Different Brands & Install

iggieJuly 12, 2012

I read Many comments here about the superiority of this brand or that brand. First any hvac unit manufactured in the USA will give decent service if properly sized and installed. All units use secondary products such as relays, capacitors, gas valves, motors, printed board assemblies made by a few manufactures such as Honeywell, Robert Shaw, GE, Steveco, and Fasco to mention a few. These companies do not make inferior parts for one company and super stuff for another. All are supplied equal quality stuff. Regardless of who makes or supplies certain accessory parts, in each lot produced a certain number are going to fail. This even happens to stuff produced for NASA and the quality control required by NASA is as stringent as any on the planet. When an HVAC unit is purchased whether one gets a unit with one of these destined to fail parts is determined by luck nothing else. Now any unit hacked in or wrongly sized for the application is not going to give good service regardless of the brand. Some makers use heavier sheet metal and have fancier paint jobs, advertise heavier, sell only thru franchised dealers. With one of these units there is much greater chance one will get a proper size selection and good install. Other companies sell over the internet, through outlets to anyone with the cash to buy, spend little on advertising, as a result many are purchased by unqualified people. In many instances the units are wrongly sized, poorly installed and of course trouble results and hence these brands get bad mouthed. In Finishing let me say be a lot more concerned about the installer, someone properly qualified to make size selection & warranty terms than name plate on the sheet metal.Find out about charges for trip fees and such, even with a 100% warranty, things like these can provide a nasty finiancial surprise.

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I agree that proper installation is the key a to long term reliability of an HVAC system. It is far better to have a properly installed low end equipment, then improperly installed top of the line equipment.

I also agree that the vendors you listed make many of the internal components of the HVAC products on the market. However even those vendors will make low end and high end components. For example a vendor can design a relay that is rated to open and close 10,000 times, or 100,000 times. The HVAC manufacture has a choice as to which relay he will use in his product. In addition HVAC manufactuers can add safety devices which can protect the equipment in case of improper use or other external problems. All of these items add to the cost of the equipment.

In summary you have to consider both the equipment and the installation. I advise people to first interview the installer to determine if he will do good installation. Then focus on the equipment he sells.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2012 at 12:24PM
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You are absolutely correct.

I base my assessment on many, many, years of operating and maintaining and later designing US Navy submarines - an environment that requires every bit as much attention to detail as NASA and other Programs. (Also, the introduction of Nuclear Reactor components and equipments brought new meaning to the term "reliability.")

Seemingly simple devices such as relays and coils come in many different levels of reliability and thus cost.

The fact that numerous A/C manufacturers use parts from identical suppliers means absolutely nothing as far as being assured that these components are all equal in reliability and performance.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2012 at 9:10PM
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