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How to Choose / Compare the Best Air Conditioner Brands

If you have been shopping for a new central air conditioner, you could easily be overwhelmed by the sheer number of choices.


You might be surprised to know, however, that the majority of central air conditioners are made by a handful of companies. Clever marketing makes it look as if you have a wider range of choices than you do.

The major manufacturers are:

  • Trane, which also makes American Standard
  • Carrier, which owns Bryant, Payne and Tempstar
  • Lennox, which owns Ducane, Armstrong, Concord, Allied and AirEase
  • Rheem, which owns Ruud
  • Goodman, which makes Amana and Janitrol
  • York, which makes Coleman and Luxaire
  • Nortek Global HVAC, which makes Maytag, Westinghouse, Frigidaire, Kelvinator and others

And most of the components for these brands are made by only three companies: Emerson, Johnson Controls, and Honeywell.

All of these brands are high quality and produce great air conditioners. So how do you choose?

Start with a highly qualified, experienced installer.

A central air conditioner’s performance depends at least as much on how well it’s installed and maintained as on the equipment itself.

So, how do you pick the right contractor? Do your homework!

  • Ask around. Who did your neighbors or friends use? Did their contractor meet their expectations? Was their pricing fair? How do they handle maintenance or repair calls?
  • Read reviews.
  • Check licensing. Most states have a contractor license portal.
  • Check certifications. If a contractor is a member of North American Technician Excellence (NATE) or ACCA-The Indoor Environment & Energy Efficiency Association, chances are that they and their installers know what they are doing. These organizations have stringent test standards and require continuing education.

A professional installer will:

  • Do a thorough inspection of your home, including existing ductwork and insulation. This will help identify any pre-existing issues.
  • Ask questions about your current system, your home, and your preferences.
  • Answer all your questions.
  • Help you choose the unit that is ideal for your home, based on the size of your home, your utility costs, and your budget. By understanding the physical requirements of your home as well as your personal requirements, a qualified contractor can help you sort through the various features to determine which make the most sense for you.
  • Perform diagnostic testing before and after the new system is installed.
  • Use proper tools and equipment.
  • Show proper certification, licenses, and insurance.

IAQ is an installer you can trust. We have been in business for 15 years. Our technicians are all NATE certified and will never use high-pressure sales tactics. Call us today!

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