Houzz Logo Print

need help in replacing hvac system

7 years ago
last modified: 7 years ago

14 SEER/80% AFUE Trane for $6900 vs 16 SEER/96% AFUE Goodman for $7700.

I am looking to replace my current HVAC system and was looking for some advice in helping to make my choice. My house is 2550 square feet, and the current unit is a 137000 BTU furnace (which I have been told by everyone is over-sized) with 4 ton a/c unit. The unit is made by Lennox and has only had minimal issues the current of which is a leaky drain pan. The split system is the original unit that came with the house in 1989. The furnace shares a vent with the hot water heater. I live in southern NJ and my utility bills can range from $150 all the way up to $300. My current unit is in working condition, so I have time to make this decision. My complaints with my current system is that it is very loud since unit is the 1st floor of my house and the second floor of my house doesn't cool very well.

The one contractor is offering a lesser name brand but with far greater effiency at only marginal greater cost. This one is for a Goodman unit 96% AFUE furance (CAPF4860D6) + 16 SEER (GSX160481) a/c unit. The price for this one is 8710. There are rebates from the state for 550 and tax rebates of 450 which would bring the total to 7710. This contractor has great reviews on Angie's List, HomeAdvisor and Google. In speaking with the contractor, he said that he could probably be out in around a week.

The other is a for a Trane system TTDD1C120A9541A, 80% AFUE, 120000 BTU furnace with a 4 ton 14 SEER condenser at a price of 6900. This contractor also has great reviews. The wait time for his crew would be 3-4 weeks. Interesting I did not see any contractor that gave me a quote do a manual J or look at my vents to see their current status.

I had a couple of concerns about the high efficiency furnace in term of reliability. The Goodman higher efficiency furnace would be a condensing furnace so there would be additional duct work that would need to be done. It seems that these units require more maintenance and there are more parts to break and, therefore, probably are less reliable long term. Interesting, of all the contractors who gave me quotes, there was only one that offered me a high efficiency furnace.

I am stuck as to which way to go. On the one hand you have a lower price for a better brand name furnace, and I wouldn't have to deal with the complexity of a condensing unit. On the other hand, I would have a higher efficiency unit that would only be $800 dollars more and get an additional 2 SEER and 16% more AFUE but is a lesser name brand. Both would be done by very reputable contractors based on online reviews that literally had no negative feedback. I was surprised, however, that no one had done a load calculation to come up with the aforementioned units. Any input would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Comments (12)