central air vs heat pumps vs whole house ventilation fan

Old 03-05-03, 05:44 AM
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Question central air vs heat pumps vs whole house ventilation fan


Based on your experience repairing, installing or research, what is best for central cooling--central air, heat pump vs whole house ventilation fan?

What is the best central air
conditioning in terms of quality,
durability, reliability, efficiency,
effectiveness, cost to operate. Are
they all the same, or is there any
difference? Have any studies, tests,
surveys been done about these
different air conditioners with regard
to their quality, durability, reliability,
efficiency, effectiveness, cost to
buy, cost to operate. A Consumer
Report survey found that American
Standard, Ruud and Trane to be the
most reliable, the least repairs while
Goodman, York and Janitrol were
the worst.

It's easy to say contact a contractor but s/he
could just represent or want to sell
and install a few particular brands or
have one view or perspective about
central air conditioning.

Thanks for any assistance, referrals,
sources, names, articles, studies.

w 312 557-0328
Old 03-05-03, 06:14 AM
GregH's Avatar
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Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Manitoba
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Question More info please.


There is no one hvac solution that will be the ideal system for everyone.

More information is needed to help you with your situation. Among other things, home style and construction, location and the various energy costs will be deciding factors.

Read the B-4 posting at the top of this forum for what we need to know.

Fuel cost comparator:

Old 03-05-03, 06:54 AM
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hey randy

location is very important, as heating/cooling days vary greatly across the country. guessing you are in chicago, i will go by that. i noticed you did not mention heat, will this not be a factor? if not (you may have baseboard, hydronic, etc,) rule out the heat pump. if so, with your climate, i would go with a dual fuel system, using the heat pump down to 35 or so degrees, then to gas or oil as a backup. having been raised in chicago, my opinion is that a whole house ventilator fan would still leave you with several uncomfortable days and nights, as there would be no humidity removal. you are correct, in my opinion as to the qualities of equipment listed. i have 2 rheem/ruuds and one carrier at my house. i love rheem/ruud, as a well maintained unit will generally last 14 to 18 yrs. the only reason i have a carrier is that i got it for @30% of wholesale. it is a 17.5 seer variable speed puron system, and so far no problems, but will not be easy or cheap to work on.
Old 03-05-03, 06:56 PM
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Massachusetts
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the best...

Trane and American standard are the same company but the two dealers get pissed when you tell them that,. but in fact they are the same... The Consumers Report had American Standard as the least requiring service calls on the equipment. The only advantage on a Goodman is, I think they have a 6 year warranty on the compressor( most are 5 ), BUT , I have heard from other guys that the supply houses are having a real hard time collecting for Goodman warranty stuff, so only the supply house that sold it will accept it for warranty returns...and if it isn't the same guy that put it in, your screwed!
I lived in a house with a whole house fan, and they are fantastic, you still need AC though, Heat pumps are great but don't make them the soul heat supplier,..if you have gas or oil use that when temps hit about 35F, use the whole house fan on days you don't need the AC, it also is great for getting odors out of the house and fresh air exchanges, you could use the whole house fan at night when temperatures drop in the cooling season.. I plan to get one soon myself, and I have central AC with oil baseboard heat, I only wish I had got a heat pump!

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