What makes a good HVAC unit? It depends. What is important to you? Are you looking for something that combines high efficiency with precise control of indoor air quality? Or are you looking for something uniquely suited to your home or intended use? No matter what your motivation, we have the information you need to make the best HVAC decision.
Top-Rated HVAC Systems on the Market
There are a few models that stand out from the rest when you consider consumer HVAC reviews and independent testing. Here are five of the top-rated HVAC systems:
1. Carrier Infinity Series: This is simply one of the best units on the market today. It combines high efficiency and outstanding indoor comfort. It is controlled by the Infinity touchscreen programmable thermostat.
2. Trane XLi Series: This model offers several levels of efficiency. It has excellent performance, assisted by two compressors for precise climate control. This unit gives Carrier a run for its money!
3. Dave Lennox Signature Series: This is the top-of-the-line from one of the best brands in the HVAC industry. It is known as being a high performer with high quality.
4. American Standard Platinum Series: American Standard offers several efficiency levels to match your unit to your climate. The comfort control is outstanding and has minimal temperature fluctuation. There are humidity-control, air filtration, and home ventilation products available as well.
5. Maytag 1200 iQ Drive Comfort System: The air conditioners and heat pumps in this series are some of the most efficient available. They are built with a modulating compressor for precise and efficient climate control.
Choosing the Best HVAC Systems for Your Home
A good approach to selecting a HVAC unit is to select one that will meet the specific needs of your home. Some homeowners may be looking for the most efficient, while others want superior climate control and performance. Others may be budget-minded and want a unit with the lowest up-front cost. Whatever your motivation, here are a few factors to consider before choosing your next HVAC unit.
1. In extremely warm or cold climates, high-efficiency equipment is the most cost-effective in the long-term. The units will be more expensive up-front, but will save a great deal of utility costs over their lifespan. They typically pay for themselves after three to five years of use.
2. In moderate climates like San Diego, northern California, the Pacific northwest, and some mountainous areas in the south, the lower-efficiency equipment is the most cost-effective. It will take 10 years or more for a high-efficiency unit to pay for itself in these regions. There are still many units available that provide great comfort with mediocre efficiency. This includes the Lennox Signature or Trane XLi series.
3. If reducing your carbon footprint is important to you, then choose the most-efficient unit you can afford, regardless of where you live.
4. Consider how long you plan to stay in your current home. If you plan to move within the next five years, don’t spend a lot of money on a high-efficiency model. Get one with good quality and minimal efficiency to save on up-front costs.
5. Homeowners seeking to lower their utility bills but are content with single-stage heating and air conditioning should choose a basic HVAC systems with a 15 to 17 SEER. They should get a furnace with an efficiency in the low-90 percent range.