We're currently considering two contractors for our furnace and A/C replacement, although there are still some sizing issues to be addressed. Both appear to do a quality install, though neither is without drawbacks in other areas. One of the contractors uses Maytag equipment, the other uses Amana. I can find lots of Amana info, specs, install manuals, etc. on the Amana website and the internet. However, info on Maytag is much harder to come by (before you start thinking what you may be thinking, by no means do I consider this a DIY job! But I -do- like being able to look through the specs and manuals - it gives a real idea about what the equipment can do and how it works.)
I know Maytag is built by Nordyne, but that's about all I can find out about it. The maytaghvac.com site contains mostly propaganda, with no real details or technical specs on the equipment. The Nordyne site isn't much better, and of course doesn't include Maytag equipment anyway. Maytag seems more interested in selling me on the "brushed stainless steel doors/cabinet", etc. Who cares? I want to know how the equipment compares in build and features to the Amana AMV9 VS furnace and RCE 14 SEER A/C, the other system we're considering at the moment. We're looking at the PGF1T (M1010 2-stage variable speed) Maytag furnace, and the PSA1BD (M1010 13/14 SEER) A/C (I got the model #'s off the Maytag site - I assume they're correct). Probably would go with an Aprilaire 2200 for either system.
I've searched this site, and it appears that some of you really like Nordyne/Maytag and others don't much care for it. I'm always interested in opinions, but not interested in starting another brand war. So I tried to come up with a few simple questions:
1) I know the AMV9 has stainless steel tubular heat exchangers. What does the M1010 2-stage VS have?
2) The AMV9 has a nice blower ramping procedure for good dehumidification with A/C. dgk had previously posted that "the AMV9 already removes more moisture than standard furnaces because it has a variable speed motor, which operates at a lower fan speed (50% power for 30 seconds, then will ramp up to 82% speed and stay there for around 7.5 minutes, dehumidifying the air in the home. You are ... getting very good humidity removal." I thought I read somewhere that the Maytag VS furnace doesn't have anything comparable. Is this true?
3) Can the Maytag be used with the VP 8321 thermostat for additional humidity control (by slowing the VS blower), as well as taking full advantage of the two-stage furnace? Or is there a thermostat that you'd recommend over the 8321?
4) The AMV9 is supposedly 95.5%-96% efficient. The Maytag only claims 92%. Is there really this big a difference in the two, or is Maytag understating their efficiency? This could add up with gas prices climbing again.
5) Can anyone steer me to any real info on the Maytag equipment we're considering? I'd at least like to find info on BTU ranges available, high/low fire BTU in/out, real-world efficiency, physical build characteristics, etc.
I'm just trying to get a better idea how the Maytag equipment compares to Amana to see if that would sway our opinion to one contractor or the other. I assume both systems will perform well if installed properly, so I'm just wondering if there are any features that one system has that the other doesn't. That's what could make the difference in which contractor we go with. If both systems are essentially equal in features, that would be very helpful to know as well.
Thanks for your help!
[Edited by tas on 10-29-2005 at 02:09 AM]
If you have this many questions, and neither contractor was capable of answering all your questions, then neither one is qualified.
Last question, do you always troll and try to pretend to be a homeowner?
Last question, do you always troll and try to pretend to be a homeowner?
Yes, one of my specialties is trolling and pretending to be a homeowner. Here's a picture of me last Christmas...
Actually, I wouldn't mind the part about pretending to be a homeowner - too much work!
Anyway, I guess I wasn't clear about what I was asking about the thermostat. The post you referenced gave me the answer I needed for the Amana AMV9 that we almost installed last spring, until finances fell through (as I explained previously). My question in this post was referring specifically to thermostats for the Maytag furnace. I only asked on the assumption that all furnaces are not created equal, and that some thermostats may thus be better suited to some furnaces than others.
Remember, I'm a homeowner, not a furnace expert. If all furnaces are created equal and thus all thermostats work equally well on all furnaces, feel free to tell me that and I'll never have need of asking the question again.
You also make a very good, and valid, point about contractors - "keep shopping". As much as I think you're right, I'm getting tired of "shopping", and am not making much progress for my efforts. As I mentioned, both of these contractors have "drawbacks". For example, I have yet to find a contractor who sees any benefit to using a 2-stage stat with a 2-stage furnace, so it's always an uphill battle. Wait a minute, there was one contractor who said he'd put in whatever I wanted (2-stage stat even), but it was plain that he had little idea why he was doing it. It just makes me wonder why it's so hard to find somebody who knows the stuff you guys know.
And you're right - most of these questions would be great to ask the Maytag contractor, and I may try that again to see what he comes up with. I don't have much to lose...
With all the frustration you seem to be going through, dont you think it might be time to entertain the thought of going to another brand where the contractors are trained and knowledgeable?
Lets stop beating the brand BS.
We all know it's the INSTALLER and not the equipment. If you don't know or understand this, you need to open your eyes a little more. Or get more training.
Beating brands is not productive.
The VP only overcools to dehumidify. If you want to slow the blower, Amana sells a version of the 1F95-391 or you can use it or the Thermidistat.
Thank you! So the VP can't slow the blower. That is exactly the kind of info I've been trying to find out about stats. And the kind that I haven't been able to learn from contractors up here, who don't want to use a 2-stage stat. Will the board or whatever on the Maytag allow the blower to be slowed by the IF95-391?
Amen! And it isn't helpful to homeowners trying to make sense of conflicting info from contractors either.
To this point we have not tried to limit ourselves to any particular brand, and the less-than-knowledgeable contractors don't seem to have limited themselves either. We've talked with Carrier, Trane, Lennox, Bryant, York, Coleman, American Standard, Amana, Maytag - I don't think I'm forgetting anybody. All supposedly reputable and recommended contractors. At any rate, to be somewhat blunt, the ignorance is widespread across brands in my area. As you will notice, the Twin Cities Contractor thread
has yet to yield a solid contractor recommendation in my area. That's the reason that I'm resorting to trying to find a contractor who will do a good install of equipment that I want (I'm talking about features here, not brand), based on what I've learned from you folks. I just have not been able to find a contractor who approaches their profession the way many of you do...
[Edited by tas on 10-29-2005 at 11:22 AM]