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  1. #1

    why doesn't the equipment matter?

    Hi there,

    I just found this site today and have been browsing it a bit and have an honest question. I've noticed that a number of people say something similar to "it doesn't matter what equipment you get; it matters who you get to install it".

    To me, it seems like that statement indicates that all HVAC hardware is equivalent quality. If that's the case, why do some people affiliate with some brands over others? Aren't there some that are just crap or much better than the rest?

    I totally understand that the quality of the system sizing and installation job will have a large bearing on how well the system performs. But what about the reliability of the equipment and ease of repair?

    I saw one analogy to cars and about why does Hyundai have a 10 year warranty yet have such a reputation for being cheaply made. Today, their cars may be more cheaply made, but they are some of the most reliable cars on the road today. Their reputation for being less reliable is a holdover from the 80s and early 90s before their current incarnation. The 10 year warranty shows that they will stand by their cars and don't expect to have to repair many of them. If they thought their cars were going to break down often and need a lot of repairs, do you think that they would have such a long warranty?

    So, how does that play out in the HVAC area?

    Why do some of you choose to become American Standard, or Lennox, or Trane, or Carrier affiliated dealers?

    Again, I'm seriously asking this question.

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    St Paul, minnesota
    Posts
    1,135
    almost all residential equipment made today has a 10 year warranty. difference in equipment pricing is mainly advertising costs

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Eugene, Oregon
    Posts
    1,018
    Very few of the residential equipment manufactures make all of their own components. Most only make the heat-exchangers, coils and cabinets. All of the other components such as motors, compressors and electrical components are provided by the same manufactures for most brands of equipment. So there are some differences but none that will significantly affect the reliability and performance of the equipment when compared to each other for the same price point.
    The most important part of a HVAC system is the air distribution system. Airflow is the single most important part of your HVAC system. You could have the most expensive equipment, but without proper airflow it wouldn't perform any better than the cheapest equipment. So in that sense installation is more important. A properly installed HVAC system will perform just as well with a cheap brand of equipment attached to it as a expensive brand.
    Spend more on the air distribution system and less on the equipment and you'll be better off.
    "The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten". --Benjamin Franklin
    "Don't argue with an idiot, they will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience". --Mark Twain
    http://www.campbellmechanical.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Richmond, VA
    Posts
    2,844
    Basically:

    1. The equipment is custom installed in your home. The new equipment is integrated with your existing ductwork (which may or may not have flaws) and integrated taking into account your thermal environment. Load calcs and duct evaluation will provide a new system that will perform.
    2. I selected and continue to use my equipment of choice because of the support I get from them. The LOCAL distributor support is key....for example: I had a problem with a coil on a new airhandler...part wasn't in stock and they air freighted the replacement for the next day. Another time, got a flawed outdoor unit "DOA" I had a replacement in 2 hours and continued with the install. Same thing happened with my "value brand".....got a DOA outdoor unit, that this particular distributor wanted to send their "warranty guy" out in 3 or 4 days to verify. This distributor still calls me wondering why I dont buy from them anymore ....duh!....
    3. 9 time out of 10 any EASE OF REPAIR issues are caused by the installation!!!! My company's installs are always designed for ease of maintenace because I want you as a customer after the sale. We are not going to shortcut and place linesets infront of access doors and put in cleanout traps etc. and you will be able to change your filter without folding up the filter to get it in.

    The car analogy breaks down when compared to HVAC because your dealer isn't coming to your house to assemble it in your driveway.
    Give a man a fish, he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, he will eat for a lifetime.

    Give a man a capacitor, doesn't know what to do. Teach a man to install it, now he knows everything.

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