HVAC guys - which brand central AC to buy? (thanks

My central AC is closing in on 24 years old. I live in the Chicago area, so it only is used 4 months each year. I suspect that is why it has lasted this long.

I want to buy a new central AC unit that will last a long time.

Any advice on specific brands?
Any advice on how to make it last forever?

Thanks!

I just got a Lennox 3 ton. In for answers as well

Trane

I would say Trane..



"Here's a quick roundup of our top 10 best AC brands on the market today:


Goodman Central Air Conditioners. ...
Trane Central AC Units. ...
Rheem Air Conditioners. ...
Lennox HVAC Units. ...
York AC Units. ...
Ruud Central Air Conditioners. ...
Amana HVAC Systems. ...
HEIL Air Conditioners."

I bought one last year and ended up getting a Bosch

I put in a Goodman heating and ac unit.   Parts are pretty generic so you aren't locked into select servicers giving you more options.  Had a lennox set prior and it was a pain. Every model pretty much has its own parts so if the guy you called didn't have the part you needed for that select series of machine you were SOL and had to deal increased down time, and when it gets -40 in the winter a extra day of down time is a pretty big deal.  

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Q Anon - Trane

This is the way I am leaning, but I haven't received any quotes yet.

Consumer Reports really likes Trane. But I am willing to go a step down if it is dramatically cheaper.

Trane size depends on square footage, go a size bigger than needed if your duct work will support it

I've got limited experience working on units, but i'll tell you what I know.

They are all equally reliable, or should I say unreliable. 40 years ago units would usually last up to 30 years with very few repairs needed. Now they usually don't make it 15 years without repairs, or even replacement.

I prefer Goodman. They are middle of the road when it comes to reliability, fairly priced, but they are the easiest and cheapest to maintain. The average Joe can diagnose, order parts, and repair the unit himself.

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I just replaced a 25 year old Trane with a new Trane. The other 25 year old Trane unit for my first floor is still working fine.

Stay away from Carrier. Proprietary parts. Most models won't even let you use a different thermostat (like a Nest) without major modifications to the panel. You are limited to a Carrier thermostat. 

dangerboy12 - I've got limited experience working on units, but i'll tell you what I know.

They are all equally reliable, or should I say unreliable. 40 years ago units would usually last up to 30 years with very few repairs needed. Now they usually don't make it 15 years without repairs, or even replacement.

I prefer Goodman. They are middle of the road when it comes to reliability, fairly priced, but they are the easiest and cheapest to maintain. The average Joe can diagnose, order parts, and repair the unit himself.

Shut your stupid piehole... “the average Joe” can make his own repairs... giving out that kind of advice is ridiculous. You think Goodman has a different refrigerant repair process? Special.. easier capacitors? Quick change (no tools required) motors?


 You need don’t know what you’re talking about.. so don’t talk. 

Costco offers 15% on Lennox installations. I just signed up for a quote from them.

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Costco quote is going to be through the roof. They have to pay a fee to have that booth/spot... be careful. 

Find an American Standard dealer in your area. It’s a sister company to Trane, but they limit the amount of dealers per area.. which generally improves dealer quality... Trane/American Standard are reliable... and if you’re just adding AC and coil to existing furnace you’re only getting 14 seer equipment anyways. 

 

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If you can... upgrade your whole system to a Duel fuel system. Gas furnace with heat pump. Gives you a break on fuel cost until the temps get below freezing.. and if you do them at the same time.. you can get higher efficiency equipment.. meaning variable speed ECM motors... possibly 2 stage gas furnace... maybe even variable ac. Then they usually offer 10 year warranty. 

Trane pissed me off. Had four breakdowns starting right after the warranty expired (one year) through the third year of service. First one, installer covered. Second, I sucked up the $800. Third and fourth, I contacted the company. "Trane for life," right? The company would do nothing until I harassed them on social media and the president of the company's twitter. They helped out, and we have not had a problem since (we've now had them 10 years).

Seems we got some lemons, and once they got all the kinks worked out, they're all right.

UltimateKeyboardWarrior - Costco offers 15% on Lennox installations. I just signed up for a quote from them.

I used Costco and got a Lennox from them for 10%. 2 weeks after I had it installed they came out with the 15% and they wouldn’t adjust. 
 


However even with the 10% Costco cash card back I was able to get the Lennox unit at close to the same price as the lesser rated units. Also check with your power company you may be able to qualify for rebates depending on the efficiency of what you get.

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Trane is solid, they are also the same company as American Standard...so see whats cheaper. 
 

Goodman is the best bang for the buck, IMO

I’ve e got a Rheem furnace and ac....happy with them but they don’t seem like anything special either.