Since 1977, this is one of the most popular questions we have received. To be completely honest, the answer has changed over the years as we have learned, grown, and developed relationships with many different manufacturers and brands.
In a perfect world, the best brand of air conditioning and heating equipment looks like this:
- 100% made in the USA.
- All products and models have little to no problems.
- The behind the scenes support is simply amazing!
- Everyone who works for the manufacturer embodies and reflects core values of service excellence, caring, honesty, respect, and teamwork.
- Warranty claim process is structured and simple.
- Equipment is competitively priced.
As you know, this is not a perfect world, and it is rare for a company to embody all of these qualities.
Over the past 4+ decades, we have worked with manufacturers who were pretty close to perfect. Unfortunately, over the course of time or due to acquisition from larger companies, these manufacturers experienced loss in one if not all of the above categories.
What we have found in the past 15 years is the quality of the equipment has declined with all manufacturers across the board. As you've probably noticed, this has happened across all industries and has affected everything from household appliances to the vehicle in your garage. The decline in quality for HVAC equipment specifically has a lot to do with mandated government regulations pertaining to system efficiency.
At Tri County Air, once we understood and accepted that this was the reality of our industry, we searched for brands that have the least amount of problems. We obtain this valuable information by tracking all of our 1st and 2nd year warranty claims on any equipment we install regardless of brand.
We have discovered the most important quality of any manufacturer is the support they give to us, the contractor. Excellent support is an absolute must for any manufacturer we partner with. This also means if we do not have or receive the support we know is necessary, we will and have cut ties with manufacturers. Taking care of you, our customer, is our first priority and we partner with companies who take this as seriously as we do.
All that being said, let's answer the question you came here asking: Which HVAC manufacturer is the best?
The main three brands we have confidence in are:
Lennox (for split systems)
York (for split and packaged systems)
Bryant (for packaged systems)
What if we told you the brand you choose isn't the most important aspect of installing a new air conditioning and heating system in your home?
The most important aspect is the installing company.
Most everyone understands that installing a new A/C system is a major purchase for your home. If thousands of your hard earned dollars are going to be invested in replacing the A/C, it is crucial to first find a contractor that you trust and have confidence in. If the contractor you choose does not have customer-centric core values and a strong relationship with their manufacturers, you and your thousands are at risk.
The most valuable advice we can offer is: Choose your contractor wisely, then listen to what they recommend.
If you have found a contractor who has earned your trust, who has shown that their values are customer-centric, and who has a time-tested and proven reputation of excellence, listen to their advice regarding which manufacturer to choose. If they are anything like us, they want what is best for you and will treat you like family for many years to come.
*This post was updated on 2/16/21 to reflect changes in our top recommendations.