Here at AirZone we are constantly asked what the best brand of air conditioner is. There are numerous factors in answering this question and as local HVAC experts we believe that the best brand of air conditioner in Ottawa needs to meet the following criteria:
- The AC that is sized properly
- The AC that is installed properly
- The AC that has a good warranty and reputable contractor/supplier backing
- The AC that meets certain specifications
If you can find a unit that will tick all of these boxes, you can be assured that you most brands will perform well and cool your home properly.
Reputable Air Conditioner Brands
Over the last 20 years, AirZone HVAC Services has installed, maintained and serviced nearly every brand that has been manufactured to heat or cool your home. There are some stand outs to us that perform well year in and year out:
These brands consistently produce high end products and back them with local suppliers and good warranties. One of the biggest misconceptions when purchasing an air conditioner is that there is 100’s of brands to choose from. The reality is that 6 or 7 manufacturers also produce the majority of the off brand labels. Furthermore, parts between the units are very comparable with many manufacturers using the same components. Below breaks down some of the off brand labels.
- Lennox (Aire-Flo, Ducane, Armstrong Air, Allied)
- Carrier (Tempstar, Bryant, Heil, Payne, Comfortmaker,Day and Night)
- Goodman (Daikin, Amana)
- Trane (American Standard, Oxbox, Ameristar)
- Rheem (Ruud, Weatherking,Fujitsu)
- York (Champion, Coleman)
- Nortek (Maytag,Nordyne,Gibson)
This is just an example of how the big manufacturers rebrand to gain market share! It is also important to keep in mind that each of these manufacturers will offer entry level equipment, mid range offerings and high end units.
Now that we have established that there is a lot of parity in the industry we can delve into what makes your air conditioner purchase in Ottawa a good decision.
You can purchase the most high end Air Conditioner from any of the above suppliers and if your contractor undersizes or oversizes the unit, you will be gravely disappointed in performance. Your HVAC contractor should complete a calculation that takes into account the square footage, insulation values, window values, orientation of home, ductwork distribution and many other factors to ensure your air conditioner is sized properly for the home!
Your HVAC contractor should be installing the unit to the specifications the manufacturer dictates. If the components used are improper or cheap, you could sacrifice function of the unit. The contractor should be clear on what indoor coil is being used. Properly sized and high quality linesets are important as well. The contractor should have a licenced refrigeration technician installing your unit in Ottawa. These technicians will calibrate the system by fine tuning refrigeration levels, calibrating fans speeds and ensuring the installation is done properly. A poor installation will ensure even the best unit does not perform well.
Warranty and Support
Not all warranties are equal. A contractor that does not have a good track record (reviews) or does not have longevity may not be able to back up a warranty. Labour warranties are often given out as part of the installation. If there is not a written certificate it may be smart to be leery of the offer. We often see contractors who have been in business for 1 year, offering 10 year labour warranties! How can you be sure this contractor will even be in business in 9 years. Furthermore, a good relationship wit a supplier is crucial in backing up parts warranties. We have partnered with amazing suppliers and ensure we are always in good standing to be assured that if an issue arises, our clients will be taken care of.
When choosing a good air conditioner for our climate in Ottawa there are a few parameters that need to be considered.
Efficiency: This is rated in SEER. The higher the SEER the more efficient the unit is, the less you will pay in hydro. We always give clients options for 13, 16 and 18 SEER units.
Sound Levels: You want to ensure your unit is quiet. We do not offer any units over 74 dB and it is crucial when purchasing a unit that will be sitting in your back/side yard. Some high end offerings even have levels below 60dB!
In summation, perhaps the brand badge on your unit is not as important as the contractor you choose to work with. We have spent years deciding on what units work best for our clients and have been happily installing Rheem, Lennox and Amana units.
We chose these three brands due to the excellent support we receive from the suppliers. Furthermore, the market research we conducted showed incredible reliability on Rheem units, some of the most advanced technology on Lennox units and the industry leading warranties on Amana units. With these three brands we can offer our clients in Ottawa and the Ottawa Valley the best of all worlds.