final decision.

    Find someone to do a Manual J calculation on your cooling/heating requirements. Like Baldloonie said, 3 ton seems excessive. That's the capacity I have for my 2400 square foot two story with design temp of 95 degrees. And half of the top floor is vaulted ceiling, like yours. But nobody can tell for sure without spending 20-30 minutes in your place to check out the construction, etc for Manual J which takes a few minutes in the computer. If the system is oversized, you will not be comfortable.

    By the way, one more bid would not hurt. Check with Home Depot who will send you a contractor with Trane. Compare that with Sears, and then compare all the others with those two. If there are big differences, you should be able to pick out the reasons, or there is something fishy about the low bids.

    R-22 or R-410/Puron? That should not be a major factor in your decision, just a tie breaker, maybe, if you think you cannot live without the R-410.

    Hope this helps.

    Al

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Houston,Tx.
    Posts
    15,851
    Originally posted by BaldLoonie
    Not pulling permits if required by law scares me too.
    Scares me also I worry about a City as big a Houston shutting down totally if we all pulled permits to set a condenser or replace a coil, they have just gone to far but it's the almighty dollar that these cities are after to fatten up their budget that they never do any improvements with any way.
    __________________________________________________ _______________________
    “Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards". - Vernon Law

    "Never let success go to your head, and never let failure go to your heart". - Unknown

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Houston,Tx.
    Posts
    15,851
    Originally posted by love_hvac
    I wouldnt go with a rheem, im my opinion they are junk. I would recommend getting some estimates on american standard or trane. If your going to spend the money... get something good. Good luck!
    Got to be an American Standard salesman are someone that is clueless about Rheem/Ruud which I would put up against any brand as for as performance or quality.
    __________________________________________________ _______________________
    “Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards". - Vernon Law

    "Never let success go to your head, and never let failure go to your heart". - Unknown

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    2,633

    Bah!

    Dash, Baldy:

    You guys are some damned smart professionals and I respect your abilities tremendously. But for the life of me I can't understand why you guys entertain this ill-conceived thought process. It's like were at Wal-Mart trying to decide what goodies to put in the basket. As you know so very well Mom isn't buying goodies she's buying a service. She should spend 95% of her energy on finding the most competent contractor. Whatever that contractor recommends IS the best choice, period. I know you touched on it a little. But Al is the only one that’s put a fine point on it so far. And he’s a homeowner!

    Mom,

    You're approaching this in a very normal way. Most homeowners focus on brand. But you've got to understand that arguing HVAC differences is like arguing muscle cars. The Ford guy says his will do zero to sixty in 5.2 seconds so the Chevy guy says his will do it in 5.0 seconds and proceeds to do the chicken dance. Who gives a rat's behind? They're both wicked fast! The same goes for HVAC. All of them have their stupid little features that they claim exclusivity on. But so what? Any mainstream brand will serve you well.

    But here's the real catch Mom. Taking our car analogy further: What if instead of that Ford being assembled in a billion dollar plant with a thousand computers and a dozen eggheads watching, that car was assembled by a guy who just got paroled last year and started building cars because of the vocational training he took in prison? You'd stop caring about the brand and features and start worrying big time about the schmuck that's building it!

    That's exactly what you're dealing with Mom. First of all Trane, Carrier or whoever hasn't got one thing to do with the design and installation of the system. They are bit players as far as I'm concerned because all they do is supply parts. Second, that nice Carrier guy or any of the other sales jerks you've met aren't likely to be the ones installing the system. They've got crews and you don't know them from Adam. Third and crucially, painfully FEW do an installation by the book. I'd guess that MAYBE one and if you're super lucky two of the contractors you've met will even come close to doing everything they should. That list could be four times as long if I had the time to write it. And unfortunately, even some of those that do perform truly superior installations will push garbage like this.

    Call me a negative alarmist if you like. But I use to work for second largest so called reputable residential HVAC contractor in my area. Their sister company was the largest and I got to know them well. Virtually none of their systems got put in by the book. Sure they got by and customers were generally pleased. But few customers have a clue about how a system should perform and how it should be installed. They've dealt with wretched HVAC systems all their life. And when the contractor comes in and takes wretched and improves it to only bad, they're happy. I'd say that trade propagandists have performed masterfully. We can give our customers mediocrity, sell them snake oil and they love (some of) us for it.

    I hope that helped. If not, at least I feel better.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    5
    WELL IMNOSUPERMOM-LOOKS LIKE DASH REALLY KNOWS WHAT HES DOING,ITS R410A NOT 10A,MAM STICK WITH PAYNE ITS GIVEN YOU 20 YEARS OF GOOD SERVICE HASNT IT?I HAVE ONE TO. ITS 10 YEARS OLD.AS FOR SYSTEMS-3 TON TAKE MY ADVICE I DO PURON-STICK WITH R22-THERE HAVING SOME MAJOR PROBLEMS WITH 410A.AND THE STUFF IS REDICIOUSLY PRICED.WHEN WARRANTY RUNS OUT YOU WISH YOU HAD.YOUR PAYNE SPEAKS FOR ITSELF-THEY ARE MADE BY CARRIER.WHEN YOU BUY A PAYNE YOUR BUYING A CARRIER.IVE BEEN AROUND IN THE BUSSINESS TO KNOW WHATS WHAT.THATS ALL I HAVE-GOOD LUCK
    RIFLE

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