How to Choose the Best Gas Furnace Brand (and HVAC Contractor)
Best Gas Furnace Brands
When shopping for a new furnace, you will probably see a number of different brand names and several popular features. But, there’s something important you should know.
There are only 3 companies that manufacture all the components used in furnaces: Emerson, Johnson Controls and Honeywell. Even more surprising, there are only 6 HVAC equipment manufacturers. Those manufacturers each produce furnaces under different brand names:
• Lennox owns Armstrong and Concord
• Trane makes American Standard
• Carrier owns Payne, Bryant and Tempstar
• York makes Lux and Coleman
• Goodman makes Amana
• Rheem owns Ruud
All of these companies follow very rigid quality processes, incorporating multimillion dollar machines that produce nearly mistake-proof products. The fact is, there is very little difference (particularly in quality) from brand to brand.
So, how do you choose?
Instead of choosing the brand and going in search of a contractor who sells and installs that brand, a better strategy is to start by choosing the best contractor. A qualified, reputable contractor will sell you the system you need and help you evaluate features in terms of cost and benefit.
How to Pick the Best HVAC Contractor
Here are some basic tips. Picking a good contractor does require a little effort on your part. Don’t skimp on your homework. Doing so could cost your a lot.
Reputable contractors will have a number of easy-to-find reviews on Yelp or other social media sites. If you can’t find any, either the company is very new or not legitimate. Also, a bad review does not necessarily mean the company is bad. See if there is a response from the contractor and what he might be doing to correct a negative customer experience.
Ask people you know and trust for recommendations. Most people will gladly tell you if they used someone who did a good job, or if they know someone to steer clear of.
Good contractors will not hesitate to show you their credentials. If a contractor refuses, or makes excuses, don’t hire him. Verifying their documents is an important next step (go to https://www.denvergov.org/contractorlicenses).
Check Certifications (NATE or ACCA)
HVAC technicians should be certified by either NATE (North American Technician Excellence) or ACCA (The Indoor Environment & Energy Efficiency Association). Certification shows that the contractor you are hiring is trained in and adheres to industry standards. When you contact HVAC companies, also ask about what types of continuing education they require for their technicians.
Ask for references and call them.
Ask what kind of work was done and what the customers’ experiences were like. Was the contractor on time and professional? Did he explain the job and any options in a clear, understandable way? Was he neat? Did he provide an estimate, and stick to that estimate or provide a satisfactory explanation for any variances? Would they hire him again?
So, how do you choose the best HVAC brand? Choose the best contractor! In the Denver metro area, that is Northern Climate Control.