What Brands Should I Consider When Looking For A New System?
Just like the automobile industry, the heating and air industry has many brands and models to choose from. Most HVAC technicians know which brands have a reputation for being cheap or overpriced, which ones have a bad customer service reputation, and which ones provide a good product and a good service at a good price. At Total Trans4mation, we have spent years working with various name brand systems so we know which heating and air brands to avoid and which brands to recommend. Most home owners do not know which brands to look for and which brands to steer clear of, so they rely on the honesty of professionals like us for sound advice. At Total Trans4mation, we understand that our customers deserve someone that is committed to offering them a quality system at a great price. Before deciding which brands are worthy of our recommendation, we take a few factors into consideration. If the company does not rate well in all of the categories listed below, then we cannot justify recommending their brand to our customers.
How we rate the various companies…
- If you are buying a brand that is sold outside of your city or county, chances are the repair company will charge more for the time and gas it takes to drive out of town to pick up the necessary parts. This of course causes your repair cost to be quite a bit more than what it could be.
- Not having a local parts store can be a huge inconvenience for you. If the current time is close to the end of a business day, you could end up waiting until the next business day to fix your repair. In our professional experience there have been many situations where we could have fixed a customer’s problem that same day if the brand we were servicing had a local parts store.
- One of the worst problems we have encountered is when an individual or dealer decides to try and save a few bucks by purchasing parts or equipment over the Internet. We have seen situations where the part or equipment comes in damaged or the wrong item gets ordered. In this case you have to send the item back and hope the company you bought it from will send you another one within a timely manner. Warranty claims on Internet purchases can be the worst because most local distributors will not honor warranty claims from items that were not purchased from their store. In this situation, you have to hope that the “out of town” company is willing to accept and file a claim on your behalf. This usually involves mailing the damaged item back to them first at your expense, filling out a warranty claim which they will fax, mail or email to you, and then waiting for the replacement item to arrive which can take up to several weeks. This is just another example of why we chose to buy our equipment from a local distributor.
Cost of Parts
- Overpriced parts are one of the biggest issues we run into with a few heating and air companies. At Total Trans4mation, we know which brands cost more than others. In some cases, we have seen heating and air products such as motors, heat exchangers, and compressors costing more than other comparable products. This is because the company is charging you for the brand name, not the product. If the company servicing your equipment cannot offer reasonable pricing, than neither can the customer who is paying for the repair!
- As with any company, there are some manufacturers and distributors that are easy to work with and some that are not. We place a large emphasis on quality customer service when recommending companies to our customers. We prefer dealing with companies that will stand by their warranties and take care of their clients should their equipment have any problems. Some distributors and manufactures are better than others about warranty claims, handling returns, taking calls and getting you the parts you need in a timely manner. We know which companies are the best to deal with and we will only recommend those companies to our clients because we want nothing but the best service for our customers.
So how do I know which brand is right for me?
Great question! Well, if you were searching for a specific car, a website like edmunds.com would be a great resource, as you could read the honest opinions of those who have owned that same model car or truck. With HVAC products, these reviews can be a bit misleading because most reviews are only about the brand as a whole and not about specific product lines or items. Consumer reports is also a great website, but the reviews can be a bit vague too as some brands are considered contractor grade systems, meaning they are commonly purchased for new construction jobs. In our experience we have seen an overwhelming number of new construction jobs in Middle Tennessee where the new HVAC system was poorly installed and/or improperly sized. Most contractors do not perform a load calculation on new construction job sites, so the systems are often times too small to begin with. In addition, many contractors hire poorly trained subcontractors to perform the installation to save on cost. Mr. and Mrs. Homeowner don’t realize that the original installer did not do an excellent job on their installation so when their unit fails or under performs; the blame tends to be directed toward the brand of the equipment. This type of situation is a common problem in the heating and air industry. If you are looking to have a new heating and air conditioning system put in, most HVAC professionals will tell you to spend more of your time researching the company that’s performing the installation rather than the brand of equipment. On the bright side, our service technicians are extremely well trained and are held to the highest of installation standards. In addition, they have worked on many different HVAC brands and models and know which ones experience “commonly known problems” including bad computer boards, faulty compressors, freon leaks, and more. If you are looking to find a good company to complete your installation, it is important to do business with someone that focuses not only on getting you a reliable unit with a good track record, but also a quality installation. This is one of the many reasons why many of our valuable customers have given us stellar reviews on Google and Facebook.
What we recommend and why…
Although we are not an exclusive dealer, we do have a couple of companies that we like to recommend to our customers which are Amana and Heil. This is primarily because they are the brands we trust and would recommend to our friends and loved ones. After several years of experience working with the Amana and Heil products, we are extremely confident in their reliability and performance. We have consistently been impressed with the positive feedback we have gotten from those brands over the past few years. Of all the brands we could have chosen to recommend, we feel the most comfortable with the Amana and Heil brands because they have met all the qualifications that we look for in regards to earning our recommendation. Here are a few of the reasons why we feel comfortable recommending these two brands to our customers:
- WARRANTY - Both Amana and Heil have the longest warranties in the industry. The standard Amana 13 SEER 80% gas/electric systems have a LIFETIME heat exchanger warranty, a LIFETIME compressor warranty and a 10 year warranty on all other parts. The 96% Heil Furnaces offer a LIFETIME heat exchanger warranty also in addition to a 10 year no hassle replacement warranty.
- CONVENIENCE - Both the Amana and Heil brands have parts stores located in Rutherford and Davidson County, which provides great service for homes and businesses in the Middle Tennessee area. The ability to get parts locally means the repairs can be made quicker and at a much lower repair cost. Without this convenience, most companies would charge extra for fuel and labor to drive out of town to pick up whatever parts are needed for the repair. With Heil and Amana, we can easily drive to the local store to grab a part at no extra cost to you.
- EQUIPMENT PRICES - Amana and Heil have consistently offered us extremely low prices on our equipment pricing, which is one of the reasons why we are able to give our customers a “lowest price guarantee” on any comparable installation. Not only do you get the best price, a reputable product and the longest part warranty, but you also get the best complimentary labor warranty which is 2 years, no hassle, as opposed to the 1 year industry standard.
- PART PRICES - Another great benefit that comes with Amana and Heil products is that their parts are incredibly affordable! There are certain “name brands” that will demand hundreds of dollars more for certain comparable parts and in most cases you are paying for the name, not a better quality product. At Total Trans4mation, we are all about helping to keep our customers cost down which is another reason why we recommend these two brands.
- LARGER REPAIR NETWORK - There are several companies that are trained in servicing both Heil and Amana brands, meaning you will never have a shortage of companies and technicians out there that know how to work on your unit. Some distributors that sell “name brand” products only allow 1-2 dealers per area. So if you have a warranty item needing repair, the manufacturer and distributor are only going to refer you to their 1-2 exclusive repair companies and those companies will likely charge you more for repairs because they are considered “exclusive”.
- LOCALLY MADE HERE IN TENNESSEE - For over 40 years, Amana products have been proudly assembled in the Fayetteville, Tennessee area. Over 1,000 local Tennesseans are employed and working hard on an assembly line each and every week. Many of the Heil products are also assembled locally at an 800,000 square foot manufacturing plant and home office located in Lewisburg, Tennessee. Purchasing equipment from one of these companies not only supports keeping good jobs in the states; it also helps to support our local economy.
Our primary goal is to always recommend the brands and models that we put the most faith in. Currently the Amana and Heil Corporations have earned our trust because they have provided our customers with a quality product and top customer service.