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Old 11-30-2012, 05:41 PM   #31
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Why would I want to choose to go with the Ducane furnace over the Trane?

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Old 11-30-2012, 05:55 PM   #32
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If you can afford the Trane buy it. Like buying a Toyota or Honda vs a Chrysler etc. Price is the main reason. It is a good furnace but Trane is built to a bit higher standard.
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Old 11-30-2012, 07:16 PM   #33
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Hi Guys,

I have looked at pictures of the innards of several furnaces, and the differences are negligible. All of them use gas valves made by others, and im sure that all of the controller boards are made in Taiwan, or China. The only difference that would make one better than another would seem to be the type of metal the heat exchanger is made of and its thickness ie. its ability to resist pitting, burn through, or just coming apart from vibration.

Have any of you put a micrometer on any of the sheet metal? These things have become really cheaply constructed, from the look of things, and you have to admit that they are fairly simple, with all functions dictated by the main controller board.

I guess the quality of the blower motors can vary, but that would not account for much, would it?

I just dont understand the huge difference in price from one to another. I mean "Wheres the Beef"
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Old 11-30-2012, 09:49 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jagans View Post
Hi Guys,

I have looked at pictures of the innards of several furnaces, and the differences are negligible. All of them use gas valves made by others, and im sure that all of the controller boards are made in Taiwan, or China. The only difference that would make one better than another would seem to be the type of metal the heat exchanger is made of and its thickness ie. its ability to resist pitting, burn through, or just coming apart from vibration.

Have any of you put a micrometer on any of the sheet metal? These things have become really cheaply constructed, from the look of things, and you have to admit that they are fairly simple, with all functions dictated by the main controller board.

I guess the quality of the blower motors can vary, but that would not account for much, would it?

I just dont understand the huge difference in price from one to another. I mean "Wheres the Beef"
There is the beef. Depending on what quality the manufacturer specs out for the relays in his circuit boards etc makes a huge difference. They are NOT all the same. Chinese people are not stupid.THey can build nuclear bombs etc. Give them $10 to build a circuit board and it will last 50 yrs. Give them $1 it lasts 15 yrs. Give them the 50 cents that these manufacturers are willing to pay and you get crap.
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Old 11-30-2012, 11:51 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jagans View Post
Hi Guys,

I have looked at pictures of the innards of several furnaces, and the differences are negligible. All of them use gas valves made by others, and im sure that all of the controller boards are made in Taiwan, or China. The only difference that would make one better than another would seem to be the type of metal the heat exchanger is made of and its thickness ie. its ability to resist pitting, burn through, or just coming apart from vibration.

Have any of you put a micrometer on any of the sheet metal? These things have become really cheaply constructed, from the look of things, and you have to admit that they are fairly simple, with all functions dictated by the main controller board.

I guess the quality of the blower motors can vary, but that would not account for much, would it?

I just dont understand the huge difference in price from one to another. I mean "Wheres the Beef"
Have you thought about efficiency.... the thicker the metal, the less efficient. I takes more heat to more the same shape of metal only thicker..... Furnaces today are really mostly very good... There are bad ones out there, however, IMO, it all depends on how well it is installed VS the brand of equipment.
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Old 12-07-2012, 04:41 PM   #36
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Metal is a conductor. if the metal is thicker, it takes a little bit longer to heat up, but it also stays hot longer because of its having more mass. Also, we are talking maybe .010 - .015 difference in thickness, enough to increase strength, but negligible difference in mass. You have the math to prove your statement?
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Old 12-07-2012, 06:15 PM   #37
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Thickness of the heat exchanger is NOT the primary reason they fail nowadays. Years ago it was because they would rust thru. The metallurgy and grade of steel is most important nowadays. I truly believe some el cheapo brands are using recycled metal. You can look at the burn marks and discoloration on some of them and it is purple and odd colors and they get real brittle sooner than normal and crack. There are many many different grades of stainless steel and a poor grade will cause a cheaper unit to rot thru in the secondary heat echanger. MOST heat exchangers fail because the furnace is overfired (too much gas pressure at startup and not set properly) and a lack of airflow causing it to run too hot and cycle on/off with the limit control caused by too small ductwork and lazy homeowners who do not clean their air filters or ever get the AC coil cleaned or checked for dirt or serviced at all.
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Old 12-07-2012, 06:40 PM   #38
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It is a sad world we live in now Yuri. It is no longer "How can we make a quality product and offer it at a reasonable price" it is "How cheap can we build these things and still get away with selling them for a huge profit"
We really have to protect our basic industries. I once bought a large quantity of what was supposed to be type 304 stainless steel sheet metal from a major roofing supplier to fabricate gravel stop flashing. Thats the trim around the edge of the roof. After 3 months it all turned brown. Turns out it was from Rumania. I now always specify "Of American Manufacture" for all sheet metal. They replaced the sheet metal, but I had to break it and install it. Lost my axe on that one, and I wasen't trying to cut corners. Of course I never did.
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Old 12-07-2012, 06:50 PM   #39
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Quote:
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It is a sad world we live in now Yuri. It is no longer "How can we make a quality product and offer it at a reasonable price" it is "How cheap can we build these things and still get away with selling them for a huge profit"
.
I don't think it is that way at all.

I compete with a superior installed product, however, I lose jobs to bubbas whose price is cheaper and their quality is less.

It's....."How come I make a quality product when there are low quality cheap guys who get the jobs?"

"I got a Trane put in by "Hacksaw charlie, Inc." for $$$ less than Quality Perfection, LLC!!!!"

Last edited by Technow; 12-07-2012 at 06:54 PM.
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Old 12-07-2012, 06:57 PM   #40
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Well I am sorry that you lose the work, but frankly you don't want that work anyway. I'm sure you get your share of replacement work. If there are some brands that are significantly superior to others, then a chart like they use in consumer reports for cars would really be helpful. Is there such a thing?
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Old 12-07-2012, 07:41 PM   #41
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Well I am sorry that you lose the work, but frankly you don't want that work anyway. I'm sure you get your share of replacement work. If there are some brands that are significantly superior to others, then a chart like they use in consumer reports for cars would really be helpful. Is there such a thing?
Not a helpful chart because you are dealing with a product whose final installation integrated with a home and ductwork determines the absolute "final product" longevity and performance......
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Old 12-07-2012, 08:42 PM   #42
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So True. The only way to stand half a chance of getting a good install AND proper service is to talk to your neighbors, friends, co-workers and HOPEFULLY they know someone who does good work. Sad that it is that way but has it not been that way with car mechanics and doctors for years? I have trained hundreds of apprentices over the yrs and can tell within 20 minutes whether they have any brains, logic skills or drive in there bellies. 95% seem to be more interested in texting, sports pools, soccer scores, answering their cell phones than actually learning a trade. Far cry from when I was an apprentice and you where lucky to find a Journeyman to teach you. Now you can't give the knowledge away as they are not interested. Just living day by day and off their credit cards. Hate to see them when they hit 39-40 yrs old and find out they don't know a damn thing and are getting old and left behind.
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Old 12-08-2012, 01:55 PM   #43
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Thanks Technow. In my case, I have a Carrier High Efficiency condensing furnace which has performed flawlessly since 1993, and I have to admit that it has not received the care and feeding it should have with the exception of keeping the electrostatic filter cleaned, which I did religiously.

I am now up to speed on these furnaces, since mine stopped working. My controller board went bad. SInce the parts werent that dear, I replaced the pressure switch, and the HSI with the more durable type, replaced all the vacuum lines, and did a thorough cleaning of everything, including the secondary HE, in and out, the trap, the blower wheel and motor and the intake and exhaust flues. Also cleaned the flame sensor, and checked the gas pressure with my manometer. I also cleaned all electrical connections and replaced one spade connector which was questionable.

My furnace runs beautifully now, and when it is time for replacement, I intend to buy one with the same specifications as my current one, as it is pretty clear my ducts were properly sized, considering how well it has performed over the years.

I will do the basic install and have a licensed HVAC technician fine tune it.
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Old 12-08-2012, 08:56 PM   #44
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Well we have a change in events. Seems that the Heat exchanger will be covered under warranty.

My current company has stated they will replace the heat exchanger for $1400. They are also the ones that have quoted me for the replacements listed in earlier posts. I have decided Ducane is OUT.

I had a second company come in and quote me a new furnace, Bryant 2 stage 120K BTU ECM blower for $3200. I didn't ask for a quote on the heat exchanger.

Now on to the oddity. Based on recommendation from family I called the third HVAC guy. Turns out he is a Tempstar guy. Now, he has quoted $3800 for a 120K BTU 2 stage variable speed blower. and $3100 for a single stage furnace.
Now for the jaw dropper, at least in my eyes.

This guy quoted me $200 to replace the heat exchanger and $50 for the shipping of each exchanger. He will have both the primary and secondary exchangers on hand while he does the work. so for up to $300 id have both heat exchangers replaced.

And then another $495 for the exhaust blower fan. I have a water leak and i think its coming from here.
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Old 12-08-2012, 09:06 PM   #45
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How many of the main heat exchangers are in your furnace, and is he charging you 200 bucks per exchanger? or 200 for all 4 or three, or however many you have? Mine has 4 separate mains and one secondary which is an all in one unit. And how is a fan leaking???? That part does not make sense.


Last edited by jagans; 12-08-2012 at 09:08 PM.
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