Carrier vs Rheem vs Trane

bbstxSeptember 1, 2011

We must replace our air conditioner IMMEDIATELY. We have gotten 3 estimates. DH and I do not know enough to compare the 3. I would appreciate any help you can give me. All units are 5 ton units, which is what we currently have and which is adequate for our 2000 sq ft house.

In order from most expensive to least expensive, we have gotten prices on the following units:

1. Trane XL 16i

2. Trane XB 14

3. Trane XB 13

4. Carrier Infinity (21 SEER)

5. Carrier (17 SEER)

6. Rheem (16 SEER)

The HVAC folks keep talking about SEER numbers. I know what SEER stands for, but I'm not sure how much it is worth.

None are out of our price range but the most expensive one is 150% - 175% of the least expensive. I do not want to buy the most expensive only to find out that one of the others would have cooled my house just as well.

We do not know if we are comparing apples to apples or oranges to grapes. ANY advice, comments, opinions, etc. will be greatly appreciated.

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No one of this forum can offer you an informed opinion without you providing complete mdl numbers of each system that includes outside condenser and inside air handler/furnace with evap coil and scope of work involved with install.

It would be helpful to know the size of equipment that is being replaced.

BTW, what is your location?


    Bookmark   September 1, 2011 at 7:05PM
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Thanks for the response. I do not have the information you are asking for. I suppose what I'm asking is, how does the quality (including reliability) of Trane compare to the quality of Carrier, or how does the quality of Carrier compare to Rheem? Amongst these three brands, is it sufficient to only consider cost? I am not concerned that the sellers are selling me an adequately sized unit. I'm just trying to determine which will last the longest with the least maintenance.

I am in the Deep South. We use our air conditioners from March through November (and from time to time in December).

    Bookmark   September 1, 2011 at 8:17PM
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Reliability usually comes down to proper installation and after care. Trane units have a all aluminum condensor. If dogs like using it it will be destroyed. They are also a bit harder to clean because you can not just hit them with a good hard stream of water. Rheem is very reliable and you will not be paying to have a fancy name. I have sold Ruud (rheem) for years with great satisfaction.
Remember there is a bit of a trade off with higher seers, that being less humidity removal and when you get way up there you may be looking at some very complicated systems.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2011 at 8:37PM
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Thanks, three cats. We need all the humidity removal we can get!

    Bookmark   September 1, 2011 at 8:52PM
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5-tons is alot of size for 2000 sq. foot. You probably noticed your old unit turning off alot.

That means its short cycling and not dehumidifying as well.

You should really consider having the size of your unit evaluated. I would think 4-tons is the right size for your house unless its very leaky or has lots of tall ceilings.

I would consider the RHEEM.

FYI- the cost of a heatpump isn't much more than the straight A/C. The time to upgrade to a heatpump is when replacing the A/C. You might find the heatpump heat to be nice and comfy and in-expensive when its only mildly cold out.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2011 at 12:30PM
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These are HPs or straight AC?

I also question 5 tons as the correct size.

If straight AC, how do you heat?

Coastal location or inland?

What size are you replacing?

Post back.


    Bookmark   September 2, 2011 at 1:28PM
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My loose rule of thumb for SEER is that there is a 5% efficiency difference for each point difference in SEER. That is, the difference in electrical usage between a 13 and a 14 is 5%.

A variable speed blower would be a great thing to have for humidity removal.

One thing that applies, and what T alludes to, it that you do not know the real SEER value of the system by just looking at the condenser. You need to look at the whole system. Use the wrong blower/coil with a high efficiency condenser and the overall efficiency drops significantly.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2011 at 3:04PM
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Thanks for all of your help and comments. Practicality overtook analyzation. We went with the Carrier because they could install it today. The others couldn't get us a new a/c until next Wednesday (we live in the boonies). The outside temp right now is 101, so you can imagine our desire to get something done ASAP!

    Bookmark   September 2, 2011 at 5:11PM
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