The Most and Least Reliable Central Air Conditioners and Heat Pumps


Published January 31, 2019

Which Air Conditioner & Heat Pump Manufacturers are Most Reliable?

As summertime comfort grows in popularity, many homeowners are considering purchasing a new air conditioner or heat pump to protect us from the Great Sky Furnace on those hot Summer days. The search for a cooling system can seem a little daunting at first with so many different brands to choose from. For example:

Trane = American Standard
Bryant = Carrier
Goodman = Amana
Coleman = York
Rheem = Ruud

One thing is for certain; whichever manufacturer’s system you purchase, you’ll want to ensure you are investing in a reliable brand.

So on that note, we have gathered reliability data to help make your decision a little easier. Before sharing this with you, it’s important to mention a couple things: first, as previously referenced, several of the central air conditioner and heat pump manufacturers sell the same product under multiple brand names. Our industry has experienced a significant amount of consolidation over the decades, and rather than discontinue the purchased brand, the purchasing manufacturer often deems it more sensible to continue using the purchased brand while selling their existing equipment under it.

Second, the most common manufacturers here in the Greater Seattle area are Bryant/Carrier, Trane/American Standard, and Lennox, although the others listed above can also be found throughout the Northwest.

So, what does the data reveal? Quite simply, Bryant/Carrier and Trane/American Standard are the most reliable air conditioner and heat pump manufacturers currently available. Both manufacturers have had their share of problems, but in general they, while not perfect, are the most reliable when well maintained. In addition, Consumer Reports has collected similar data and found similar results. Every couple of years (or thereabout) they write an article on A/C and heat pump reliability.  Take a look at the two links below to see their most recent A/C and heat pump reliability articles:

Air Conditioner and Heat Pump Reliability 2014 – Consumer Reports

Air Conditioner and Heat Pump Reliability 2015 – Consumer Reports

Air Conditioner and Heat Pump Reliability 2016 – Consumer Reports

Given their reliability record, Bryant and Trane tend to be the more popular air conditioners and heat pumps, and generally people are happy with their purchase of one of these brands. At times there can be a bad apple in the bunch, but as the data reveals, these brands will minimize your risk of purchasing a future headache. It’s also important to purchase your system from a competent and ethical HVAC contractor, as they will take care of you if a repair situation arises.

The Most and Least Reliable Gas Furnaces

Comparing the Reliability of Gas Furnace Manufacturers If you are in the market for a new gas or propane furnace, there are several manufacturers to…

Learn More

2022 Gas Furnace Buyer’s Guide

Are You in the Market for a New Gas Furnace? Understand Your Options For many homeowners, buying a new gas furnace is an exercise in…

Learn More

Tankless vs. Tanks — The Water Heater Grudge Match

Comparing Tankless to Conventional Storage Water Heaters Over recent years, tankless water heaters have emerged as a popular alternative to the traditional tank models. You…

Learn More


Better Business Burearu
Energy Star logo
North American Technician Excellence logo
Angie's List Super Service Award