What is the Best Gas Pack?

When homeowners are looking at the many brands, options and features offered, they will usually ask, “What is the best gas pack?”  It would be nice to be able to point to one brand and one model and say “that’s the best gas pack” and then proceed to rank all the others 2 to 200 or so.

While that isn’t possible since what is best for one home won’t be best for another, there are ways to determine the “best” gas pack for your situation.  These tips will point you to the equipment that will serve your purposes very effectively.

1. Go with  a Proven Brand

Top brands generally use better components in their manufacturing.  These include higher quality scroll compressors in the condensing unit or more durable heat exchangers in the furnace, but the list is much longer.  Avoid upstart brands or “bargains” from brands you never heard of.  Those “cheap” gas packs may cost you a lot of extra money not too far down the road.  The list of proven brands is fairly long.  Keep in mind that some of them are made by the same company (Trane/American Standard, York/Coleman, Rheem/Ruud/Comfort-Aire, Lennox/Air-Flo, and others).

Here are the names to consider: Aire-Flo, Amana, American Standard, Armstrong, Bryant, Carrier, Coleman, Comfort Aire, Dayton, Ducane, Gibson, Goodman, ICP, Lennox, Luxaire, Payne, Rheem, Ruud, Trane, and York.

2. Choose the Efficiency you Prefer

The rule of thumb is that the more efficient a gas pack is, the more it will cost – but the less it will cost to operate.  If you live in a warm climate, choosing a gas pack with a high-efficiency condensing unit/air conditioner will make most sense.  The significantly lower energy bills will pay you back in just a few years.  In cold climates, a high-efficiency furnace will have a short payback period.  In between, higher efficiency units still make more sense, since the cost of fuel remains volatile, and using as little as possible is probably wise.  If you are pursuing a green lifestyle, then higher efficiency for both the furnace and the air conditioner in your gas pack is the right choice.

3. Only Get the Features You Want

Some homeowners want basic heating and cooling from their gas packs.  Basic models without bells and whistles will offer the best value.  Others want more precise control over their indoor climate and will be willing to pay extra for it.  Models with 2-stage heating and cooling, advanced humidity control, reduced noise, or communicating technology will be a better choice.  Where the home’s residents have breathing problems caused by asthma, allergies, C.O.P.D. or other issues, humidity control and advanced air purification might be essential.

4. Size it Right

Buying a bargain gas pack on eBay that isn’t the right capacity for your home is not a good idea.  Buying a bargain on eBay that is the right capacity is wonderful.  You must know the size gas pack you need, including the capacity of both the furnace and the air conditioner.  An HVAC professional can do a complete load calculation to provide the right sizing for your home and climate.  This can be done yourself using load calculation software or by using rules of thumb found in our guide “How to Size My Heating/Air Conditioning Gas Pack.”

Conclusion

These 4 tips will lead you to several gas packs that will be the best for your home.  Get at least 3 written estimates on the units you’re considering.  Use cost as one factor in your final decision, but also take into account the experience and reputation of the HVAC company.  The quality if the installation is extremely important.  A poorly installed gas pack, or any HVAC system, won’t run efficiently and will be far more prone to mechanical problems.

Hire a qualified contractor with a solid reputation to install your gas pack and you’ll definitely think you chose the “best” one for many years to come.

3. Articles for the brand new gas package unit site.  Please just send me in microsoft word format or similar.  More of an expert type point of view as opposed to user submitted (like the new heat pump and air conditioner sites).  So, stipulations:

All  articles target 350-450 words.  All articles include “gas pack prices” in  the text.  Please include the title somewhere in the article.  use the same outline I sent a couple weeks back.  Include the phrase “3 free estimates” in the paragraph after the subheading “where can I buy {insert product model number} online?”.

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