Choosing the best central air conditioner brand is a big decision. It’s a major investment that can add years of comfort and increase your home’s value.
There are a few main things that homeowners will want to take into consideration when deciding which of the best AC units they should install in their homes. Longevity in the niche, superior quality, and versatility are the hallmarks of the best air conditioner brands. But before looking at the best air conditioner brands, you need to understand that Air Conditioners come in different sizes. Know ahead of time what size your home needs. if you buy a system that is too small not even the best brand on the market will satisfy you.
For most homeowners, the major factor for choosing the best brands will be the total cost to install, lifespan of the AC unit, warranties offered, energy efficiency (SEER ratings), and size of the unit you need for your home’s square footage (TONS) to efficiently cool your home.
In this guide of the best central air conditioner brands of 2020, we will break down what to consider when comparing central air conditioner systems to make the right choice.
1. American Standard Heating & Cooling
American Standard makes 7 central air conditioners with efficiency from 14.75 to 22 SEER.. It is recognized by HVAC technicians as one of the top 5 brands for quality, durability and dependability. They are tailored to your unique home environment and comfort needs. These systems work smarter, not harder, using just the right amount of energy to ensure your family’s comfort. Their AccuComfort™ technology offers variable speed operation that allows the system to consistently adjust to run at a more efficient speed. Couple this feature with up to a 22.00 SEER rating, American Standard offers one of the most efficient multi-stage cooling units on the market.
Cons – Problems with American Standard ACs
What’s the downside to American Standard ACs?
They’re expensive. Quality costs. If you’re looking for a cheaper AC without sacrificing too much quality, look at Goodman.
Sound levels: Compared to other leading brands like York, Bryant and Rheem, American Standard air conditioners are average to slightly louder than most. We don’t recommend making a buying decision based on sound, but it’s worth knowing.
2. Amana Heating & Air Conditioning
The Amana brand has long been an American legacy and one of the most famous names in air conditioning.In fact, they value American Pride so much that all Amana brand heating and cooling systems are designed, engineered, and assembled in the U.S.A. It is also a subsidiary of Goodman. The brand offers a broad range of SEER ratings that range from 13 to 18. The company seeks to quiet its systems with insulation. Another plus is the compatibility with ComfortNet home monitoring devices.
Cons – Problems with American Standard ACs
While Amana tends to be a winner for its pricing too, it has some drawbacks that are important to know before making a purchase decision.
Some Amana models are not Wi-Fi enabled. This feature has been available in certain models only since Amana was purchased by Goodman. Be careful of the model you choose.
The replacement parts come from Daikin and not Amana itself. So, this is another aspect that you need to watch out for after purchasing these products.
Many customers find that installing Amana central ACs can be a difficult task. For this, we recommend that you use the services of a professional HVAC technician to avoid mishaps during installation. However, that’s good advice for any central AC unit; they are not generally DIY jobs.
3. Bryant Heating and Air Conditioning
This firm offers the flexibility of rooftop and standard central air conditioner systems. Models typically carry the Evolution and Legacy names. Customers like the AeroQuiet system, which reduces some models’ operational noises to just about 68 decibels. Another selling point is the high-tech thermostat that lets you program your heating and cooling needs for several days in advance. Add humidity control, and you can be comfortable without having to make daily adjustments
Cons – Problems with Bryant ACs
The 13 and 14 SEER models are inefficient. If you live in a cool climate, they are a good choice. You’ll pay high cooling costs in warm-to-hot climates.
The 116B 16 SEER model is an affordable single-stage AC, but it is loud. If your AC is installed near a deck or patio that’s often used while the air conditioning is running, you’ll appreciate a quieter AC.
Legacy Series warranties – 5 years or 10? Bryant’s site shows 10-year warranties on the Legacy Series. But we’ve heard from contractors that they are 5-year warranties. We haven’t heard back from Bryant, but will update this when we do. For now, ask about the warranty if you’re considering a Bryant Legacy Series AC.
Carrier is the most recognized name in air conditioning and one of the largest manufacturers of residential and commercial HVAC equipment. The air conditioner models that the company features at this time include Infinity, Performance, and Comfort. Performance models are excellent options for homeowners who favor a deck installation. Models run at 67 decibels and offer an 22 SEER rating. For technophiles, the Infinity series offers plenty of gadgetry to play with for peak system performance and comfort.
Cons – Problems with Carrier ACs
Carrier does not offer great warranties despite being rated for durability. They offer 5 years warranty on most comfort models. Carrier is expensive, and can add thousands to your new installation price.
5. Goodman Manufacturing
Goodman makes 5 central air conditioners with efficiency from 14 to 19 SEER. It is one of the smallest AC lineups of any top brand. Goodman AC price is $2,765 to $6,825 installed based on model, size and installation cost factors. Goodman HVAC equipment has gone through quite a change in the last decade. Once known as cheap both in quality and price, the brand has managed to keep its prices lower than average but significantly improve quality.
Goodman makes an impressive range of Clean Comfort branded air purifying and humidity control accessories. They include media filter, True HEPA filter, an electronic air cleaner and a UV light.
Clean Comfort also has humidifiers and a dehumidifier that can be included in your Goodman HVAC system (or any system). There is a heat recovery ventilator, HRV, for cold climates and an energy recovery ventilator, ERV, for other climates. Clean Comfort products are available for Amana systems too.
Cons – Problems with Goodman ACs
As we’ve said, quality is decent, at least average. The issues with Goodman are more about options and installation.
Options – There are no variable speed models and just one high-performance unit, the GSXC18. Even the GSXC16 is a slight step down both in efficiency and equipment. The 16 SEER unit has a PSC condenser fan which is a little louder and uses more energy than the ECM motor in the 18 SEER model.
Lennox air conditioners are the most efficient available at all levels of quality – basic, better and best. Every AC is certified Energy Star for efficiency.
It makes the most efficient split system available right now, the Signature Series Lennox XC25 with a 26 SEER rating.
It also makes the most efficient two-stage split system air conditioner, the Elite Series Lennox XC20 with a 20 SEER rating, and the most efficient single-stage AC, the 18.5 SEER Lennox SL18XC1. It is fair to say that you get what you pay for with this manufacturer. Less expensive systems are louder than their more expensive counterparts.
Cons – Problems with Lennox ACs
Some pro HVAC repair technicians claim that Lennox parts tend to wear out faster. That means less reliability and higher cost over the lifetime of the air conditioner.
Parts Cost and Availability
Lennox repair parts such as compressors and motors cost more than parts for most other brands.
Because they are not universal, they are also hard to get much of the time. Repairs that should be same-day/next-day repairs can drag out for a week or more.
7. Mitsubishi Electric
Mitsubishi is famous for its electronics. Few realize that the company has been selling HVAC products in the United States since the 1980s. Environmental concerns are a big deal for this company. If you want a 30.5 SEER system, this is the business that makes it. Energy Star certifications are par for the course.
Cons – Problems with Mitsubishi ACs
Mitsubishi is not cheap. Efficiency comes at the cost of installing a ductless system. For the granny flat above the garage, this is not a big deal. For a five-bedroom house, it will set you back some money.
Rheem makes 6 central air conditioners with efficiency from 15.5 to 20.5 SEER. It’s one of the first brands to stop making inefficient 13 and 14 SEER models. Active communication between the system and the user is a significant aspect of enjoying all the functions and savings the product provides.
Cons – Problems with Rheem ACs
Some homeowners have complained that the units are louder than they anticipated. Typically, this happens with systems that do not feature the composite base.
Trane air conditioners are a line that contains high SEER rating –Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. This helps unit owners to determine how efficient their units are in terms of energy and how the units help to save money. As a rule, the widely accepted Seasonal Energy Efficient Ratio rating is thirteen, but the SEER rating of most Trane units range from fourteen to about twenty five.
Trane line of air conditioners comes with lasting warranties which is a peculiar reason why Trane air conditioners are a common choice among homeowners and businesses. The part warranties underneath their belts together with sturdy materials from which they are being made from make these units become incredibly low when it comes to maintenance.
Trane air conditioning units are durable and much reliable. They are a great appliance for any homeowner or business owner that opt for convenience and comfort while saving money.
They are available in a range of styles and sizes.
They are suitable for all climates around the world.
Trane units are very effective and highly efficient as they make cooling and heating solutions available for smaller and bigger indoor spaces. If the rooms in your house or spaces in your workplace are too hot for you to deal with, Trane air conditioners can easily cool them off.
Cons – Problems with Trane ACs
- Unlike the traditional air conditioning units, Trane air conditioners are a bit expensive and they are not suitable for people on tight budgets.
- Installation of Train air conditioning units in big apartment or commercial buildings requires more than the service of one professional, hence costing more money per installation.
- Though their replacement parts are not that scarce unlike some air conditioning lines, but the parts are not easily replaced when damaged.
Affinity and York are this manufacturer’s current model series. It is fair to say that Affinity is the flagship model. Parts are easy to get, and the ten-year compressor and parts warranties make these systems good buys. Some models are suitable for stacking, which is another plus for the brand.
Cons – Problems with York ACs
Operating these models is easy to do. There are fewer of the technological options that endear the high-tech models to homeowners who like to pre-program days or weeks of cooling.
Remember that a high-tech unit is only suitable for a buyer who wants to deal with the technology on a daily basis. Some people are more comfortable with a very basic setup that does not call for programming.
Moreover, sizes of the compressors and running noises matter when you have limited installation options.
Rather than buying a system because it is on the top ten list, talk to your trusted HVAC installer to find out what type of machine would work best for you.
Leonard Splaine & Co would be happy to provide you with an honest estimate on your HVAC installation. Call us on 703-494-2855. You can also visit our contact page and complete the contact form.