By Rob Rice
Published October 17, 2014
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:
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.
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