I can't resolve the differences in the information provided by the two companies vying for my business. One recommends Carrier 93% AFUE 58MTA080F-1-16 2-stage, 80,000 BTU. The other will install Carrier but seems to be pushing Trane as a better brand, faxing me a short article published in Nov. 2002 Consumer Reports that says American Standard/Trane are more reliable than average. (However, the original survey by Consumer Reports from a couple of years ago doesn't actually provide rankings and says that Trane and Carrier are fairly equivalent.)
Question 1: Which is better in terms of quality and reliability, or are they basically equivalent?
One installation quote is based on using wireflex ducting. The other on aluminumflex, and they say the wireflex is inferior. The company quoting using wireflex, says aluminumflex isn't necessary because none of the ducting is "very close to the ground," although they will use the more expense aluminumflex if I want (and they'll charge me more.)
Question 2: Is wireflex inferior? Are there types of installations where wireflex is warranted, and other types where aluminumflex is more appropriate?
Two-stage vs. variable.... The variable option is more expensive.
Question 3: Is variable worth the additional cost? How prone to breaking down are two-stage vs. variable?
I appreciate all responses. I am really struggling on this one.