Who Determines the Best HVAC Brands?

Would you believe that it’s the installing contractor?

Below are reviews of major heat pump brands, pulled from FurnaceCompare.com, a site that describes itself as “the only comprehensive, unbiased source for air conditioner, boiler, furnace and heat pump data on the web.” It comes up as a top search result for ” reviews” searches related to HVAC products.

The names of the brands have been erased from the detail to help illustrate a couple of points.

consumerreviews
Consumer Reviews from FurnaceCompare.com, retrieved October 26, 2016
  1. All of the brands have more negative reviews than positive ones.
  2. Because of how FurnaceCompare.com uses customer reviews to rank products, a product with fewer reviews will rank more favorably than a similar product with more reviews. If products don’t have a similar number of reviews, the popularity rating is meaningless.closeup
    For example, the #33 and the #22 product have the same 3/5 rating. A greater percentage of customers have reviewed and recommend the #33 product. These are all indicators that the #33 product is probably more popular than the #22.

In a brand comparison article, Brands vs. Brands, author Kelly Burgess makes some key points about what makes a “best” HVAC system:

  1. “Because every house and every installation is unique, there really is no uniform way to compare how well central air conditioners perform in the home. Even user reviews are of limited help as poor performance could be due to poor installation rather than any fault in the equipment.”
  2. Many of the high-rated brands are selective about who is able to install their products, and have policies to ensure the installing technicians are well-trained.

We noted in a previous article that mistakes by installing technicians can drastically reduce the energy efficiency of equipment. As an HVAC professional, how many installation mistakes can you identify in negative reviews of your primary brand?

More importantly, what are you doing to make sure your homeowners have a quality installation, and therefore a quality brand, experience?

You can’t change the reviews (incidentally, a few articles cite that 5% of negative reviews online are written by people who haven’t purchased the product they’re reviewing).

You can control your customer experience to minimize installation errors that may result in a negative review.

When you are a Partner for Success with HVAC Distributors, we help you ensure that your team provides your homeowners with a quality installation experience. We have dedicated training professionals who teach technical classes on the products that we support. Check out the current training that we have available on our training page.

Each of our branch locations is a certified testing facility for NATE & EPA testing.

If you are an HVAC customer, you can request customized training on that page if you have a specific topic that you’d like us to cover with your team.

We also have a business development program that can help you ensure that your front line staff are presenting themselves – and your company – in a professional, knowledgeable manner. Ask your Account Manager for more details.

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