Homeowners often want to know what are the best HVAC systems available. There are really 2 approaches to answer that question and both are very important. From a ratings standpoint that addresses the overall quality and performance, the best HVAC systems are those that combine high efficiency with precise control of indoor air quality. That's one way to look at the issue.
A second, and equally valid way of describing the best HVAC systems is to discuss which one is the best one for your specific use. In some cases, the answer to the question might be the same for some homes either way you approach it. In others, primarily from a cost-efficiency standpoint, the top of the line models might not be the best choice. Let's address the best HVAC systems from both angles.
The Top Rated HVAC Systems on the Market
When consumer HVAC reviews and independent tests are compiled, there are a handful of HVAC systems that stand out as being the best available. Here's a list of the 5 best HVAC systems with a brief note or two.
1. Carrier Infinity Series: This has been the premier HVAC system in the industry for some time and it continues to be the choice of those who want the very best. High efficiency is coupled with outstanding indoor comfort, driven by the Infinity touchscreen programmable controller.
2. Trane XLi Series: Several efficiency levels are offered and the performance is excellent, assisted by 2 compressors to give your home the smooth operation or the cooling/heating boost required. This system is the top competition to the Carrier Infinity.
3. Dave Lennox Signature Series: This is the flagship line from one of the most respected names in the industry. High performance is offered in the air conditioners, heat pumps and furnaces that make up this high-quality lineup.
4. American Standard Platinum Series: The series offers a choice of efficiency levels to choose from so you can match your needs to your climate. The comfort control is outstanding, with minimal temperature fluctuation. Humidity-control, air filtration and home ventilation products are also part of the series.
5. Maytag 1200 iQ Drive Comfort System: The standout performers in this series are the air conditioners and heat pumps that are among the most efficient on available. They feature a modulating compressor that delivers the most precise and efficient way to get the indoor comfort you want.
For top of the line quality, these are the best HVAC systems to consider.
Choosing the Best HVAC Systems for Your Home
For many homeowners, the right HVAC system is the one that best accomplishes their goals which may include reducing energy consumption and utility bills, producing the most comfortable indoor climate, or doing an adequate job of heating and air conditioning while keeping equipment costs as low as possible.
As you can see, these goals can be mutually exclusive. The systems with the highest efficiencies and best performance will not be the ones that offer the lowest equipment costs. The most affordable systems will not offer the greatest indoor comfort.
Here are some factors to consider as you select from among the best HVAC systems for your home.
1. In very warm or cold climates, high-efficiency equipment will be more cost-effective for long-term use. You'll pay more for higher efficiency levels but the reduction in your energy bills will pay you back in just 3-5 years, and then the savings will be money in the bank.
2. In moderate climates — think San Diego, Northern California, the Pacific Northwest, mountainous areas in southern regions — the most cost-effective equipment will be lower-efficiency equipment. The payback period if you buy a very high-efficiency HVAC system might be 10 years or more. There are systems, including in some of the specific series mentioned above, that offer good but not great efficiency while still offering top comfort. The least efficient equipment in the Lennox Signature or Trane XLi series, for example, might provide a good combination of lower equipment costs and excellent climate control.
3. The best HVAC systems for advocates of a green lifestyle will be the most efficient systems they can afford, regardless of where they live.
4. For those looking for a 1-5 year HVAC solution — those planning to move in that time period, for example — than the best HVAC systems will be the least expensive systems that still offer reliable quality.
5. Homeowners who want lower utility bills and are content with single-stage heating and air conditioning will choose basic HVAC systems with 15-17 SEER ratings and furnaces that offer efficiency in the low-90% range.
As you read through this, you've got the question answered both ways. We feature information on all of the series mentioned above, from Carrier, Trane and the others. See the appropriate posts for the details that will help you choose the right one. Modify your decision-making as you consider the best HVAC systems for your home and you'll be able to choose one that meets your specific needs.