Contemplating on buying a new HVAC system for your home?
If you’re looking for a new HVAC system because the one you currently have is getting worn out and you just don’t want to deal with increasing annual repairs anymore, or you require higher energy efficiency to decrease those monthly utility bills, or your system has never cooled or heated your home enough. So, those could be valid reasons to replace your HVAC system and we’ll help you shop for the best HVAC Brands.
Normally, when making a purchase, you first choose the brand, and then go to a dealer or retailer. But HVAC merchants are essentially the manufacturers. In the U.S. today there are about six HVAC equipment manufacturers, but they operate under more than 150 brand names.
Some brands that come off the same manufacturing lines but just different marketing, paint, and labels are:
- • Trane and American Standard
• Lennox, Armstrong and Concord
• York, Lux and Coleman
• Carrier, Payne, Bryant and Tempstar
• Goodman and Amana
And most of the parts that make up these brands’ products are manufactured by even fewer companies, such as Honeywell, Emerson, and Johnson Controls.
Also, these companies are giant billion-dollar conglomerates. They are all known to utilize very rigid quality processes integrating multimillion dollar machines that create nearly mistake-proof products.
Naturally, there are slight differences on the very top-end products, such as who has the better touch-screen thermostat, or is it 98.3 percent or 98.4 percent efficient. But, these are irrelevant at the end of the day.
And what’s the clear-cut, big difference? The installing contractor.
How to choose the finest HVAC contractor:
Unlike buying a brand new car, the HVAC products we buy come in individual pieces and are uncalibrated. It’s then the heating and cooling contractor’s job to put them together and set them up for that particular installation. The only place the manufacturing companies sets up HVAC units for is in their testing lab.
Unfortunately, air conditioners and furnaces don’t just snap together and plug in. It takes about a few years of training and $5,000 in tools to finish what the manufacturer started. So, heating and cooling contractors are in fact the guys at the finale of the manufacturing process; it just so happens to be in your basement, attic or backyard.
So, why are Lennox, Carrier, and Trane perceived as better brands? For one, large national advertising campaigns guarantee that you’ve already heard of them. Though the major reason is that they’re selective about whom they let install their products. They don’t just let any handyman who knows little about heating and cooling purchase or install their products.
And how do you choose the best contractor?
1. Read reviews. Angie’s List has loads of those and they are in fact real.
2. Be sure to check licensing. Most states have a contractor license portal.
3. Always check for certifications. Contractors who are members of ACCA or North American Technician Excellence, can assure you that they and their installers know exactly what they are doing. These organizations have rigorous test standards and require ongoing education.
4. Do ask around. Who did your friends or neighbors use? Was their pricing fair? Did they meet their expectations?