In Part 1 of our Goodman air conditioner review, we covered the reasons behind the low reliability ratings Goodman ac units received from Consumer Reports. Since most problems with Goodman air conditioners can be traced back to poor quality installations, why is Goodman still the most commonly installed brand?
The biggest reason Goodman equipment is still so prevalent in spite of the reliability ratings is because of it’s dominance in the new home construction market – and this is also the most likely source of problems with reliability. There are two distinctly different types of residential heating and air companies, and both employ very different types of technicians.
Heating and air companies can be divided into two categories based on the markets they serve:
New Construction/Home Builders:
Companies that specialize in new construction install the heating and air conditioning systems for new home builders during the construction process. These heating and air contractors often utilize technicians with little or no formal HVAC training. Their technicians install the ductwork in new homes during the framing stage of construction, and then near the end of the construction process, they come back and install the heating and air equipment.
Most technicians that work for heating and air companies that do ‘new construction’ projects receive little more than a few weeks of on-the-job training, many times by technicians who do not have any formal HVAC training themselves. Heating and air contractors in the new construction category often have no choice but to use the cheapest labor they can get by with because new home builders often choose which subcontractor gets the job based on the lowest price.
Heating and air companies that focus on serving homeowners usually employ technicians with more experience, and significantly better training and credentials. Most well-known, reputable companies in this category can offer much better service for homeowners who need repair, or installation of new air conditioning units.
Why Does This Matter?
As you can imagine, air conditioning installations performed by technicians with inadequate training and a lack of experience is a surefire recipe for problems down the road. If you ask me, the fact that Goodman air conditioners are installed in so many new homes during construction, and the difficult realities that face heating and air companies who install the equipment for new home builders is the source of the reliability issues that plague Goodman air conditioners.
Remember, the quality of the company and the technicians responsible for installing your new air conditioner is far more important than the brand of equipment you choose to install. I would always want to install the most reliable brand, as long as I felt comfortable that I could trust the company doing the installation. If I had to choose between a top-rated air conditioner brand installed by a mediocre company, and another brand that would be installed by a company I could trust… I’d go with the company I could trust every time, and wouldn’t lose an ounce of sleep over the brand.