Lennox vs Trane, and pricing?

Reply

  #1  
Old 08-09-06, 04:35 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 1
Lennox vs Trane, and pricing?

I have a 22 year old GE heat pump with resistive backup that has finally given up. I'm in the process of getting estimates for a replacement and could use some advice. This is a 3T unit and I'm in southeastern PA. I've been looking all over the web and have picked up some good info, but need some unbiased advice from a pro.

So far I've gotten estimates for three different Lennox units: XP19 with CBX32MV (2-stage, variable speed), XP15 with CBX32MV (1-stage, variable), and XP13 with CBX32M (1-stage, non-variable), all with 15 kW heat.

I'm trying to get a Trane dealer to come out to do an estimate as well - any recommendations on models comparable to the Lennox's I've already gotten so I can compare apples to apples (more or less)?

My first question is whether or not the additional cost of 2-stage is worthwhile. Is the advantage of 2-stage solely related to SEER/efficiency, or are there any other considerations (such as reliability)?

My second question is regarding variable-speed air handlers. Again, what are the advantages aside from lower power consumption when operating at a lower speed?

I know everyone has their brand loyalties, but based on my research and discussions with others, both Trane and Lennox come highly recommended, and Carrier as well, though I've been disappointed with several Carrier commercial AC units. So my third question is whether limiting my choices to Lennox and Trane is reasonable, or should I consider a third (or fourth) manufacturer?

My final question is regarding Lennox service. I was told that only Lennox authorized dealers can do warranty service and get factory parts. Is this accurate, and is this typical of most manufacturers?

I'm extremely busy work-wise and can't afford to take time off to meet with a lot of contractors to get a zillion quotes on a dozen different units, so I'm trying to keep my list of models/manufacturers small in order to be able to get at least two quotes for each model/manufacturer. I'm a "do it once, do it right" kind of guy and don't mind spending more up front if it means greater longevity and fewer headaches (repairs) over the unit's lifetime.

Most other discussion lists I've been on seem to discourage discussing price - is it acceptable here, or somewhere else? I'm not going to make a decision based on price only, and would rather spend an extra few hundred bucks going with a contractor that I'm more confident with, and one that will still be around in ten or fifteen years, but I'd like to at least get a feel as to whether or not the quotes I've received are in the ballpark.

Thanks in advance.
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 08-09-06, 09:51 PM
Ed Imeduc's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Mountain Williams Missouri
Posts: 18,389
Wink

I think I saw that you will be in this home for a long time. So Id say go for the good stuff. Im not sold on the top of the line no matter what company. You say you have 3 ton and 15KW back up and I take it this has worked fine for you. So stay with it. Now with a Trane As i said Id go in the middle XL15i condenser unit and a V/S blower air handler with the back up heat. This should give you a SEER of 15.10 cool and a HSPF of 8.05. With any stay with the R22 it will be made till 2030. Yes you want the V/S blower you wont even know when it comes on. As it picks up speed as the heat builds up or the cool builds up. With the Trane you also get a humidistat control on the blower. This will slow down the blower if you have high humidity and pull more water out of the air . Then pick back up to speed . Also check out If you go to a 15seer on the AC. You can get a $300 tax credit And with the V/S blower a $50 tax credit from the IRS. With all new inside and out you can get a 10 year warranty from Trane.
with 22 year old duct you might want to check it out for size also.
What cost is ,is very hard to say its so different all over the country.
Where am I comeing from here. I sold lennox for many many years and now. Have sold Trane
for many many more years.I also put the XL15i with a V/S blower heat pump in my own home . the new comperssors 2 stage. Dont seem to hold up to good for a heatpump. work fine for just cool. Hope this helps some
ED
 
  #3  
Old 08-27-06, 12:43 PM
Member
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Puget Sound region
Posts: 9
Ed,

We're in a similar situation and trying to decide among the top systems from Am. Std, Trane, Lennox and Amana. We have a low bid for a the top of the line, 2-stage Bryant Evolution, but it sounds like there have been issues there. We live in the Seattle area and heating (HSPF) is our primary goal. We get wind off Puget Sound that handles our a/c needs. Our winters are generally mild, averaging 35-40 with occassional dips into the 20's for a few days (usually just at night).
Several questions have come up:

1) Would we benefit greatly for heating savings going to a 2 stage compressor as well as the variable speed air-handler?

2) Can the Trane XLi units be installed with a balcony 3 ft. above them due to their weatherguard top and reverse air-flow?

3) What is really the quietest unit out there? The US manufacturers all claim great strides in making their units quiet, but they seem noisy compared to the units we have heard in Hawaii. I checked the specs and it seems like most think 72 db is quiet, but it really isn't. Sanyo's full split system runs at 52 db. That's more like what I would call really quiet.

4) Will a condensor that requires a lower amperage disconnect, generally draw less power to run? Some are requiring 30A and others 40A.
 
  #4  
Old 08-27-06, 08:30 PM
Ed Imeduc's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Mountain Williams Missouri
Posts: 18,389
Wink

Begreen

#1This is from around here on what is best. 2 stage compressor work good for just cool. Seem that when they are heatpumps have a high loss
Yes you for sure want a V/S blower. They can slow down and pull more humidity out in a short time, that way the unit dont run as long. Most of the time you dont know when the blower is on.
Now you do have to go for a higher seer to get a high HSPF. The XL15i seer is 15.10 HSPF 8.05

#2 Yes like in the Paper work They show the top of it covered in snow. Then they say buildup of snow and ice can restrict airflow. As soon as accumulation, clean snow from area around the heat pump.
#3 Id say the XL15i Thats what I put in my own home .

#4 You want to put the breaker in that they call for. But it all goes back to the Amp draw of the unit thats what you pay for. So even a unit with a higher breaker. You only pay for the amps it takes to run. The breaker size are for the start load. Thats not the run amps
Did I get it all ED
 
  #5  
Old 08-28-06, 08:33 AM
Member
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Puget Sound region
Posts: 9
Thanks Ed.

We're only looking at heat pumps that have an HSPF of 9.0 or above. That often seems to put us into the 2 stage compressors, though Trane literature rates the XL15i at 9.0 so it may be a contender. I don't understand what 'they have a high loss' means. Can you explain? A/C and humidity removal is not a factor in our climate, so I am mainly interested in the benefits of a VS blower in heating mode. Does this allow warmer air to be pumped through the ducts?

Haven't seen snow here for years, but if the XL series can be installed under a balcony, then it would be even less of a problem. That's good news and will help deciding.

The lower sized disconnect is because these units use less amperage to start and to run. They can use a 30A disconnect because it is below the max load specification. This seems to translate to lower running amps as well. What is hard to quantify is what the load is with a 2 stage system running on the low stage. That may make the disconnect load a non-issue.
 
  #6  
Old 08-31-06, 08:20 PM
Member
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Puget Sound region
Posts: 9
Got word back from Trane today via email. They want 5 ft. clearance above the Condensor. Not sure why, but that's what they said. So Trane just lost it's advantage over the equivalent American Standard unit for us.
 
  #7  
Old 08-31-06, 08:44 PM
Ed Imeduc's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Mountain Williams Missouri
Posts: 18,389
Wink

Boy have to check that out they show snow on top of the unit and say keep the snow clear around the coil is all ????

ED
 
  #8  
Old 09-01-06, 07:20 AM
Member
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Puget Sound region
Posts: 9
Yeah, it almost sounds like a canned response for all their units. I could see this on the XB13, but not for the XL_i series. Here is the full response:

"The outdoor unit must be positioned a minimum of 12 inches from any wall or surrounding shrubbery to insure adequate airflow. A 36 inch clearance must be provided in front of control box (access panels) and any other side requiring service access to meet National Electrical Code. The top discharge area must be unrestricted for at least five feet above the unit."

Do you have the installer manuals, is this copy/pasted out of it?
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes