Which brand of air conditioner is best? This is a question we get asked a lot. There are a lot of things to take into consideration: the compressor, for example. The compressor is the heart of the air conditioning system; it is the most expensive component to replace and regardless of brand, almost all compressors are made by the same company, Copeland. The vast majority of electric motors are made by General Electric. Most electronic control boards are made by Emerson. Everyone uses the same aluminum and copper for the refrigerant system. Manufacturers warranty their equipment similarly for similar equipment, most often for 10 years. A few manufacturers – Trane, Carrier, and Maytag, for example – offer 12 years on some of their equipment. VERY FEW manufacturers – like Goodman, Amana, Daiken, and Maytag – offer a LIFETIME compressor warranty where they will replace the ENTIRE outside unit if the compressor fails. So then, besides appearance, how does one decide which is best?
If you search reviews online, the results can be confusing because what the internet might say is that you are seeing reviews on the brand but what you are really getting is a review of the INSTALLER that put the unit in! You see, most A/C system problems stem from improper installation, not a manufacturer defect. When a problem occurs with the AC system it is rare that the company that did the installation will say it was their fault and instead blame the manufacturer, making the homeowner feel like they bought bad equipment. Some homeowners are savvy enough to see through this, especially by how professionally the install process went. Some manufacturers try to help this by restricting who can install their equipment, which of course drives the price up by limiting competition but helps them control quality. Other manufacturers choose to sell to any licensed contractor which helps keep costs down but that can create the perception that there is a problem with their product when actually the problem originated from poor installation. How do you sort this all out, especially knowing there may be contractors who bid jobs so low that in order not to lose money they must rush through or cut corners when the unexpected occurs. This is a whole additional article altogether.
So finally, “Which brand is best?” The answer is simple; the air conditioner that is designed and installed as the manufacturer intended, as the national and local codes prescribe, and properly maintained will be the best system. Period. It is that simple. The hard part is being sure you have the best team to do the installation (we talk about that process here). For more information, or if you would like The Comfort Authority to help you with your home comfort needs (or to install a new AC for you), call (813) 501-2240.