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Phil, Mechanical Engineer
Category: HVAC
Satisfied Customers: 7216
Experience:  Retired HVAC/ Electrical & Boiler contractor. Industrial
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looking for an independent opinion regarding choice of 2 quotes

Customer Question

looking for an independent opinion regarding choice of 2 quotes to replace hvac on main floor of my home.. one system is a rheem the other is a Lennox... the price difference is within $500 (lennox being higher) so trying to understand if you could provide an opinion which one is the best value.

system 1 is Rheem
furnace rgpe 10ebrmr
Coil rcfl hm3824
Condensor rapm 036jez

System 2 is lennox
Furnace sl280uh 090v36
Coil (? Not sure where noted on quote)
Condensor xc14 036

Ive been told each of above systems will result in 16 seer. I can also find a slight btu diff in furnace ratings... since all foreign to me just want to understand if each system makes sense and which seems best value.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: HVAC
Expert:  Phil replied 2 years ago.
Welcome to Just Answer!.

I do this work for a living, It is possible that neither option is a good deal, depending on the price, which part of the country you are in (relative to humidity control issues)... warranty, quality of installation and price.

For instance if the air ducts are not sized and sealed properly the system will not perform to its advertised specifications... air leaks in a humid area of the country such as the gulf coast can double your operating costs. So that $500 reduced initial cost is a mute point..etc.

I need to know the following;
- Is this a complete new system ductwork and all, or just a furnace and condensing unit replacement.

- What are the quotes

- How long has each contractor been in business.

- How long is each warranty, does it include parts AND labor.. or just parts.

- How long has each contractor been in business.

Typically Rheem is a better value for the dollar, and tends to use more off the shelf, easier to replace parts, with less complex controls than the lennox systems...which equates to less service and repair costs over time.

Rheem is the 'Chevrolet or Ford' of the US market, Lennox is more in the 'Chrysler' products category... tending to be a bit more complex, and with proprietary parts.

There are many other aspects, I need answers to my initial questions to help you make the best choice.


I hold questions open after positive ratings to allow for unlimited follow up. Please be patient though. The research & typing take time
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Cant tell if my other response went thru:

Lennox 7500

Rheem 7000

Both companies good bbb and good angieslist reviews. Both 10 yr parts. 3 yrs labor.

Both in business more than 10 yrs.

Recent air sealing and insulation done as part of home effeciency work.

House in maryland so extremes in all seasons. Large family so hvac always workin all day everyday.

Replacement system into existing ducts and lines


Apologies if this is a duplicate to a reply I sent a few mins ago. Am using phone so a bit error prone with this site

Expert:  Phil replied 2 years ago.
Hello again, your message got through just fine, I did not get a duplicate. Thank you for the detailed answers to my questions.


The lennox furnace number didn't compute.. can you double check it for me please?

This is a tough call... that Rheem furnace is low efficiency, but with an electronically controlled fan motor.. those are expensive and very costly to trouble shoot and replace when they fail. The Lennox systems often use those same type of motors...

I am old fashioned I like simple easy to replace components... I might suffer such complexity with a 90% efficient furnace but I don't like to see it with an 80% efficient furnace where I expect a cheaper, easier to maintain furnace in exchange for the lower efficiency.

$7500 is in the high priced range if the air ducts are already in place.... and the furnace is not in the attic or other difficult to access location.

If you shop around you should be able to get quotes on good equipment in the $5,500 range... made by Rheem, York, and American Standard... and 'Goodman' equipment in the $4500 range. Goodman furnaces are good, and cheap... their condensing units are good, there cooling coils that attach the furnaces have had problems... you might get quotes as low as $4,000 for those installed.

Let me know what you think, we can go from there.

Note: I am traveling in central america now with spotty internet access. I will generally get back to you within an hour or so, but am going to bed shortly.. if you need faster service or can't wait...hit the 'relist' button and your question will go back on the open board for other experts to see.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thx for your help. I think these quotes are result of "best system without having to put in new ducting/exhaust.... " I specifically asked for something tjat could be as quiet as possible so thats why the systems have the dual speed blowers. Air return is next to major sitting area and am tired of the constant loud drone of current single max speed blower.


Would you recommend starting feom scratch with quotes on lesser costly units at this efficiency or just try to get them lower on the unit theyve quoted? I m speakimg specific to the rheem quote since I dont have anyrhimg more tham what I've already provided re th e lennox.


Since they are a rheem shop is their a particular com o of units from rheem you would recoomemd me inquiring about?



Thx again for your counsel. Emjoy your trip!

Expert:  Phil replied 2 years ago.

Hello again, since you want a quiet system, the ECM motor (electronically controlled motor) is in fact necessary... it is not a two speed motor. .. it is a motor with a more or less infinite range of speeds... in most situations they run very quietly...

exceptions would be on very cold or very hot days when the system is forced to operate at absolute maximum out put...(less than 10 or 20 days a year, and for just a few hours in most cases)

Look your paper work over and verify it is an ECM motor not just a two speed motor.

The ECM motor by is what is driving the price up by about $1,100. but you do need it if you want an ultra quiet system.... the ECM motor allows more air to be moved through the possibly restrictive air ducts, and maximizes cooling performance in severely hot weather.

Offer each contractor a cash deal at $800 less... the chances are good one of them will take it.

Don't forget to verify your motor is an ECM type... for each quote.. that is important in this case.

If you wish to rate my service to you now you can, and in that case I will hold the question open for you without any time limit so we can continue the discussion in the event you decide to go shopping for other quotes.



Phil, Mechanical Engineer
Category: HVAC
Satisfied Customers: 7216
Experience: Retired HVAC/ Electrical & Boiler contractor. Industrial
Phil and 2 other HVAC Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thx. I'm going to confirm the ecm thing and try to get a lower price.... will let you know what happens :)

Expert:  Phil replied 2 years ago.
Good plan, thanks for the positive rating! stay in touch as you need to.


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