How do I Choose the Best HVAC Parts?

Carol Francois

HVAC parts are required to conduct regular maintenance, repair the unit, or to increase the capacity. There are three things to focus on when looking to choose the best HVAC parts: quality, price, and warranty. Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) units are designed to work in a range of spaces, from a small room to a large manufacturing plant. The type of HVAC parts required to maintain and repair this type of system varies widely.

A vent cover leading to an HVAC system.
A vent cover leading to an HVAC system.

All HVAC repairs and maintenance work should be completed by a trained and licensed HVAC mechanic. These systems are very complex and quite expensive. An untrained mechanic can cause significant damage in a very short period. HVAC parts tend to be more expensive than other mechanical system replacement parts due to the tight tolerances required. For example, a simple fan belt for a large HVAC unit can cost up to $250 US Dollars (USD) to purchase, and four hours of mechanic time to install.

Exterior wall vent leading to an HVAC system.
Exterior wall vent leading to an HVAC system.

The first item to consider when looking at HVAC parts it the quality of the part. There are typically two classes of replacement parts available: genuine parts and white label parts. The genuine parts are produced by the original manufacturer and are designed to match the exact specifications as the original parts. These units are often quite expensive and are model specific.

White label parts are more generic parts, often manufactured by a dedicated parts supplier. While designed to match the original specifications, the attention to detail is often missing. As a result, the parts are often close matches, but fail to perform over time. In addition, many people find that white label parts require additional work to install, as the measurements may not match exactly.

When selecting the best HVAC parts, price is an important consideration. Look at the total cost of the individual unit and compare it to similar parts. Talk to the maintenance mechanic about other parts located nearby that are coming to the end of their useful life. Take the time to consider replacing all the related parts at the same time. This may result in a higher equipment cost, but lower labor cost.

Many parts manufacturers offer guarantees on their parts. Take the time to read the original manufacturer's warranty to ensure the replacement parts do not void that warranty. Make sure all work is completed by a licensed mechanic and inspect the entire unit before turning it on.

Quality, price and warranty are the most important factors when choosing HVAC parts.
Quality, price and warranty are the most important factors when choosing HVAC parts.

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