Bryant vs Rheem

tomlinFebruary 8, 2013

I am replacing my whole system and have received multiple quotes. The two best are Bryant and Rheem:
Both systems are priced at $9000 USD

Bryant #987MA60080V21 (78k BTU) fully modulating 97% efficient gas fired forced air furnace with an ECM blower motor
Bryant #186BNA036 single stage Evolution condensing unit with a 16.5 SEER
Bryant #CNPVP4324ALA insulated, cased evaporator coil.
Bryant #SYSTXBBUID01C Evolution control.
Honeywell external 4" filter rack
(Optional: Bryant Perfect Air Purifier #GAPAXXBB2025 for and additional $850.00)

Rheem #RGFG09ERS (90k BTU) modulating 95% gas furnace
rheem 14ajm36 single stage up to 16 seer
Rheem RCQD3621 coil
New modulating thermostat
(assumed similar air filter)
(Optional: Clean Effects Air Cleaner: $995)

On consumer reports, the Bryant rates 8% (fewer repairs) compared to Rheem at 10%, plus the Bryant efficiency is better for the furnace.

The Rheem installer told me he may "throw in" a new AprilAir powered humidifier worth $500 but I may be able to use my older model already in place so it is a wash.

Which system is better?
Are these good prices?
Are the add-on electrostatic air clearers worth the extra $$$ ?
The Evolution condensing unit on the Bryant is actually an upgrade compared to their legacy condensor. The only difference I can see is the noise is reduced - but it is worth extra $300?

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I like both these brands depending mainly on the models selected. Bryant is sister company to Carrier and basically all models across their product lines are identical. And I have said many times that Rheem/Rudd are one of the most overlooked and underrated brands in the residential marketplace. Solid equipment not always cutting edge.

Several questions.

What is your location?
What is the size of your home?
What size and efficiency is your existing furnace and AC that you plan on replacing?
How would you describe your home's insulation qualities? Did either quoting dealer perform a load calculation and give you a copy in writing?

To the quotes. Several differences stand out.

The Bryant furnace s more efficient than the Rheem furnace.
I do not like the AC condenser Rheem dealer quoted compared to the Bryant model.
The Bryant controller is best on the residential HVAC market.

Between the quotes, I would have to give the Bryant the clear edge. Are any rebates applicable? The winter heating season is about half over and Bryant normally offers a nice rebate on a premium system like they have quoted beginning in April. If this was my home and there was not an immediate need, I would wait. I also would probably drop the HW filter for a similar Bryant model. I would not pay any up charge however.

Post back.


    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 8:38AM
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thanks for the post - I appreciate your help.
We are in PA - near Philly.
We currently have a York furnace builder grade 80% but is very sick so we may be getting 60% at best now. The AC is also york but I do not know the seer.
My house is 1900 sq/ft
The house is 20 years old and the insulation is good but we have some cold spots. We did not get a load calculation by ANY of the 6 quotes we got.

I would have gone with the Bryant because it has the highest efficiency and best reliability, but when I checked the exact models of everything I found that my current York is rated at 95k btu and the unit I was quoted was only 78k btu. When I asked him about it, he said I was getting mixing up the input and output BTU. Because my current York is only 80% the 95k * 85% = 76k btu OUTPUT � that may be the same output at maximum, but it sounds fishy to me. Should I ask for bigger?
He also told me the condensers is an Evolution and has more comfort features - there is
communication back and forth, monitoring of system operations and adjustments for comfort and efficiency being made by the system. The most obvious feature is that they are designed to operate quieter.
I can wait until April for a rebate - except my heating costs will be higher until then Do you know how much to expect?
Does Bryant actually manufacture their own filter? I thought Honeywell is a good brand?

Are these good prices?
Are the add-on electrostatic air clearers worth the extra $$$ ?
The Evolution condensing unit on the Bryant is actually an upgrade compared to their legacy condensor. The only difference I can see is the noise is reduced - but it is worth extra $300?

    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 11:41AM
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The contractor should do a heating and cooling load calculation in order to determine the sizes. A furnace size of 80K BTU for house your size near Philly would be reasonable.

Who told you your current furnace is only 60% efficient? Contractors typically will tell potential customers there furnace is terribly inefficient and they should replace it immediately. The Carrier/Bryant rebates usually start in March. The Evolution system typically gets an $1100 rebate. But the contractor normally pays for half the rebate, so you may not see the full rebate reduction in the quote.

I would not get the electrostatic air filter unless you have a real health need. They can become a maintenance issue. I think the Evolution condenser uses a sturdier exterior shell. It also will qualify for a larger rebate.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 12:19PM
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Definitely no higher than the 80 K Bryant. You might could go with the 60 K model.

Probably does not matter alot, but if you want to know and are concerned about your operating costs, then insist on a load calculation at your design temps both inside and out for cooling and heating.

I like HW products as well but the last Honeywell filter cabinet I saw looked very light duty. That's why I suggested the Bryant. It probably is made by a third party which is typical. I would expect it to be superior to
the HW. And unless there s special need in your home, I agree about the pleated filter media cabinet MERV 10.


    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 12:28PM
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Pricing varies between locations and markets-can be due to business/tax environment, unions, competitive forces at work, dealers' business model and size.

With that said, I woulvelave expected the Rheem quote to be less expensive than the Bryant.

Oversizing by dealers still is very prevalent because they are too lazy to perform load calc.

I would hold on for about 6-8 wks and see what rebate or incentive Bryant gives to their dealers. Understand these rebates and incentives can vary from year to year and are for Bryant dealers who choose to participate in the program.


    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 4:27PM
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Agree with all the points tiger has made above.

As for the media filter question, I'll give my opinion that the Honeywell is fine if the Bryant isn't cheaper (it should be -- haven't dealt with Carrier recently, but at least in the past the filter cabinet was shipped with the furnace and would fit just about any generic 4" filter. That may not be the case anymore -- but it should be a cheap accessory item. I have the Honeywell F100 on my system and was actually surprised at how heavy duty it was -- takes some force to get the front door off. Perhaps he saw an older model and they weren't as good in the past -- who knows.

Another nice thing about waiting until April is it may make the cost of the upgrade to a 2-stage air conditioner or even heat pump (while downgrading the furnace to an 80% in a dual fuel application) more than reasonable. Something to consider. Multistage equipment works exceptionally well on the Infinity/Evolution interface.

This post was edited by ryanhughes on Sat, Feb 9, 13 at 18:49

    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 6:47PM
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OK - now I have a BIG problem
I think the main fan on my York went out yesterday.
The furnace still kicks on occasionally the gas jets fire and the the exhaust motor is still working.
The does not seem to be any danger - i have a carbon monoxide detector next to the furnace that does not show anything and it has been out for a day and we did not notice it.
The bottom floor of the house seems warm enough - because the furnace still fires and the heat seem to rise by natural convection. But some of the bedrooms in my upstairs are getting cold.
Should I throw the emergency switch to turn off the furnace completely or can I wait a few more days until I decide which system to buy? Should I get someone to fix the motor so I can wait for the rebates? I assume the total cost of the motor plus the service is less than the total rebates.
is it possible that one of the people looking at the furnace accidentally did something so the motor is now dead? The motor has been getting VERY noisy for weeks so it probably just died, but it is an interesting that it happened now - is this something I may be able to band-aid?

    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 11:21PM
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SO i did a little more investigation and think I should just keep the furnace OFF
I opened up the blower compartment and the fan in the squirrel case rotates freely. I was looking for a reset button but could not find it but I noticed the electric motor was hot. It is below the gas so i do not think it was hot from that but because it is trying to turn the fan but can not.
When I turn on the furnace and open the blower door, the furnace shuts off again because of a safety switch - when I bypass the switch, the fan in the squirrel cage is no longer easy to rotate - the motor itself seems to be the problem. Is there a way I could clean it or something to make it move again?
In any case, because the electric motor was getting hot, I will have to keep the furnace off and that will mean the house will get cold and my options are now very limited unless I can fix the motor itself

    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 11:47PM
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If this Is main blower motor, then this will not be an inexpensive repair and certainly not worth it as long as you are certain you plan on replacing system.

You may want the Bryant dealer to take a look.

Sorry for your trouble.

Let us know what they find and your decision.


    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 7:04AM
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Thanks for all the help.
I checked inside the blower area again and found out the main circuit blew (see Pic). I am lucky it did not start a fire.
I will not try to fix this and just get a new furnace.
I will do the Bryant because it seems like the best system for the same price.
I will update on how the install goes.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 9:55AM
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I need to replace a 35 years old AC split system and I know very little about all this . I live in the HOT valley of Los Angeles and I need some help about deciding on a system . Thanks to everyone in advance.
I never maintained the system I had for the last 15 years and it worked fine (lennox with whirlpool furnace)but I have read horrifying stories about new systems breaking right away...
This is what I have been offered:

RHEEM 80% 75,000 BTUâÂÂS furnace (MODEL #RGPS07NAMGR),
(1) ADP 3.5 ton 410A coil, and (1) 3.5 ton 13 SEER 410A single stage RHEEM
condensing unit (MODEL #13AJN42AO1).

Bryant 13 Seer Furnace 310JAV042090
COIL C48A175C166

ALSO AMERICAN STANDARD dealer has offered 3.5 ton R 410 A CONDENSER, FURNACE and 4 ton MICROBAN A/C COIL.



    Bookmark   July 6, 2014 at 2:16PM
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It is not considered good forum etiquette to piggyback or hyjack onto an old thread.

Copy and paste your post and start a new thread. Very easy to do. Go to bottom of home page and C&P. you will have much better response.


    Bookmark   July 6, 2014 at 2:29PM
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