1) HOW DO I PICK A BRAND OF AC UNIT?

2) WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENCES?

3) WHICH IS THE BEST DEAL?

We all want the best deal, the best price, and best expense on things for the time we need them. If there was a simple checklist, it would be great, but that doesn’t exist. There are many factors to consider, but no one thing to stress about. I will say this though. In my 30 some odd years in the AC and heating business, I have seen some evolution in the business, and I will say that there are no domestic brands out there today that are “junk”. There are some “bargain” imports out there that I am wary about, but they are not highly circulated. I will also say that I have seen certain models, or components over the years that turned out to be “lemons”. Certain ones, for instance that have a high compressor fail rate, or tend to have more leaky coils than others. Others had high fail rates in control boards, or capacitors. All said, over the years most of this bugs and quirks seem to have been worked out, and most units today seem to be much more reliable than they were 10, or 20 years ago. Much like modern cars, they go longer and longer with less and less service.

Generally, most of the AC unit manufacturers actually assemble their units from parts made by other manufacturers. There are basically, for instance, 2-3 major brands of compressor manufacturers, so one unit it likely to have the same as another. Evaporator coils, and condenser coils fall into the same category. Fan motors….the same. More often than not you are getting various components from similar manufacturers installed a cabinet that is painted and labeled with a brand name by a company that probably does little more than assemble the component into their own box. Not to say that there are no differences. The production lines are subject to quality control, and even the major components are subject to different level of qualities. Certain cabinet design even work better than others. For instance some leave condenser coils exposed, some have covers. Some use multiple capacitors to run motors, some use dual, or combination capacitors, that save space and money, but tend to fail much more often. It is hard to pick a best brand, since model designs change year by year, so what was a poor unit 10 years ago may be good today...and vice versa.

                               WHAT ARE YOU TO DO?

We will make some comments on the brands we feature and some other popular brands to help clear the air. We offer no ranking on quality, but will just give some simple information to help clear the air.

 

Trane and American Standard are “sister” companies, or rather American Standard owns both. Models are offered in both names that are almost identical. The compressors are generally made by Trane/American Standard, and they seem to have perfected the aluminum “spine fin” outdoor condenser coil that is easy to clean, and has a very low failure rate. Lines are offered from standard builders models to top of the line dual compressor models with high efficiencies upwards of 20 seer. Base warranties vary from model to model, but all can be upgraded in several different combinations up to a limited 10 year factory parts and labor warranty.

 

Concord ,and Aire Ease are made by Allied Air Enterprises is owned and manufactures for Lennox. Units come with a 10 year warranty on parts if you get a “matched” system, and offer efficiencies up to 15 seer. Generally economical units.

 

Goodman units are manufactured in Houston, Tx. and Goodman now also owns and manufactures Amana. Goodman units are generally considered economical systems, and have grown into quite dependable systems over the years. They now offer model lines from base builder models to 16+ seer dual speed systems. 10 years parts warranty on most units. Daiken has recently purchased and enlarged the Goodman line.

 

Rheem/Rhuud are “sister” brands as well, manufactured in Arkansas. They seem to be very durable,  and their familiar box or cube look has remained largely unchanged for years. Notably, they have steel louvers covering the condenser coils which protects them from flying rocks, hail, kids with sticks etc. but also allows them to get totally clogged with grass cuttings unnoticed!

 

Carrier is generally credited with being the “inventor” of central air conditioning, although the mechanics and engineering being refrigeration were well known and in use for years.  Commercial refrigeration was actually the first use of  what we know of as AC, and human comfort was next in line. Carrier has a long history and has sold products under many names for various markets, and still sells units today known as Bryant, and Payne among others. Carrier Corporation probably offers more residential and commercial systems than any other company, and has a catalog that looks like two large phone books. All said, they have gone through many changes in designs and concepts, some better than others. Their residential product line today covers a long range from economical builder’s models, to high end super efficiency units. Warranties vary with product.

 

Many other names are out there, York, Heil, Tempstar, Luxaire, Arcoaire, Coleman, Nordyne, Westinghouse, Maytag, to name a few. Some of these are re-brands of other bigger names, and some have their own re-brands. Not to worry, as I mentioned before, most are so similar that the actual name brand is not so much of an issue among the more common base line models. Some differences appear in the high end units.

 

How does Earth Power AC and Heat choose which units to offer?   The same way you should…..service. Our life is made easier by quality local distributers who serve us well.

 

You should think the same. While it’s fine to select a brand you’ve had good luck with before, or heard good about, ultimately it is the installation and service that will make or break the satisfaction and performance you get from your system. An incorrectly, or poorly installed system will give problems regardless of brand name. Choose your installation contractor first, and brand second.

Serving the greater Houston, Texas area, including Tomball, Spring ,Cypress, Waller, Magnolia, Montgomery, Conroe, The Woodlands, Willis, Kingwood, Crosby, Huntsville, Galveston, Pearland, Brazoria, Sugarland, Richmond, Katy,