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Old 11-12-2006, 03:24 PM   #1
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What brand central AC??


I need to replace my central AC. I now have a 1992 Rheem 4 Ton. Every AC company I talk to tells me why they do or don't like all other brands. I need some advice from impartial people.

I have a 2900Sqft home. I have 2 units, one is 4 ton and one is 2 Ton. Some of my ceilings are 18 ft high. Some areas of the house just don't get enough air flow to cool them. Some companies say a direct 4 Ton replacement with the newer motors and effeciency should work fine. Others say I should upgrade to a 5 Ton.

So far I have been offered:
American Standard (kind of pricey a little over $5,000 with running new freon lines)
Carrier
Rheem
Trane

Which brands are better and hich should I stay away from?

Thanks
David

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Old 11-12-2006, 03:34 PM   #2
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Hi davidwilp

The one thing you are going to find it hard to do on this site, is find that impartial person. I am a Carrier person, the reason we are all so partial is what we see when we work on certain equipment and the ongoing problems after a couple of years. I won't say anything bad about the others because there is a tech on this site that is patrial to the American Standard (Trane Equipment) this person is a very good tech and seems to be very intelligent. The reason I am a Carrier man is because they are innovators, they keep the field fresh with new ideas in doing so they keep the pot sturred. They have been around for over 100 years. Use this website and see for yourself, make your own impartial descision based on the facts www.carrier.com.


Good Luck
Rusty

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Old 11-12-2006, 03:53 PM   #3
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What brand central AC??


You kinda need to try to make an "apples to apples" comparison if you can. It's hard to do, I know, but you need to try to get quotes on the same SEER, heating efficiency, and other ancillary bells and whistles if you can.

It's often boils down to a Ford vs. Chevy vs. Dodge question, in the end. You can get a really good performing or a really so-so performing piece of equipment in any brand. Carrier/Bryant is Cadillac stuff, for sure. My preference (generally) is to use technologies that have been in the market and proven themselves a bit longer. You can get that in most of their equipment. Using their top-of-the-line is using equipment that is forging new ground, most of the time. The same is true for many manufacturer's top-of-the-line, however.

My advice is always the same in this regard. Pick a good INSTALLER, and don't pick equipment. Even good equipment, when installed poorly, will not give you good service. Pick a company that has been around a while, will likely continue to be around in the future, and who employ people that seem intelligent and trustworthy. Don't get too caught up in brands and prices if you can help it. Pick a good guy, have him give you a couple of options, and go from there. I know I could make you happy with even low-end Goodman/Janitrol equipment.

By the way, I often quote HVAC equipment replacements with a GOOD, BETTER, and BEST options when I can. I don't know if any of your people did that, but they have the ability to do so if you ask for it. The BEST for your home is a worthy goal, but not always in the budget. There's no shame in that. Ask for other options if the fella you're most comfortable with isn't really in your budget. He may quote you another option, or he may explain why you really need to pay that much for your system because of some additional overriding concerns. At least you will have asked.

Last edited by mdshunk; 11-12-2006 at 03:57 PM.
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Old 11-12-2006, 07:43 PM   #4
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What brand central AC??


Thank you both for your replies. I welcome any others too so please feel free to voice an opinion.

Thanks,
David
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Old 11-13-2006, 10:39 PM   #5
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What brand central AC??


I'm on the same quest.

I had almost swallowed the media (advertising) hype that Lennox is the Cadilac, Closely followed by Trane and Carrier, but I know what 'rumor" can do. So I'm back to square one.
Actually I just don't have a clue.

Rusty here seems like a straight shooter so I will look closer at Carrier/Bryant
I wanted to find York to be as good as any, but I have not found any pro that I trust to agree so far.
Actually the only negative I heard regarding York was a prob with a new compressor design or compressor vendor. Course if true a compressor problem is a major one AFAIAC.
Then there is the "rumor" that you can save a bundle if you buy in January...but if you don't get prices thruout the year , how would you know????
I know I'd charge an extra $500 bux to work in a Houston Attic in the Texas summer (May-Oct).

As I posted elsewhere in this section I am looking for very few "bells & whistles".
Is Consumer Reports still in biz?
What (if anything) do they say?

Oh and Goodman/Janitrol which is made here in Houston, is IMHO just what we call a Rent House Unit. All the property managers and landlords stick them in rent and lease properties cause they're the cheapest. I will not replace with one of them I don't think.
I have one becaluse I bought a former lease house.
BUT..my next door neighbor (an engineer) who monitors each and every killowatt of every device he owns, thinks they are as good as many and even better for the money. His 10 seer unit is 10 years old. My 10 seer unit is 7 years old. Never a service call or hitch with either except for A-coil cleaning.

Oh the companies here, and there must be 750 of them, usually push a particular brand but most say they can get any brand that I want.
That's sorta strange.

wink

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Old 11-14-2006, 07:58 PM   #6
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What brand central AC??


Hi Again

Winkydink brought up a good point about the 750 dealers to chose from. We had some of those come up here from Texas. The ones that came up here did it under the cover of darkness, put in a bunch of units for almost nothing. Then when it came to things blowing up on them, we found out they were here. I am not sure the names of these fly by nighters, but I was able to narrow it down by serial # research that they were dealers out of Houston and Dallas. I have never in my life seen such poor Craftsmanship. To make a long story short, we took on the responsibility even though it was not ours, soley because it was Carrier equipment and this is our territory. When I saw evaporators going bad and compressors failing within a year, I knew this was going to be a long haul. So my suggestion is as it has always been, find a reputable company that has long running ties to their community. Make sure they look you in the eyes when they talk to you, if they shift aroud your questions ask them to leave your house. This is your investment not theirs, the eaiest way to spend your money once is doing so wisley. We have been a Carrier dealer for 56 years for a reason. Happy hunting in your quest, leave no rock unturned, Don't be afraid to ask questions.

Good luck
Rusty

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