Need thoughts on new gas furnace and central AC

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Hi all. I'm new here. Both my AC and gas furnace for my home are about 20 years old. The gas furnace has been slowly failing... enough repairs in the last couple of years to tell us it really has to go. The central AC is of course not very efficient given its age. Since I really have to replace the furnace I figured just do the whole thing at once. Both existing systems are builder's grade stuff. The furnace is a Borg Warner and the AC is either a Lennox or Carrier (don't remember right now - we are not the original owners of this house).
I know proper installation is they key to any job of this sort, but I also want to get state of the art plus reliability plus efficiency in both of the new units. Oh, and overly high priced, proprietary replacement parts are a negative (I've heard that associated with Trane equipment). I read up a bit on central AC; from what I've read it sounds like Ruud is well respected. Carrier seems to have a good rep for furnaces, but I'm not sure about their ACs. So I have some questions:
1) Is it a bad idea to replace the AC and furnace with units from different manufacturers? 2) If the answer to 1 is yes, then can anyone recommend a manufacturer that has the highest level of performance and reliability for both AC and furnaces? 2) If the answer to 1 is no, then are Ruud and Carrier considered among the best, respectively, for AC and furnace? 3) Are there any that are better for either? My definition of better is, again, reliability, efficiency, a good modern (but well proven) design, and low total ownership cost. That last means I'm willing to pay up front if the combination of reliability / replacement parts cost / efficiency will result in a lower TOC.
Once I have a clearer idea of who all to look at I will need some follow on help with things like 2 piece vs. one piece AC, etc.
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This is Turtle.
You really ask too many questions in one set of words. Let me try to shoot all at just a 2 time responce.
Ruud and Rheem same equipment would be my choice of brands. Now the install is more important than anything at all.
Having 2 different brand till time to change the whole system out. it's not bad but awwww acceptiable to wait for a complete change out when time or age calls to change the other part of the system.
E-mail or post here and I will speak on it as i can.
TURTLE
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TURTLE wrote:>

LOL Engineers certainly would enjoy it...
mk5000
"we decided that the ipod was too big to keep in the Mac universe, which turned out to be the right decision. a little less than a year after this photo was taken, we shipped our millionth ipod, which wouldn't have been possible in the windows market. this macworld was also memorable because it was the culmination of an intense period of development for us"--steve jobs
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This is Turtle.
All I can say is i reply as I work on them and see what is well made. Opinions are like asshole, Everybody has one.
TURTLE
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mk5000, do you have an alternative recommendation and a reason for it?
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Tony wrote:>

absolutely not. I like the way Ruud and Rheem Roll off the tongue.
try saying that sentence 3 times in a ROW!!!
mk5000
"how would he feel if someone sprayed gaffitti all over his house"--peter gibson
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....snip...
You're right; that was a little wordy. :-) Okay, so I had looked at both web sites. There are no Ruud dealers in my immediate area, but a few Rheem dealers. Are the units from both companies truly identical? (except for the name plate of course)
I guess I need a split system. My furnace is an upflow design. I see some on the Rheem web site that are two stage models. I understand the theoretical advantages of a two stage design, but what confuses me is that the upper models (the Classic 90's) don't appear to have that option.
I see also that their furnaces are designed to support things like electronic air cleaners and humidifiers. I had an Aprilaire humidifier installed when we moved in and have been very pleased with it. Does Rheem offer their own humidifier?
The biggest issue will be picking an installer that does a good job (not ripping me off would also be a plus).
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This is Turtle.
Rheem and Ruud are the one and the same equipment. One time i picked up a Rheen Condenser unit at the warehouse and it had Ruud on it and i call the warehouse to see about it. They give me a new Rheem sticker to put over the Ruud sticker. the Rheem & Ruud both come off the same assembley line in Fort Smith , Ark. . Rheem goes to the right and Ruud goes to the left to the loading docks and just before they get to the loading dock they put the stickers on them but if you look real close all says Rheen Manufactoring Co. Now the only difference between a Rheem and a Ruud is one letter in the Model Number. So Both are the same.
Two stage is just a Bell, and whisle you buy for confort and does not save any money.
90% afue rating does save money and if you live in the cold climate, i would say yes go with a 90% afue rated furnace. If your using a 90% afue furnace you really don't want bells and whisles but lowering the cost to operate the furnace.
No I don't think Rheem or Ruud has their own brand of Humitifer but so the story goes General Motor does not make tires for your car. Now most any add on you may want will be adapted by Rheem or Ruud will or can be added on very well with no trouble.
TURTLE
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Thanks for all this info, Turtle. My existing heating/cooling service contract is with a company that is primarily a Lennox dealer. Do you have any opinion on how the mid to upper end Lennoxes (for both AC and heat) compare to the Ruud/Rheems (using the factors I had already listed)?
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this is Turtle.
I see very little difference in Rheem -- Ruud -- Lennox on the different levels of quality of units but what makes a big difference is how well they are installed. i would buy the cheapest brand HVAC equipment on the earth if i knew it was installed by a good installer. a HVAC system correctly installed is the best brand known or the best brand you can buy.
So if you have a good installer any brand you choose is the best.
TURTLE
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Thanks Turtle; that's what I suspected. It's a shame there is no way to easily find out who a quality installer is in a given area.
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Does anyone have any tips on finding a quality installer? That's the hard part.
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wrote:

Yeah, David, that's what has me wondering. In the case of Rheem I checked their web site and found 2 installers in my immediate area that are listed as "Rheem Top Contractors". Apparently that means they meet some kind of standards as a Rheem qualified dealer that's supposed to mean something. What I don't know is whether that actually means anything. One of them is also a member of the BBB and has been around since 1929, if that means anything either.
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Look for company with NATE certified technicians and installers. Find companies that fit that at www.natex.org
Also techs that belong to RSES would be better than average. "RSES,,,Better service through knowledge."
Stretch
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Thanks a lot, Stretch.
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or just take the BUG out of the address I'm using here. The internet is a wonderful thing but experience and quality service and installation _is_very_Important. I posted the link to the website last week but I didn't hear from you. Here it is again: http://www.mountlaurelheatingandcooling.com/contact.html I didn't know the e-mail link was dead. A guy did call from Washington Twp asking about RUDD equipment but his name wasn't Tony. One note as you do your research, the rebates for high-efficiency, variable speed heaters were increased to $400 on Sept. first and there are rumors of the A/C rebate being changed in the near future. Get a couple estimates, talk to thier references and then call me when you are ready to get serious. We might not be the lowest bid you get but we won't be the highest and our reputation around town is damn good. Customer satisfaction is a high priority. We do alot in Cherry Hill.
Kathy
P.S. I'll get on that webmasters' ass tomorrow.
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Here is some peripheral info that you might not be aware of. As of next year, the minimum SEER (basically, efficiency rating) for AC units is being raised from 10 to 13. If you are looking to do your AC unit, and want anything lower than a 13 SEER, you have to do it this year (you can discuss this with your installer and he can explain all of the pros/cons).
This link explains the change...
http://www.bryant.com/corp/details/0,2938,CLI1_DIV42_ETI9630,00.html?SMSESSION=NO

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Thanks Ray. Yes, I did hear about this. The last time I had a repair done on the furnace (two weeks ago) my service guy was saying that.

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for my home are about 20

http://www.goodmanmfg.com/consumer/changeTab.act?newTab=Warranty&requestedSite=Goodman
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http://www.goodmanmfg.com/consumer/changeTab.act?newTab=Warranty&requestedSite=Goodman
Are they still using stack sequencers?
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