Are The Problems With Goodman Air Conditioners As Bad As Their Ratings Would Indicate?
When Consumer Reports released their latest rankings of the most reliable air conditioner brands, only York air conditioners were rated lower than the Goodman brand. How is it that Goodman air conditioners, the most commonly installed brand in the U.S., can have such a terrible rating in terms of reliability? Is the quality of Goodman air conditioning units really that bad, or is there more to this story?
Most people are surprised to learn that pretty much all the top air conditioner brands rely on the same manufacturers to supply the major components such as compressors, and motors for their equipment. For example, you’ll find Copeland compressors in all the top brands of air conditioners. Similarly, all the top brands use fan motors from either AO Smith or GE. So if Goodman air conditioners are built using the same components as other, more reliable brands, there has to be some other reason Goodman ac units fair so poorly in Consumer Reports reliability rankings, right?
In fact, there are other factors besides the quality of the equipment affecting Goodman’s rankings. The top rated air conditioner brands in Consumer Reports’ annual rankings all have stringent requirements for the companies and technicians who can purchase and install their equipment. Goodman has no restrictions on who can buy and install their air conditioners. None. Zero. Nada.
While other brands will only allow licensed contractors to buy their ac units, and require ongoing training for the technicians who install them, anybody can buy and install a Goodman unit – even if they aren’t licensed and have absolutely no training. This is the key ingredient in the recipe for disaster that has resulted in Goodman air conditioners developing such a bad reputation for reliability problems.
Several contractors who have weighed in on this subject advise homeowners to be wary of any contractor who only offers Goodman air conditioners, and who isn’t also an authorized dealer for one of the top rated air conditioner brands. That’s probably pretty good advice. Even contractors who don’t install Goodman equipment, if asked for their honest opinion, will tell you that most of the problems they see with Goodman ac units can be attributed to a subpar installation.
In my experience, most reputable heating and air contractors are going to be authorized to install at least one of the other brands that requires licensing and training for their dealers, even if they do offer Goodman equipment for homeowners who request it.
In Part 2 of this Goodman Air Conditioner Review, I’ll explain why Goodman is still the most commonly installed air conditioner brand in spite of their low scores for reliability.