Impressed with Tempstar quote- do I really need a Carrier /Lennox

raehelenFebruary 11, 2009

OK- now I'm totally confused!

Have been getting estimates for a new furnace (High efficiency to replace our 30+ year old Trane), and have decided to take advantage of Canadian gov't energy grants and with several thousand $$$ in rebates, also get a heat pump. We live in the Pacific NorthWest near Vancouver, BC, so fairly mild weather, but looking forward to the few searing hot days when the heat pump will provide air conditioning benefits.

Have had several installers and only one (the fellow from SEARS) gave us a complete heat loss calculator that is recommended on this forum. I was impressed by the knowledge and attitude of about half of the men I spoke with. The fellow who impressed us the most has convinced us to go with TempStar. I admit to feeling more comfortable with a 'brand name' like Carrier or Lennox, but not several thousand dollars worth more comfortable- which is what the difference in quotes is. The Tempstar T9MPVO75 F12H furnace is 92% efficient, has a variable speed blower and 2 stage operation and comes with a Lifetime warranty on the heat exchanger (have to admit I don't even know what this is) and a 10 year No Hassle Replacement Warranty. We are also getting the T4H436 GKD Heat Pump 14 Seer 2 stage with R410A coolant (not the R22) that comes with a 10 year warranty.

We are completely renovating our 30 year + home, and several thousand dollars in savings can go towards one of the bathrooms, or the new roof... Since we anticipate retiring and moving within 10 years, a 10 year warranty seems pretty good. Anyhow, does anyone actually know if a top of the line Tempstar is still 'poorer' quality than a Carrier? Seems to me most HVAC guys carry/deal with one or two lines, so how do they know what the others are really like?

The more I read- the more befuddled I become. Are many of these parts really being manufactured by one company and labelled X, Y, and Z as they leave the door?

Do I need to be concerned that I'm making a terrible mistake choosing Tempstar? Since from what I've read installation is so important...I feel very comfortable with the Tempstar installer- experienced and knowledgeable.

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ryanhughes

You are right that installation is most important. This sounds like a competent dealer, but I'd be careful with SEARS. They, from what I hear, use subcontractors to do the installation. So you may be impressed with the sales rep, but do you know who's doing the installation?

TempStar equipment is okay. If the warranty is 10 years parts I would not be too concerned. Their upper end equipment is pretty comparable to Carrier equipment (Tempstar is an ICP product, owned by UT which owns Carrier).

    Bookmark   February 11, 2009 at 3:01PM
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raehelen

Thanks Ryan,

I decided against SEARS because they were by far the most expensive. Can't remember if the fellow giving us the quote (which was definitely the most thorough) would have also done the installation. The fellow installing the Tempstar used to work with Carrier, and he said he prefers Tempstar. Just had a call from him, and he said there are no furnaces available until the end of the month, and then we will be getting a 95% efficient one instead of 92%. That also increases the rebate we will get back from our gov't programs!

Think I am breathing just a little bit easier... :>)

    Bookmark   February 11, 2009 at 3:08PM
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baldloonie

I'd have no problem at all with Tempstar over Carrier or Lennox. Watch next week as some new juicy $$$ tax incentives up to $1500 may be signed. Would require 15 SEER pump but many "14 SEER" can get 15 with the variable speed indoor unit.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2009 at 9:01PM
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danw13

Be sure to have a load calc done to be sure you get the equipment properly sized for your home, also have your duct work checked to be ure it has enough compacity for the proper air flow for the equipment as well. May also want to have your homes insulation level checked both in your attic and walls, and also your windows before having a load calc done as any upgrades in those areas may cause your new equipment to be oversized which will make the furnace short cycle costing you more money to operate and shotening the life of the equipment. Ceck with your utility compnay see if they have a weatherization program, if you quailify, they will insulate, upgrade your frunace if needed, check all your appliance's for efficicency and replace if needed, and should you quailify you may only have to pay a mere 10% of the total cost. Alot of States have very similar type programs now a days and it should be taken advantage of IMO. Price should never be a dicding factor, where the installation and the fact that you trust the company installing the equipment is most important other than price. Be sure the contract includes everything necessary and that everything agreed upon between you and the company is in wirting. If it's not in wirting they won't do it unless you pay for the extras. Good luck !!! I had my old furnace replaced last year it was a Tempstar furnace lasted 25 yrs with minimum maintinece but had it replaced with Carriers Infinity 3 stage furnace, very nice equipment and am hopful this summer I will have the AC replaced with a Perfromance 15 or the Ifninity 2 stage HP to give me the Hybrid heating.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2009 at 1:57PM
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raehelen

Well,

We went with the Tempstar Units. It has been two weeks, and so far we are extremely happy. We have had unusually cold windy weather for March here in the PNW, and the house has never been so comfortable! We did have all our single pane windows replaced- but still I can now sit in front of the bay window and be toasty warm- before it was definitely chilly. Will be very interesting to have A/C capability in the summer- as winters get colder, and summers hotter here, and with all the eco-energy grants from the Canadian gov't, it was time to upgrade our system.

I still am disheartened at how difficult it was to make this decision- the more I researched, the more I read conflicting advice/testimony. This is such a large $$$ purchase for the average home owner, and one that we only make once or twice in a lifetime (When we built our last home, I had no clue- couldn't tell you what kind of furnace the contractor put in if you offered me a million $$$! :>)

So, if this Tempstar furnace and heat pump work out fine, with warranties ranging from 10 year to lifetime, wonder why the other 'name brands' cost so many thousands of dollars more? One company explained their higher cost by the amount of money that they put into advertising and the expense of having a showroom/sales staff etc. and the customer service they provided. Now - that makes sense- I can see where the money is being spent in that case... I just chose to save several thousand that I needed to spend elsewhere.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2009 at 2:05PM
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countryboymo

I don't think there is really anything wrong with the higher end of the Tempstar line. I can attest that the builders grade units are noisier on the outside units and inside. The blower in my air handler roars loud enough you need to increase the volume of the tv when it comes on. I think after this experience I will go ahead and pay the money for a Carrier or Trane, Rheem or Ruud I don't care as long as its quiet!

    Bookmark   March 10, 2009 at 8:07PM
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wer2go

going w/ tempstar although not my favorite is not a bad choice. reality is the days most(NOT ALL) brands are of relative quality from coils, boards and compressors. quality if install is foremost. sears offers and price and nothing more... a good warranty is great but having someone at ur house everyweek to fix ur new sytem will be frustrating. know the contractor... i agree that carrier,lennox, trane and goodman.(yup goodman. i just toured there factory in texas(was impressed)). are the best but others are good. the r-410a is a must to avoid increased repair expense..... by the way.. check out www.zerolice.com it may just make u'r new sytem even more efficient, especially with a heat pump application

    Bookmark   March 10, 2009 at 9:15PM
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raehelen

Well, this Top of the line Tempstar is much quieter than the 30 year old Trane we replaced. You also wouldn't believe (well- maybe YOU would, but I was surprised) at how much debris- including 'insulation?' is collecting in the filter. I have been cleaning it every day cuz I'm too cheap to just let it get filthy and replace it. I'm guessing that something must be sucking crap out of my old ducting that had been sitting there a long time? We have gone through a lot of renos (read-lots of dust made), but even cobwebs are being caught in this filter! I am so looking forward to having my nearly daily dusting chore being reduced.

wer2go- wonder if the Calgon people realized that their URL address reads as Zero-Lice?

    Bookmark   March 11, 2009 at 2:15PM
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