Buying new Furnace/AC units

jimgreybeardAugust 14, 2009

I've been getting quotes for new Furnace and AC units. Any feedback/information would be greatly appreciated. I have decided to go with the Carrier Infinity 96 furnace and trying to decide on AC unit, the Comfort, Performance or Infinity series AC units.

I live in Chicago and have a 2-story Georgian, approximately 1366 square feet, with unfinished basement. Furnace is in basement and AC unit back yard.

So far, have gotten two quotes.

First quote:

Furnace-Carrier 96.6% Two stage High Efficiency 80,000 BTU's, 3.5 ton Drive

AC-Carrier 3 ton 14 SEER High Efficeincy Condensor and A/C Coil (Puron 410-A)

Chimney Liner

Lifetime Filter

White Rogers programmable thermostat.

Total Price; $9100.

Second quote:

Furnace: Carrier Infinity 96 Variable speed, 2 stage,

58MVC-60114 31/2 ton drive 60,000 BTU

AC: Carrier Comfort Series, 24ACB430-CNPVU30-17

21/2 ton, 30,000 btu

Humidifier: April Aire 600 Automatic Purifier

Honeywell Media Filter 16x25x5

Thermostat Honeywell 6000 Series-2 stage heat

or the Infinity Control

Total Cost: $9,439.

Add $100 for thermostat, $250 for the Infinity thermostat if he is unable to get the discount as offered in past.

Remove $1,000 from the cost if keep current 25x16x1 filter and casing.


How do these quotes sound?

Any recommendations on the AC unit? The comfort is cheaper, but the others are quieter and more efficient, with the Infinity series having a two stage compressor. Is this worth the extra cost?

Thermostat: am I better off going with the infinity model to take advantage of it's benefits?

FILTER: This is really a strange one to me. But one of the contractors is really pushing me to get a larger filter, the five inch as opposed to the one inch. Also seems to have to do with it having it's own housing and this being much more efficient in that the housing is sealed and even more importantly, has a wider area surface to filter the air. (He even offered to show me the filter in his own home to help me understand...I'm going to see it tomorrow.)

Anyway, wonder if anybody knows or has any input on this?

Thanks in advance and would appreciate any information, suggestions, etc. that you may have!

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2.5 tons sounds more reasonable (still yet a bit big) for the air conditioner. Did the first quote do any calculation to warrant a 3 ton unit? In MD I can cool (to 72*) around 2600 sqft. + finished basement with 3.5 tons. The media filter is a good idea to have for better filtration and more surface area, but $1000 is very steep (typically these filters only add $3-500 to the installed cost). The 58MVC is a 3-stage furnace in the second quote, not a 2-stage. Infinity control will be up to you. It provides quite a few features with regards to indoor comfort (it gives considerable control over humidity, airflow, etc.). Do you want a fancy control, or something more simple, is the question.

That should be enough to get you started. Let us know what you hear back and any other thoughts/questions you have.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2009 at 10:22PM
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I had Carrier Infinity systems installed in my house in April. I am happy to share my knowledge.

The 2.5 unit sounds large. What size unit do you have now and has it been able to maintain the desired temperature?

Are you aware of the Carrier rebates? The combination you describe has a $150 rebate. If you moved up to a Performance or Inifinity condenser, the rebates would be $600 and $1000 respectively. You should request quotes for these.

Note the Infinity condenser all comes in one ton increments since it is a two stage unit. It would be good if you could use the 2-ton Infinity 17. The 3-ton has a significant price increase.

I have the 58MVC60 furnace. My understanding is it comes with the the filter box for a 16x25x5 inch filter. Does the contractor want to charge $1000 to modify the duct work to handle the 5 inch filter? These seems excessive.

The 58MVC60 furnace qualifies for the $1500 tax credit regardless of which condenser you choose.

I recommend getting the 10 year parts and labor warranty directly from Carrier.

Finally do you feel you need a humidifier?

    Bookmark   August 15, 2009 at 11:20AM
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Ryan and Mike--Thanks so much for your responses!

To answer your quesitons:
RYAN--first quote came with written estimate in hand. He has serviced my furnace since I moved here in 2000 but did not do any special calculations. He seemed to say, it's a Georgian and he knows what they should take....

Filter--I should have added that I also have a solar thermal system, provides hot water and hot air assist in the winter. Thus, he is also planning to move the filter and coil from the solar system further back along the duct work coming into the furnace. Since it would be on a downward slope coming into the furnace, he said this would move the air more efficiently through the filter and coil. (I hope this makes sense)...anyway, I think this part of the reason for the higher cost.

I really don't know what 2-stage or 3-stage means, but the brochures list the infinity 17 and 21 with a "two-stage compressor". (Do you know if this makes a difference?)

For the infinity control, I just want something that will work most efficiently and with the least amount of problems. If the Infinity control has more problems b/c of it's complexity, then I'd choose simpler. My wife, simplicity before most anything (lol!)
One other thing second quoter mentioned today (when I went to see his filter) that the infinity control may not work as well with the solar system, which has it's own thermostat I set two degrees above the regular thermostat. He said that the infinity fan run all the time. Thus may not even need the second thermostat and that it would not turn on fan itself due to the infinity control and the way it is set up. (Does this make sense? fan running continuously?)

Currently I have a 21/2 ton system and seems to be okay, but maybe too hor or too cold at times in here.

Don't know anything about rebates (except for the one mentioned on the infinity control, but guy was not sure if this is still there or not). I could not find anything on the website but maybe need to look further?

I will definitely ask about a two ton unit. Is there a 2 ton infinity? Would definitely love to save some money on the price.

the mvc does not come with a filter but can be gotten for an added cost. All 3 contractors have seemed to say that it is not worth the expense you pay for it.

warranty...I know it comes with ten year parts if you register within 90 days, so do I have to buy that from Carrier to get the labor also?

Humidifier...that is a definite yes. Without it, cracked skin and bloody noses are very common here in the winter. Get's really dry here in the chicago winters.

Thanks again, guys, for your responses. Will check back if any other questions come up!

    Bookmark   August 15, 2009 at 1:46PM
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Here is the link to the Carrier Cool Cash rebates:

I am surprised you were not told about the rebates. You have to move fast, the rebate ends August 31. There is usually another rebate in the fall in case you miss it. Carrier extended the Spring rebate into summer this year. Are the contractors you met with listed on the Carrier web site?

The infinity condenser is available in 2 and 3 tons. The Performance condenser is avaialbe in 2.5 tons.

Carrier gives a 10 year parts warranty. The 10 year labor warranty is additional money.

You can set the Inifinity fan to run continuously. This is a matter of preference. This is sometimes desirable in the winter to even out temperatures throughout the house. The low speed is very quiet. You will not realize it is running.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2009 at 4:35PM
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AFter having four quotes for HVAC system and believe I am going with the last I received. Estimates ranged from $9450 to $7334 though there was some difference in what they were offering, ie, filter media or not, replace refigerant tubing or not, etc.

ANYWAY, I have decided on a quote and wanted to get any final feedback anyone may have before going through.

Disconnect and remove the old furnace. humidifier & ac system from the property.
Install a new Carrier 58MVC080 Infinity Series 80,000 btu gas furnace featuring 95% afue efficiency rating. three stage heat, electric ignition. variable speed draft motor and blower motor. Ten Year Factory Warranty on All Parts and a Limited Lifetime Factory Heat Exchanger Warranty.

Install a matching Carrier 2.5 ton central air conditioning system featuring a Carrier 24ACB430 Comfort Series condensing unit with Puron refrigerant, high and low pressure switches, compressor sound blanket, tech assist diagnostics & a Ten Year Factory Warranty- on All Parts. (Unit has a 16 Seer, 13eer system match up)

Set the condensing unit on a new pre-cast slab base.

Install a new Carrier cased Puron "txv evaporator coil on top of the furnace.

Install the required sheet metal work between the furnace and existing duct system.

Install a Carrier 16''ez flex media filter system on the new furnace.

Install the required pvc vent piping out the north side of the house.

Install a matching Carrier Infinity user interface control.

Install a new condensate pump for the system.

Install all new refrigerant piping.

Connect to the existing gas and electric service.

Connect to the existing solar hot water coil.

Installed Price - $7695.00

Humidifier - Add $350.00 for a new Carrier LFP fan power humidifier complete with installation & a Five Year Factory Warranty on All Parts (excludes filter)

He said there is only a $87.50 Carrier rebate on this system, but in place of that has offered to extend their warranty on labor from 5 to 10 years.

Also qualifies for the full $1500 federal tax credit.

Any feedback/suggestions/ideas would be greatly appreciated.



    Bookmark   August 23, 2009 at 3:56PM
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The rebate is actually $175 ($150 for the Infinity/Comfort system, $25 for the humidifier). But the contractor must fund half the rebate, so this is why the contractor is saying it is only a $87.50 rebate. Participating in rebates is not mandatory for Carrier dealers.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2009 at 11:26PM
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