American Standard Or Trane For A Gas, Forced Hot Air Ht'g System ?

Hello:
Am about to invite contractors in for quotes on replacing our present 30 yr old gas, forced hot air heating system.
Consensus seems to be, I believe, after a lot of reading, that American Standard and Trane offer the highest quality these days.
I always thought that they were the same company, with the same furnaces, but labeled differently.
Are there any meaningful differences between the two brands ? What in particular, etc.
Thanks, Bob
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Nope. Actually, its the most over engineered crap next to a Lennox on the market. People feel good to spend that much on them tho.. The ONLY good thing they have is a 35+ year old GE compressor. Wait till something fails out of warranty..LOL..seriously.

American Standard, the toilet company, owns Trane. They saved them from going belly up a few years back.

Yea...the label.

The BEST unit is the one that is installed CORRECTLY, and that means sized, installed and set up correctly. Few do it, those that do, excell at what they do, and the homeowners that use companies like that, see the payback in short order.

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Read feb Consumer Reports they did an apx 6 yr poll of 30000 and found American Standard tops and Goodman a solid bottom. Not that their results are perfect or even completely accurate as most brands were separated only by a few percentage points at the top. But Goodman was clearly the last by a good margin. Truth is it IS the installer. A good installer is makes or breaks the deal. Good equipment doesn`t mean it was done right or that you will be satisfied and comfortable. Ive found out the hard way many many times over on many many separate instals and issues, hire the Pro that is known in your area for quality work. Most equipment is similar.
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The label. Greg
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This is Turtle.
Two Peas in a pod but may come in difference sizes.
TURTLE
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Steve,
While I agree that the best installation gives the best overall performance, our opinions part after that. I am a Lennox and American Standard Dealer. I prefer those two brands because they help me look good. With something as critical as your heating and cooling system, I would rather have over engineered than under engineered. I am located in Myrtle Beach, SC. The cheaper brands do not hold up well here. For example, a Lennox heat pump will last 12 to 15 years average. A Goodman (GMC, Goodman, Janitrol) will last 7 to 10 years average. By using high quality equipment, the value is increased. The price per year is actually lower with the higher priced equipment. Besides, the Lennox equipment is much quieter than the Goodman or other cheap brands. Low sound levels are part of your comfort.
I generally found over the years that installing quality equipment went along with doing a quality job.
I don't do new construction at all, so I don't compete on price as much as some dealers. To me a quality job incledes: Doing a load calculation using ACCAs Manual J, Measuring the air flow on the old system, Measuring the air flow on the new system after the installation, Paying attention to the Sensible Heat Ratio (SHR) of the equipment as compared to the SHR of the load calculation, Sealing the ducts and Air Balancing the system. A lot of my work involves humidity control and air balancing and duct sealing. Most of my competitors do not address those issues.
If your contractor uses cheap equipment, he usually does cheap installations as well, because all he has to sell is low price. Those selling the better quality equipment usually have better technical training and testing equipment and are capable of doing a better job.
This is not to say that you should pick the highest price. Many times the highest price has the pushiest salesman, avoid fast talkers. Usually a high middle price will be your best value. Check references, licenses, Certifications. A good contractor should be using mostly NATE certified technicians. If they belong to ACCA or RSES or both, that is a plus also.
Stretch
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Robert,
Am Std and Trane are very similar. The furnaces I believe are identical, but their condensers are different. I like the Trane line........I can sell anything and choose Trane and Ruud. I used to like Carrier alot until "Puron" came out and I started installing them, I had to go back and install factory fixes on most of them, mostly for noise. I went back to Trane after that. I have an XL16i and a XL19i at my own. I put in an XL1800 Hp at my sisters, 2 XL16i's at my brothers, and Trane at all of my friends houses and 90% of my customers. I wouldn't install something that wasn't going to make me go out and fix it regularly. All of my customers do Preventive MAintenance and most of them have 10 year Parts and Labor Warranties form Trane, actually Am Stnd.
They are not over engineered, they engineered to last. Trane used the Recip compressor for ever, but they manufactured it and it was the quietist, most reliable, and easiest service, unless you are climbing into a 5 Ton XL19i, then it is like being in a small house! The higher end companies (better trained, longevity intact, price for profit and stability, do load calcs ON EVERY INSTALL, install IAQ devices to increase your comfort and your health................), are the ones you see using higher end equipment. Low ballers use the lesser brands of equipment.
Have the company check your duct system (stretches forte'), load calcs, several options of efficency, several options of IAQ products.
Do not go crazy getting too many contractors. Go look at some of your friends homes that have the equipment you like. If they are totally pleased and would have them do it again, call that contractor. If they said they had the best price, call another company. DO NOT SHOP ON PRICE. You are making a 20 year investment, not a one time layout of a bunch of money. Weigh the value of a comfort system rather than have a new heater installed, hopefully AC too. If it is over 10 years old get that done when you are getting your furnace installed. Get 2 maybe 3 proposals. Visit the references that they give you and inspect their work. Were they clean, did they get what they were promised, was the company responsive to their needs.
OH HELL, I am on a soap box......................................jumped off.......................I'm done. Any more questions you really want me to talk about I would be happy to discuss with you.
Good Luck
By the way you can't go wrong with either one. Make sure you get 2 stage variable.
--
Bob Pietrangelo
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I would'nt install something that WOULD make me go out and fix it regularly. Correction to last post
--
Bob Pietrangelo
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American
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Steve,
They stopped using that board design in their handlers. All of their new heaters have the old standard heat sequencers that almost everybody else uses. Their goofy numbering system is almost completely gone also. All new systems use industry standard numbering system.
Stretch
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About time. You know how it is, we that are not dealers dont see the stuff for a few years since when its warranty, someone else that is a dealer is running the calls. I was approached a few months back by Trane and I seriously gave it some thought. We toured the facility in Greensboro and its impressive, but there were too many bells and whistles even there. The parts department was staffed well, the warehouse was packed, and busy, but the little things bothered me..I mean...WHY have a display of all the units in a HUGE room, that you can access 24 hours a day? Their explanation...so you can bring a client in and show them what they are getting. Ok..well...thats fiine and dandy, but its rare that a customer HERE cares. I can see it if hes buying 20 units for a condo or whatnot.. When they told me that I could not put York and Trane decals on the same vehicle, that killed the deal. If I am going to sell units via MY company, I want people to know what we carry, and not get in the middle of a pissy corp dispute over MY vans lettering. I may look back into it later, but this seasons off to too good of a start, and I cant see taking another trip up there to go over the same stuff over and over again.
But then, you know..I despise Goodman too...but I got a hell of a deal on about 35 units from a company that went belly up a while back and have sold almost all of them off the site. If someones looking for a deal, that was it. I practically gave those away and I know good and well, I better stock up on caps and contactors for em. I mean...really...Goodman ought to simply package another cap in the access panel on those units...LOL
I guess too much personal opinion got into that post. I agree with you and Bob about selling what works, and you dont go back to REPAIR. You also have to look at it from the standpoint of what your area can stand with pricing, and look at what the companies in your area that are known to have idiots and alot of bad installs are doing. You cant be what they are. You also have to offer value for the price...with me, I would do this for free as I have said time and time again if I could get all the bills paid.LOL I dont advertise, I dont go cold calling....we work on a referal basis only. I have used the yellow pages a time or two, but the expense VS calling isnt there. York put us in the next county overs book, and in 2 years, only have gotten 3 calls from it..thankfully, thats like a free market share test.:) Bottom line....dont put tons of faith in the Consumer Reports listings on those...too many variables to be dead on. And too many people hang a perception of quality on the price...some think higher means MUCH better when that is not always the case.
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furnaces,
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