Assistance in evaluating quotes - Rheem / Lennox / Trane

rusashaOctober 19, 2011

Hi

We live in central NJ in a townhouse with neighbors on both sides. We have two units, one for the first floor, located in the basement and one for the second floor located in the attic. At this point, replacing attic unit only (furnace & ac). Second floor is 952 sq ft.

All three vendors said they will do manual J upon signing of the contract. I asked vendors to give quotes for 95% & 80% efficiency but need to check with the home association whether we will be allowed to change venting to accommodate 95%.

Which one would you pick for your house? We plan to stay in the place another 7-10 yrs.

CONTRACTOR #1

AHRI: 3879487

RHEEM 14AJM18

Indoor: RCFL-A*2417

Furnace: RGPE-05?BMK?

April Air 2210

Total: $5600 after rebates

AHRI: 3799106

RHEEM 14AJM18

Indoor: RCFL-A*2417

Furnace: RGTM-06?MAE?

April Air 2210

Total: $6000 after all the rebates

CONTRACTOR #2

AHRI: 4666935

Lennox XC14-018-230-02

Indoor: CH33-25A+TDR+TXV

Furnace:ML180UH045E36A*

Honeywell 8000 thermostat

Healthy Climate MERV10

Total: $5900 after all rebates.

AHRI: 3665945

Lennox XC14-018-230*11

Indoor: CH33-25A*

Furnace:ML180UH045E36A*

Honeywell 8000 thermostat

Healthy Climate MERV10

Total: $6820 after all the rebates.

CONTRACTOR #3

AHRI: 3789033

Trane XR13 4TTR3018D1

Indoor: 4TXCB025BC3

Furnace: TUD1A040A924

Aprilaire 2210

New supply and return plenum wrapped in R-8 foil backed insulation

Trane thermostat,

Not eligible for rebates

Total: $6275

AHRI: 4236679

Trane 4TTX5018A1

Furnace: TUD2B060A9V3

Indoor: ADP TE47636

New supply and return plenum wrapped in R-8 foil backed insulation

Trane thermostat,

Total: $8385 after all the rebates.

Thanks.

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harlemhvacguy

Contractor #3 is a trane dealer that is not in the real world... his first quote is for a standard 13 Seer system for $6275. I prefer trane equipment but there is nothing wrong with rheem equipment in my opinion. consumer reports if you give them any value rated rheem 2nd. so contractor #1 has both good deals. You need to make sure you trust the dealer though. Brand of the equipment matters little if it is not installed correctly! Sometimes cheap is expensive. The rheem quotes both use what rheem calls its value series outdoor condenser. I prefer the uapm achiever condensing units but both lines have a 10 years parts warranty to the original purchaser when registered.
so basically not knowing the dealers workmanship and going solely on paper I think the rheem deal is the best. the 95% furnace quote if you can have it.
Hope that helps some for what it worth.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2011 at 4:22PM
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rusasha

Thanks for your feedback harlemhavcguy.

Any thoughts on Lennox? I seem to recall tigerdunes mention in other threads that he is not big a fan of Lennox. What is your feeling?

Contractor #1 is contributor on this forum, while Contractor #2 is a contributor on hvac-talk.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2011 at 8:48AM
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harlemhvacguy

Lennox is not big in our area so I don't have a lot to base my opinion on lennox on.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2011 at 9:46AM
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tigerdunes

Rusasha

First off, most townhouse and condo developments have covenants that restrict the use of high eff condensing furnaces.

Do you know if you have any such restrictions? You should check on this.

What size/eff furnace are you replacing? What size AC are you replacing?

Rheem is one of the most overlooked and underrated brands of HVAC on the residential market.

I like the first Rheem option best. That furnace is two stg var speed. I do not like that AC condenser mdl and suggest you discuss with dealer an upgrade to a better mdl.

Where will furnace be located?

I will have to do a little more research on the Lennox and Trane quotes.

Post back.

IMO

    Bookmark   October 20, 2011 at 10:05AM
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rusasha

tigerdunes,

I am still waiting to hear from the HOA regarding high efficiency.

I am replacing 50,000BTU furnace & 1.5ton AC. All the equipment is > 20 yrs old so I am guess it is about 60-70% efficient.

Furnace will be located in the attic.

What AC condenser model would you recommend? Is the one he is suggesting, really low end?

Regards

    Bookmark   October 20, 2011 at 2:06PM
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tigerdunes

Rusasha

That AC condenser is low end. I would not hace it or recommend it.

Because of the chance of freeze ups, I definitely would stick with 80% eff non condensing furnace.

IMO

    Bookmark   October 20, 2011 at 2:23PM
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rusasha

Would you recommend upgrading to Classic Series or Prestige Series?

    Bookmark   October 20, 2011 at 5:20PM
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tigerdunes

Rusasha

Any news from your HOA?

As far as Rheem AC condenser suggestions, get upgrade to the Classic mdls RANL and RAPM JAZ. Much better than the 14 AJMs.

IMO

    Bookmark   October 21, 2011 at 10:28AM
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rusasha

No update from HOA. They are definitely taking their sweet time.

Based on your feedback, I am leaning towards 80% anyway since it will be located in the attic.

Any idea of a range how much such upgrade might cost?

    Bookmark   October 22, 2011 at 11:38AM
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neohioheatpump

What is your electric rate? How cold does it get in your area of NJ?
I suspect since you have units on each side of you, and space below is heated you have very small heat btu's needed. Going with a heatpump might be something to consider if your electric rate isn't high. I'm not sure how cold it gets in your part on NJ or your electric rate. Just a thought.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2011 at 7:43PM
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rusasha

Hi Neo

Our rate is 11.9 per KWh. It could get really cold. This past winter we've had days at 5F. Is heat pump an option for me?

    Bookmark   October 23, 2011 at 9:26AM
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rusasha

Tigerdunes,

I believe I am going with this option per your recommendation. (He promised to get back with the news price for the classic series)

AHRI: 3879487
RHEEM 14AJM18
Indoor: RCFL-A*2417
Furnace: RGPE-05?BMK?
April Air 2210
Total: $5600 after rebates

Would I need a 2 stage t-stat for this? Is that something I can purchase and install on my own?

    Bookmark   October 24, 2011 at 8:40PM
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tigerdunes

rusasha

For full functionality on a nice two stg furnace like the 80% Rheem quoted, a two stg thermostat is required. This will allow the furnace to operate in low stage as needed.

I would recommend HW VP mdl #8321.

Let the dealer install the stat.

IMO

Here is a link that might be useful: Rheem Furnace

    Bookmark   October 24, 2011 at 11:04PM
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neohioheatpump

I would ask the installer how much the upgrade the heatpump would cost. If its not expensive its worth getting. Even at 12 cents per KW total cost heatpumps can provide inexpensive heat and its definitely comfortable in the less than fridgid temperaturs of 30 or 35 and above.

You still want gas though if you have it.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2011 at 8:59AM
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rusasha

Tigerdunes

My HOA came back and said they will allow installation of 95% eff units.

Rheem contractor indicated he has no problems installing 95% eff unit in the attic. He claims he can insulate it properly and has done so in the past.

1. Is installing 95% efficiency in the attic a really bad idea?

2. The difference between 95% & 80% efficiency is $400. Do you think it's worth it?

    Bookmark   October 31, 2011 at 9:47PM
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tigerdunes

Rusasha

Well the price is right.

I do believe attic installs for high eff condensing furnaces do have a small risk however remote of being problematic considering your location and winter climate. If your dealer is confident, I would go for it. You will need to know though how he plans to vent for waste gas and outside combustion air.

What mdl was discussed? You would want probably the smallest
available.

What about the upgrade cost of the AC condenser?

IMO

    Bookmark   November 1, 2011 at 9:11AM
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rusasha

Tigerdunes

Upgrade to a classic series condenser is an additional $400.

In the original quote, he offered me the following 95% option. This was still without the classic series upgrade.

AHRI: 3799106
RHEEM 14AJM18
Indoor: RCFL-A*2417
Furnace: RGTM-06?MAE?

Thermostat Question:
I noticed there are two models of 8321
TH8321U1006 & TH8321U1097

Which one would you recommend for me?

This is the difference that I found online: The TH8321U1006 model features humidity control for a cool to dehumidify feature on your system. If you want to use low fan speed cool to dehumidify or have a stand alone dehumidifier, use the 1097 model below instead.

AprilAir:
Can you recommend an AprilAir model to install? I was thinking to install 2210 but I see they have other models. Some are even geared for attic.

Thanks once again.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2011 at 11:33AM
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rusasha

Hi Tigerdunes

Just wondering if you'd be able to help out with my last two questions. Thx.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2011 at 9:19PM
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tigerdunes

Rusasha

I just caught up with your last post.

Have you made a decision?

I have several thoughts if you haven't.

On the stat, the U1006 should be fine unless you plan on a dehumidifier.

Rely on dealer for best AprilAire box filter for your application. There are different mdls that do the same thing. The transition at ductwork must be professionally sized and designed.

I I really like the 80% eff Rheem furnace best because of the sizing issue with the higher eff model. I suspect the high eff mdl will cost you more to operate because it would be oversized.

Post back.

IMO

    Bookmark   November 7, 2011 at 9:26AM
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rusasha

Hi Tugerdunes

Thanks again for responding. I haven't signed contract yet but I was thinking of going with a 95% efficiency.

Are you saying even with the manual J done, it can still be over sized? He will be installing AHRI# 3806474.

Based on your experience, how reliable is Table 1 in this link: http://www.energysavers.gov/your_home/space_heating_cooling/index.cfm/mytopic=12530

Our average monthly heating bill was $200 with the existing 20yr old furnace.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2011 at 8:07PM
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rusasha

Hi Tigerdunes

Any thoughts on my questions? Thanks.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2011 at 4:45PM
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tigerdunes

rusasha

I think this is a classic case where best sizing is more important than efficiency. I am speaking of the furnace choices.
� the 80% RGPE has a low/high fire of 35/40 KBTUs
� the 95% RGTM has a low/high fire of 42/56 KBTUs.
� I prefer the 80% with the better AC condenser.
� I recommend you review carefully with your dealer.
� IMO

Here is a link that might be useful: Rheem gas furnaces

    Bookmark   November 14, 2011 at 8:40AM
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airconditioningnj

I just came across this thread and thought I would share a link. It is a tough choice choosing between these air conditioners, but for air conditioning installation in NJ Lennox is an energy efficient option. The link I provided has the XC13, XC 16, and the XC21. I think energy efficiency is very important for considering price in the long run for air conditioning installation in NJ, especially with how much we run the AC in the summer. Anyway, I hope this helps with comparing options for those that read this thread.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2012 at 4:40PM
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