HVAC Owner Reveals the Best AC System for your House – 2021

One of the most common questions I get 
as an HVAC contractor in Sacramento is,   “Which AC systems are the best?” I see a ton 
of articles online about this topic – many   that someone who’s not even in the HVAC 
industry wrote! Some compensated blog   writer wrote it or gave you a list of top-rated 
systems. Systems they’ve never even touched.   These bloggers are telling people that 
nationally recognized economy line systems   are better than the systems 
that are truly going to last   you a long time.
THE BEST BRANDS:  Short and sweet, three companies have the best 
reputation over several decades of manufacturing,   in no particular order, they are:
• Trane  • Carrier
• Lennox  Now, when I say Trane, I also mean American 

And when I say Carrier, I also   mean Bryant. Lennox is Lennox. But, American 
Standard systems are made in the same factories,   on the same production lines as Trane systems. 
Bryant is made in the same factories, on the same   assembly lines as Carrier. The difference? The 
tag on the side of the unit. American Standard   does have a different shell around the sides 
of the outdoor AC unit, but that’s it. I know   this because I toured the factory where they make 
them. I’ve seen the process. (And it’s very cool!)  So, the same high voltage contactor that’s in a 
Carrier is in a Bryant air conditioner.

The same   inducer motor on a Carrier is in a Bryant furnace.
But isn’t Carrier more expensive than Bryant?   And isn’t Trane more expensive than American 
Standard? Until now, I noticed that Bryant was   a little cheaper, although they were engineered 
exactly the same. But now, in 2021, I see a very   marginal price difference—the same with American 
Standard and Trane. Lennox systems are priced   right along with these brands as well. So if you 
get different prices from contractors giving you   bids, it’s because of that contractor’s overhead 
or desired profit margins. Not because one is more   expensive than the other to the contractor.
Knowing this the list really looks like this,   in no particular order:
• Trane (or American Standard)  • Carrier (or Bryant)
• Lennox  We sell Trane as our premium line and 
Coleman or Payne as our economy line.   But my goal here is to try to stay as neutral as 
possible here so you don’t feel like I’m trying to   sway you one way or the other.

You’ll hear me talk 
about some brands being better than others, and I   mean no offense to anyone or any manufacturer.
But you’ve got to take this sort of advice   from someone who’s installed all 
of them at one point or another   and serviced the equipment out in the field.
Before I list the rest of the systems,  I want to mention air conditioning systems come 
fully assembled at the factory and are ready to   work. However, it takes experienced technicians 
to modify the unit per the manufacturer’s   instructions to conform to your specific home’s 
demands. The last steps of installing it “in the   field” and adding whatever additional parts to 
bring it up to proper building code in your area   is up to the contractor you choose.
That’s an important point because buying a Trane,   Carrier, or Lennox includes buying it from a 
professional, detail-oriented, reliable contractor   https://www.foxfamilyhvac.com/air-conditioner-replacement/ 
that you trust and are comfortable with   bringing it to life.

If someone is going 
to install it for you, but you can’t find   them after the install because they sell 
systems so cheap they’re out of business,   or they simply won’t pick up the phone, that’s not 
going to help you when you need some follow-up.  You can buy any system, but if the blower 
settings, gas pressures, static air pressures,   high and low voltage wiring, fuse sizes, a 
precision refrigerant charge, and airflow,   water drainage, gas piping, intake air, exhaust 
system, thermostats, and other safety codes aren’t   set up correctly, you’ll find your new system 
not lasting nearly as long as it could have.   It can be the difference of your system 
lasting ten years or lasting 20 years.  Other brand names in the field would be 
considered middle-of-the-road type systems.   These names, in no particular order, include:
• Rheem (or sister brand Ruud)  • Amana
• Day & Night  • Heil
• Bosch  Why are they mid-tier systems? As a technician, I 
seem to repair these systems more than the premium   names.

The repair parts are available just 
like others, and the warranties are just as   strong. That’s never been a problem for me. But, 
it’s a fact that they break down at some of the   most inopportune times. So just keep that in mind.
Even more brands perennially end up at the bottom   of these lists. In no particular order they are:
• Goodman  • Daikin
• Payne  • Coleman
• Tempstar  • RunTru
• York  These have the most challenging time 
breaking the stigma attached to them.   They carry this stigma because they are the brands 
installed on newly built homes in middle America.   HVAC contractors will only win their bid to get 
a large job like a new pre-planned community if   they have the lowest bid. So, they have to use the 
cheapest equipment they can get their hands on.  You can find most of these cheaper systems 
online. They sell to whoever will buy them. And,   you’ll see the most cheapest contractors, home 
flippers, and DIY’ers buying this equipment and   trying to install them themselves. This comes back 
around to it mattering WHO installs your equipment   and not entirely about WHAT equipment you buy.
If the brand you were thinking of isn’t on   this list, it could be that here we are 
talking about your typical unitary or   ducted split systems and package units. 
Names like Mitsubishi, Fujitsu, Gree, Midea,   and others make ductless mini-split systems. 
We’ll talk about those in another discussion.  All of the mid-tier and higher brands typically 
have three levels of systems they offer.  • (Entry-level) A single-stage 
heating and cooling option  • (High quality) A two-stage option
• (Most efficient) A variable speed option  The single-stage option has the 
simplest form of technology,   is the lowest in price but the lowest in 

pexels photo 3964704

While they are UL Listed and safe to   put in any home, lower-end models have more 
vulnerabilities than higher-end equipment.  I can’t really say whether a Trane, Carrier or 
Lennox entry-level system is better than the   other. The technology is the same. Heck, the 
compressors, which are the heart of the air   conditioner, are virtually the same. I can 
say, for my home, I would feel a lot better   installing one of these three instead of the 
mid-tier or lower levels. It’s not because I’m   an elitist or anything. The elite products are 
the higher-end technology variable speed systems.  Almost every part of these single-stage 
systems can be repaired with universal parts.   Meaning you don’t necessarily have to go 
through the distributor to get the replacement   part. Single-stage motors, compressors, 
control boards, pressure switches, and gas   valves are everywhere and readily available. Very 
likely even on your technician’s van right now.  Two-stage systems have better technology.

run more efficiently and control the temperature   in your house without fluctuating as much. The 
main feature of a two-stage system is that they   all typically run at around 70% capacity in the 
first stage and 100% capacity in the second stage.   These systems will run the majority 
of the time in the first stage,   which is where you start seeing the money savings.   Two-stage systems are great for two-story 
homes that have two thermostats or zoning   https://www.foxfamilyhvac.com/thats-not-how-zoning-works/. 
These systems can be set up to run in the   first stage when only one floor is calling 
for air. The second stage will only come   on when both zones are calling for air. 
This is how I have it set up in my house.  I’ll stay with my single stage theme 
when I say I couldn’t pick which one   is best out of the three premium names. Trane, 
Carrier, and Lennox are battle-tested and have   been for decades in this technology. I tell 
people when it comes to a salesman saying,   “oh, but our system is an 18 SEER, not 16 or 17 
like the other brand.” I tell my customers not   to get too caught up in SEER ratings and focus on 
the technology.

Any two-stage system is going to   outperform a single-stage system. The minuscule 
savings you’ll receive by going with an 18 SEER   two-stage over a 17 SEER two-stage is trivial.
Two-stage motors and compressors will have to be   ordered from the warehouse near your town 
that distributes your brand of equipment.   There aren’t a lot of universal parts available 
for two-stage systems. Capacitors, contactors,   and some other parts are universal. But with 
higher-end equipment, you see safety components   like special pressure switches to protect the 
furnace or air conditioner from damaging itself.   These parts have to come from the factory. 
With Trane, Carrier, Lennox all the way “down   to” Goodman and York, I’ve never really had a hard 
time getting these replacement parts. At the most,   we’ve had to wait for 5 to 10 business days for 
the part to come directly from the manufacturer.   There are always exceptions to this, but, 
honestly, it would be the same for any brand.  When you start dipping into the most efficient 
tier of equipment, the variable speed systems,   you’ll start seeing some noticeable differences. 
As a Trane dealer, it’s hard for me to say this,   sweet variable speed system.

They even 
have the first variable speed package unit  Remember how two-stage systems have a 70% and 
100% capacity? These are the most expensive units,   with technology that is less bulletproof than 
two-stage technology. But, if you’re a techy or   just like the premium life, variable speed stands 
out because of the comfort levels it can produce.   Variable speed systems can adjust their capacity 
levels from about 25% to 100% in less than 1%   intervals at a time. They maintain even 
lower temperature swings in the house.   These systems can keep your home to within a 
half degree of the temperature you want it.  These are the quietest systems too. Because 
they typically run at a slower speed,   they require less energy and create 
less noise with less vibration.  are communicating systems, and ultra-quiet. 
Lennox and Carrier variable speed systems work   with the Amazon Alexa app. Trane doesn’t have that 
feature as it only works with its Nexia platform.  When it comes time to repair these variable 
speed systems, only their proprietary parts   will work. With such intricate technology comes 
priciness and a higher learning curve for who   can actually make the repair for you. Trane, 
Lennox, Carrier, and other brands with variable   speed lines will usually only make these parts 
available to respected dealers of those brands.   The skill it takes to handle 
inverter-type systems is next level.  When it comes to deciding which AC systems are 
the best, you have three systems perennially   at the top of the list.

Trane, Carrier, and 
Lennox. While each of their single-stage and   two-stage systems pretty much have the same 
capabilities, efficiencies, and life spans,   it’s the higher-tier variable speed systems 
where you’ll start seeing the differences.   Lennox has pulled away from the field by 
offering 28 SEER variable speed systems.  When you start looking for a vehicle, you 
pretty much have a brand name in mind.   You might get a higher or lower-end 
model with fewer bells and whistles,   but maybe you’ve always felt comfortable 
driving a GMC truck over a Toyota truck.  Let me know what you think about this in 
the comments below? I see a ton of articles   online about this topic – many that someone 
who isn’t even in the HVAC industry wrote.   Some paid blog writer wrote it.

You’ve got to 
take it from someone who actually installs them   and services the equipment out in the field.
If this is your first time watching our videos,   please click subscribe down here on the 
bottom right, and if you click that little   bell next to it, you’ll be notified 
of all our videos as they come out.  Thanks so much for watching, and 
we’ll see you on the next video..

As found on YouTube

You May Also Like