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Thread: Comparing Carrier v/s AS system + Install question

  1. #1
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    Question Comparing Carrier v/s AS system + Install question

    Hi,

    I'm installing a new central air system in our home. Currently we do not have any cooling. Heating is via forced hot water.
    Home is a 1000 sq.ft ranch, located in Boston, MA.
    We plan to stay here for 10 years and are looking for a cost-effective solution, both short and long term.
    Noise is another important factor.

    I've had 5 quotes so far and we're deciding between 2 systems. Both contractors are reputed and well reviewed.
    Both contractors did a Manual J and were 'seemed' fairly technical.
    System 1 is $1 more than System 2

    System 1 - 2 Ton
    Carrier Performance 2-stage Condenser 16 SEER 24ACB724A003
    Carrier Variable speed Fan Coil FVC4NF003L00
    All rigid steel ductwork and returns in each bedroom + hallway
    Contractor sells Carrier and Mitsubishi

    System 2 - 2 Ton
    American Standard Gold 2-stage Condenser 17 SEER 4A7A7024
    American Standard Variable speed Fan Coil TAM7
    Part rigid steel/Part flex ducts and only main hallway return
    Contractor sells Bryant, AS and Goodman

    Questions:
    1. I've heard bad stories about Carrier microchannel coils - contractor claims this problem has been resolved. Is that true?
    2. The American Standard has a 'duration' compressor - is this scroll or reciprocating?
    3. Do we really need returns in all bedrooms?
    4. Will both system work with our Nest thermostat?
    5. Installation being equal, what system is better, given that System 1 is $1 more that System 2

    Thanks
    Last edited by beenthere; 08-03-2016 at 05:56 AM. Reason: Price

  2. #2
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    I'd go with #1. At that small difference in price you are getting a better install with the return situation alone, not to mention all metal ductwork.
    Use the biggest hammer you like, pounding a square peg into a round hole does not equal a proper fit.

  3. #3
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    Thread Starter
    Thank you firecontrol. Disregarding the install, is there any significant difference between the equipment?

  4. #4
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    Concentrate on the installing contractor and not the name on the box.
    Great equipment installed by hacks is garbage.

  5. Likes MuffinTop liked this post.
  6. #5
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    Thread Starter
    Quote Originally Posted by pecmsg View Post
    Concentrate on the installing contractor and not the name on the box.
    Great equipment installed by hacks is garbage.
    Thanks - both contractors seem to be very well reviewed. It's hard to pick

  7. #6
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    Thread Starter
    @firecontrol, @pecmsg
    What about my other questions?
    Also, I understand install is the most important but I'd really like to understand if there is a diff in the equipment. It's hard to find such info without expert advice or direct user experience.

  8. #7
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    Forget Angie's List, BBBand the rest. Ask for references and follow up by seeing the jobs. Ask family, friends, church groups. Full page advertisers scare me, someone has to pay for the adds.

    All trades are lacking in skilled workers today. Please choose the contractor wisely!

  9. Likes MuffinTop liked this post.
  10. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by pecmsg View Post
    Forget Angie's List, BBBand the rest. Ask for references and follow up by seeing the jobs. Ask family, friends, church groups. Full page advertisers scare me, someone has to pay for the adds.

    All trades are lacking in skilled workers today. Please choose the contractor wisely!
    Ah yes - unfortunately, Angies, BBB, Yelp are the only sources I have for the reviews. I'll request local references.

  11. #9
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    Thread Starter
    Folks, still what about the other questions?

    Questions:
    1. I've heard bad stories about Carrier microchannel coils - contractor claims this problem has been resolved. Is that true?
    2. The American Standard has a 'duration' compressor - is this scroll or reciprocating?
    3. Do we really need returns in all bedrooms?
    4. Will both system work with our Nest thermostat?
    5. Installation being equal, what system is better, given that System 1 is $500 more that System 2

  12. #10
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    Thanks - both contractors seem to be very well reviewed. It's hard to pick

    Both Contractors labor warranty the same?

  13. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bazooka Joey View Post
    Thanks - both contractors seem to be very well reviewed. It's hard to pick

    Both Contractors labor warranty the same?
    The price difference of $1 includes cost of parts and labor. I don't think I'm allowed to post prices correct?

    Contractor 1 offers 2 years labor warranty and $1 contract every year after.
    Carrier has 10 years parts warranty on everything.

    Contractor 2 offers 3 years labor warranty and $1 every year after.
    American Standard has 12 Years condenser warranty and 10 years everything else.
    Last edited by beenthere; 08-03-2016 at 05:59 AM. Reason: Prices

  14. #12
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    1. Carrier doesn't use microchannel in residential equipment
    2. The 17 uses an unloading scroll compressor like the Carrier
    3. If you are going to close the bedroom do, you should
    4. Yes
    5. Everyone has their own opinion. As an American Standard fan, I'm a bit biased! Part of the premium for the Carrier is the bedroom returns. I'd ask the A-S dealer about doing that so you are comparing like jobs.

  15. Likes nuhome, lkapigian liked this post.
  16. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by BaldLoonie View Post
    1. Carrier doesn't use microchannel in residential equipment
    2. The 17 uses an unloading scroll compressor like the Carrier
    3. If you are going to close the bedroom do, you should
    4. Yes
    5. Everyone has their own opinion. As an American Standard fan, I'm a bit biased! Part of the premium for the Carrier is the bedroom returns. I'd ask the A-S dealer about doing that so you are comparing like jobs.
    Hi BaldLoonie - thanks for answering the questions
    #1 - Carrier claims to use 'microtube' coils - Isn't this the same as microchannel?
    #5 - I've continued negotiating with the A-S dealer - he can add the bedroom returns, but will use a little bit of flex duct because he feels my attic doesn't have enough room, but it'll be less than 10% of the total ductwork. The new quote will be less than $1 more after adding on the returns but reducing cost due to my haggling. So now it's a more apples to apples comparison.
    is there a technical reason you prefer A-S over the Carrier? Aren't both the models the same middle-tier model? :P
    Last edited by beenthere; 08-03-2016 at 06:04 AM. Reason: Price difference

  17. #14
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    Carrier's microtube coils, are copper, with aluminum fins.


    And your right, prices aren't allowed, not even price differences.
    Contractor locator map

    How-to-apply-for-Professional

    How many times must one fix something before it is fixed?

  18. #15
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    We see this all the time on this forum...
    Folks go out and research and get 'bids' based on ratings from Angies list and BBB and BIG adds...
    Then they cannot make a decision.

    The problem was the wrong approach from the start.

    The FIRST thing to do...
    Is to ask friends/family (folks you know and trust), for a referral. They will give you someone they had a good experience with.
    Get 3-4 of these, and call them out to your home.

    Do you see the difference?

    As to equipment...
    As noted... the name on the box is not as important as installation.
    GA-HVAC-Tech

    Your comfort, Your way, Everyday!

    GA's basic rules of home heating and AC upgrades:
    *Installation is more important than the brand of equipment
    *The duct system keeps the house comfortable; the equipment only heats and cools (and dehumidifies)
    *The value of comfort, over the long term; leave economic choices behind!
    Choose your contractor wisely!

  19. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by ga-hvac-tech View Post
    We see this all the time on this forum...
    Folks go out and research and get 'bids' based on ratings from Angies list and BBB and BIG adds...
    Then they cannot make a decision.

    The problem was the wrong approach from the start.

    The FIRST thing to do...
    Is to ask friends/family (folks you know and trust), for a referral. They will give you someone they had a good experience with.
    Get 3-4 of these, and call them out to your home.

    Do you see the difference?

    As to equipment...
    As noted... the name on the box is not as important as installation.
    Thanks ga-hvac-tech. I understand where you're coming from, as the rest on this thread.
    However, the approach you mention doesn't always work.
    For eg. We are young, first-time homeowners. Most of our friends either have condos or aren't homeowners yet.
    Somehow, most family I spoke to happened to buy homes that already had an hvac system installed.
    Neighbors - we just moved in 2 months ago and haven't made those connections yet.

    So I'm trying the next best (albeit poor) alternative - online reviews, forums and references from folks I don't know

  20. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by nuhome View Post
    Hi,

    I'm installing a new central air system in our home. Currently we do not have any cooling. Heating is via forced hot water.
    Home is a 1000 sq.ft ranch, located in Boston, MA.

    Questions:
    1. I've heard bad stories about Carrier microchannel coils - contractor claims this problem has been resolved. Is that true?
    2. The American Standard has a 'duration' compressor - is this scroll or reciprocating?
    3. Do we really need returns in all bedrooms?
    4. Will both system work with our Nest thermostat?
    5. Installation being equal, what system is better, given that System 1 is $1 more that System 2

    Thanks
    Is total comfort important to you? Do you want the desired temperature and %RH during all of the weather conditions, including wet warm without any real strong cooling load throughout your home? Either of the system you describe will do well during peak cooling load if installed and setup correctly.
    But when the sun goes down or when it rains for a couple days, your home will cool and damp as the a/c attempts to remove moisture by over-cooling but unable to remove the moisture. When there is low/no cooling loads and high outdoor dew points, these complex system are unable to remove 2-4 lbs. of moisture per hour that is required to maintain <50%RH throughout your home including the basement.
    So what is a better way? Go simple single speed a/c and add a small whole dehumidifier. This allows to set the temp/%RH you want have turely comfortable home during all of the three mix seasoned weather that Boston enjoys. By the way just spent 4 days at a conference in Boston and it was very nice.
    You will end up with a simple, efficient cooling/humidity control system that most a/c techs can install, setup, service, and you can afford.
    I know you do not want to here about this but now is the time to check it out.
    Any good single speed a/c and small whole house dehumidifier, Ultra-Aire my favorite, will keep you and your home comfortable for the next 10+ years.
    Hope this helps.
    Keep us posted, whatever happens.
    Regards Teddy Bear
    Bear Rules: Keep our home <50% RH summer, controls mites/mold and very comfortable.
    Provide 60-100 cfm of fresh air when occupied to purge indoor pollutants and keep window dry during cold weather. T-stat setup/setback +8 hrs. saves energy
    Use +Merv 10 air filter. -Don't forget the "Golden Rule"

  21. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by nuhome View Post
    Thanks ga-hvac-tech. I understand where you're coming from, as the rest on this thread.
    However, the approach you mention doesn't always work.
    For eg. We are young, first-time homeowners. Most of our friends either have condos or aren't homeowners yet.
    Somehow, most family I spoke to happened to buy homes that already had an hvac system installed.
    Neighbors - we just moved in 2 months ago and haven't made those connections yet.

    So I'm trying the next best (albeit poor) alternative - online reviews, forums and references from folks I don't know
    I cannot tell you the number of times I have gone to a house and been paid over a $grand... to straighten out a bad install...
    Someone purchased from a person that had good online reviews.

    Suit yourself....
    However IMO a wise person would listen to someone in the trade that has seen it all.
    GA-HVAC-Tech

    Your comfort, Your way, Everyday!

    GA's basic rules of home heating and AC upgrades:
    *Installation is more important than the brand of equipment
    *The duct system keeps the house comfortable; the equipment only heats and cools (and dehumidifies)
    *The value of comfort, over the long term; leave economic choices behind!
    Choose your contractor wisely!

  22. #19
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    Thread Starter
    Quote Originally Posted by teddy bear View Post
    Is total comfort important to you? Do you want the desired temperature and %RH during all of the weather conditions, including wet warm without any real strong cooling load throughout your home? Either of the system you describe will do well during peak cooling load if installed and setup correctly.
    But when the sun goes down or when it rains for a couple days, your home will cool and damp as the a/c attempts to remove moisture by over-cooling but unable to remove the moisture. When there is low/no cooling loads and high outdoor dew points, these complex system are unable to remove 2-4 lbs. of moisture per hour that is required to maintain <50%RH throughout your home including the basement.
    So what is a better way? Go simple single speed a/c and add a small whole dehumidifier. This allows to set the temp/%RH you want have turely comfortable home during all of the three mix seasoned weather that Boston enjoys. By the way just spent 4 days at a conference in Boston and it was very nice.
    You will end up with a simple, efficient cooling/humidity control system that most a/c techs can install, setup, service, and you can afford.
    I know you do not want to here about this but now is the time to check it out.
    Any good single speed a/c and small whole house dehumidifier, Ultra-Aire my favorite, will keep you and your home comfortable for the next 10+ years.
    Hope this helps.
    Keep us posted, whatever happens.
    Regards Teddy Bear
    Thanks Teddy bear - wasn't something I had considered. Let me look into it.

  23. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by ga-hvac-tech View Post
    I cannot tell you the number of times I have gone to a house and been paid over a $grand... to straighten out a bad install...
    Someone purchased from a person that had good online reviews.

    Suit yourself....
    However IMO a wise person would listen to someone in the trade that has seen it all.
    GA-HVAC-TEch - I completely understand your point. I'm trying to get more real world reviews. I'll post here when I get more clarity/info from references. Once again, appreciate the help.

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