HVAC Brand Reliability

25 Replies

I know your mileage may vary but when faced with an HVAC replacement what brand is considered by you and what ones would you never consider?




American Standard






So many choices does any rate these?

Most have a 10 year warranty when you register them so Ingo for best price.

I have had some Goodman units that were over 20 years and still working when I replaced them.

They say it's hard to stop a Trane and I have one at home that is pretty old now.

@Joe Zinger Honestly everything is made at about the same 3 factories so it really doesn't matter. What matters is the warranty and if they install it correctly. Make sure the lines are flushed properly before they pull a vacuum or you end up with a frozen evaporator from debris restricting the lines.

@Joe Zinger

Ask your local hvac specialists. A lot of it comes down to proper install and maintenance. Efficiency and type of fuels, geographic location etc. You can’t really just look at a brand, but if you were, look for ones that stand behind their warranty.

I agree with @Peter M. on initial installation. I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to have a good installer tech. I’ve heard of installers that don’t even pull a vacuum before charging refrigerant and that would be a nightmare scenario for the homeowner. I’ve had good results with Trane and Lennox. I have a Goodman unit that’s been running for ~16 years but servicing it is a bit harder than others- it has a good price point though. 

I worked in HVAC for awhile (family business). To honestly and directly answer your question, Trane and American standard have been at the top of consumer reports for year. (they are the same) They use heavier duty parts, they were the first to use all aluminum evap coils, they have low pressure sensors/switches to protect your unit, they have been innovating more efficient motors, blower housings, electronics beyond other brands. Any house I have lived in, I put a Trane in. 

That being said. . . 

Brand doesn't matter nearly as much as how it is installed. Every brand has degraded over the last 10 years driven by consumers who just want cheap equipment (and why not, if they fail sooner then they can sell a new system sooner). To just go off of price like someone else in these comments said is absurd. Go off of value. Make sure the company is credible, has references, and stands behind their work. In HVAC there are SOOOO many ways to cut corners that a consumer would never find out about until their new system fails in 5 years, if ever. On my rental units and flips I have installed Day and Night and had no problems. 

Also, to get the 10 year warranty your system HAS TO BE REGISTERED with the manufacturer. (this is only a parts warranty by the way) A lot of people are surprised when their system isn't registered and they don't get any parts support. 

@Joe Zinger

There are 4 name brands in HVAC:

American Standard/Trane (same equipment, two different colors)

York (my favorite)

Lennox (the most expensive)

Carrier (the only one of the four not made in America, if that matters to you.)

We would consider Rheem to be a midgrade brand, and Ruud the budget version of that.

Goodman particularly is bottom of the barrel, and I have turned down customers that asked me to install one, because I don’t put my name and warranty on junk equipment.

My advice to you is to stick the name brands; there really is a quality difference, and it’s worth a few hundred extra bucks.

I’m more than happy to review your quotes and let you know if you’re being treated fairly.

We have installed quite a few & believe it or not the Goodman furnaces & a/c condensers have been the least problematic. A Lenox was the worst, the condenser constantly leaked due to O ring failures (could have been an install/repair issue) & by the 2nd year the blower & inducer motors both went mid winter. Warranty covered parts (when you could find them in the middle of a snow storm) but not labor. 

We have a 25 yr old Bryant Hi Effic. furnace with a 4 ton a/c system. Only repairs since the install were a condenser fan motor replaced 7 years ago & an inducer motor replaced last year, no other maintenance other than our annual PM. Probably no longer the most efficient equipment but no need to replace before the absolute need.

I replaced an HVAC system last August and went with Goodman. At the advice of one of my HVAC friends, I went with a 16-seer unit instead of a 14-seer, as the 16-seer Goodman units are apparently better quality, efficiency aside.

So far I have had zero issues with Goodman. In the past 5 years I've put in both York and Goodman systems at an apartment complex and they are still functioning well, as long as the linesets were properly cleaned out (these were R-22 to R-410a conversions) and the Schrader valves weren't left in during sweating (causes the o-rings to melt and leak). I had no say in the efficiency level for those units, I believe they were 14-seer.

When I apprenticed under an HVAC professional, he only used Carrier units, which are very expensive, but he insisted they were more reliable.

Originally posted by @Bill William:

Trane and mitsubishi are the only brands I'll buy these days...Both are owned by Mitsubishi.

 I believe Trane is actually owned by Ingersoll-Rand. 

@Joe Zinger

I worked as an hvac installer for a few years and my boss swore by Ruud. Like others have said, make sure you register it for the 10 year warranty. I believe Trane offers a 10 year warranty as well. Goodman's are cheap IMO. Proper ductwork (aka no leaks) will increase the life of your compressor as they are rated by how many times they turn on and off.

Originally posted by @Jason Allen :

@Joe Zinger

Goodman particularly is bottom of the barrel, and I have turned down customers that asked me to install one, because I don’t put my name and warranty on junk equipment. My advice to you is to stick the name brands; there really is a quality difference, and it’s worth a few hundred extra bucks.

 My experience over the past 25 or so years has been different: Trane and Carrier have been the least reliable, and Goodman the best. My HVAC guy always tells me:"I'll put in any brand you want - if you want to pay $300-500 extra for a name tag, by all means go with a top brand. If not, Goodman will do fine. So far, he has been right.

Brand is nothing. All about quality of install, and if sized correctly. I prefer to stay away from goodman. Their quality of parts are really cheap.

I've been a tech for nearly 18yrs. I would recommend finding a reputable service company that has been around a while and believes in the brand they install.  Also, ask about parts availability for that brand... sometimes that can make a huge difference in the middle of a cold night when you need to find the supply house that carries parts for that brand.  

@Joe Zinger I've had a few brands installed on my rentals, but like a few here, I will only instsll Goodman!

I Filter the folks I instsll from to only those who are referred by investors and builders who install Goodman!

Goodman is built from std easy to find or substitute parts. Others are more likely to use custom parts.

Goodman cools to the rated tonnage. Ive had other brands just not cool what a 3 ton should... that's a [email protected]@@ off! New ac and house is hot!

I do not I repeat I do not use the same folks to service vs install. In the investor very low priced new equipment installers they dobt get much trouble shooting time so fir past the 12 mo installer guarantee from no leaks, I call a very expensive 3 man team that specializes on service. They wirk into evenings, weekends just what I need with a bunch of rentals. Since they see so many brands and problems they are very good at figuring out the problem. And yes like mention they'll charge $250 for a $15 capacitor. But my tenant is cooling fast. 😎 I take pride in fast service for my tenants and they return the favor by never leaving. Death or divorce are my main causes of turnover. Never that I dobt fux things or put in quality equipment. Just happens that Goodman is cheapest and best. It caters ti us investors, the others cater to retsil/owners who like the expensive trucks and fancy companies paint job. Not me!