WHICH BRAND IS THE BEST?
This is one of the most common questions asked. So people often ask “What is the best air conditioner?” or “What is the best furnace?” I’ve frequently heard some of my candid colleagues make the amusing comment that ”All brands are junk”. Let me clarify that statement by expanding on it. Today’s systems merely don’t contain the rugged components of their olden-day counterparts. Part of this is due to economics (the drive to keep prices down) and part is due to DOE mandated minimum efficiency requirements that force manufacturers to squeeze more efficiency out of their systems by using thinner metals for increased heat transfer.
Most manufacturers today outsource the parts manufacturing to a handful of parts manufacturing companies. So they’re basically “dipping into the same bucket”. And therefore, the reliability and longevity of the various brands of equipment isn’t really that much different. And from an efficiency standpoint, each brand offers various levels of efficiency (for a price). The DOE controls the minimum efficiency that can be manufactured. And the manufacturers control the maximum efficiencies.
When you ask a heating and cooling contractor which brand is the best, they’ll invariably tell you that it’s the brand they sell for obvious reasons. I always laugh when I hear acquaintances call a restaurant for reservations and ask “Is your food good?”.
As far as brand name recognition goes, it’s hard to keep up with who actually owns a given company today. It’s constantly changing. Some companies merely buy the name and nothing else.
After 38 years of experience, I can honestly say that the best systems out there are the ones that were selected, installed and maintained the best. The installation is of the utmost importance. These are not plug-and-play appliances. There is very little room for error in the installation process. The equipment selection process is absolutely critical, and it’s based on a lot more things than the BTU ratings of the existing equipment or the number of square feet of area in the structure. The newer equipment must be attached to the properly configured duct system, flue system, filter system, gas system, drain system, etc. for that new appliance, which is not necessarily going to be the same configuration as the old one it’s replacing. And it must be done in compliance with local codes and with the manufacturer’s installation instructions.
Over the years, I’ve heard a lot of inexperienced or inept contractors state that a certain brand was junk. And after seeing their installs, I can definitely understand why they had so many problems. Their basic installs were terrible, and/or they installed the wrong size equipment. They just happened to be installing a certain brand. And the size of the company installing the equipment isn’t a factor in the quality of the install at all.
While I don’t have favorite brands, I definitely have favorite companies. It gives me a wonderful feeling I just can’t describe when I see a terrific install that meets the manufacturer’s installation recommendations and meets local codes.
I once told a competitor that he’d better be paying that installer extremely well, or I’d steal him away from them.
The bottom line is that the wisest decision is to pick the company rather than the brand.
Greater Kansas City including:
Johnson County, Kansas Kansas City, Kansas Kansas City, Missouri
Lake Quivira, KS
Mission Hills, KS
Mission Woods, KS
Overland Park, KS
Prairie Village, KS
Roeland Park, KS
Spring Hill, KS
Westwood Hills, KS
Copyright 2012 Leonard Arenson Heating & A/C