Trane and American Standard
Summary: Of the quality brands this brand is at the very top, Prioritizes mechanical superiority over fluffy marketing or cosmetics, Most expensive off the shelf but not so expensive it doesn't still compete well, When all factors are weighed it stands alone as the #1 choice.
Trane and American Standard are identical mechanically. There are cosmetic differences so they can be marketed separately but on the inside they are twins down to the nut and bolt. This is the best built, most reliable, traditional HVAC brand out there. In the quest for bragging rights at the kitchen table the other brands race to squeeze a percentage point here or there out of the efficiency ratings or a decibel or two lower on the sound rating. Trane and American Standard have remained focused on bringing equipment that is less likely to breakdown to your table. It's this mindset, from the factory of mechanical superiority being more important than cosmetics or selling gimmicks that stuck with me from the beginning. It's been 25 years since my first installation with this brand and of all the brands I've worked with over the years this brand is the most consistent and it's consistently excellent.
With Gas Furnaces, they proved to be the industry leader in the early 1990's introducing their 2 Stage gas valve and the Variable Speed Fan units. This was a game changing innovation for homeowners and the Residential HVAC trade hasn't been the same since. This version remains the industries most proven, reliable "go to" upgrade for contractors and homeowners.
When it comes to Heat Pumps and A/C units they historically have had no peer, no equal. Becoming famous for their compressors, affectionately called the "Orange Meatball" that outlasted anything else going. They also boast a patented, all aluminum, weld free, "Spine Fin" outdoor coil that is far superior to the rest of the competition's "Car Radiator" stye coils. Compared to every other brand, this brand costs the most to buy off the shelf for a heating contractor. Regardless of this fact they remain a better choice than lesser brands that tend to need more repairs. The cost difference is not high enough to make it a reason to not purchase. In my mind it's one of the reasons to purchase. Look for more specific details in the equipment sections of my site.
I've heard often in the last 20 years that brands don't matter and they are all the same. In my mind it's an entirely false notion. Brands do matter. Many companies in the struggle to stay open become too focused on giving you the lowest bid they can regardless of the long term consequences. Without question some brands are superior to others and from my years in the trade, dealing with every brand, Trane and American Standard stand above the rest.
If you remove money from the conversation all eyes turn to Trane and American Standard as the best option. GreenTech's secret weapon that even with money in the conversation, we make this brand the easy choice.