Dilema choosing HVAC contractor....Armstrong/Decane vs. Carrier


Old 04-02-03, 09:08 AM
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Dilema choosing HVAC contractor....Armstrong/Decane vs. Carrier


I am converting from an oil to gas furnace and installing my first A/C unit. I have received three quotes. Two of them are very similar and I am having a difficult time choosing. There are a few differences that I am trying to weigh out....

Contractor 1 is offering a Carrier 92% efficient, single stage furnace and a Carrier 10 SEER A/C (no SCROLL compressor). Each has 5 yr. parts & labor warranty.

Contractor 2 is offering an Armstrong 91% efficient, single stage furnace and a Ducane 12 SEER A/C (has a SCROLL compressor). Furnace has a 5 yr parts & labor, A/C has a 5 yr parts & 1 yr labor.

Contractor 2 is insistent that the Armstrong is a better unit because it has a stainless steel heat exchanger and the air blows warmer, faster (what I am used to with my current oil furnace). He also claims the A/C is better because it has a SCROLL compressor and it's a 12 SEER (vs. the 10 SEER).

However, everybody I talk to believes the Carrier is a better brand and the two would be more efficient together because they are the same brand. Plus the warranty for the A/C is better.

I have heard praise for both companies (good reputations). I live in the Mid-west. I have a small (<1000 s.f.) home.

Can anybody give me some insight?

Thank you!
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Old 04-02-03, 10:37 AM
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Armstrong and Ducane

I would stay with the Armstrong @ 91 % and the Ducane @12 SEER. The money you save operating with a 12 SEER AC could help pay for a service contract from your local HVAC company after that first year. Not to mention the longevity that a scroll compressor has over a piston type. I have replaced many more piston type compressors then I have a scroll. Brand name matches don't make them work any better.
Old 04-02-03, 03:46 PM
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I agree with jerryjay11. For the same reasons. Scroll is good. I have been disappointed in the past 5 years or so with Carrier. I think they are letting name recognition carry the sales. Not a good way to build contractor loyalty.

Should have stayed with oil.

Old 04-02-03, 06:04 PM
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i have sold all three

in the past past few years, found that the lower priced (ducane and armstrong) are good values, 5 yrs all parts, agree that the carrier name is losing credibility slowly....my 2 cents
Old 04-03-03, 06:05 PM
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Being very familar with all three brands in question (we were Carrier dealers for 14 years and have been the Armstrong/Ducane dealer for the past 3 years in our area) I feel the need to point out the following facts:

hvac4u is correct about the Carrier units. We quit being a Carrier dealer about 4 years because the quality and support on the units was going downhill. We also found that the efficiencies on the units were not what as good as they first appeared. The split system condensing units, while being fairly quiet have tendencies to develop annoying rattles from poorly fitting cabinet panels and sometimes involve electronic components exclusive to Carrier. Technical support involving bulletins which notify dealers of problems and corrective actions was very poor and getting through to factory support was at time mediocre.

Armstrong and Ducane are both part of Lennox Industries. Both companies build units that are similar in design and efficiencies. In many cases, close examination of the btu output for their 10 SEER a/c and heat pump units show a greater efficiency at extreme temperature ratings (above and below the government laboratory standards for SEER ratings) Again, these units are fairly quiet, and as of yet do not have any plastic composite pieces to the cabinets. If problems do develop with the units, the vast majority of electrical components can be replaced with common off-the-shelf parts, which means most repairs can be done the same day if needed. Additionally, we have recieved regular contact from both manufacturer's regarding known issues that surface with the units and what corrective actions have been taken on the assembly lines as well as what actions we dealers need to take to insure maintaining a quality product.

Concerning warranties...if you are getting a Ducane 12 SEER unit, the compressor itself is covered for 10 yrs, the unit functional components are covered for 5 years and labor is what is offered by the contractor.

While matching brands does improve unit efficiencies, cross matching between 'sister' companies' will not present a problem. The key to getting the best efficiency in either of your choices is proper installation and following recommended maintenance of your equipment.

Btu per dollar as well as quiet reliability puts our money on the Armstrong/Ducane (and not just because we're dealers, since we were die-hard Carrier folks before that)

Hope this helps you...let us know

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