Does The Brand Of Your HVAC Unit Matter?

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Trane HVAC unit system installed by Capital Heating and Cooling.
Photo Credit: One Beautiful Life Photo

Capital Heating & Cooling has been a Trane partner for our furnaces and air conditioning units since 1963, since before the equipment was made by Trane. The company used to be a division of General Electric. Trane bought GE’s residential division in the early 1990s.

Why have we stuck with them for so long? Because the equipment combined with the support we get from the manufacturer and our wholesaler is unparalleled. They typically deliver parts the next day— sometimes even the same day. And the manufacturer supplies frequent technical training so our installers are always prepared to start up the units and ensure that they run properly. Trane products also keep up (and surpass) new energy standards; their air conditioners have a Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) ranging from 14.5 to 22. (The Department of Energy minimum is 13 or 14, depending on geographic location.)

Generations of consumers love Trane, too. Lifestory Research named Trane’s air conditioning “America’s Most Trusted HVAC Brand” for seven years running. Consumer Reports rated Trane the most reliable air conditioning system based on customer “Excellent” scores on quietness, quick and even cooling, and comfort; reliability; and owner satisfaction. 

For our ductless systems, we use Mitsubishi Electric. These units are incredibly reliable. They have developed mini split systems that reach SEER ratings into the low 30s—much higher than the minimum score of 14 required by the Department of Energy.

Wirecutter says Mitsubishi mini splits “stand out in the field” for being widely available and note that they have a “reputation for durability.” (We concur.)

What about other brands?

We can’t speak to the reliability of other brands since we don’t service them. But we will tell you that we believe the brand of your system is only as reliable as the company installing it. 

You can have a great piece of equipment, but if its installation is substandard, it will perform less effectively and won’t be as reliable overall.

Why? Because your service technician takes many factors into consideration:

Sizing

The specialist who assesses your home will choose a unit size that matches what your ductwork can handle. When installing an air conditioner or furnace, more horsepower isn’t necessarily better. In fact, getting a unit that’s too large is a big waste of money. Your specialist and service technician will choose one that fits or may suggest ductwork modifications to ensure your new system runs effectively. 

Proper Start Up

Your technician knows how to test your new unity’s vital signs and ensure that all required specifications meet the manufacturer’s requirements. If an unprepared or untrained person installs your air conditioner or furnace, it may still run for awhile, but it may not run as efficiently and reliably as it would have with a proper start up.

Some things your technician checks on new systems include:

– Refrigerant pressure.

– Airflow.

– Delta T, a measurement referring to the difference in temperature between air inflow and outflow. This is especially important for heat pump and air conditioner installation for peak efficiency and reliability.

– Thermostat configuration. There are infinite ways to set up your thermostat. Getting proper set points and configuring for your system type is important, so your system works correctly. 

Good Equipment-To-Ductwork Fittings

With a new furnace or central air conditioner, it’s important to make sure the connections between the system and the ductwork are clean and tight. It’s possible that your new unit is a different size from your old one, which will require different duct connections. 

If fittings aren’t done correctly, it can constrict airflow, which will affect efficiency and potentially put unnecessary stress on your system.

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