Frigidaire has been around for decades and is an established brand within the household appliance landscape. They have built a reputation for producing quality appliances from refrigerators to HVAC units.
The question now remains as to whether or not they still deserve that reputation. We are going to discuss who the company is, what they do, and how the units work to provide you with the performance they’re supposed to.
What Are Frigidaire Air Conditioners and How Do They Work?
Did you know that Maytag and Frigidaire central air units are identical with the exception being the name on the system? It’s true!
A while back, Nortek Global acquired both Maytag and Frigidaire, and the result is a line of units that are exactly the same with an interesting pricing list.
Both Maytag and Frigidaire air conditioners use what is called iQ Drive technology. The iQ Drive is a system that allows for inverter compressor tech that offers an ultra-quiet and efficient unit.
The way it works is that as the thermostat signals that air conditioning is needed, the inverter compressor will run nonstop. While that may sound alarming, the continuous compressor works at an extremely low capacity with incredibly efficient use of electricity.
Increasing the efficiency of the unit with the iQ Drive tech has resulted in extremely precise cooling, a decrease in fluctuating temperatures, and less stress placed on the air conditioner. This translates to savings for you because the HVAC unit isn’t overworking to cool your home.
Instead of turning off and turning on, the continuous compressor cycles to push more air or less air as needed to cool. When it comes to dispersing heat, they’re also very efficient.
Frigidaire and Maytag air conditioners use what is called micro-channel fin design to disperse heat more quickly. That means that your home will also cool a lot faster than more traditional units.
What Makes Frigidaire Air Conditioners Unique?
Everyone wants a quality piece of equipment, especially when it costs hundreds or thousands of dollars. You’ll be happy to know that Nortek Global puts their products through a rigorous 144-point inspection before being released for sale. With that said, it’s unusual for an HVAC unit to show up on your doorstep non-functional because of the amount of testing that goes into it beforehand.
Another thing that makes Frigidaire and Maytag air conditioners unique is the fact that they are available in seven different models that are designed to suit most budgets and spaces. They have various SEER ratings that also reflect the demand that goes into energy-star certified products.
From single-stage to dual-stage and variable/inverter iQ Drive technology models, you’ll find one that fits your budget and your space. There are even recommendations that will fit your climate based upon the demands that you can expect.
As an example, the variable/inverter Maytag PSA1BG and Frigidaire FSA1BG are the absolute best for the warmest climates. They can keep the temperature cool and constant even in rising temperatures. On the other hand, if you live someplace that has mild summers, then you’re good to go with a single-stage option like the Frigidaire FSA1BE/ES4BE model.
You would be happy to know, too, that all of the models from both Frigidaire and Maytag all meet standards that will give you the opportunity for state rebates and other incentives. You’ll have to check your local state mandates to see exactly what you qualify for, but you’ll be sure to get something in return for having one of these units installed.
When you start pricing Maytag and Frigidaire models, you’re going to realize that there is a pretty good spread of what is available. They range from 18000 BTU up to 60000 BTU and pricing is reflected appropriately.
You do need to consider which system is going to be best for you, and that is determined by the size of the house you want to cool and how much you can afford to install. The two may not go together for the newest iQ Drive tech units because they are more expensive than traditional units.
Systems on their own can run you between $1200 and $3500, and then you have to factor in installation costs. System installation costs include installing the HVAC unit, the labor necessary to do the install, and any extra supplies that are needed for successful completion. These costs can be as low as $2500 or as high as close to $6000 for a full installation.
Something to think about with these is why the systems have such a huge range in price. As an example, the 1.5-ton unit that is 18000 BTU starts near $1200 and goes up to $2500. On the lower end, you can expect units that are less efficient, and the higher end reflects all models that contain the iQ Drive technology.
The smaller units are best for a home around 1000 sq. feet. The remaining units range in increments of about 300 sq. feet up from there with the largest unit topping out at around 3200 sq feet expected cooling space.
One of the best places to find reviews on Frigidaire air conditioners is over at Consumer Affairs. In fact, this one customer, Joseph from Longview, TX, writes, “I had installed a new Frigidaire HVAC system in my home 11 years ago to the day. The Air Handler motor broke this last weekend, I called the company that installed it and found out it had a 10 year warranty. Well I thought that this is nice, but OK. Then I got a call this morning that the replacement motor is $800 or 25% of the cost to install the entire system, which included a new outside unit, furnace, and air handler as well as the installation. I would recommend anyone NOT purchase a Frigidaire central air system, or at the very least don’t purchase one with the defective variable speed option. There are many units and I saved $350 to purchase this unit over a Trane system. Don’t I feel like an idiot now.” Joseph goes on to say that the issues he experienced in the repair process were a result of the proprietary parts that were owned by Frigidaire along the customer service he experienced as a result of contacting them. He had to wait several days in hot temperatures to finally get the issues taken care of.
In another review from Tina of Hickory, NC, there were more negative remarks to be said. “I bought a new construction home with this unit installed. Everything about the ductwork is correct, airflow is fine. This unit constantly breaks – refrigerant leaks. The first year, capacitor went out 2x. The next year, another capacitor replacement, leaking. Year three stopped cooling – noises coming from the unit when turning off – sounds like a dying elephant. 2 AC companies have looked at it. The warranty runs out next year and this LEMON is STILL BREAKING. We are Sick to death that we got STUCk with this horrible electric HVAC unit. I’ve pressed the AC companies to contact the manufacturer and both are dragging it out. One tried to make 2200 dollars unnecessarily off of me prior to diagnosing the unit. I called the original installer. He is trying to address the issues. The Unit BREAKS Constantly. I will NEVER buy an (sic) Frigidaire product. I’m writing the Better Business Bureau.”
In yet another negative review, Patricia of Englewood, FL, writes, “Five years ago we bought a Frigidaire air conditioning unit. Twice in 5 years the coil had to be replaced. The coiiles they use must be defective because not only have we had to rplace ours but two of our neighbors had to do the same. The problem is besides the cost of replacement is the labor involved. It’s going to cost us over a $1000.00 for the repair. The cost of the original house call to diagnose the touble and then the four ours of labor to replace the coil. I’m not sure why any A/C company would sell these units due to the rate of which they breakdown. But then if you think about it the A/C companies make a load of money replacing the coils.”
If you keep searching on the Consumer Affairs site, you’ll find a few positive reviews like this one from Steve of Plainview, TX. “Would get another if we had a need for it – the main ac unit had to be replaced at a time when we were in need of change in housing so we got this till the new home was put in place. It worked well but would use it in a smaller room but we had to use it in a room much larger than the normal use, kept at a setting that kept us from getting too hot and did a great job. We were happy to have it and kept it for other uses in storage. We thank you for making it and keeping us cool at a time of need from overheating. When you go to buy a unit look at getting a unit that do more than you want so that in the future that unit will work in other places of your home or guest house, so that you do not have to get another unit.” It’s important to note that Steve is talking about a personal unit like a window or a portable A/C unit. You’ll see plenty reviews about these types, but not so much about the whole house units.
How it Compares
When you are thinking about replacing or upgrading an existing HVAC unit, you want to take the time to compare brands against each other. It makes sense because purchasing one of these is a massive investment.
Something Maytag and Frigidaire units have over others is regarding their micro-channel fin design. Several other brands use a similar design, but they tend to leak eventually. Some of the brands that have this issue are Coleman, Luxaire, and York. You’ll be happy to know that Maytag and Frigidaire are not supposed to have this issue.
Now, in reading reviews, you’ll find that there are a few units that have had issues in the past. With that said, it is difficult to say exactly where the problems lie. It could be that the people that installed the initial system and those that repaired issues after may have caused further problems. It’s also possible that it was simply a bad system.
At the same time, the average lifespan for an A/C unit is 15-20 years with some models being under 15 and others being over 20 years. With that said, the units that proclaimed to have issues
What We Think
We think the solid choices for Maytag and Frigidaire air conditioners are the units that incorporate the iQ Drive technology. It’s a fantastic concept that is perfect for warmer climates, and the efficiency is excellent.
Above and beyond that, these units also have an outstanding lifespan complete with a reputation for quality. Plus, they don’t typically leak, and that’s always a good thing when you’re dealing with an HVAC unit.
The only thing we would caution against would be dealing with systems that are over ten years old. There have been plenty of negative reviews indicating that there are problems that tend to show up after the systems get older, so be prepared for issues if something goes wrong.
Overall, do your homework and have an idea of what you’re looking for so you can go forward and select the best option for you.
(kw: Frigidaire air conditioner)