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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    11
    I am in the market for a replacement system for my house (Heat Pump) and was wondering what everyones thoughts on what system to go with. Both will have matching variable speed air handlers. I live in Baltimore, Maryland. I'd also like to know which one has a better track records as peice of mind is worth more than anyhting.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    4H: Hot, Humid Houston H.O.
    Posts
    3,304

    Different product levels

    Unless I am missing something, the Bryant Evolution is two stage top of the line AC, and the Trane 14i is not. So if you can actually get them for near the same price, I would pick the Bryant in a heartbeat.

    As always you need to find a good installer yada yada yada. This is very true, but is there anything which really makes the homeowner who buys once every decade, able to judge the installer who does this thing year in and year out? Do the best you can about identifying someone with craftsmanship and expertise. Be hard headed about asking him to use Manual J and Manual D for equipment sizing, if he offers excuses instead of real analysis that would set off my baloney detector.

    If you are sure you can be satisfied with a single speed system, the Trane will be simpler. You can expect to forego the benefit of long runtimes at low stage AC, some people might not miss that. I would. But the tradeoff of a simpler system is, less to go wrong and probably somewhat cheaper upkeep (at a price of slightly higher monthly electric bills).

    I'm a homeowner in S.Texas who is in the process of upgrading a two-AC system in slow motion. I have been treated to an long education in how AC techs can do things wrong, as well as some examples of doing things right. So far I have bought two variable speed air handlers, which the Evolution I think requires and the Trane 14i can use as a valuable option. I am partway there myself. When I read of the things the Evolution can do, I turn green with envy but believe I am committed to the Trane (and American Standard) brand. I understand the Trane 18i is closest to the Evolution system, it will cost more and employ a two-stage AC. It will still not have the really great gadgetry of the Evolution controller (thermostat etc.). I believe Trane is in catch-up mode here.

    The Evolution will monitor your External Static Pressure, the pressure the air handler fan must work against. It will tell you when filters need replacement based on the pressure increase as they load up -- I predict the actual need will have nothing to do with the "30 days" everybody else says. I am enough of a nut to have installed ESP measuring on my systems, this is something some HVAC techs are horrified by, and also something some techs never measure. But I believe the more knowledgeable techs gain very useful information from ESP.

    If Trane comes out with something competitive with the Evolution controller, only then will they be able to compare feature for feature with the Bryant Evolution.


    Best of luck -- Pstu


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    11
    Thanks for your detailed response. I kind of knew what the answer would be, but the reputation that Trane has for such good lasting non-problamatic machines ways heavily on me.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    peoples republic of maryland
    Posts
    956
    I have to agree with your reasoning on the trane. They do hold up very well. Couple that XL14 with a variable speed AH and you got a very nice system. I have one myself as a primary heat coupled with a xv90 furnace as backup operated on a honeywell vision-pro, works like a champ.

    I have seen, in my opinion, way too many bryant/carrier premature evaporator coil failures (leaks) @ 4-7 YRS.
    "The meek shall inherit the earth"
    "he that's walking with wise persons will become wise, but he that is having dealings with the stupid ones will fare badly" Proverbs 13:20
    "Pressure is something people feel when they don't know what their doing". Peyton Manning-superbowl MVP

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    1,042
    It's like having to pick your favorite child!

    They are both great choices in the grand scheme of things. The Trane system is single speed, though, and can't replicate the sophistication of the Evolution (the sibling to Infinity in Carrier's line) control system. To get a more apples-to-apples bid, you either need Trane to quote the setup with an XL16i or Carrier to quote you a single-speed unit (their model numbers are topsy-turvy right now because the product line is in the middle of a major redesign).

    The Evolution control system is in my book a revolutionary step forward for this industry, though. Nobody else can match the features or comfort right now, especially with respect to cooling-season dehumidification and comfort levels when heating with a heat pump. It IS undeniably cutting-edge stuff, though, so while it is easy to use, not just anybody is competent to work on it. There are a lot of proprietary parts involved, too.

    If you prefer things to be a little simpler and more standardized in design, and you can live with a system that is merely "very nice", the Trane is great.

    Either way, 10 year parts/labor warranties are good idea for such high-end systems. Some of the parts involved, while generally reliable, have shocking sticker prices should they actually need replacement.

    I have purchased two Carrier Infinity systems (twins of the Evolution) and am delighted with them with respect to performance, comfort, efficiency, noise, everything.

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