The best HVAC units are evaluated primarily based on how quiet they are during operation, how well they work during electrical brownouts and how convenient their controls are, according to Consumer Reports. For specific rooms, the size of the unit is also an important consideration.
Quieter HVAC units tend to score highest on review lists, especially when utilized in residential settings. Units that are silent enough that all that one can hear during operation is fan noise generally top the lists. This is due mainly to the fact that noisier HVAC units often disturb sleepers and make the general living space uncomfortable.
Electrical brownouts occur on a regular basis in some regions of the country. A highly rated HVAC unit continues to operate well during those times, providing heat and air throughout the low energy period. It is also important that an HVAC unit has convenient, easy-to-use controls that ensure the user can set the temperatures wherever desired.
The size of the unit is an important consideration during an evaluation. Sizing is mostly dependent on individual use though, so cannot be truly rated until the environmental needs of the home are determined. A unit that is too small struggles to heat and cool the space it is installed for, whereas one that is too large tends to waste energy.