My husband and I have a 1400 sq ft, single story home in San Diego. We need to replace our 8-year old 3-ton Payne air conditioning unit owing to a problem with the compressor (confirmed by technicians from two different HVAC companies). The system was installed by a previous owner.

The coil, furnace, and ductwork are in a crawlspace under our house, and the condenser is in the backyard. We are constrained by the placement of the condenser, which has to fit in a 47” wide space between a wall and a shed containing our water heater.

We received estimates from three different licensed HVAC contractors. Which of these options looks best?

3-ton, 13 SEER Rheem system:
  • Rheem condensing unit MDL#:RANL036JAZ
  • ADP plenum coil MDL# PL36H175P15635 (According to the contractor, a Rheem coil will not work because we don’t have enough room for a standard coil application. With the ADP coil they can mount the ducts right to it just like the existing coil there now.)
  • 10 year warranty on condenser, 5 year warranty on coil, 2 year warranty on labor

3-ton, 13 SEER Trane system:
  • Trane condensing unit MDL# XB300
  • All Style horizontal left ductboard coil (According to the contractor, they’d use this over a Trane coil so they don’t have to reconfigure or reroute ductwork.)
  • 10 year warranty on condenser, 5 year warranty on coil, 1 year warranty on labor

3-ton, 13 SEER Maytag system:
  • Maytag M120 condensing unit MDL# CSA4BDO36K
  • Maytag cooling coil MDL# NE32636C175B1601AP
  • 12 year warranty on parts, 1 year warranty on labor

I’ve read decent things about both Trane and Rheem, but I understand that mismatched parts are not ideal (although whatever we select will be mismatched to our furnace, which is a Payne).

We like the Maytag warranty and matched parts, but there doesn’t seem to be a lot of information available about Maytag HVAC systems, and I’m not sure how many companies in our area service Maytag units in the event of a problem.

Thanks in advance for any guidance you can provide.