09:29AM | 10/11/02
Member Since: 10/10/02
2 lifetime posts
I'm having a 90%+ gas furnace installed. Like the idea of the efficiency of 90%, but also need it because of a venting problem with installation of 80% type.

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.


10:45AM | 10/11/02
Member Since: 10/10/02
2 lifetime posts
Let me see if understand your response...

On the trane vs. carrier, you are saying that both are bad choices, and that I should have another kind of furnace, with a boiler?

On the duct issuue, you are saying that both wireflex and aluminumflex are bad choices, compared with solid metal that is wrapped with some kind of insulation on the outside of the ducting? The company offering the aluminum says it pre-insulated heavy gage (does that make a difference?) and will last for the "lifetime of my home" and he is the one who said that this was a much better than wireflex or thermaflex, which are inexpensive and will deteriorate over time. I'm not having air conditioning, only heating, so the duct will only have one purpose.

On the variable vs two-stage, you are saying both are bad choices because they will break within 5 years?

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