03:41AM | 01/25/03
Member Since: 12/15/02
33 lifetime posts
We will be contracting to replace our furnace and our A/C unit. The difference in price between a 14 seer A/C and a 12 seer A/C unit makes me relatively sure we can only go with a 12 seer (the 14 seer is $1,000 more).

But I'm quite confused about which type of furnace to go with. Each bid we've taken has carried a different recommendation. The first said we shouldn't settle for anything less than a 98% AFUE unit, vented through our garage (we'd need to install new horizontal venting). The next said he'd install a 90% unit if we asked, but didn't seem to feel it was necessary. The final bidder said whatever we did, we should make sure we installed a 2-stage furnace but AVOID a 2-stage variable furnace.


What's the skinny on variable speed vs. plain vanilla 2-stage speed? My contractor who doesn't like variable speed blowers says they're more complex and therefore more likely to create problems. And since we're expecting to stay in this house for the life of our 30-year mortgage, should we get the highest AFUE we can afford?


06:00AM | 01/25/03
If you can afford to go with the 98% then I certainly would. The 2 speed system in furnaces has been around for a long time. Most contractors shy away from the variable speed due to inexperience with them. They are indeed much more complicated in operation. Which brand of furnace did they bid on for you?


09:29AM | 01/25/03
Member Since: 12/15/02
33 lifetime posts
I assume you're asking about the furnaces we received bids on. They were: American Standard Model AUX120R960V (2 stage 90%) and American Standard Model AUY120R9V5V (2 stage variable speed 90%); Carrier Model 58MTA 100-16 (2 stage 92.2%); Carrier Model 58MVP100-200 (2 stage variable 98%).


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