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Old 07-31-2010, 10:58 AM   #1
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Rheem vs American Standard - packaged


Need to replace my 3 ton AC. One company comes in WAY less with a Rheem 14/12 (SEER/EER) - ~ 5000 not counting rebates (400 from Rheem, 200 from TEP) plus the incentive.

Another company says Rheem is noisy and not nearly as good as American Standard. 14.2 SEER - quote is for 7700 or Lennox 6900 14 SEER. Says they do a much better job of installing which makes all the difference (30 pt inspection, etc etc etc). This company DOES have the best reputation in town but really? That much of a difference? Seems crazy.

Consumer reports basically says Rheem is just as good. Any thoughts from our experts? Thank you!

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Old 07-31-2010, 11:27 AM   #2
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Rheem vs American Standard - packaged


Opinions are like politics, very controversial. You do get what you pay for IMO. Lennox, Am Std/Trane are like a Buick, Rheem like a Malibu. Others are like the Chev Cavalier. Will do the job but are louder. Thinner metal, less rubber mounting and design put in for sound.

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Old 07-31-2010, 11:44 AM   #3
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But is it worth THAT much of a difference in price? It's 50% more! He says the total price reflects 65% product and 35% labor. Is that reasonable in your opinion? Why does Rheem get such good ratings if it's not as good?
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Old 07-31-2010, 12:01 PM   #4
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Rheem vs American Standard - packaged


Ask them for a scope of work.

Often, I use lintels to set a package unit on, if the old unit was just set on blocks. Other times, a poured concrete pad, if the customer wants. but a poured pad increases price, alot.

Is the higher company including any duct work size increases. New disconnect and whip?

Get a list from both companies. And then compare prices.

You would be surprised how much a difference install quality can make. Specially when it doesn't work like it should. And the company is busy with no cooling calls and its 95 outside. Often, lower priced contractors will make you wait, until they are done with the ones that will be paying them.

Brand really makes no difference.
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Old 07-31-2010, 12:31 PM   #5
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Beenthere is right. The devil is in the details. I find Rheem units work well, I like their circuit boards and gas ignition system. They are built for a price point and if sound is not an issue they work well. A solid pad or foundation and putting the unit on vibration absorbing pads plus the other points he mentioned are worth the extra $$.
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Old 07-31-2010, 01:04 PM   #6
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I don't remember either of them mentioning any "extra" work in terms of duct work, disconnects or whips - whatever that is!

I have a call into the higher guy about the foundation they will put it on and the other one isn't in until Monday. Good news is I have 2 units so I"m staying on that side of the house and I want to make as informed a decision as possible

I seem to hear Yuri saying that AS is better quality and Beenthere that the install can make a huge difference so maybe I just need to suck it up and pay more. I DO NOT want a noisy unit!
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Old 07-31-2010, 01:15 PM   #7
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Oh yeah - the higher guy also said he would "throw in" 2 free service calls to check and maintain the unit(s) and he offered me a life time warrantee for 700 plus the cost of this yearly service (supposedly worth $290). What do you think of that?
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Old 07-31-2010, 01:59 PM   #8
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Check the BBB for complaints. Generally in my area the higher priced firms can attract better techs as they pay more $$ in wages. Nothing against independants but the best techs won't work for the cheap contractors. In the long run a company that has been in biz for a long time and can provide better service is the best choice. In my area the high end products, Lennox, Trane, Carrier won't sell cash and carry to Joe's heatem and cheat em so they sell the lower end products. There is a market and price point for everybody. You need to find your comfort point. My boss says if you spend $1000 more on a unit that last 20 yrs you have only spent $50 a yr to get a better unit. We sell $12,000- $16,000 packages to our clients, all Lennox stuff.
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Old 07-31-2010, 02:52 PM   #9
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Thanks Yuri - you are exactly right and that's exactly what he said - he pays his guys more. As far as the BBB the more expensive company has been with the BBB since 93 and the other one only since 2008 (1 complaint) and higher guy no complaints. Higher guy gave me 2 options - the AS (4YCY) and the Lennox (15GSC) at $400 less. Any opinions on AS vs Lennox? Out of curiosity why don't you sell AS?
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Old 07-31-2010, 03:37 PM   #10
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In Winnipeg Trane/Am Std. is a lot more expensive to buy and I find their parts a lot more expensive. Probably not as bad in the U.S. due to the larger market. Personally I DO NOT like the condensor coil/spine fin that they and the old Carriers use. Tends to plug up very easy with Cottonwood tree fuzz etc. The Lennox is a lot easier to keep clean. As long as it (Am Std) is professionally cleaned once a year it should be okay. If you get a lot of tree fuzz/seeds etc I would stay away from that type of coil, it looks like tinsel from a XMas tree. Not any more efficient than the regular coil Lennox and others use. Can you get more quotes from other dealers so you can get a better average price?
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Old 07-31-2010, 04:02 PM   #11
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Yes, I should be getting a quote on AS from the "cheaper" guy on Monday. He did not do a load calc up front - said he would do it later. The higher guy did it before he recommended a system. He just seemed more thorough and maybe he's just a good salesman but I feel like the install might be better too.....said the unit will go on redwood......with side ventilation - at least I "THINK" that's what he said! I'm leaning toward the higher guy now

So do you think that $700 for a lifetime warranty with a $290 bill for inspection every year is worth it?
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Old 07-31-2010, 04:29 PM   #12
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Depends on the details of what the warranty covers. If it is thru Am Std it sounds okay. Not sure what your cost of living is. We charge over $200 to do a proper thorough inspection on a AC and furnace. No piece work, our guys take the necessary time to do a thorough job and get paid by the hour. Your higher priced guy sounds very legit to me.

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