Difference Between Best HVAC Brands

Leave a Comment - 105


Glen Ford

Subject: A/C

Six years ago we decided to replace our Janitrol. The contractor said no. It was fine and would last a few more years. He was right. Two years later we went for a new one. 5 out of 6 contractors recommended Rheem. Our regular contractor installed it. Four years now and not a hitch. It`s Az. with temps up to 120. Lower utility bills. Quiet. Non programmable thermostat. Pro Iaq T701.

theresa hager

Subject: HVAC choices

My bryant 5 ton needs to be replaced. I have read the reviews on bryant and would like to choose a different brand but I dont know if that brand will be ok with my bryant furnace. Anybody know if you you can do this?


Subject: Choosing new air conditioner

If you're asking that basic of a question you are likely going to get into trouble trying to find info on your own and if you don't contact a contractor who can answer your questions. You have to hire someone to install it anyways.

Eddie L

Subject: Furnace replacement

If the heating portion of your air handling unit is in good condition and its efficiency is good, ask about replacing the A/C A-coil (and perhaps the circulating fan) instead of replacing the whole unit. For example, my 20 year-old gas-fired Rheem unit has 96% efficiency and is in good condition. The A/C compressor is getting noisy and is 12 SEER. I am looking into updating the A/C system only.


Subject: Don't buy one without the other

Best to replace furnace and your Bryant 5 ton unit at the same time. As I know it, they need to be a matched set for the best performance. I am not a HVAC person, just what I've been told by many. Good luck.


Subject: Old furnace, good furnace........

I have a Worthington that came with the house when we bought it. It's at least 50 years old. Every 10 years I have to replace the thermocouple ($8), every 20 years I replace the fan belt ($14). I don't know the efficiency rating (if it ever had one), but we have never had a monthly gas bill over $170 even in the coldest month of a Minnesota winter, usually it's under $100 in the winter, plus we use gas for cooking.
I have a "Not broken, don't fix." policy. It has never been professionally serviced, and there is no reason that it should not give another 50 years of value. It has one moving part, no "boards", "computers" or any of the new bells and whistles needing attention every season.
We generally pay less per month then our neighbors that have "Efficient" units, and they have replaced their furnaces at least once, some even 3 times.
Oh yeah, and EVERYTHING in it or on it was made in America!
But, we are in the process of selling the house and the new prospective buyers want to see the new stuff and could care less that they could be the proud owners of "The best kid on the block."........ go figure.


Subject: Old Furnace - Good Furnace

Wally - You are absolutely right. That Worthington unit is like gold. It was produced with high quality components and designed so that they can be easily replaced when they eventually fail. I would never replace that unit. All gens after the Baby Boomers have a "Newer is Better" and if it fails, "Trash and Replace" mentality. They want to be able to control everything remotely with their iPads, cell phone, computer not fully understanding the security risk and significant increase in probability of failure. The small electric motor efficiency that you might gain is not worth the acquisition, servicing, and continued replacement costs. I would not replace it and it will not have a negative impact to the value of your property. Invest instead in a kitchen or bathroom upgrade/remodel as that is where you will get the greatest bang for your buck.


Subject: Amana A/c

Had an entire new system put in about 5 plus years ago. The outside unit is Amana. The inside unit has Goodman on it. The system has worked well. No major problems. We used a well respected local company for the installation and yearly service (very important and highly recommended) and that may be as important if not more so than the brand. If I was to recommend an A/C unit to anyone, I think I would go with the Dave Lennox Series. Their reputation is stellar and the A/C companies that allow to installed their systema must be well qualified or they don't get to play with Lennox. I like that!


Subject: Hvac-air conditioner

I have a home warranty and I do not get to choose the contractor. I am worried that they will fix my problems as cheap as possible. My unit is 15 years old (York) and has quit running and cooling. Any Advice

Dean Pennington

Subject: Answer

I like the warranty Amana offers. I don't have any experience with Amana as far as a whole house HVAC system, but a lifetime warranty on the most expensive parts and the fact that if a second call is needed on the same component that complete section (be it evaporator or condenser) is totally swapped out for new. What that says to me is they have a lot of confidence in their product. It is made in USA, where others like Carrier are migrating to Mexico or already have. I don't have anything against product quality coming from Mexico because major brand supervision assures quality no matter where assembly takes place, but I do like the fact some companies are loyal to keeping jobs here in the USA. As I understand it, the many retail brands one hears about for HVAC systems are assembling major components they bought made at only a half dozen source manufacturers. No surprise there after hearing there is only one "tank" style water heater manufacturer in the whole USA, and all the various brand names, both electric and gas (LP or natural) are buying their tanks to their own specs from that one manufacturer. Since ultimately, in water heaters, the tank failure marks end of life the tank is a big deal, and there's only one source. I've switched to tankless on demand water heating and enjoying that. Anyway back to HVAC Amana has a 16 SER system (high efficiency variable speed motor), in my case I'm looking for five ton which is as big as single units come for residential (and if you need more than 5 ton and you are residential, then you are looking at some combination of two units no matter what brand). Remember this, if you have a choice: Cool air is heavier and sinks, so if your primary HVAC use is cooling it's better for the cool air to be released high up and sink past you rather than releasing it from the floor and hoping it reaches up. Of course that's just the opposite if you primarily need heating then you want the warm air released at floor level to rise past you. The two methods optimally release treated air from opposites, but that increases construction expenses and is rarely done which is why people decide which is it they do the most, heat or cool. Someone in Phoenix would cool the most, someone in Fargo would heat the most. Regardless check your utility company to see if there are government (Federal, State, local) incentives, be they tax credits of discounts for upgrading your system. In my case I'll be swapping out a 1999 system that used the old Freon 22 so I expect to find someone (aside from the retailer/installer) offering a discount or rebate program for switching to a modern 16 SER rated unit, and I expect my refrigeration bill to be cut in half by the efficiency of replacing a pre-CER unit (that's drawing increasingly more amps because of age) with one of the new units. Oh, and if you are in a climate where it's needed at the time of total replacement is the best time to add a humidifier. I relocated from one climate type to another (from wet climate to low humidity) and it had a profound affect on all my expensive furniture; it started coming loose at the joints). Having a humidifier, if it's needed in your area, is beneficial not only to furniture, but your health as well. My 2 ¢.


Subject: HVAC-Air Conditioner

To give you a little advice Steve, I am in the same situation with the Home Warranty Company(HWC). It took them over 6 months and a hospital visit to just get a portable A/C, they offered only $150 at first, but as the situation dragged on they eventually gave me $450. They finally tracked down the company they 1st sent and established they were going to replace the air handler only. My A/C system was installed in the mid 90s. They are offering a Bryant Air Handler(not sure the model #) or they will give me a payout of $1320 to pick the one I want. In Texas before they install anything they have to bring it up to the current codes so prepare youself for that cost. If you let HWC select the installer and brand of A/C they should pay for the basic install minus the upgrades to meet todays codes. The other route you can take is to take the payout and use Angie's List to find an installer, you will have to pay labor to do upgrades and the install as well. If you have a good HWC ask them what kind of A/C system they offer and know the same people who orginally came out will typically be the installer or if you say you want a different one its a crap shoot. I am personally going with the payout option. Its more expensive, but with the installer be so important I would rather payout more to get it right the first time then deal with the headaches later. Either way you choose you have to make sure to get the Warranty card and get it registered immediately. Most people forget to do it or the installer forgets to give to the home owner. The reason why is if you don't do it within the manufacturer's guidelines it drastically reduces the length of warranty from them. That's my 2 cents worth. Hope it helps.

David Daher

Subject: Home Warranty

You are correct Sir we did work for two of the largest home warranty companies in the country and we no longer work for them because even our volume discounted rate for the number of opportunities they provided to us was too high. We had multiple calls where they had previously sent out "contractors" who we not uniformed, not in lettered vehicle etc.. and they were the cheap, unlicensed, unbounded, low quality guys typically found on Craig's List.

That is what you get from a service like that. The price of the warranty should indicate to you the level of both service and quality you will get. Like everything else in life you get what you pay for 99% of the time. Cheap price usually almost always means cheap quality and or service and you are correct they will usually bring just that out to your home.

This is why we no longer work with the warranty companies. You can't have a highly trained, skilled and professional technician in a stocked $60K plus vehicle in parts and material alone come to your house and replace a heating and or cooling system that will run in some capacity for 24 hours a day for the next 15 to 20 years for a cheap price. The cost of business is just getting more expensive as will the cost to provide a quality level of service.


Subject: Trane vs. Daikin

Hi--I live in a house in downtown Chicago and have limited space on my lot. I need to replace my American Standard 5 ton unit. The newer Tranes do not fit in my limited space, but Daikin and Ameristar do. My last unit lasted only 11.5 years and I felt conflicted about choosing what seems to be a second tier unit. (Daikin DX13SA). Any thoughts?

David Daher

Subject: Trane VS. Daikin

Please, please, please remember 90% of the installation of HVAC equipment is all about how it is installed, set up and if it is properly tested, measured and adjusted. All most all manufactures make good equipment and a majority use a mix of the same internal parts. It is all about the company who is doing the installation weather they complete the manufacturing process as dictated by the manufacture or not.


Subject: Air unit

We have an outside air unit that is a Carrier which is about 20 years old, heat with gas. Our air quit working and the tech came out. He said the contacts were burnt out and the fan motor is bad which is about $525 to repair. He recommended a new unit because of the age and he said the compressor was rusting so it could start losing freon eventually. He recommended an American Standard unit for about $4000. Our home is a split foyer and the upstairs is always hotter than the downstairs. Any reviews on American Standard or suggestions appreciated.

HVAC engineer

Subject: If you can afford it, and if

If you can afford it, and if the ductwork is laid out to allow it, split the system and go with two separate units, one for upstairs and one for down stairs. This will cost more, but also give better comfort. If you can't do this, in summer, open fully the supply grills upstairs, close off some grills downstairs. In winter, do the opposite. (This is what I do in my townhouse each season.)

I've had problems dealing with the American Standard in my area, but they are still Trane clones, so I don't know of any problems with AS.

Wayne Sabo

Subject: Evap. coil on Trane 4 ton system

Just had to have a Evap Coil replaced on out TRANE system after but one season of use. Trying to find out when the redesigned model # COL16292 was put into production. We are in a dispute over the labor. I believe this coil has been used in production since at least late 2012., but unable to prove through TRANE. This is my third coil, and now looks like a good design.

Thank You


Subject: Trane coil

I've been in the hvac industry for 28 plus years and Trane is famous for changing up their components. They call it superseding. For example, "you need a new control board" it has been superseded and your technician has to replace the control board and the igniter.


Subject: New HVAC

I am replacing a 26 yr old Bryant system. My local contractor sells
Daikin and is offering a 12 year parts and labor warranty. Can anyone
comment on this equipment. I can't find much on the internet. Daikin has
just purchased Goodman in 2012 and are building the largest HVAC
manufacturing plant, 95 acres under one roof in Texas. Daikin is a
Japanese co. that has been in business for 90 yrs however new to the
US market. My contractor is the only one within a 20 mile radius. What
makes me nervous is the warranty is only good if he stays in business and how easy is it to get replacement parts for repair. I hope someone can help calm me down with this purchase.

Alex R.

Subject: New Hvac

Your Daikin system will share lots of the goodman-amana-Janitrol parts, as they are basically the same.. As far as warranty goes, the thing you would lose if your contractor goes out of business is his labor warranty, the manufacturer warranty stays with the system, make sure to register the equipment to get the free extended warranty most manufacturers required it and some contractors don't do it.. I would go with a American Standard-TRANE, or a Carrier-Bryant-Payne in that order, they have very good warranty support after the install if you ever need it, and they can help you get another service company if your guy goes out of business. Best of Luck

Alex R.
Ambient Control

Tarcia Hill

Subject: RUUD systems

These have got to be at the top of the heap for hvac systems. We purchased our home a year ago and we inherited a RUUD system that was installed over 20 years ago. It just died on us two days ago. That says a lot about this system's ability to perform.

Rod PRather

Subject: Thank you

After spending years serving much of the HVAC industry on a nationwide basis, I know Rheem/Ruud as one of the companies with the highest quality products. Thanks for pointing them out.


Subject: Compact central AC condenser

I need a compact central AC condenser that will fit on the side of my home in Southern California (live in a beach town - I'm having AC installed for the first time in a 45 yr old home). Only one that has been offered me is the Coleman Echelon TCHD 13 SEER but Coleman/York keeps getting terrible reviews on various websites.

Can you recommend another one to me?


Subject: HVAC Brands

You may consider a ductless mini-split system, if you have no existing duct work. You can google search "mini split HVAC systems".
One of the brands we prefer is not listed in this article. It is the RUUD/Rheem family of products.
Good luck on your home upgrade; I hope this information was of some use to you.


Subject: heat pump or gas

I am replacing my 26 year old heat pump with electric. it has worked well for me, modest electric bills, but I have seen others with outrageous electric bills. My question is Heat Pump or gas?

Dean Pennington

Subject: Reply

Heat pumps (air conditioning systems operating in reverse) are useless below 50° outside, the only way they work is by adding supplemental electric only heating elements (in other words switching over all electric heating when it's cooler than 50° outside). So where there is a moderate cool, like the north coast beach cities of California, Oregon, and such they're OK, but in Fargo, don't kid yourself you'd never be able to rely on a heat pump to do the heavy lifting, it might work for the last 3 days in September :-) !. Natural gas is much more efficient. LP gas likewise but more costly than natural gas. My 2 ¢


Subject: Inherent Flaws in Social Media

I too am a licensed contractor, although I do not install Hvac systems.

I love what the previous contractor has written here about customers bad mouthing contractors here online.

Especially since they don't even have to list their full names and addresses to slander whomever they please.

There are 3 types of home improvement buyers:

Low ballers
Value buyers

Low ballers only care about price.
Low bid always wins.
And they get no more than they pay for.
And they deserve it!

Eccentrics will pay premium prices.
They just want it NOW.
They are easily taken advantage of.
But are usually treated very fairly.

Most homeowners are Value Buyers.
First and foremost they simply don't want to make a mistake or be taken advantage of.
They require education.
And they require someone who is competent and who can be trusted.

We live in an "interdependent society".
We depend upon one another to get our needs meet.
There are thieves in every profession including medicine and religion!

You get what you pay for.
Common sense tells you it makes sense to not be cheap when purchasing a machine that you'll be depending upon up to 365 days a year for the next 15 to 20 years.

Especially when you'll be spending upwards of 3 times more to operate it than it costs to purchase and install it.
Do the math!

Most people will spend more time buying a car than buying an Hvac system.
Interestingly enough, they will probably buy 3 or more cars during the same period (decades) MMthey will depend upon ONE Hvac system in their home.

As such, it pays to invest wisely by selecting the best Hvac contractor-expert you can find.

And pay him what he is worth.

Because it's the wisest move a homeowner can make.


Subject: Choosing contractor "bids"

First of all, I am a contractor for HVAC. I started in this trade as a helper 20 years ago and now run a successful retail replacement and service company.
As a business owner, I fight this very conversation everyday with homeowners. I have a very high rating on Angie's List, but I'm here to tell you it doesn't mean much.
As a consumer myself, the customer service world is gone. I buy vehicles, appliances, home theater equipment and installations. Just like everyone else. No one cares about your gripes or complaints, that's why online review such as this one and others are making tons and tons of $ holding people like me hostage. We absolutely go out of our way to make people happy, typically the real reason people go on here and dump all over your reputation because they didn't like the price or feel like they were ripped off, is because they are having other issues in life that they are upset with their situation and love to blame others instead of taking responsibility for their problems. So a guy like me shows up to their house ( they're already mad at the world usually due to financial issues) and I give them a price for say $450 to repair xyz. They flip their lid, don't buy from me, call another company who does it for half, them go on to their favorite sites to complain and let the world know I am a rip off and they found the part "on line" for $12.00.
I didn't even do the work! Is this not America, am I not supposed to be able to make a profit. So I can continue to warranty and provide service to the customers I already service. Or should I ignore them, get everyone's $ one time cheaper and move on. If you people would imagine for a minute what it takes to stay in business , you might understand what goes into am$450 repair. On average it costs $150 just to get a new customer. You should see what this website charges to be listed on here, then you receive bad advice from them on how to choose a contractor. That doesn't include the cost of the technician, the truck, tools, insurance etc. If you want a good one in your home, I can assure you he or she is not cheap to employ. Everybody wants the best and pay the least. itS not reality. There was some good post on here about the contractor finishes the manufacturing. This is absolutely true! Anyone can buy the box and sell it to you. Do you want it done right. Another post mentioned National comfort institute. They're absolutely correct. State licensing in most states is no way to determine if they are qualified. It's an open book test you can take over and over again until you pass it. It's a joke.
I could go on and on. Product doesn't matter really. I have my personal preferences purely based on least amount of manufacture defects, and their willingness to stand behind me. The same dedication I give to my customer I demand from the manufacture ( brand)
Bottom line if you want to receive 3 proposals like your procuring and order for the US government, sit in your dark room look at your buying matrix and have no one bother you and let you review your 5 bids ( cause the Internet says you should get that many, not to mention your parents ) you will end up making a poor buying decision. Least expensive technically acceptable? Sound bout right? This is not a commodity people. Your buying other peoples commitment to their word. All things being equal people buy from whom they trust. All things being unequal people buy from whom they trust.
You get to vent all the time about how someone ripped you off, their should be a site so us trustworthy contractors can post about bad customers so no one will service them.
Now just like good and bad contractors, their are good and bad customers. And it took me 20 years to fire a customer. I don't mind doing it. People think sales people lie??? Are you kidding me? How many times have you as a customer lied to someone about your intentions to buy, or lead them on. Customers will flat lie to your face and then blast you on line if you don't fall on your knees and beg for their forgiveness. This world of social media and all these internet sites for reviews have all but ruined this industry.

Darren HIcklin

Subject: Re: Choosing contractor "bids"

Tom, I understand your position but I'm not sure I can agree. I am in the midst of replacing an entire HVAC system ducts and all from previous years of bad work. I'm not going to speculate on who did the work before, but I called the three largest and most reputable contractors in my county. One came out and spent a few hours going over what he thought needed to be done (new 5 ton system 14 SEER, 96% efficiency furnace. triple zoned, re-working ducts). His bid was a few hundred dollars under $27,000. The second contractor came out and left his son sitting in the truck with the engine running took a look in my attic and said, "yeah, we can do something". After a week, I've heard nothing back from him. The third contractor took my information and never contacted me again. So by your advice I should not collect multiple bids and just flop down $27000 for a new heat and air system? FYI, the entire bid is on one sheet of paper and he took a picture of it with his cell phone and emailed it to me.

Is it possible that people refer to online reviews, Angie's list, word of mouth, and social media because for two many years they've been taken advantage of? No doubt a well informed buyer is probably a contractors worst nightmare! Does that reflect on the contractor or the buyer?


Subject: Need new ac system

I recently had an inspection of my ac unit and have found out that I have a very serious case of black mold growing all over the inside of my unit. I was told I can put a scrubber and light system to clean and maintaini it or the other option told to me was to get a new unit. My unit is 10-11yrs old and does have a freon leak that is causing my unit to run often. I was quoted $4900 to put in a new carrier system, is this a decent price or do I really need to replace my unit? I'm not familiar with black mold and its health issues it can cause. Please any guidance is welcomed.


Subject: Choosing

Hello Tom and thank you for the post. I've been a G.C. nearing 3 decades and completely understand. From what I call my Tears of Experience, I hope to add some salve for all.

Regardless of technology/reviews (right or wrong) and however "media" engulfed our world seems to be, there remains the need for that "personal" element. As far as the bidding/cheap or otherwise goes, I've come to understand there are some folks that represent the best job I never got. We do not necessarily like every person nor do they necessarily like us. Fact of life. That is personal. I enjoy what I do and do not compromise the quality nor the amount of money required to achieve that. It does not break my heart if this philosophy runs contrary to potential new customers. Most gratefully, I do not have any shortage of jobs/work.

To the sincere and honest homeowners/consumers, the best you can do is return to "old school." Get to know who you invite. Ask questions and for references - call them to verify. Again, it is personal.

We all seem to have episodes of getting burned, in spite of trying our best to avoid it. In peace, at the end of the day, it all comes back around to each of us.

Laura Ward

Subject: Heating and air

The article about heating and air units was very informative. And I feel the pain of the contractor who posted here. But if anyone had warned me about Universal Heating and Air I would never have bought it I understand it may not be the fault of the unit, but I trusted Home Depot and Universal sub contract with them. I have had to have a technician out every time the weather changes for the last 5 years. Apparently the unit was installed incorrectly to begin with. When I asked what they would do about this they basically said I could buy another unit for another $5,000. I too was not looking for the cheapest unit I was looking for reliability. I have not received it I have received nothing but headaches. My children have frozen in the winter and baked in the summer because of incompetence. Angie's List, Yelp, these are the only places I can try to save someone else from what I have been through. You may be an honest contractor, but I have met too many who were not. And I don't know how to find the ones who are


Subject: Help me be a better consumer

So to be clear, I agree with your post and opinion about online reviews. The question I have is, I'm not looking for the least expensive I am looking for the most competent, how do i find that person. I really do not want 3 bids I just want the right contractor to start with but I have taken bad recommendations from family in the past. Any tips on what to look for and how to find the right company for my projects. I live in Chicago. I have a house with basement, main floor and finished addition/attic. The main floor gets all the air flow. Should I be replacing forced air unit, directing air duct flow, or supplementing it with a Mr. Slim for the top floor?

suzanne Platt

Subject: hvac

i have no heating or air conditioning in my house. Just got a couple of quotes for ducting, installation etc... they suggested air ease system. Is this a good product? thanks


Subject: Amana AC units

Does anyone have any positive experiences with the Amana brand? They offer a lifetime warranty, but that might be negated if the units have a poor reputation for reliability.

Jennifer Ionta

Subject: Amana AC Units

From what I am hearing in this article, it's not as much about the brand as it is with the installing contractor. Most of the brands contain many of the same components, but if not installed correctly, it doesn't matter what brand you bought because it will not run right. Find the right contractor, that's the key.

I know Daikin is very selective in the Dealers/Contractors they allow to sell the Daikin brand, and Daikin owns Amana. You might consider that route since they do the legwork in selecting the right contractors based on their credentials, training, etc.

Hope this helps.

Allan Larsen

Subject: To replace 31 year old 11 Ton HVAC units on Commercial building

I am involved with a commercial building that has 8 rooftop 11 ton HVAC units. They are over 31 years old. I have quotes from two reliable companies, one offering American Standard units; the other offering Trane units. Why should I choose one over the other? One of them has a serious problem; I am considering replacing 5 of them because of their age. Does that make sense?

Kevin Ronald

Subject: Difference Between Best HVAC Brands

Hey Bill Brown!!

Many thanks for sharing this informative blog, I have read your blog and gaining lots of information from there. I strongly believe that all those who’re in planning to buy HVAC control systems for their home, office, etc. can grab the opportunity by making the best deal.

Please keep the writing the good stuff!!


Subject: A/c

My AC is blowing warm air just got to replace motor and a bunch of other parts it is still not called in off ,technician put some Freon and it's work good for one day and it's same again what should I do


Subject: Air conditioner issues

You have a serious refrigerant leak. If your machine uses R22 refrigerant you may consider replacing the air conditioning system. BECAUSE January 1, 2016 the production of R22 refrigerant is gonna be cut by 70% per Federal EPA laws. This means starting next summer people with R22 A/C issues are gonna be hit hard with repair costs because the price of this chemical is gonna shoot threw the roof. If your machine uses R410A, make damn sure they come back out and find and fix the leak. You should never ever ever ever have to add refrigerant to an air conditioner unless it has a leak.


Subject: AC Unit

My 20 year old ComfortMaker AC unit went out and I need to replace it. I have had five bids. Two I feel positive about. One bid from Sears with a Kenmore 5 ton R410 AC 14 SEER. Sears offers 10 year warranty on ALL parts and 5 year all labor with unlimited service calls and if they can't fix the problem they will replace the unit. All warranties transferable. The second bid was from a local contractor with high marks from the BBB. He offers a Trane 5-ton XR14 a/c unit with factory matched evaporator coil.The Trane warranty is more limited to Ten year compressor, coil, and functional parts warranty with registration. Parts warranty transferable to new owner for $99. One year labor warranty. The warranties don't compare. Sears is better. But is one of these units better then the other? And.. the furnace seems fine, but should I replace it at the same time as it would be cheaper?


Subject: HVAC

building a new house N.Idaho, builder will be installing a HVAC Carrier with electric heat, what i would like to know is what is better, electric or propane, elect is $ 0.0634 kw and propane is about 1.25 gal

Shannon Vculek

Subject: Air conditioning/heating

I'm a 21 year experienced and licensed HVAC service technician in Oklahoma City.

The answer to your question when you have no access to natural gas is to have them install a heat pump with propane back up. Your heat pump will run and provide heat for your home until the outside temperature gets down to around 35°F. Then the heat pump will shut off and kick on the propane burners. You will spend extra money for the propane piping and the tank, but if your building a new structure now is the time to do it. If you ran solely on electric heat your bill is gonna be outrageous. Ask the contractor how low his heat pump can run, meaning how low does the temperature outside have to get to before the propane kicks in and the heat pump shuts off? Take that temperature he tells you and look up (Google) your average winter month outdoor temperature . If he says it will run until it gets down to 36°F outside and your average temperature you Googled says 40°F then you have just put money in the bank.


Subject: Lennox

Can anyone give me some advise on the Lennox 14ACX air conditioner? It's from their Merit Series. Would the the upgrade to an XC14, from their Elite Series be worth the extra grand?


Subject: Xc14

The 14acx and xc14 are similar in efficiency as they can both hit 16 seer and 13 eer which is important for qualifying for state rebates and/or federal tax credits. The majority of my competition sells on price instead of quality. The merit line is assembled in Mexico although Lennox itself is an American owned and made company. Only their merit line is assembled in Mexico. I feel if you can afford the xc14, it's worth every penny. Typically better in house warranties, better quality and is assembled in Marshalltown Iowa. With the elite and signature series, you get high quality American made components with the pride of investing into the American economy. Not many companies can say that. Whatever you decide make sure you get a matched system with a variable speed furnace. Install is paramount and selecting the right contractor is critical. Make sure your contractor does a load calculation and that he designs the system to function properly, ie properly sized cold air drop with a radius boot, a cased coil, and never reuse anything except pvc unless it wasn't installed correctly. Every 4' should have 1" of pitch. Hope that helps!!!

Mauricio Martínez

Subject: LENNOX Merit ve Élite Series

Well it depends on the specific model (tonnage) you are talking about.
The XC comes with a sound blanket that makes the unit less noisy and a high pressure switch, and that's it.
Some have Copeland compressors on them some have the Korean Interlinks compressors.
It will make much more of a real difference the evaporator coil and furnace ( or air handler ) you are marching that condenser with!
Good Luck!

Dick Lacy

Subject: Replacing A/C Heating system

Currently have 12 yr old Bryant system ( 3.5 ton/gas). Which is for working well. Getting prepared for the potential replacement.
Looking at Lennox, American and Carrier. Which mfgr is recommended by you.

Scott Menzie

Subject: Clearly you didn't read the article

The author is telling you to worry about what contractor you pick and let them figure out what will work best for your home. Good contractors are rare, decent equipment isn't.

A good contractor will do testing of the (working)system before a sale and test again as the install is completed to make adjustments for best performance.

the "big" three that I always point to here are as follows:

1) size the equipment correctly to the house (this means "ACCA manual J" heat load calculation)

2) correct ducts for proper airflow for the new system. (DO NOT ASSUME that your old ducts are adequate, or that they ever were)

3) Commission the system for proper refrigerant charge and metering, proper air volume and proportional air flow to the various spaces in the home, acceptable static pressure in both heating and cooling. Furnaces need to be tested for combustion and proper airflow as well.

in truth there are a multitude of metrics to be looked after but the ones I listed are universal and often not handled properly.



Subject: Frederick brand in-wall heat pump

My Carrier in-wall heat pump needs to be replaced (only 8 years old), is discontinued and I'm told Frederick model is a comparable replacement. Is that a good brand? If not, what do you suggest? Thanks!

Joanne sicari

Subject: Air/furnace

My air conditioner is leaking .had 3 different PSEG men out to fix it .a new box was put in because wires got wet but it still leaked . I was told I probably have a crack in the pan . That is why it is leaking . Unit is 20 yrs old and is a Yorke. It was suggested to get a new air/ furnace unit . What should I do I am getting estimates now . Which if I need to purchase is the best today manufacturer . No bells and whicles just want a good efficient unit that's not going to cost an arm and a leg . Thank you

Debbie Viego

Subject: A/C leaking

I'm a home owner.....this has happened to me a few times and this is what I saw the technician do.....then I did the same thing every time. The drain was clogged! So, he got a wet/dry vacuum and sucked (from the outside drain) that pipe. With the heat of the summer, it had created algae inside. So after he got all of that out, went by the handler, and there's a white pvc tube with a cap......he flushed the line pouring in water.....then, he told me to pour Clorox every so often, to avoid that algae to grow. I have forgotten to do my little homework, mostly during summer time, and got it clogged again.....but do my routine procedure of pouring in a little bit of Clorox.....and that KEEPS IT CLEAN.

Will Youpel

Subject: Air/Furnace

Hi Joanne,
THE most important factor to getting a new system is buying your contractor first. Take it from a salesman of HVAC, you can get the best equipment but if it's not installed correctly, it's not going to live up to the efficiency advertised or the longevity it should last. I would thoroughly research contractors in your area. Ask around on FB. Research their reviews on YELP and Angie's List.
I would get two bids (more if you don't find what you're looking for). When someone comes in for 10 minutes and gives you a price, move on to the next contractor. When I give a bid, I am there for probably 2.5 hours. I go in the attic and look at ductwork, I look at their current system, I perform a heat load calculation to determine what size unit will work best for their home (many contractors cheat by taking the sq. ft. of your house and dividing by 400 sq. ft. This gives them the tonnage they recommend but it's not adequate. Factors that aren't considered with this method is window square footage, the placement of the home, the insulation of the home, if it's on a slab or crawl space and much much more). Your contractor should also look at upgrading your fresh air return (the place where you put the filter). Standards are much different today than they were when your current unit was installed. I haven't seen a return yet that hasn't need to be upsized to maximize efficiency on a new system (unless it had already been upgraded).

If a contractor recommends a return upgrade, that's a great sign that they are on the right track.


Subject: oil vs propane

I live in rural southwest Wisconsin. I currently have an oil furnace which requires replacing - with a replacement central air unit. Natural gas is not an option, thus my options are oil and propane. Despite a great deal of research I am confused on whether to remain with oil or convert to propane. I have several concerns with both. Thank you.

D James


I made the same mistake many others have made... I purchased a York. Terrible quality. Just about everything has been replaced including 3 Controller Boards. The parts are covered for 5 years but I did not get a service contract .... another big mistake. Buy American Standard or Carrier, avoid York.

J. Edward Worthington

Subject: Its the installer not the equipment

As many people in this industry will tell you, what needs to be understood is that the most important thing you are purchasing is the Contractor or Technician. They are the ones that have the biggest impact on how your system performs and how reliable it is. From the Manufacturers, most products themselves are essentially equal. In fact, most of them include the same components from suppliers. Some brands tend to get a food reputation or a bad reputation because of the name on the units. However, that is not the truth. The good or bad reputation is really based on the quality of the installer.
My suggestion: Forget the notion that one brand is superior to another. Change the mindset to choosing the Best skilled and recommended installer. Thats what will get you a good installation and one that will allow the units to perform as intended.

Will Youpel

Subject: Stay Away From York

What size tonnage is your unit? Is it a split system or a package unit? How many square feet is your home? Most important question - How big is your return (the duct that sucks the air from the house and sends to the unit.... it's where you put your filter too)

Linda Callahan

Subject: compare A/C compressor units

I have had 2 bids, both close in price to replace my A/C compressor and evaporator coil which will attach to my oil furnace. The evaporator coil is the same model # on both suggested units, however I was given two different model #'s for the compressors. Which model do you think is the best choice? Both are in the Carrier comfort series, 14 seer rating.
Carrier model # 24 ABC 630 or Carrier model # 24 ACC430A003.
Would appreciate any advice at this point.


Subject: Don't buy Goodman

If our experience is relevant then don't buy Goodman. After only 6 yrs of usage we had to have the main part of the furnace replaced for $1,200. This happened just after the warranty expired. I called their customer service, wrote to Goodman's CEO and they could not care less. They would provide only a 1 yr warranty on the replacement unit. I would never ever buy anything manufactured by them.

Jennifer Ionta

Subject: Reply to: Don't buy Goodman

Just a note here on your recommendation...How do you know that it's the equipment and not the installation? Regarding warranties - I work with products that have warranties, and I often get calls after the warranty is over where consumers are screaming and yelling about how we don't stand behind our products and how terrible we are. I want to know...Exactly how long is a 5 year warranty supposed to last? 6 years? 10 years? Where does it end?


Subject: Goodman is really bad man!

My Goodman unit is 7 years old. I have had to have it repaired every year for the past 4 years. I had the evaporator coils replaced 2 years ago and now it is out again. Contractor says the unit needs to be replaced. I will replace my whole system with a better unit. I have been researching contractors and so far the Trane dealer is the best in my area.


Subject: Goodman

Wow! The exact same thing happened to us with the Goodman unit we had installed several years back. I agree with your sentiment...no Goodman.

flo grabowski

Subject: Which HVAC Unit is Best?

I need a new HVAC unit for my home. Trying to decide which is best 3 ton American Standard Single Stage or a 3 ton Rudd Single Stage Packaged System. Both Contractor are equally qualify and come highly recommended. Also, would you recommend paying extra to upgrade to a dual or 2 stage unit? Please give us feedback.


Subject: HVAC

Two stage is definitely worth the money if you're after comfort


Subject: American Standard

2 years ago I replaced a 4 ton Goodman unit with a 4 ton America Standard with a 2 speed air handler. This unit has been perfect no trouble and I have never felt cooler in the summer and so warm in winter.. I cannot believe the difference between those 2 units.. I'm a believer in American Standard...IMO it's the best equipment out there.

Voya M

Subject: Goodman or York

As the person before me said, neither. Both units have had horrible reviews over the past few years and have traded in quality for larger advertising budgets. In my opinion stick with brands that don't do national advertising and have been around for a long time. Companies like Armstrong Air rely on the quality of their equipment to promote the brand rather than TV and Billboard ads.


Subject: AC manufacturing quality

I purchased two new systems for my home 4 years ago so I wouldn't need to deal with repairs. They replaced 2 different defrost modules and 2 blower modules so far. I'm told the only mfg of the blower module is Gentex, While the parts are "free" the labor is ridiculous, $250 for a 15 minute install. That includes a trip charge and "fees". The diagnosis trip charge is in addition. This seems to be typical of the companies I compared.
Are there any decent manufacturers or why shouldn't they cover the "labor" for repairs if they're any good?

Will Youpel

Subject: AC Manufacturing Quality

70% of a systems lifespan is determined by the installation by the contractor. I would venture to guess that your fresh air return (the duct that sucks air from inside the house to the unit to be cooled/heated) is too small. I had the same problem with a YORK I had installed by a "cheap" guy. They didn't do any upgrades to my return air and I have been through 2 blower moters and a circuit board in the first 8 years. I might have a very REPUTABLE company come by and service my unit and give me a diagnostic to what your issues might be. If you make modifications, you might be able to salvage your unit. If not, you may have problems continually getting worse and a much shorter lifespan of your unit.


Subject: Air Flow Problems


Chances are it is not a part problem but an airflow problem. Motors are designed now to run at a consistent CFM regardless of the power draw. You probably have a duct work problem that is causing a high static pressure which makes the motor draw more power to run at a set rate. Causing it to fail prematurely. Look for someone in our area that is National Comfort Institute certified. That is an organization that trains the industry on specifically duct design and efficiency losses. You may only be going through motors right now but it will most likely lead to a compressor failure at some point. Your contractor should be checking for static pressure in the duct work as well as the units. Hope that helps!

Ryan koehn

Subject: Some do

It also depends on how much you want to spend why should they pay for the labor if you didnt pay for there top o. The line system. Just sayin.

Bob Smith

Subject: Parts AND Labor Warranty

Any great contractor at point of sale should offer you a parts AND Labor warranty. The manufacturers back up the product they sell, having a labor warranty backs up you with piece of mind. When making any significant purchase you should always inquire about the details, it only protects you.

James Gregory

Subject: Contractors

Having been on the wholesale side for 36 years I can count on two hands the contractors I would let work on my unit. Way too many high pressure take advantage of you dealers out there and very few that are really well trained. Parts changers, not real technicians. Ask any you call to explain superheat and subcooling to you. If they can't, run!! They aren't qualified. These are the only ways to insure your unit is running at it's most efficient. Most techs are paid commission to sell you a new system when you may only need a simple 30.00 contactor or 100.00 fan motor. Be careful, get lots of references and check them out. There are thieves in every industry.


Subject: Parts

So you're suggesting a contractor should sell a motor for $100??

View Comments - 105 Hide Comments

Post New Comment

Offers <
Popular <
Answers <


what should you pay.  You pay what you can afford.  1100sqft unit requires a min. of a two ton unit.  prices range from 2100-2900 depending upon the seers of the system.  13 seer is the min. the law requires  and for your situation with 1100 sqft.  do not worry about the seers as long as it is to code.  the bigger the house the more seers for economy.  1100 sqft is at the border line for a two ton system.  It is more important to have your new system balance, there is where you get the economy on your electric bill and gas.  Bryant, lenox, ruud and carrier are the brands you should stay with.All have the same basic factory warrantee and will last you longer than you expect as long as you maintain it with regular check ups twice a year once in the spring and then in the fall.

raymond gonzalez
koolray heating and air

APRStore.com offers a nice sizing chart for HVAC capacitors and furnace capacitors. Most of the capacitors I've looked at are $5 to $15 dollars, so a little less than Home Depot and Lowes.


Replacement is really easy, but be sure to watch a youtube video on how to replace it like this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_IpydZIsOJg


Stay safe and hire a professional if you feel unsure about doing it yourself!

The only thing of importance, is the hvac professional you choose to use. Alot of manufacturer's pieces are built relatively the same, and will last about the same amount of time. The thing that matters most is what you can not compare between companies, and that is the installation. Purchasing a system is not like purchasing a car, where no matter where you buy it, they are all the same. Each installation is different, and usually what you are paying for is the level of expertise, and quality of the installation, the company who will actual give you the warranty, and the comfort that you will receive. Manufacturers warranties disappear every day. They always have a loophole where they can get out of paying, but your local dealer wants to keep you happy for future work, and to protect his reputation in the communiy. Look up 4 year old Nordyne and Goodman warranty problems. Choose the HVAC professional first. It will cost you the least in the long run. I have had to totally redo plenty of installations that were just performed because of an uncomfortable customer, and a system that keeps breaking down. The equipment is only as good as it's installation, and over 70% are not installed correctly.
I think maybe you are confusing SEER, which is an efficiency-related rating (higher SEER means more effective use of the electric power used to compress the gas), and TONS rating, which is a measure of the total cooling power of the system. (Tons used to mean how many tons per hour of ice was used in evaporative cooling building systems - a Refrigeration or Cooling Ton equals 12,000 Btu/Hour of energy exchange. A BTU, which is another antique measure but still used, is the energy needed to change the temperature of a pound of water one degree fahrenheit. Unfortunately, because of varying humidity and evaporation, this is not readily related to house air heating or cooling without a lot of assumptions and some computations. Relating this to today's world - the Manuals BayAreaAc referred to account for all these energy conversions and determine an estimated cooling (or heating) requirement for your specific house. The type of construction, solar exposure, general climatic conditions such as average temperatures, humidity, and hottest and coldest normal ambient temperatures and desired inside temperture are all taken into account in the more sophisticated versions of the analysis, so there is no "standard", though a rough old rule of thumb was about 1 ton of cooling per 500SF of house. Obviously, this was a WAG only because it did not account for insulation, type of roofing, whether you live in Alaska or Miami, etc. The ACCA manuals do a very simplified form of evaluation to arrive at a "design", which generally will be adequate. OF course, highly precise calculations are not really needed because A/C units generally come in even ton ratings - so if you are at say 2.6 ton requirement you will be getting a 3-ton unit anyway. SEER ratings are not a direct measure of efficiency, but the relative difference between ratings gives you good idea of the unit's relative efficency in using electricity - so a 16 SEER should be about 19% more efficient (so roughly comparable lower electricity bill) than a comparably sized 13 SEER unit. 13 SEER is the lowest efficiency currently allowed to be built for general use, 19 SEER is about the highest efficiency made by pretty much all manufacturers, and about 25 SEER is the highest rated though very pricey shelf-item units, though special construction custom units can reach about 30 SEER. Note however, like any government sponsored rating, much of it is hooey when you get down to it - for instance, SEER ratings are figured based on 80 degree inside air temp and 82 degrees outside, when that is far from the normal case of mid to low seventies inside and high eighties or above outdoors. This makes the absolute SEER rating meaningless, but relative numbers still have meaning in comparing units. Note these efficiency ratings are for conventional air conditoners and heat pumps working in ambient air conditions. Ground sourced Geothermal or lake/river exchange cooling units, though initially more expensive in most cases, can greatly exceed the air-exchange unit efficiencies because they are exchanging heat with cold natural water rather than with a high-temperature outside air, and instead of continually compressing a gas are just circulating cold water. I worked on one geothermal cooling project which had almost infinite efficiency, which of course makes no sense - but the only power was for sensors and a control valve as the water flow was single-pass under gravity flow, so no power was used to circulate the water.