HVAC Brands

4 Replies

I am going to replace the complete A/C system upgrading to a 14 SER. I have gotten a quote on both an American General and a Trane system. The Trane is about $200 more. 

Does anyone have any experience with these brands?

@Chuck Redman

I have had both in my rental properties and they seem to be decent units.  The summers are hard on A/C's here so it seems like regardless of which brand I have every 5 years or so either a fan motor or starter capacitor goes on them.  They are both better than the dirt cheap brands which seem to have issues every year or two.

I have owned the Trane and Carrier A\C units in my rentals.  

One of the most important items for A\C durability and lower cost of ownership is
the installation by a professional A\C technician.  I have found one team in Florida that I pay a small margin more for the equipment and install but that are very detailed orientated, professional, stand behind the products and perform a follow up system check weeks after install.

The second most important thing seems to be the routine maintenance for us in the Southern states.  Cleaning the air handler coils when dirty, changing filter, using A\C pan tabs, blowing out the drain line with shop vac and using chemicals to deter growth in drain lines all seem to help.  Making sure vents are Not closed near the air handler which can lead to ice forming on condenser and unit running continuously.

Most of my units are in Condos so I look for the price difference between Seer models, and air handler\outside A\C quietness also.  Depending on the size of the rental in the South the HVAC efficiency is attractive to new renters.

Originally posted by @Jeff B. :

I have owned the Trane and Carrier A\C units in my rentals.  

One of the most important items for A\C durability and lower cost of ownership is
the installation by a professional A\C technician.  I have found one team in Florida that I pay a small margin more for the equipment and install but that are very detailed orientated, professional, stand behind the products and perform a follow up system check weeks after install.

The second most important thing seems to be the routine maintenance for us in the Southern states.  Cleaning the air handler coils when dirty, changing filter, using A\C pan tabs, blowing out the drain line with shop vac and using chemicals to deter growth in drain lines all seem to help.  Making sure vents are Not closed near the air handler which can lead to ice forming on condenser and unit running continuously.

Most of my units are in Condos so I look for the price difference between Seer models, and air handler\outside A\C quietness also.  Depending on the size of the rental in the South the HVAC efficiency is attractive to new renters.

 Hi Jeff-

I'm in Gainesville and am pricing systems. Are you anywhere near me? Can you recommend a brand/company?

My 2 rentals and primary I have Service Experts do the maintenance. For my primary I bought a Trane and had them install it but I don't want to spend that much on a rental. I do however don't want to go too cheap. I wouldn't put the bells and whistles in a rental.

I would use the resources like yellowpages, google reviews, ask at a real estate investor meeting or maybe sign up for Angie's list and find the best HVAC company and installer who, stands behind the product, is willing to educate you on the right equipment and provide you a fair quote.

Your investment strategy, and what the standard is in your area will dictate the price.
I would look for the Highest seer, with a good warranty 10 compressor, 10 year parts, look for one with quiet technology (compressor sound blanket, motor mounts, Air handler blower motor, air flow designed for quietness) and ease of service for the air filter, air handler coil cleaning, overflow float switch, and access or instruction on drip pan tablets/liquid and drain line cleaning.

What I look for in a HVAC installer is someone who is proficient and not on the phone or looking through the manual a lot.  They will recommend taping the vents (code in some areas), pull permits (required some areas), check pressures, check air handler air flow and temp, perform a follow up check after install.  They have good practices not to damage flooring or landscaping if avoidable and clean up after themselves.  Lastly the most you want to put down for a deposit with a written signed contract in return is about 1/4 - 1/3.

When I sold my personal home I had installed a new unit with the features above and at the closing the buyers mentioned the new HVAC since it will allow quality of life (quietness in zero lot line applications), energy efficiency, and reliability.

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