If you were to look at recent Consumer Reports® rankings, there is a good chance that you would probably not give Goodman air conditioners a second glance. Goodman ranked lower in reliability than all other brands tested except for York; however, there may be more to the story than meets the eye.
The Truth About Air Conditioner Parts
Most consumers do not realize that virtually all of the leading air conditioner manufacturers rely on the same companies to make their components. Regardless of the brand, most air conditions will have a compressor manufactured by Copeland and fan motors made by GE or AO Smith. This may leave you wondering why there is such a difference in reliability between various air conditioner brands since they all use essentially the same parts. The answer may be twofold.
Lack Installation Requirements
The majority of the leading air conditioning companies are very choosy about the companies and technicians that they allow to install their products. Most of these companies only sell their products to licensed contractors and require the installation technicians to undergo ongoing training. These companies realize that even a well-made AC unit will not function properly if it is not installed correctly. Goodman does not follow this practice. Anyone, even someone who is unlicensed with no experience in HVAC installation, can purchase and install a Goodman air conditioner. As a result, Goodman’s reputation for reliability has been negatively impacted since consumers are more likely to blame the equipment rather than the installation when something goes wrong.
Popularity in the New Construction Market
HVAC companies are typically classified according to whether they predominantly serve the new construction industry or homeowners. These companies tend to approach the business with different mindsets and employ vastly different types of technicians.
HVAC contractors that specialize in new construction are brought in by the general contractor during the framing process to install the ductwork. They then come back toward the end of construction to install the equipment. As is the case with many subcontractors, the HVAC company is chosen on the basis of its low bid and not necessarily the expertise of its employees or the quality of their workmanship. In order to keep their costs low, these contractors often hire technicians with little to no formal HVAC experience, and they only provide minimal on-the-job training. Since Goodman does not restrict who installs its equipment, it is often used in the new construction industry since many of the contractors have no other alternatives.
Companies that cater directly to homeowners know that their ability to remain in business depends on their reputation within the community. They are more likely to hire licensed, experienced, and certified employees, which means that you are less likely to have installation issues that affect the functioning of your HVAC system.
The Bottom Line
Since virtually all HVAC equipment is made from the same parts, there is an argument to be made that the quality of the company and the expertise of the technician installing the system play a bigger role in determining reliability than the equipment itself. Goodman’s issues with reliability are largely a factor of its decision to not be more proactive in managing its reputation by restricting who can sell, service, and install its products and are not necessarily a reflection on the quality of the equipment.
If you have to choose between a top-rated air conditioner installed by a company with a mediocre reputation or a low-rated unit installed by a trusted company, it is always better to go with the company that you can trust rather than worrying about the brand. You can protect yourself by looking for a company that is licensed to install one or more brands of air conditioners. You should also look for a company that holds its employees to rigorous training and certification standards and that is willing to stand behind its work.
Swan Air Conditioner Installation
Swan Plumbing, Heating & Air is a family-owned business, and we are committed to providing unsurpassed HVAC service to our friends and neighbors in Denver and the surrounding area. We service and install air conditioning units from all major manufacturers, including Goodman. All of our technicians are licensed, industry-certified, and receive ongoing training. All of our HVAC installations, regardless of the brand of equipment that you choose, are backed by a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee. If you are not satisfied with your new air conditioning system, we will repair or replace it at no cost to you anytime during the first year. We are proud to have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. We have also been named a preferred service provider by Xcel Energy and Energy Star. Contact us today to find out more about our HVAC installation services and the equipment brands that we carry.