If your current central air conditioner is nearing the end of its lifespan, it’s time to consider your options for a new system. One of the most common questions asked of HVAC technicians is, “What’s the best AC unit brand?” This is a completely reasonable question, given that everyone wants to get the best value for their money. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have a simple answer. Here’s why.

Best AC Unit Brand: Why There Isn’t One

Every savvy comparison shopper will check out different brands and models when making any out-of-the-ordinary purchase. This is true whether you’re in the market for a new car or a toaster oven. You’ll want to make sure that the item you choose will be reliable, last a long time, and offer good value for your money. No matter how different they are, most items you’ll comparison shop for have one thing in common: They are all done being manufactured.

This seems like an obvious statement, but it’s something that a lot of people don’t think about. Let’s say you purchase a toaster oven and your neighbor purchases the exact same brand and model of toaster oven. You’d expect that these two items will function in exactly the same way and have about the same lifespan.

A central AC system doesn’t work that way. Even after it leaves the factory, the components aren’t exactly done being put together. Let’s say you and your neighbor purchase exactly the same brand, model, and size of central AC system. They are installed on the same day and set to the same temperature, day after day, year after year. One of them will break down sooner than the other. One of them will likely need more repairs and require complete replacement sooner.

Why does this happen? It’s because the best AC unit brand for your neighbor isn’t necessarily the best one for you. The two of you will likely have different sizes of houses, different lifestyle needs, and a different HVAC installation company. You and your neighbor might also have differences in ductwork, and you might get the system maintained on a different schedule.

In short, there isn’t a single best AC unit brand. Instead, a qualified HVAC technician should help you find the best one for your family and your home.

Best AC Unit Brand: Here’s What’s More Important

So if there isn’t a sole best AC unit brand, how can you figure out which one will work best for you? First, let’s look at the numbers. Regarding the consumer experience of the brand and the unit’s efficiency, only about 20% is due to the manufacturer and the efficiency ratings of the unit. About 15% to 20% is due to the routine maintenance of the system. By far the greatest factor, accounting for the rest of the quality, longevity, and efficiency, is the installation of the system.

This means that the company you choose plays a major role in how satisfied you will be with the performance of your system. It’s absolutely critical to choose a company with certified HVAC technicians. At Intelligent Design, all of our techs are certified with an average of 17 years of industry experience. We’ll ensure that the system you get is appropriately sized for your home. This alone can dramatically increase the longevity of your AC and significantly decrease your electric bills.

The HVAC technician should also take the time to fully evaluate your ductwork. Oftentimes, techs will find ductwork leaks or other problems that need to be fixed before the new system gets installed. It’s also important to check the heat gain going into the house.

Best AC Unit Brand: What to Look For and What to Ask the Technician

The quality of the installation is definitely far more important than choosing the best AC unit brand. That said, however, there are a few things you’ll want to look for when you select a system. You’ll want an AC unit that is energy efficient. In Arizona, a unit under 45,000 BTU/hr. must have a minimum SEER rating of 15. A unit over that measurement must have a minimum SEER rating of 14.5. However, don’t limit yourself to these thresholds. The higher the SEER rating is, the more energy efficient the system will be.

When you get your new system installed, remember to ask about routine maintenance. Some HVAC installers, like Intelligent Design, offer membership plans that provide discounts on routine maintenance and service visits.

A lot of central AC installation companies try to push one or two particular types of units as being the best AC unit brand. At Intelligent Design, rated the number one HVAC company in Southern Arizona, we do things differently. Our certified HVAC technicians will customize your recommendations according to your home specifications, your family’s preferences, and your budget. We believe there isn’t a “one size fits all” approach to central AC installation. Instead, we prioritize your unique needs and preferences, making sure to size the system appropriately for your home. To request a free, no-obligation estimate for a new AC installation, call our Tucson office at (520) 462-1126.