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I Need New Furnace--Carrier, Lennox, or Trane?
Old 01-23-2023, 12:33 PM   #1
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I Need New Furnace--Carrier, Lennox, or Trane?

Learned today I need a new furnace. The diagnosis seems legit. Not only that, but my furnace is 20 years old this April.

So, which of the major brands would you suggest? Why would you suggest that particular brand?

Carrier
Lennox
Trane

Note: Bryant is made by Carrier and is essentially the same thing.
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Old 01-23-2023, 12:38 PM   #2
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I wouldn't have an issue with any of those. Are there any differences in the specs for the models being suggested? Assuming there aren't any significant differences, I'd next look at price for the models being offered. I'm doubting there would be any significant difference there either, but maybe there is. Any differences in warranty periods/coverage for the models being considered?
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I Need New Furnace--Carrier, Lennox, or Trane?
Old 01-23-2023, 12:39 PM   #3
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I Need New Furnace--Carrier, Lennox, or Trane?

Either Carrier or Lennox are good. I used to have a Trane that I recently replaced after 12 years of far too many repairs. I replaced it with a Lennox.

We have a Bryant in two townhomes that have been great after 2 and 10 years.
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Old 01-23-2023, 12:50 PM   #4
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I assume you are talking Natural Gas furnace?

I look for the primary heat exchanger as well as the secondary hx to be made of duplex stainless steel. Each of those brands have many versions of materials used.

Also, I prefer a variable speed blower to a multi tap motor, but some folks do not due to cost of replacement if it fails.

Bottom line each have their quirks. I had more failures with Lennox than most, but they warrantied replacement but not the install and the Lennox installers all charge a premium. Trane is usually good, but I just fixed one for a friend that had fouling in the pressure limit switch from lack of flow and drainage in the inducer fan. I did not like their plumbing/tube line quality.

Not a fan of Carrier, mostly due to Bryant being a builder grade furnace, but Carrier makes good commercial HVAC equipment.

For me, I would buy a Goodman/Dainkin or Mr Cool from iwae.com and install it myself. I could buy a high efficiency gas furnace and spec out the qualities I need. You have to understand that the sub components of these units are pretty common. Each brand spins a different quality/feature, and the sales guys always argue how !@##py Goodman is without relating it to which unit and spec.

You really need to specify what efficiency you want/$ invested, and look at brand specific features, but make sure you are comparing a similar model in each brand. Most have a cheap unit to upsell you to a better one.

I recommend you look at iwae.com and learn a bit how each model is made and what you get for your money, before listening to some sales guys.
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Old 01-23-2023, 12:57 PM   #5
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I might add that I have owned/repaired several Lennox furnaces, and installed many Goodman heat pumps and gas furnaces to replace them over the years. All of the Goodman furnaces I have installed are still in good shape. Mostly issues with flame sensors, easy to clean, or broken ignitors but that happens on all brands. A high efficiency furnace has the pain of being a condensing furnace which ultimately leads to secondary HX fouling, or worse corrosion. Makes me want to reconsider and go back to 80% efficiency to avoid all that maintenance.
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Old 01-23-2023, 12:58 PM   #6
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I'm looking at natural gas furnaces. I'm just starting the research process. My current furnace is a 20 year old Carrier and I just learned today it has a rusted and clogged secondary heat exchanger. I've learned that this was a design flaw in Carrier/Bryant units from that era and so I am a little soured on the Carrier brand.

The tech that was out to service my Carrier said that his preferred ranking was Trane, Lennox, and Carrier. This is based on his observations on the design and reliability of the units he's seen over the past 15 years. Since he has worked for a Carrier dealer, a Lennox dealer, and a Trane dealer, he has worked on them all.

I've only gotten two quotes. I'm looking at 96% efficient two-stage furnaces. The Carrier was $6,350 and the Trane was $6,080.
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Old 01-23-2023, 12:58 PM   #7
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I went with Lennox last time, about 4 years ago.
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Old 01-23-2023, 01:01 PM   #8
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A high efficiency furnace has the pain of being a condensing furnace which ultimately leads to secondary HX fouling, or worse corrosion. Makes me want to reconsider and go back to 80% efficiency to avoid all that maintenance.
Yep, mine is a high efficiency Carrier furnace with a rusty, clogged secondary heat exchanger. Apparently, this is a known issue with this Carrier with furnaces that are 15-20 years old.
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Old 01-23-2023, 01:08 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Qs Laptop View Post
I'm looking at natural gas furnaces. I'm just starting the research process. My current furnace is a 20 year old Carrier and I just learned today it has a rusted and clogged secondary heat exchanger. I've learned that this was a design flaw in Carrier/Bryant units from that era and so I am a little soured on the Carrier brand.

The tech that was out to service my Carrier said that his preferred ranking was Trane, Lennox, and Carrier. This is based on his observations on the design and reliability of the units he's seen over the past 15 years. Since he has worked for a Carrier dealer, a Lennox dealer, and a Trane dealer, he has worked on them all.

I've only gotten two quotes. I'm looking at 96% efficient two-stage furnaces. The Carrier was $6,350 and the Trane was $6,080.
Given the known problem with the Carrier units, I'd go with the Trane.

No problems on my almost 15-year-old 80% Trane natural gas furnace.

The only "repair" so far...I had to remove & clean the flame sensor last winter, over a decade after installation.

Short of my (one) heat exchanger cracking or clogging I'll keep repairing or replacing any other parts.
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Old 01-23-2023, 01:15 PM   #10
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When we lived in Phoenix our flat-roof patio home used a roof-mounted "gas pacK" that includes a gas furnace and AC system in one package. The original HVAC system was replaced with a Trane unit in 1996. When that unit developed a refrigerant leak, it was replaced by another Trane unit in 2016. The only repairs required were to the air conditioning part of the system. The furnace sections were very reliable. BTW, because the home had been built in 1969, it wasn't that well insulated. That and there was a lot of original floor to ceiling glass in the home so the furnace got well utilized in the Phoenix winter months.

In our home in Sedona, we had to replace both heat pumps shortly after moving in. The home warranty company paid for Goodman units one of which has already required major repairs after less than four years of service. So if their furnaces are the quality of their heat pumps, I'd avoid that brand.
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Old 01-23-2023, 01:30 PM   #11
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You may want to look into a Payne furnace. Payne is owned by Carrier and they are typically less expensive
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Old 01-23-2023, 01:38 PM   #12
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You may want to look into a Payne furnace. Payne is owned by Carrier and they are typically less expensive
Payne is the Carrier builder quality furnace. I think I'll stay away.
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Old 01-23-2023, 01:40 PM   #13
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Lennox is known to be good, but, anecdotally:

We were recently exploring a new larger AC unit and asked our AC company for quotes. They didn't included Lennox. We asked why, as they had previously told us they were a good brand, and we have one currently.

Their CEO confessed that in recent years most all of their problem calls are on Lennox units, and they are hard to stock parts for, so in addition to having more issues they result in longer down time. He implied it was a case of a former quality company that had not kept up with their earlier reputation.

We still have our lennox as we didn't switch, and have no complaints, but it's a 3 year old unit so, too new to know.
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Old 01-23-2023, 01:43 PM   #14
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Yep, mine is a high efficiency Carrier furnace with a rusty, clogged secondary heat exchanger. Apparently, this is a known issue with this Carrier with furnaces that are 15-20 years old.
Yep, several class action law suits against Carrier because of this. Carrier's reputation is not the same as it used to be.

I always choose simplicity and longevity over efficiency. Most use similar parts produced by off-shore suppliers.

Of the two quotes above, I'd go with the Trane at $6080 unless the installer has information to the contrary.

Does this unit have an integral A/C coil?
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Old 01-23-2023, 02:08 PM   #15
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I think having a quality installation makes as much effect on reliability as the brand. A bad installation will create problems. Can't really comment on specific brands. Choose your installer first.

I have Goodman heat pump and A/C with propane backup at my house. Have good results now going on 6 years, as a data point.
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Old 01-23-2023, 02:13 PM   #16
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Another one to add to the mix: Weil McLain. My local dealer that I've used for nearly 40 years sells this one. I've had two over these 4 decades. They are work horses as, of course, we need here in the very frozen north. Our heating season lasts 8 months sometimes. You'll find that different dealers carry different brands, and it is important to get an experienced installer who stands by their work and will make you a preferred customer in case of break down.
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Old 01-23-2023, 02:38 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by 38Chevy454 View Post
I think having a quality installation makes as much effect on reliability as the brand. A bad installation will create problems. Can't really comment on specific brands. Choose your installer first.

I have Goodman heat pump and A/C with propane backup at my house. Have good results now going on 6 years, as a data point.
That by far is the best statement. A bad install is typically associated with Goodman and Goodman gets the blame. Contamination in a heat pump line, or poor condensate drain on a furnace can ultimately fail, and usually sooner.

Please note also that Lennox had a series of furnace HX in the 90's that were so bad, they actually recalled the entire model set due to short life their welded hx design. Corrosion in the heat effected zone of a weld is very typical when it is not passivated post heat for stainless materials.
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Old 01-23-2023, 02:43 PM   #18
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Their CEO confessed that in recent years most all of their problem calls are on Lennox units, and they are hard to stock parts for, so in addition to having more issues they result in longer down time.
The tech that was out here mentioned that Lennox had a parts supply problem. He said that has been addressed by the fact they now have Lennox stores where you can go to buy parts. Indeed, there is one near me.

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Yep, several class action law suits against Carrier because of this. Carrier's reputation is not the same as it used to be.

I always choose simplicity and longevity over efficiency. Most use similar parts produced by off-shore suppliers.

Of the two quotes above, I'd go with the Trane at $6080 unless the installer has information to the contrary.

Does this unit have an integral A/C coil?
This has the AC evaporator coil inside the airbox, yes. Since I'm in Minnesota he said if I went with A/C and furnace combo they would install the evaporator in the furnace airbox but they would come back in the spring when it was warmer to install the complete AC unit. He said since my lines are longer than 15' to the AC condenser they would retain the lines.
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Old 01-23-2023, 02:45 PM   #19
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The Trane units I was quoted was $6,080 for a two stage and $5,325 for the one stage. Both are 96% efficient. The tech said the two stage might last 3-5 years longer and to weigh the $700 difference and whether or not I would be living here in 15 years.

I don't think I will be living here in 15 years.

So, one stage or two stage?
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Old 01-23-2023, 02:47 PM   #20
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I think having a quality installation makes as much effect on reliability as the brand. A bad installation will create problems. Can't really comment on specific brands. Choose your installer first.
I've heard this as well. But how do you know the particular installers that come to your house on any given day are good or not so good? It's a crapshoot, isn't it?
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