FurnaceCompare recently asked Trane, one of the largest HVAC manufacturers in the industry, if they would be willing to reply to a series of questions about Central Air Conditioner quality. They graciously agreed. Excerpts from the interview are printed below:
FurnaceCompare: Is improving the quality of a central air conditioner as simple as improving the quality of
Trane: To a degree, improving the quality of components does improve the quality of the central air conditioner. The quality of performance, the reliability, durability and comfort the air conditioner provides is directly related to the application, installation and maintenance.
What components have the greatest effect on reliability and durability?
Trane: The compressor is critical to the performance of an air conditioning unit. The TRANE Climatuff® Compressor is the industry standard for reliability. However, it is not a single component that determines the quality of a central heating or air conditioning unit. It is important to size the unit appropriately for the home and to partner the central air conditioning unit with the appropriate indoor unit to deliver the best reliability, comfort and air quality.
FurnaceCompare: What components typically require the most maintenance?
Trane: Filters and outdoor coils do require periodic cleaning.
What components typically wear out most quickly?
Trane: Trane air conditioners are built to last. Throughout the industry, compressor contactors wear out more readily than other components.
Are there techniques that improve the quality of a central air conditioner besides improving
Trane: An often overlooked factor which affects quality and reliability is the actual installation of the equipment. The best, most highly reliable equipment can be installed improperly, which will negatively impact the reliability and life cycle of the system. Working with a qualified installer is critical.
FurnaceCompare: Besides brand, what should consumers look for to give them an indication of the
reliability and durability of a particular central air conditioner?
Trane: Today's consumers are fortunate to have so many available options in terms of "research". They should always talk to family and friends for personal recommendations and testimonials -- not only about products but about installers. They should speak with several different dealers to gain various perspectives on product features and benefits.
You may also be interested in our more general article on Air Conditioner Quality.