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Any HVAC experts here?

theo

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This is not a topic relevant to timeshares, but I know from prior experience that there are lots of folks here pretty savvy on many other issues as well, so....

I am currently involved in the remodeling of a house. The work requires installation of a furnace (forced hot air, natural gas), air conditioning and steam humidification (for use during the heating season). I am already well into the process of requesting and receiving quotes from various contractors in the area who I know to be long established, competent and reputable. HVAC is, quite honestly, an area outside of my realm of expertise (...or interest, to be perfectly honest).

One thing I have already observed among the various HVAC contractors under consideration is their strong loyalty to particular, specific brands. This may be due to contractual relationships with certain companies, or best available pricing (...or both; I don't really know, nor do I much care).

My question for HVAC experts (i.e., I'm not looking for homeowner "we have brand XYZ and we like it" type input) is simply this:

In your informed opinion and direct professional experience, what are the quality / reliability differences (if any) specifically and only between the Carrier and Lennox brands? Costs being (presumably)comparable, why specifically would you select one over the other?

I would also welcome your informed input and direct experience as to how you would rate or rank or compare the American Standard / Trane brand (...yes, I know that American Standard and Trane are essentially the exact same thing) when stacked up against the aforementioned Carrier and Lennnox brands.

These brands identified above are the only ones utilized by the contractors under consideration, so input on other brands not mentioned above is neither sought nor helpful.

Thanks in advance for any insights, information or informed opinions and experiences you might be willing to share on the above specific questions / brands.
 

e.bram

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It is not so much the brand but the level of the unit within each brand that is more important.

ps. I would go with a split system independent of the heat system , which includes heat pump capability.
 

theo

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This is not a topic relevant to timeshares, but I know from prior experience that there are lots of folks here pretty savvy on many other issues as well, so....

I am currently involved in the remodeling of a house. The work requires installation of a furnace (forced hot air, natural gas), air conditioning and steam humidification (for use during the heating season). I am already well into the process of requesting and receiving quotes from various contractors in the area who I know to be long established, competent and reputable. HVAC is, quite honestly, an area outside of my realm of expertise (...or interest, to be perfectly honest).

One thing I have already observed among the various HVAC contractors under consideration is their strong loyalty to particular, specific brands. This may be due to contractual relationships with certain companies, or best available pricing (...or both; I don't really know, nor do I much care).

My question for HVAC experts (i.e., I'm not looking for homeowner "we have brand XYZ and we like it" type input) is simply this:

In your informed opinion and direct professional experience, what are the quality / reliability differences (if any) specifically and only between the Carrier and Lennox brands? Costs being (presumably)comparable, why specifically would you select one over the other?

I would also welcome your informed input and direct experience as to how you would rate or rank or compare the American Standard / Trane brand (...yes, I know that American Standard and Trane are essentially the exact same thing) when stacked up against the aforementioned Carrier and Lennnox brands.

These brands identified above are the only ones utilized by the contractors under consideration, so input on other brands not mentioned above is neither sought nor helpful.

Thanks in advance for any insights, information or informed opinions and experiences you might be willing to share on the above specific questions / brands.
Bumping Up for another solicitation of question-responsive input...
 

1950bing

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A HVAC is an expensive line to get into. It takes special tools and training and certian amount of investment in inventory to do it right. That is where the loyality comes in I think.
What I find important is a study of your place to determine what size you need of whatever you buy. Ducting is also important for correct sizing.
I had to replace a unit and the real problem was a too small return !
Warranty is important because they will need fixing.
Yearly check ups are important to get the most from your unit.
 

Talent312

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http://www.bestcovery.com/best-central-air-conditioner lists two Carrier models, but no Lennox models...

Infinity Series Central Air Conditioner
Why it's a best pick: Carrier is sold and serviced all over the country, and are known to last 20 years or more. Investing in this model is sure to bring you years of comfort, with increasing saving on your overall electric bills. Exceeding energy efficient standards, this unit has everything a homeowner would want in a high end unit.

Carrier Comfort Series Central Air Conditioner
Why it's a best pick: If you are finding it ‘inconvenient’ to purchase a new AC unit at this time, this is a good, practical, efficient model that will save you a few hundred. You will get all the best in service no matter how much you pay.

http://www.consumersearch.com/central-air-conditioners/brands-and-models lists several Carrier and Lennox models.

[Abridged] The models we mention here appear on the lists of Jim Dulley, GreenGuide.com and the few other sources that identify any specific models as worth considering. These are weak recommendations. They are not based on testing or even experience with a brand. Instead, they come from evaluation of product information and perhaps brand reputation. These sources focus on higher-end models.

The 21 SEER Carrier Infinity Series.

The Lennox XC21, a two-stage 20.5 SEER central air conditioner.
Lennox engineered this model with a variety of noise reduction technologies; the company claims noise levels as low as 69 decibels.

The 15 SEER Carrier Performance Series.
It's also rated to run as quietly as 69 decibels. Some models in the series use R-410A, others use R-22. They are single-stage air conditioners (which means they are either on or off).

The Lennox Merit Series 13ACD is a 14 SEER air conditioner.
A scroll compressor which typically does not require a suction valve. It uses R-410A refrigerant. Those are nice features for a low-efficiency air conditioner. Because it lacks a ten-year warranty on the compressor, we identify it as a lower-end central air conditioner that might be a very good value if you are happy with the price or don't plan to stay in your home long enough to recoup the higher cost of a more efficient unit.
 
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nightnurse613

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Well, I am sure there are some pretty passionate owners/dealers out there however; when we replaced our unit we were advised that there's probably not a lot of difference in the units but the installation (including a J calculation) is important. Obviously warranty (what and for how long) was an important consideration but several contractors offered extended warranties. With energy costs continuing to climb, SEER/EER ratings ratings are important and will save you money but technology will probably necessitate the need for a new unit long before it wears out! As relative neophites, it was hard just trying to figure out the difference between two-speed, variable speed and why some have two compressors and some just have one! Of course, we replaced ours just before the big Federal Energy Rebate ran out (but, IMHO, I couldn't tell if we just wound up paying more since the contractors knew we were looking for rebate eligible equipment)!:shrug:
 
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