Trying to figure out what the best HVAC brand is? Let’s face it, “BEST” is relative and quite frankly a matter of opinion. It’s kind of like cars, there are people 90 years old that have never driven anything but a Ford and to them, Ford is the best! I’m sure you can find people all over the Tri-Cities that will swear their system is the best! However, just because it’s the best brand of equipment for one homeowner doesn’t mean you’ll have the same results.
Starting the Search for “Best HVAC Brand” Online
Admit it, you’ve already Googled “Best HVAC Brand”, haven’t you? If you found Consumer Reports (which is a great place to start), the most reliable HVAC brands are American Standard and Trane (https://www.consumerreports.org/products/central-air-conditioner/brand-reliability-only/). Let’s face it, a new air conditioner, furnace or heat pump is a big investment, one that you’ll want to last!
Here’s another little fact you probably don’t know about the top two brands; they’re owned by the same parent company, Ingersol Rand. That means they are manufactured in the same factory, with the same parts for some models, just branded and marketed differently. How crazy is that?
Also note that pricing can be different between brands and models. Compare the upfront cost of a new system to costs of operation over time. There are high end efficiency brands and more affordable, discount brands of A/C and heating systems.
Talk to a Licensed HVAC Contractor
Contractors are biased, many will recommend a brand they work with. Yet, you can still learn from the conversation about how their brand can meet your needs, budget and perform in your local area. After doing research, you’ll notice many contractors install 1 or two brands. The reason? It can be prohibitive to install multiple HVAC brands and with new products added every year, 1 or 2 is plenty to keep up with!
Consumer Reports has a great guide to buying an air conditioner, you can find it at https://www.consumerreports.org/cro/central-air-conditioning/buying-guide. One section talks about how to find the right HVAC contractor. Here’s the short list:
- Ask around, people love to refer companies that have provided excellent service.
- Check them out fully. You have tons of resources online, use them.
- Make sure you they fully document what their scope of work is and what the cost will be. Don’t forget to set a timeline that works for everyone.
- Ask for similar projects. If your job is complex or involves special considerations, see if the work has been done by your contractor before.
Your HVAC contractor will meet with you at your home and familiarize himself with your system, age of the house, size and square footage and ductwork. They will discuss your budget, monthly utility preferences, and comfort level in the home during summer and winter. Once they have all the info they can suggest the best HVAC brand for your home.
A Frequently Asked Question on HVAC Brands
“Can I just replace part of my system and if I do, will it matter if they’re different brands?” The resounding answer is:
- Yes, you could replace only your inside (air handler) or outside unit (air condenser), though it wouldn’t be recommended. Units are usually installed at the same time and are packaged together as a system. Not only is bundling cheaper, it allows all parts of your system to be the same age. Changing one and not the other could lead to efficiency issues among other problems.
- NO, you cannot have two different brands installed and most reputable HVAC contractors won’t do that.