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Best Rated HVAC Systems for 2015

If you’re in the market for a complete HVAC system in 2015, and you want the very best available, here are the top 2015 HVAC systems.

These HVAC systems offer three things:

  • Highest efficiency
  • Best quality (supported by longer warranties)
  • The most comfortable climate control

Most of these lines have modulating equipment. If you’re not familiar with modulating technology, here’s a quick introduction. Rather than run at just two capacities, low (about 65% of full capacity) and high (100% of capacity), the compressor in heat pumps and air conditioners and the gas valve in gas furnaces operates at an percentage between about 40(it varies slightly from model to model) and 100%.

The unit adjusts during the cycle in increments as small as 0.5% to deliver precise heating or cooling according to the home’s climate control demands.

The results include very even temperatures, better dehumidification in summer and longer, quieter and gentler cycles. All modulating furnaces are equipped with variable-speed blowers, and modulating heat pumps and AC units should be matched with a variable-speed furnace or air handler for best climate control.

The best HVAC lines are expensive. However, each of these brands has one or two other good lines to consider when you don’t need the efficiency or performance or simply don’t want to spend top dollar.

 2015 Top HVAC Brands

1. Carrier Infinity

The Infinity line has been among the industry’s best for many years. Carrier has introduced units in the last few years that have been, at least upon introduction, cutting edge in efficiency and performance. For example, it was the first of the major brands to offer modulating technology in a heat pump, the Carrier Greenspeed 25VNAO.

Here’s an overview of the Carrier Infinity line:

  • Highest Furnace Efficiency: 98.5%
  • Highest SEER cooling rating: 21 SEER
  • Highest heat pump HSPF heating rating: 13 HSPF
  • Modulating units: Infinity 98 59MN7 furnace, Greenspeed 25VNAO heat pump
  • Warranty information: Lifetime heat exchanger; 10 years most parts

2. Lennox Signature Collection

This line is really 1A in our opinion. It has a lot to offer including the SunSource solar-ready technology that is ideal for climates with plenty of sun. The Lennox SunSource solar modules can produce enough solar energy to run the entire HVAC system.

The Dave Lennox Signature Collection XC25 offers an industry-best 26 SEER cooling while the XP25 delivers 23.5 SEER cooling to go with 10.2 HSPF. These are impressive efficiency numbers. Here’s an overview of the Lennox Signature line:

  • Highest Furnace Efficiency: 98.5%
  • Highest SEER cooling rating: 26 SEER
  • Highest heat pump HSPF heating rating: 10.2 HSPF
  • Modulating units: SLP98V gas furnace, XC25 air conditioner, XP25 heat pump
  • Warranty information: Lifetime heat exchanger; 10 years most parts

3. Bryant Evolution

This is a sister brand to Carrier, and the lines are quite similar with a few differences. You might find that Bryant equipment costs slightly less, but should be just as dependable and durable. The warranty protection is the same for both brands. Here’s an overview of what the Bryant Evolution line offers:

  • Highest Furnace Efficiency: 98.3%
  • Highest SEER cooling rating: 20.5 SEER
  • Highest heat pump HSPF heating rating: 13 HSPF
  • Modulating units: Evolution 987M furnace, Evolution Extreme heat pump
  • Warranty information: Lifetime heat exchanger; 10 years most parts

4. Maytag iQ Series

The Maytag iQ Series heat pump has been awarded “Best in Class” status, and it is certainly worth a look for those who are willing to pay more to get the best performance. Until replaced by the 26 SEER Lennox XC25, the modulating Maytag PSA4BI iQ Drive M1200 with 25.5 SEER was the most efficient unit available. By the way, Tappan, Westinghouse and ?Broan are other NORDYNE companies and have essentially the same product lineups. Here’s the Maytag HVAC systems overview:

  • Highest Furnace Efficiency: 97%
  • Highest SEER cooling rating: 25.5 SEER
  • Highest heat pump HSPF heating rating: 10 HSPF
  • Modulating units: PGC2MQ iQ Drive furnace, PSA4BI iQ Drive AC, PSH4BI iQ Drive heat pump
  • Warranty information: Lifetime on heat exchangers including 12-year furnace replacement warranty on heat exchangers; 12-year AC and heat pump replacement warranty on compressors; 12 years on all other parts

5. Trane XV

Trane has an outstanding service record, as do all of these top brands. The best gas furnace is the Trane XC95m, a modulating model that supersedes the Trane XV95. Trane products are quite expensive, but they’re built with quality parts and components. Here’s the overview of the top Trane HVAC system:

  • Highest Furnace Efficiency: 97.3%
  • Highest SEER cooling rating: 21 SEER
  • Highest heat pump HSPF heating rating: 10 HSPF
  • Modulating units: XC95c gas furnace, XV20i AC & heat pump
  • Warranty information: Lifetime heat exchanger; 10 years most parts

The American Standard Platinum series is essentially the same as the Trane XV series. Both are made by Ingersoll Rand.

Honorable Mention

There are several other series definitely worth looking at. In some cases, they offer the same level of quality and performance at a more affordable price. The brand series are:

  • Rheem Prestige
  • Ruud Ultra
  • Heil Observer
  • Armstrong’s top units – no series name

If you’re in the market for value, Goodman should be considered. The quality is average; the warranties are among the best in the industry and the prices are lower than any brand we’ve mentioned in this post.

The Value of Quality Installation

It’s important to realize that even the best HVAC system needs proper installation or it might run less efficiently than it should and suffer mechanical failure more easily. Therefore, always get multiple estimates, do your homework on the companies and choose a qualified contractor with solid experience.

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