Puzzling furnace quotes

JasonMSP.612November 26, 2012

I am working on replacing my 30-year-old furnace. I got a bit from contractor A....highly recommended by people I know, highly rated on Angie's list, etc. Quoted a Bryant 925t fully installed with humidifier at just shy of $6k. Second bid from local gas company, Carrier comfort at $3990 all-in or Ruud Achiever 90+ for $3295. Contractor B, despite being HUGE, no online reviews of any kind, anywhere. I'm puzzled by the staggering difference but also a little concerned about the lack of reviews on Contractor B. Is the Bryant that much more superior to Ruud or Carrier? I don't want to overpay, but I don't want a crappy install either. Any words of advice?

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Bryant and Carrier are sister companies withing the same corporation. For the most part they sell the same furnace under different brand names. The Bryant 925T furnace is equivalent to the Carrier 59TP5 2-stage furnace. It is a better furnace than the Carrier Comfort series. There are 4 Carrier Comfort models ranging in 80%-95% efficiency. There could be a significant price difference depending on the model. The Rudd Achiever line has 10 different models. Some are 2-stage and others single stage. You may have been quoted a single stage Rudd furnace.

If need to get the model numbers of all the equipment you are being quoted. If you want to compare bids, then you should be doing a fair apples to apples comparison. You may get varying bids for installation of exactly the same equipment. In general half the quoted bid goes towards the installation costs. You want a contractor you trust will do a good installation and will respond to any problems.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2012 at 10:36AM
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While I gladly defer to the pros in the trade if they say differently, as far as I know, Bryant is the economy brand of the Carrier group. Nothing wrong with that, but not top-of-the-line equipment. I doubt that the higher quote offers anything to justify the price difference. Contractors must pay fees to Angie's List to be listed. Angie's List is not a eleemosynary institution.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2012 at 10:38AM
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I defer to mike_home. I was typing my response while he was posting his. I saw his only after mine was posted.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2012 at 11:12AM
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"Angie's List is not a eleemosynary institution."

Wow, bus driver. I'm not playing Words With Friends with you! lol

    Bookmark   November 27, 2012 at 1:09PM
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It looks like the Carrier is a 59SC5 which appears to be single-stage, as is the Ruud RGRC. Both are 95% efficient. What exactly is the benefit of dual-stage?

    Bookmark   November 27, 2012 at 3:06PM
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The biggest benefit of a 2-stage furnace is comfort. The furnace will usually start in the low stage so that you don't get a blast of cold noisy air. It will switch to the high stage as required on very cold days or coming out of a set back period. The low stage keeps the furnace from short cycling on mild days. The longer cycles improve the overall efficiency.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2012 at 7:15PM
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mike home said, "The longer cycles improve the overall efficiency."

As does the fact that the fact that the low stage, while having a lower cooling capacity, has a higher cooling efficiency then the high stage.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2012 at 7:38PM
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Contractors do not, and can not, pay to be on Angie's list. The only way to be on Angies list is for a paying Angies list customer to give you a review.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 10:50AM
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