Ever heard the term, “You get what you pay for?” Choosing products of higher quality can mean longer lasting performance and fewer headaches (and expenses) down the road. Unfortunately, comparing quality between heating and cooling systems is not always easy. Here are three guidelines we suggest:
- Select a brand name that you trust
- Solicit recommendations
- Look for 3rd party endorsements
Select a brand name that you trust. As a general rule, the bigger, better known brands will have a better reputation for quality and reliability – that’s how they got to be so well recognized. For example, American Standard products undergo a rigorous series of quality tests that begins during initial product development and continues with field-testing of hand-built prototypes. Many of American Standard’s quality checks during production are performed on every product we make, not just random samples. And, final products are run-tested. Every product we make is then backed by warranty protection of key components as well as the entire product.
Smaller companies and brand names you don’t recognize may not perform these types of tests. It is in your best interest to do a little more homework about the company itself and its quality/reliability testing procedures as well as their warranty programs. All of these areas can give you clues about the quality of the products they manufacture.
Solicit recommendations. Recommendations from friends, neighbors or trusted acquaintances can be helpful as well. Ask people you trust if they’ve had a new indoor comfort system installed. If they’re happy with what they’ve purchased, it may be worth your time to take a look at the products yourself, check the quality of installation, and feel the comfort. When doing so, remember that every home is different, and what may work in your friend’s home may not be the best solution for you.
Look for 3rd party endorsements. Product endorsements from independent ratings companies, government agencies, or consumer groups are generally good sources for reliable information. These entities have nothing to gain by praising a particular product, so you can typically trust the information and opinions they provide. Some third-party endorsements to look for may include:
- EPA’s Energy Star
- EPA’s Green Star
- Consumer Digest