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Old 07-29-2012, 12:49 PM   #16
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Most reliable central ac units


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Originally Posted by beenthere View Post
CR is not a good resource for A/C and furnace reliability.

Bryant comes out of the same factory that makes Carriers, just different color and label. So there is no difference in the units. So no reason that a Bryant would be more reliable then a Carrier. But CR would have people think there is.
I don't disagree. In fact several years back they had American standard at the top and trane near the bottom. for anyone who did not Know they are the same. I said it almost joking, ALMOST

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Old 07-30-2012, 08:00 AM   #17
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No they don't , Why would I sell junk to thousands of customers that come in to my supply house every day and spend millions.
Of course they do - my local United Refrigeration branch is selling something named "EcoAire" (or something like that) for dry ship R22 stuff. It's complete junk (and the guys who work there will tell you it's junk). The coils are warp-around coils, and the fins where the bend is made are smashed flat from top to bottom. Cheap galvanized base pan (read: rust out in about 5 years), very thin gauge metal, etc etc. I don't know who makes it (I believe Nordyne, but can't be sure), but it's true junk from top to bottom.

And it's on display in the United Refrigeration branch in my area.

Note I did NOT say that ArcoAire was junk. I have no experience with ArcoAire. From what I've seen on the display floor it seems to be a pretty well built piece of equipment.
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Old 07-30-2012, 11:49 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by scottmcd9999 View Post
The single most important factor in "reliable" air conditioning systems is proper installation. Even the best unit will not be reliable if it's not properly installed and maintained. Do your homework to find a good contractor - ask friends and neighbors for recommendations, check out the BBB and such. Make sure they're licensed/bonded/insured (i.e. don't deal with the "magnetic sign brigade"). Get several estimates, and compare them to be sure that you're getting the same thing.

With that said, IMO the best unit out there is Trane, followed by Carrier. Bryant is a Carrier knock-off but doesn't have the same quality IMO. Rheem isn't a bad unit, but I've had too many leak issues with Rheem/Ruud to recommend them.

Amana is owned by Goodman. I've seen faaar too much trouble with Goodman to trust the unit. I'm not sure how Amana plays in with Goodman, but given that they're owned by the same company (and that company has a reputation for cheapening everything they touch) I'd stay far away from that one as well.

Again, these are my opinions. Others will certainly disagree with me, and that's perfectly fine.

I agree with the main point of your post....installation and attention to detail and integrating the system with the home.....

However....Bryant is not a "knock off" comes off the same assembly line with different serial numbers and logos.

Trane???? Yes they were a great company when they were a privately held company but have changed hands twice since then and are now owned by
"bean counters" like everyone else. The power of a once great american "brand" is only worth the pretty red logo.
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Old 07-30-2012, 02:01 PM   #19
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The most reliable central a/c systems are the ones I install.
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Old 07-31-2012, 10:03 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Doc Holiday View Post
The most reliable central a/c systems are the ones I install.
" Nice DOC, I never heard a HVAC Mechanic walk down the street and yell out Lousy air conditioners for sale, only the best" Nice reply.
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Old 07-31-2012, 10:05 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by scottmcd9999 View Post
Of course they do - my local United Refrigeration branch is selling something named "EcoAire" (or something like that) for dry ship R22 stuff. It's complete junk (and the guys who work there will tell you it's junk). The coils are warp-around coils, and the fins where the bend is made are smashed flat from top to bottom. Cheap galvanized base pan (read: rust out in about 5 years), very thin gauge metal, etc etc. I don't know who makes it (I believe Nordyne, but can't be sure), but it's true junk from top to bottom.

And it's on display in the United Refrigeration branch in my area.

Note I did NOT say that ArcoAire was junk. I have no experience with ArcoAire. From what I've seen on the display floor it seems to be a pretty well built piece of equipment.
" You have good potential to be a top notch mechanic in the future".
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Old 07-31-2012, 05:55 PM   #22
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You have good potential to be a top notch mechanic in the future
As do you ...
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Old 08-13-2012, 04:49 AM   #23
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Checkout Rheem http://3tonairconditioner.net/rheem_...r_reviews.html and Goodman http://3tonairconditioner.net/goodma...r_reviews.html reviews here. You will be able to compare the prices and features of the units but for installation you are on your own.
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Old 09-16-2012, 03:32 PM   #24
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I am an Engineer with HVAC and Electrical Contractor's Licenses. I do not have wide personal residential HVAC brand experience, but here are my experiences with some residential units.
1) Rheem- I had two systems in one home I lived in from 1978 thru 1981 and they worked fine and were never touched after the install.
2) I bought a new home in 1981 and lived there with two "Comfort Aire" (not a "prime" vendor) HVAC systems until 1995. There was an Upstairs and a Downstairs system. I had to replace one condensing unit fan motor and repair one Freon Leak (poor workmanship on install) during the 14 year period.
3) I built a new home in 1995 and installed two Amana 94% gas furnaces and two Amana SEER 13 AC condensing units. Both systems had Freon leaks due to poor install workmanship on tubing joints.
4)In early 2007, I replaced one of the condensing units with a Carrier Infinity AC unit (Still using Amana gas Furnace as backup, but replaced cooling coil with new high efficiency Carrier coil). I gave the old Amana coil and 3.5 ton condensing unit to one of my employees for his home in 2007 and in 2012 it is still working fine.
5) In early 2008, I decided to upgrade my remaining Amana SEER13 AC unit to a SEER19 Carrier infinity Heat Pump unit. (I was trying to reduce my dependence on the then very expensive Natural gas.. ) The new 48,000btuh rated heat pump was twinned with the second of my original Amana 94% gas furnaces for backup but again with a new high efficiency Carrier evaporator.. This time, I replaced the Amana furnace with a low profile Carrier model as the new evaporator would not fit to the old Amana furnace due to height problems.
6) Then comes 2010 and I find that BOTH of my Carrier Infinity evaporator coils are LEAKING. Sometime in the period 2004 through 2009 Carrier (and others I am told) started building indoor evap coils that were VERY prone to corrosion. I got two of them! These coils were replaced and normal operation resumed.
7) In the winter of 2011, I notice that the FANS in my 2008 Carrier furnace are running much slower than normal. I found that the Furnace Controller Circuit Module had failed. Replacing the card fixed the problem. Several months later, the furnace fan stopped entirely. This time it was the ECM fan blower motor. It was replaced and normal operation resumed.
8) In mid 2012, I noticed my 2007 Carrier AC system was again low on refrigerant. I found the leak this time was in the outside condensing unit in the liquid side line about 1" out from the compressor . Again, a poor solder joint, but this time a factory quality defect. I had to fully evacuate the system, fill it with nitrogen and sweat this joint so as to avoid contaminating the compressor with burned oil residue. Now we are back in service and running fine.

So: What is my opinion? a) The most reliable vendors (for me) have been Amana, Comfort Aire, and Rheem. But my experiences with these vendors equipment is not recent. b) I really like the overall engineering of the newer Carrier units and systems (except for their latest variable speed compressor Heat Pump model which seems overly complex and it is definitely difficult to service the outdoor unit). The Carrier Heat Pump Defrost cycle is inefficient, but likely no worse than most others. see: http://www.gpsinformation.org/joe/HeatPump2.html
Generally Carrier Service and Support are above average in our area. However, as you can note above, my Carrier equipment has NOT been anything like trouble free. All of the Carrier parts exchanged were covered under warranty.

Last edited by w2jo; 09-16-2012 at 03:49 PM.
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Old 09-16-2012, 03:38 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by w2jo View Post
I am an Engineer with HVAC and Electrical Contractor's Licenses. I do not have wide personal residential HVAC brand experience, but here are my experiences with some residential units.
1) Rheem- I had two systems in one home I lived in from 1978 thru 1981 and they worked fine and were never touched after the install.
2) I bought a new home in 1981 and lived there with a "Comfort Aire" (not a "prime" vendor) until 1995. There was an Upstairs and a Downstairs system. I had to replace one condensing unit fan motor and repair one Freon Leak (poor workmanship on install) during the 14 year period.
3) I built a new home in 1995 and installed two Amana 94% gas furnaces and two SEER 13 AC condensing units. Both systems had Freon leaks due to poor install workmanship on tubing joints.
4)In early 2007, I replaced one of the condensing units with a Carrier Infinity AC unit (Still using Amana gas Furnace as backup, but replaced cooling coil with new high efficiency Carrier coil). I gave the old Amana coil and 3.5 ton condensing unit to one of my employees for his home in 2007 and in 2012 it is still working fine.
5) In early 2008, I decided to upgrade my remaining Amana SEER13 AC unit to a SEER19 Carrier infinity Heat Pump unit. (I was trying to reduce my dependence on the then very expensive Natural gas.. ) The new 48,000btuh rated heat pump was twinned with the second of my original Amana 94% gas furnaces for backup but again with a new high efficiency Carrier evaporator.. This time, I replaced the Amana furnace with a low profile Carrier model as the new evaporator would not fit to the old Amana furnace due to height problems.
6) Then comes 2010 and I find that BOTH of my Carrier Infinity evaporator coils are LEAKING. Sometime in the period 2004 through 2009 Carrier (and others I am told) started building indoor evap coils that were VERY prone to corrosion. I got two of them! These coils were replaced and normal operation resumed.
7) In the winter of 2011, I notice that the FANS in my 2008 Carrier furnace are running much slower than normal. I found that the Furnace Controller Circuit Module had failed. Replacing the card fixed the problem.
7) In mid 2012, I noticed my 2007 Carrier AC system was again low on refrigerant. I found the leak this time was in the outside condensing unit in the liquid side line about 1" out from the compressor . Again, a poor solder joint, but this time a factory quality defect. I had to fully evacuate the system, fill it with nitrogen and sweat this joint so as to avoid contaminating the compressor with burned oil residue. Now we are back in service and running fine.

So: What is my opinion? a) The most reliable vendors (for me) have been Amana, Comfort Aire, and Rheem. But my experiences with these vendors is not recent. b) I really like the overall engineering of the newer Carrier units and systems (except for their latest variable speed compressor Heat Pump model which seems overly complex and it is definitely difficult to service the outdoor unit). The Carrier Heat Pump Defrost cycle is inefficient, but likely no worse than most others. see: http://www.gpsinformation.org/joe/HeatPump2.html
Generally Carrier Service and Support are above average in our area. However, as you can note above, my Carrier equipment has NOT been anything like trouble free. All of the Carrier parts exchanged were covered under warranty.
No, the contractors who installed your Amana, Comfort Aire and Rheem were better than those who installed the Carrier, performed a better install. All the same components on the inside, only the package sticker brand differs.
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Old 09-16-2012, 04:05 PM   #26
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Lets see: I had one installation workmanship fault on the Amana/Rheem/Comfort Aire systems over about 25 years (I consider this excellent.) and with the maybe 6 years of use of the Carrier equipment I have Zero install workmanship faults. (I consider this excellent also.)

If you re-read my post, you will see that ALL of my problems with CARRIER equipment have been in evap coil leaks, circuit board problem, defective ECM motor, and a poor factory solder joint. I do not think we can blame these faults on the installer. These are Carrier equipment reliability issues that I reported to the Carrier Factory Rep and HOPEFULLY are being addressed.

Last edited by w2jo; 09-16-2012 at 04:09 PM.
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Old 09-16-2012, 04:07 PM   #27
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Old 09-16-2012, 05:36 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by w2jo View Post
Lets see: I had one installation workmanship fault on the Amana/Rheem/Comfort Aire systems over about 25 years (I consider this excellent.) and with the maybe 6 years of use of the Carrier equipment I have Zero install workmanship faults. (I consider this excellent also.)

If you re-read my post, you will see that ALL of my problems with CARRIER equipment have been in evap coil leaks, circuit board problem, defective ECM motor, and a poor factory solder joint. I do not think we can blame these faults on the installer. These are Carrier equipment reliability issues that I reported to the Carrier Factory Rep and HOPEFULLY are being addressed.

I've not had an abnormal problem with Carrier or come across anything outside of the box as it pertains to any problems. I've seen hundreds of boards fail (if you want to get technical majority on Goodman and Lennox furnaces -White Rodgers-and btw, Goodman is Amana), hundreds of leaky evaporators of all makes and models in all working environments and hundreds of blown, well, you name it and I've (as well as all the other techs in the world) seen it, dealt with it, repaired it time and again IN THE WORKING FIELD and continually will while yourself on the other hand have not nor will not all the while not having anything other than a few personal experiences to base your data upon which was probably and if not should be discarded.

Do not kid yourself into thinking your degrees matter at all or your white paper to Carrier. You know not.
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Old 09-16-2012, 10:11 PM   #29
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I believe people exploring the topic of "Most reliable Central AC units" are looking for people's actual experiences in USING equipment. People who daily install one or a few brands of equipment naturally become biased. I tried to leave any such "opinion" out of my post and just stick to my personal experiences. YOUR experiences may differ and I urge you to post them as opposed to attempting to denigrate the efforts of others about whose credentials, knowledge and abilities you know nothing!

Keeping this forum civil and comfortable for ALL users should be the aim of all of us.
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Old 09-16-2012, 10:45 PM   #30
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We all have different opinions as to what equipment may or may not be the best, depending on if we are homeowners, service techs, sales agents, whatever, but we all are here trying to help others out with our own experiences and abilities, enough said.

We also may have prefferences based on name brand depending on which line we sell, find easiest to work on, get the best warranty out of, or whatever. As has been stated, most of the equipement out there will serve you well if it is installed and serviced correctly, and yes it may even fail once in a while, but as long as the manufacturer stands behind it, not a big deal. When's the last time you bought a new car and had zero problems for the first 5 or 10 years of it's life. Never happens, and we don't give it a whole lot of thought.

I have serviced and installed many different brands over the years (but mainly Carrier products for the last 10-15 years) and have had alot of success with them. That doesn't mean they never break down, it just means that they stand behind thier products and support thier dealers well in general.

It's also missleading to say that one band breaks down more than another, so it must be an inferior product, unless we can compare how many fail to the total number in service. One sales stat Carrier put out a few years back stated that there was a new Carrier unit being installed every 6 seconds worldwide. That's a lot of units, which means there should be a lot of breakdowns at some point in time, and if in general they weren't any good, they should be belly up by now.

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