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cohenourj

11:13AM | 12/24/04
Member Since: 12/19/04
2 lifetime posts
Bvhvac
I'm planning on replacing a Trane furnance and A/C due to its age and efficiency in a home I'm buying. In my previous home, I replaced the Lennox system with a Rheem system, against the advice of the HVAC contractor. However, I have been satisified with the Rheem system (I have it serviced twice a year) and the cost was considerably less than the Lennox system.

In my new home, I'm trying to decide whether to go with a 'premium' system from Lennox, Trane, Carrier, York, etc.. or with a 'cheaper' system from Rheem/Ruud, Tempstar or Bryant. So, what I'm really trying to find out it the reliability among the brands, assuming I keep up the twice a year servicing. Also, I am willing to replace the systems after 15 years or so so I'm not looking for a system that will last 20 years or longer.

Any advice or comments? Any brands to really steer clear of?

Thanks.


JGRIZZ

09:40AM | 12/25/04
Member Since: 12/16/04
54 lifetime posts
If you look at the technology employed by virtually every furnace manufacturer outhere today, the all employ basically the same technolgy. A circuit board, a gas valve, hot surface ignition, three or four pass combustion chambers, induced draft blower motors, pressure switches, a few safety devices, some limit controls and

a blower motor with three to four speeds generally. Now if you ask any particular dealer of any particular product they will tell you how great the product that they represent is...thats because they sign an agreement to distribute that one particular product and they receive coop advertising monies to aid in the advertisement of said product.

I have been in the industry for going on 20 years. I have been a service technician that responds to service calls and have sold new equipment and installed new equipment. I have seen many pieces of every product out there fail with no more frequencey than any other product on the market today. In my opinion, the real concern is installation. Finding a competent and qualified installer, who not only knows how to install the equipment properly but knows enough about the technical spceifications and how the unit operates that they would see any potential problems before they arise is going to be the most critical component of having your furnace last a long time. My reconmendation is to get your estimates and then ask your contractor of a list of customers who had problems with their equipment and find out how well your cpmpany handled the problem and how the customer was satisfied by the company. If you get a large company and they tell you they haven't had any complaints go somewhere else. Every company outhere has some level of call backs, its the company that best handles the call backs that you are intereseted in dealing with. Then narrow the search down to the company with the fewest call backs and the most satisfied customers. When you buy that furnace you will be married to the companies service department for as long as the warranty is in effect. SO beusre that they atleast have a good service department customer satisfaction ratio.

fragasaurus

04:35AM | 12/27/04
Member Since: 12/01/02
93 lifetime posts
Hello JGRIZZ. I have a question about your point about the service department of the company that installed the system. We live in the Northeast and have an oil fired boiler for a Hydro-air system (as many others around us). Most people here have a service contract with the oil suppliers and they service the boilers once they are installed. In a situation like this, for what occasions would I contact the installer instead of the oil company (assuming the installation was within the last year)?

Thanks.

JGRIZZ

06:51AM | 12/27/04
Member Since: 12/16/04
54 lifetime posts
Even if there is a different body that will come out and adjust your system, I would maintain contact with your installing companies Service department, because even though any dealer of your product can service the product under factory warranties, the company who installed it is most likely to give you the best treatment in times of repair than another company who did not install it--for the mere fact that customers mean a lot and most companies want good customer satisfaction records and always hope to attain some level of word of mouth marketing.

I would maintain a relationship of some kind with the installer, if for no other reason than good customer service in times of trouble.

fragasaurus

09:12AM | 12/27/04
Member Since: 12/01/02
93 lifetime posts
Makes sense. Thanks.

cohenourj

03:26PM | 12/27/04
Member Since: 12/19/04
2 lifetime posts
Thanks for the replies. Sounds like the importance of good installation and servicing make more of a difference than the actual brand.

What I was really looking to find out is whether the 'good' companies use better quality components and materials compared to the 'cheaper' companies.

Also, keep in mind that I'm including the A/C portion of my furnace replacement as well. I like to replace the furnace, coil, compressor and such at one time to have a matched system from one manufacturer.

Given that info, would the same advice hold true, that a 'premium' company not offer much more reliablity than 'cheaper' manufacturer assuming the installation and servicing is good?

Thanks.


JGRIZZ

07:28PM | 12/27/04
Member Since: 12/16/04
54 lifetime posts
Well in my residential business here in the San Francisco Bay area we service as far south as santa cruz and as far north as Mary's Ville from the coast to the Nevada Border. In all my years of troubleshooting equipment out there in both residential and comercial I have found that everyones equipment fails. In my experience there are no brands that have a major advantage over anyone equipment. The truth for me is that no matter the brand, or the name--there is really no one better than the other!

I install the most well known brands, and the least known brands, I install High end equipment and bottom of the barrel equipment, and I have the same reliability with all of the equipment because I know how to size the system, I know how to set the gas pressure, measure the temperature rise and measure the exhaust gas temperature as well as how to measure the electircl current and size the vent pipe

per the manufactuers instructions. I work bymyself and traveled over 75,000 mile last year in my brand new van and I have installed both ends of equipment. I could not travel such distances and stay in business if the equipment I was installing was faulty or did not have the reliability that I need. In my opinion, there is no more benefit to a name brand than there is in the installers abilities.
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