Houston Heating, Cooling, and Electrical

AC Manufacturers

The importance of choosing reputable AC manufacturers

With so many AC manufacturers out there, it’s important to choose a unit made by a reputable company. It’s also important to know which manufacturers offer the best product for your home cooling needs and can stay within the budget.

Which AC manufacturers can you trust?

There are numerous air conditioner brands on the market, and they utilize many of the same technologies. For example, most AC manufacturers are incorporating dual-speed or variable speed functionality into their compressors. With a variable speed compressor, the system can alter its output capacity by minute amounts, ensuring it is always functioning with the best combination of efficiency and power.

The most notable differences between AC manufacturers come down to engineering quality and supply chain. Some brands achieve better reliability with better engineering and manufacturing processes. And some AC manufacturers organize their supply chain so that repairs and component replacement can be executed quickly. Ideally, you’d want to consider a manufacturer that could provide both.

American Standard is a brand that has been around for more than a century, and it remains one of the most respected names in the AC industry. They have a strong reputation among industry experts and offer 10-year warranties on most of their products and parts. It’s also easy to select an American Standard AC because they organize their products into easy to reference categories.

Other reputable AC manufacturers include:

Goodman’s products are notable in that many of them come with a lifetime warranty, which is tough to find in the industry. Also, Goodman’s air conditioners are known for their quiet running and environmentally friendly approach, as they make use of R-410A refrigerant.

Carrier has a long history of industry-standard engineering and installation processes, so it is considered among the most reliable AC manufacturers. It also has a standout product offering in the form of its Slimline units. Each Slimline unit is only 18 inches wide, so they can fit in areas where other compressors would be too bulky.

Trane is another AC manufacturer with more than a century of history. This manufacturer makes its own compressors and offers comprehensive warranties on their products, which are designed for reliability and efficiency.

Daikin recently built a massive manufacturing complex just outside of Houston, spending nearly half a billion dollars in the process. For people who prefer American engineering, many of Daikin’s air conditioners are built in their new state-of-the-art facility, so that should be a comfort. What’s also comforting is that the manufacturer has a strong reputation for using the best components and technologies for their AC models.

Lennox is another top AC manufacturer and is among the higher tech brands on the market. Its units offer multispeed compressor technology and smart controls, so they can be accessed through a phone or tablet, for the ultimate in convenience and comfort.

How do I pick the right AC unit?

While there is no single best air conditioner for every home, the optimal AC unit is one that is properly sized to the home and provides comfort and efficiency.

The air conditioner’s size is the most important variable. AC units are rated in tonnage and refers to the unit’s ability to cool. For every ton, an air conditioner can cool 12,000 BTUs (British Thermal Unit) in a single hour. One BTU is needed to either heat or cool a pound of water by one-degree Fahrenheit. You don’t have to know the science involved to select the right size, though it is a critical consideration. Here’s why the AC’s size is so important:

If the air conditioner is too small – If the air conditioner is too small for the home, it will struggle to keep pace with the heat entering the home. If the unit is only a single size too small, it will probably keep the home at a comfortable temperature, but it will have to run constantly to maintain that temperature. If the unit is more than one size too small, it will likely be unable to cool the home effectively. In both cases, the air conditioner will waste money, as modern units are designed to gradually cool the home down instead of blasting as much cold air into the home as possible.

If the air conditioner is too big – Many homeowners believe that bigger is better when it comes to AC units, but an oversized air conditioner can negatively affect the budget. Instead, they reach their target temperature so fast that they switch off before running a full cycle. This results in constant on and off switching, and that means more energy wasted in powering the unit up and down.

Oversized air conditioners typically cool so fast that they do not have time to adequately remove humidity from the home. As a result, the home’s interior may feel uncomfortable due to too much humidity.

There are a few ways to calculate the desired AC size, and the math is pretty simple. Take the home’s square footage, multiply it by 30 and divide that by 12,000. That should total a number between one and five, and this is around the tonnage needed to adequately cool the home. If you’re located in a particularly hot or arid region, such as the Gulf Coast or Southwest, then it’s wise to purchase a unit that’s one size larger to account for the climate.

There’s a couple more things to check before settling on any AC manufacturers or units. They include:

1. SEER rating – The SEER rating stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, and it refers to the unit’s general energy efficiency. AC manufacturers arrive at the SEER number by taking the amount of cooling delivered over the course of an entire cooling season and dividing it by the amount of electricity used during that period. SEER ratings range from 13 to 22 or even higher, and they are best thought of as the MPG rating for a vehicle. When operating under optimal conditions, the SEER rating is the unit’s maximum efficiency potential. It’s important that the AC unit is properly sized so that it can regularly hit its SEER rating.

2. Single stage vs multi-stage unit – Most AC manufacturers offer units that are single stage and units that are multi-stage. There is a major difference in functionality between the two, so it’s a point to consider.

A single stage unit is either off or on. When a single stage compressor is on, it operates at full capacity, and does so no matter what the home’s conditions are like. By contrast, a multi-stage compressor has two or more speed settings, so when the home only needs moderate cooling, the AC unit switches to a medium capacity mode.

There are pros and cons with both. Single stage units are less expensive upfront and usually cost less to repair, but because they are always operating at full speed, they cost more to run, and they cycle on and off much more frequently. AC units spend most of their energy during the startup phase, so this rapid cycling could drive up energy bills. A multi-stage unit will remain at a slower speed most of the time, keeping energy costs and cycling down. However, multi-stage units are more expensive to purchase and repair, so it’s a tradeoff that everyone will have to consider individually.

The right air conditioner will provide many years of reliable, efficient cooling, so it’s important that homeowners consider a unit from a trusted AC manufacturer with a strong reputation for reliability.

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