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#1
Old 04-17-2013, 05:25 PM
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Location: Orlando, Florida
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Need a new home AC unit. Anyone heard of Comfortmaker?

Hello Everyone,

Just got the bad news today that our AC unit is dying and needs to be replaced. The company we are using is recommending an air unit with the brand name of Comfortmaker. We are told that it is a rebranded Carrier. I've never heard of this brand and before dropping $4k on it would like to hear from someone who has one. I will go looking on Google for reviews, but it's hard to know what or who to trust with internet reviews.

We really hate to have to replace the unit, but it's only money. Also, our power company is Tesco, out of Tampa, FL. I tried to call and find out if they had any incentive programs to help with the cost, but that department was closed. Any Tampa Dopers know if there are any incentive programs currently running?
#2
Old 04-17-2013, 06:45 PM
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Location: Houston TX
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Put in a call to my buddy that designs commercial HVAC systems, he should be back with me shortly. Some specs would be useful, tonnage etc.

Capt

ETA. Does this include a furnace unit? Btus?

Last edited by Capt Kirk; 04-17-2013 at 06:47 PM.
#3
Old 04-17-2013, 06:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by obbn View Post
The company we are using is recommending an air unit with the brand name of Comfortmaker. We are told that it is a rebranded Carrier.
That doesn't make sense. As far as I know, Carrier has a good reputation, while Comfortmaker does not (or its reputation is unknown to me). So why would Carrier allow its products to be sold under a brand name with less name recognition and less of a reputation that its own brand?
#4
Old 04-17-2013, 06:53 PM
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This forum says they're the same thing. Rebranding like that happens all the time.
#5
Old 04-17-2013, 07:03 PM
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According to Wikipedia, United Technologies bought the parent company of Comfortmaker in 1999. So they're under the same corporate umbrella as Carrier, but I don't think it's correct to call them "rebranded" Carrier products.

Last edited by Dewey Finn; 04-17-2013 at 07:03 PM.
#6
Old 04-17-2013, 07:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dewey Finn View Post
, but I don't think it's correct to call them "rebranded" Carrier products.
Re-labeled? I'm not sure what to call it, merger mania and modern marketing strategies have put a lot of different tags on the same product.
#7
Old 04-17-2013, 07:32 PM
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Put in a whole new HVAC two years ago for a 3,600 sq ft house. My research indicated that Trane or Lennox were the top for reliability and economy.
#8
Old 04-17-2013, 07:42 PM
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Ok here's the word from the horses mouth

Carrier and Comfortmaker are mostly the same akin to the difference between the old GMC and Chevy trucks. The Comfortmaker will have fewer bells and whistles, possibly lesser quality valves but the same compressor, fan and integral components as the equivalent Carrier.

He was however bothered by the cost and suggested some shopping around but he cannot make a real judgment without knowing the specifics of your situation. Also, apparently the State of Florida has some specific regulations that pertain to HVAC that increase costs, I didn't ask details as he is my buddy giving free advice and was short on time.

Hope that helps

Capt
#9
Old 04-18-2013, 12:31 AM
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Location: Orlando, Florida
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt Kirk View Post
Put in a call to my buddy that designs commercial HVAC systems, he should be back with me shortly. Some specs would be useful, tonnage etc.

Capt

ETA. Does this include a furnace unit? Btus?
It's a 3.5 ton unit. It doesn't have a heart pump, instead relying on heat strips. Not really a concern however as we rarely if ever use heat in the house.
#10
Old 04-18-2013, 12:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by obbn View Post
It's a 3.5 ton unit. It doesn't have a heart pump, instead relying on heat strips. Not really a concern however as we rarely if ever use heat in the house.
So it's like the Tin Man then?
#11
Old 04-18-2013, 01:04 AM
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Originally Posted by TriPolar View Post
So it's like the Tin Man then?
Stupid auto correct! I swear if I ever meet the guy that designed that software it's going to be all like: Hi ....... *Swift kick to the yamsack*...........
#12
Old 04-18-2013, 09:53 AM
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Posts: 22,196
Comfortmaker was for years the brand HVAC contractors would recommend when homeowners wanted something somewhat less costly than those fancy, overpriced national brands with all their expensive advertising. Back in the 50's, 60's and 70's a lot of new subdivisions were built with Comfortmaker furnace/AC units. I don't know how they've been since they were sold to United Technologies, but at one time it was a solid brand inside the industry.
#13
Old 04-18-2013, 09:57 AM
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The technology is relatively mature. How much difference is there among brands?
#14
Old 04-18-2013, 11:57 AM
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I replaced two heat pumps about a year ago. I bought middle-of-the-road units, American Standard (rebranded from Trane). We bought a 2.5 ton unit and a 3 ton unit 13 SEER units for about $9,000 total. Our electric company was willing to rebate about $1500 total if we spent an additional $12,000 to buy 16 SEER units. Spending $10,500 to save about $300/year didn't seem to make a lot of sense.
#15
Old 09-02-2013, 06:42 PM
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If the units were any good, they'd be branded Carrier. As it is, I think of Weber (grilles) buying the bankrupt Ducane brand (the Rolls-Royce of gas grilles) and slapping it on loss-leader Chinese shit sold at Home Depot.

I can't think of any examples where a major brand acquired and/or spun out a secondary brand that was equivalent or superior to their established line; IME it's ALWAYS to give them a bargain brand to mop up sales that won't come at their main tier price.

I'd spend the little extra and go with Trane, Carrier or one of the other well-established brands. It's a 20-year investment; do the math.
#16
Old 12-01-2015, 08:37 AM
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Buyer Beware!!!

Purchased 3 Comfortmaker HE units for a couple rentals we own. Within 3 years two had broken down and needed replacement parts (induction motor bearings both times). Comfortmaker refused to pay for replacement parts since one of their 'licensed vendors' did not do the repair. Non would come out (50+ miles was the closest) so we had to use a local HVAC company. Didn't matter. No warranty unless it's 'their' repair company. Argued it up the chain, but they were VERY quick to note the file that 'someone else' had touched the unit so they were voiding "any and all breakdowns from this point forward".
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