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Old 09-11-2015, 09:34 PM   #1
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American Standard or Lennox


Hopefully I can get some insight from HVAC operators and service personnel.

Currently in the process of purchasing a new heating and cooling system for our home. I have received multiple quotes (5 in total) and have now narrowed it down to two, both of which offer different products; 1 Lennox the other American Standard.

Either unit will be going into a house located in the West Suburbs of Chicago, IL. House is roughly 20 years old, above ground square footage is 2400 with a finished (below ground) basement which adds another 800 sq feet.

Both company's quoted me a 3.5 ton a/c unit while one quoted me a 90K BTU furnace vs a 100K BTU furnace.

I understand the most important aspect of this is the install. Both companies have from what I have seen and read quality installs. At this point it comes down to the product of which there is only a difference of approx. 150 bucks when all said and done.

This being said, which route would you take and why.

Lennox
A/C Unit - XC14 - 3.5 Ton
Furnace - EL296V - 90K BTUs
Humidifier - Aprilaire 700

Standard American
A/C Unit - Silver 14 - 3.5 Ton
Furnace - Gold 95v - 100K BTUs
Humidifer - Aprilaire 400

Your comments and help are appreciated.

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Old 09-11-2015, 10:02 PM   #2
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Well, If you want to go by consumer ratings both Lennox and American Standard are pretty low on the list.
York and Goodman rank as the top 2 (according to the reviews) in furnaces. Lennox comes in at 8th. AS didn't make the top 10

In AC's Niether lennox or AS made the top 10 (according to the reviews). Goodman, Amana, and Trane hit the top for 2014

https://www.furnacecompare.com/furna...ed-series.html

https://www.furnacecompare.com/air-c...ed-series.html

(Don't shoot the messenger yuri )

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Old 09-11-2015, 10:07 PM   #3
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What size is the current furnace and ac?

Did the dealers ever mention a two-stage t-stat and wiring. You need that to take advantage of a two-stage furnace properly.

--------------------
The sizing really sounds ridiculous for a house of your square footage and age unless very poorly built, a bungalow, and or with air ducts in the attic. Two-stage is a total waste of money if the furnace is oversized; you'll never get the continous operation, cycling between low and high in very cold weather.

When you change the furnace, you have to look at the output rating, not the input. If your current furnace is 100 000 btu and 80% efficient, a 80 000 BTU 95%+ furnace would put out just about as much heat (76-78k) burning less gas.

If the existing furnace puts out 80 000 btu (burning 100 000 btu to get it), the contractor will want to put in something of equal output or more to avoid complaints, even if your builder already added a safety margin into the load calc needed for permits 20 years ago + put in an oversized furnace on an undersized duct system.

The correct thing to do is do a new accurate load calculation, especially when deciding whether to round up or down.

Chicago has a similar climate to where I am. Here a well build 2400 sq ft two story with regular 8 ft ceilings would get a 2.5-3 ton a/c max (depends on orientation and shading, window sizes, setpoints) and a 55-70k btu output furnace. The equipment you were quoted would be for a well over 3000 sq ft house. Now, you're more south and may have hotter summers, so may need something like 0.5 ton more or something.

This would been 66k input for the lennox (advertized as 70, but it's not 70) and a 60 or 80000 btu american standard.

American standard sizes are in 40-60-80-100-120 thousand btu. (inputs)

Lennox is 44-66-88, etc.

Last edited by user_12345a; 09-11-2015 at 10:16 PM.
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Old 09-11-2015, 10:13 PM   #4
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Consumer report has a different story:

Says Trane is about the best but AS and Lennox are pretty good:

http://www.essmwa.com/heating-coolin...tings-on-hvac/
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Old 09-11-2015, 10:22 PM   #5
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re: brands

Consumer ratings are crap - ignore them.

It's all about the sizing, installation, and setup. Some furnaces may be built better than others, but overall, the brand is the least important factor.

Either a lennox or american standard product will serve you well.

Forgot to mention, don't bother with 14 seer over 13 unless there are rebates or tax credits involved; the difference is less than 10% with a payback longer than the life of the equipment.

The ecm blower furnace bumps the seer rating up by 1 point anyhow - 14 (13 with ecm motor furnace) is fairly respectable and you'll see significant savings compared to an older 10 seer.

Quote:
Says Trane is about the best but AS and Lennox are pretty good:

http://www.essmwa.com/heating-coolin...tings-on-hvac/
Bob, are you aware that AS and trane are identical internally but with different color paint, a different logo and a different top on the a/c?

How could identical products have different ratings?

Just goes to show that consumer ratings are bs.

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Old 09-11-2015, 10:25 PM   #6
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Current a/c is a 3.5 ton 12 seer and furnace is a 115K BTU 80%

Im more interested in performance and reliability. Both companies do quality installs from what i have seen and read

Last edited by EddieA; 09-11-2015 at 10:27 PM.
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Old 09-11-2015, 10:29 PM   #7
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Grossly oversized, the furnace more so than the a/c.

Goes to show that you can't size based on the equipment alone.

---------------
Sizing really does impact performance and reliability.

It takes 15 minutes of continuous operation for a furnace or ac to reach rated capacity and efficiency.

An ac can't dehumidify if cycled frequently or run properly if it doesn't get enough airflow.

Oversized units need to move more air and result in louder and more drafty operation than correctly sized ones.

Beware of reviews written by homeowners; they don't know enough to tell if the equipment was properly sized or setup, only if the install looks neet and clean. Proper setup on site is very, very important. It's not like buying a fridge where you get it delivered and plug it in.

Last edited by user_12345a; 09-11-2015 at 10:39 PM.
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Old 09-11-2015, 10:32 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by user_12345a View Post
Bob, are you aware that AS and trane are identical internally but with different color paint, a different logo and a different top on the a/c?
Actually no I wasn't. Thank you

Quote:
How could identical products have different ratings?
Well, in reality only a small part of the total package is the equipment. So much of this depends on the install. The best machine in the world will run like a bag of doggy poop if it's not installed properly. Of course the machine itself gets blamed for it.

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Old 09-11-2015, 10:54 PM   #9
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Yah, it's all the same stuff. history is here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Americ...dard_Companies t

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Old 09-12-2015, 07:09 AM   #10
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If you want a reliable furnace air conditioner system I would recommend that you get the proper size for the home.
In this case size does matter and bigger is certainly Not better, you live in an area where the humidity can get quite high and an ac sized grossly oversized won't run enough to get rid of the humidity.
Also starting and stopping the equipment shortens the life of it more than longer run times.

Think of it like this, We have all sat in the living room and thought I sure wish the thermostat would kick in soon it's getting uncomfortable in here!
So this tells me that when the ac or furnace is moving conditioned air around then we feel more comfortable. A furnace or ac unit is a bit like a car, it takes a little time to heat things up so the first few minutes of running is spent heating up the components and then it does it's job, Just like your car efficiency and life is compromised by running short trips.
Go with the Dealer that does a heat load calc. you have the final say in this matter and have to live with the decision for the next 20 years, you did a good thing coming here to try and make a good buying decision. Please take the advice to the ones that are saying that the equipment proposed is oversized.
I've been in the hvac business for a long time and still tend to oversize the equipment just to be sure !!!!
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Old 09-12-2015, 07:58 AM   #11
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From a tech with 35 yrs experience IMO Lennox, Am Std/Trane, Carrier and York are the top 4.

Consummers reports etc are crap as you want to know 2-5 yrs down the road whether the machine is good. Everyone has warranty calls in the first year and a lot of complaints can be noise related from poor installs etc. Doubt the reports are from anything past year one.

Key point is to get them to use a 2 stage thermostat instead of 1 stage and not the timer in the furnace to switch stages.

Do a load calc yourself to get the proper furnace AC size. Beware some brands go up in 20,000 BTU increments like 60/80/100>Lennox and others go 70/90/110> Am Std. 10,000 BTU either way makes no big difference.

http://hvac-calc.com/main.asp


Am Std/Trane are built very well but I don't like the outdoor AC coil spine fin coil as it plugs easy and is very difficult to keep clean. Where I am Trane parts are ridiculously expensive. ACs have some similar parts like the fan motor but the furnaces DO NOT. The circuit board and exhaust fan etc is different for every brand.
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Old 09-12-2015, 08:34 AM   #12
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The Aprilair 700 is fan powered and more expensive than the 400 which is a bypass unit. If you can use a bypass then I would as it is cheaper and has no fan motor to wear out.
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Old 09-12-2015, 09:39 AM   #13
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Forget about the humidifier, you may not need it if combustion air is pulled from outside. If you're handy, you could always put one in yourself down the road. Needing a humidifier is actually a sign of too much leakage.
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Old 09-12-2015, 09:53 AM   #14
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Get the humidifier. I have one and have a VERY tight house. You lose air from bathroom exhaust fans, clothes dryers and going in and out of the house. All depends on the climate you live in. In some cases going from a furnace that uses a chimney to a sealed combustion one gets you to the point where you may not need one but you need a large family, do a lot of cooking with boiling water etc. Not too often but it happens. Your choice. If you get them to put it on later it costs twice as much.
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Old 09-12-2015, 10:26 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yuri View Post
Get the humidifier. I have one and have a VERY tight house.
In tight houses they probably work very well. My house is 103 years old though. I disconnected my humidifier after a year of use. I had more humidity issues in the roof crawlspaces this past Winter than I ever have.

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