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Best Central Air Conditioner Brands

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Buying a New Air Conditioner

There are a few main things that homeowners will want to take into consideration when deciding which AC unit or brand is best for them. It really depends what you value the most in a replacement HVAC system. The major factors for most homeowner will be cost, 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.)

best ac unit brands & ratings

Things to Consider:

Quality of AC Unit: Every central air conditioner has a different value depending on how much you are wanting to pay. Most brands offer a quality tier air conditioner and a cheaper budget friendly option for your HVAC replacement needs. Each brand has a different advantage and you will learn about them below. You may also want to look into the best furnace brands if you are needing to replace both your AC unit and your furnace all at once.

Lifespan of Air Conditioners: If you do any research on Consumer Reports, it’s easy to realize that a standard HVAC repair can become very costly. This means you will want to pick an air conditioner that has ratings and reviews that bode well for their life expectancy. The average lifespan of a central air conditioner is 12 to 15 years if it is properly installed and maintained. Top brands will last longer and have less repair issues overtime.

HVAC Warranties: The best central AC brands on average have a general parts warranty up to 10+ years. The best brands will be able to offer warranties that are hard to find anywhere else.

Top 10 Air Conditioner Brands

We break down each of the 10 best central air conditioning brands by comparing the costs of a 14 SEER (standard efficiency) AC unit and then discussing some of the benefits of each HVAC brand. Here’s a quick roundup of some of the best air conditioner brands on the market today:

1. American Standard Air Conditioners

AS best brands

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American Standard air conditioners are one of the most reliable central air conditioning brands in the business. The average cost to install a 14 SEER American Standard AC unit would be around $2,600 to $3,200. The company gets far fewer repair calls for its’ AC systems than most of the other AC units in the business. You can feel good about paying a premium for this AC unit, because you’ll be getting a whole lot of value with the purchase.

American Standard AC Unit


2. Carrier Air Conditioners

carrier best air conditioner brands

carrier brand ratings

There’s a reason that many people refer to Carrier AC units as a top-of-the-line air conditioner brand. Their HVAC systems are built with strict quality standards in mind.  Installation of a 14 SEER Carrier Comfort Series air conditioner would cost around $4,783 to install. Because this brand offers more options than most manufacturers, you’re sure to find the exact central air unit you need for your home’s heating and cooling needs. Carrier offers up to a 21 SEER rating, which is the highest on the market. Carrier repairs are usually fairly affordable in comparison to the rest of the HVAC industry. Carrier is also known for having highly qualified installers who are trained specifically in how to install a Carrier air conditioner. The company also offers heat pumps, gas furnaces, and other HVAC system types.

carrier central Air conditioner

Local Air Conditioning Installers

Find trusted HVAC installers in your area offering the best HVAC brands around. Use the zip box below to find AC installation contractors. Review contractor’s profiles, reviews and ratings, and find the most reliable heating and cooling experts in your area. (Be aware some contractors may serve multiple states and cities and could have a listed physical address in their profile different from your current location. No worries, we will always connect you with pros serving your exact location.)

3. Goodman Central Air Conditioners


Screen Shot 2018-07-27 at 1.12.08 PMGoodman air conditioners are another of the top HVAC AC units on this list that isn’t quite as revered as Trane or Carrier. They are known for being cheaper in price range, but still being a good brand to rely on. If you wanted to install a Goodman GSX 14 SEER AC unit you could expect to pay around $3,475 in total installation costs. The company’s products have a solid build and quality, along with warranty programs you can count on. Best of all, they’re a real value overall for one of the best ac units from this list.

Let Modernize help you find the best Goodman HVAC installers in your area:

Goodman central AC unit

4. Trane HVAC Systems

trane air conditioners

trane ac unit ratings

Trane central air conditioners are often called the “Cadillac of AC Units” and that’s because it’s one of the most reliable brands in the business. Trane AC is known for upholding warranties and offers a standard 10-year warranty that covers both parts and labor. A Trane XR14 that has a 14 SEER rating in energy efficiency would cost anywhere from $4,800 to $6,800 to install. Trane products are often pricier than other HVAC brands, but as the old saying goes, “You get what you pay for.” Trane is considered a premium brand that offers outstanding air conditioners, heat pumps, and gas furnaces. See the link for prices on those units.

trane hvac air conditioners

5. Rheem Air Conditioners

rheem best air conditioners

rheem ac units ratings

Rheem AC units are regarded as one of the best HVAC brands in the industry. The company is known for being on the cutting edge side of things, and they produce highly efficient air conditioners with quality warranties. A replacement Rheem air conditioner such as the Rheem Classic RA14 model would cost around $3,450 in total installation. Rheem HVAC units are one of the top brands to consider when trying to find the best central air conditioner. See the link above for prices on Rheem furnaces, heat pumps, and packaged HVAC units.

rheem central air systems

6. Lennox HVAC Systems

Lennox air conditioners

lennox HVAC brand ratings

Out of all the top brands on this list, Lennox air conditioners are the ones known most for efficiency. You can pick up models with remarkably high SEER levels like 23.5. The company can offer equipment with efficiency levels up above 98%. A 14 to 16 SEER rating Lennox air conditioner such as the Lennox 14ACX series model would cost around $3,200 to replace or install in your home.

Let Modernize help you find the most reliable Lennox HVAC installers in your area:

lennox ac units

7. York AC Units

york hvac system

york best ac unit

York HVAC systems are considered one of the best brands particularly because they are known for their value pricing. The average cost to install a YORK air conditioner with a 16 SEER rating would cost around $3200 to install. The more efficient models such as the York YXV which boasts a 20 SEER would price out at around $4,420 to install. York AC units are also known for being extremely quiet and are a great option when noise is a real concern.

centrail air conditioning york

8. Ruud HVAC Systems

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Ruud air conditioners are a reliable HVAC system that offers a full lineup of heating and cooling products. The Ruud Achiever RA16 which has a 16 SEER energy efficiency would cost anywhere between $3,500 to $3,695 to install. There’s plenty of testing and customer reviews that credit Ruud AC units as being long-lasting. They also have available parts throughout the U.S. so their warranties & replacements are very time efficient. The warranties themselves aren’t always as comprehensive as some of the more expensive brands on the list. However you will pay far less in initial installation costs or outright purchase price of a new AC unit with Ruud.

ruud air conditioner unit


9. Amana HVAC Systems

amana air conditioners

amana central air conditioner brand

Amana air conditioners are a solid mid-range HVAC unit offering for the homeowner looking for products in the 13 to 18 SEER range. Amana is known for offering one of the best HVAC warranties in the business, and compressors come with a Limited Lifetime Replacement warranty that’s good for the expected operating life of the AC unit. An Amana AC unit will cost around $4,100 to install if you were wanting a 14 SEER air conditioner installed by them such as the Amana ASX14 model. Amana HVAC also offers replacement furnaces and heat pumps.

Let Modernize help you find the most reliable Amana HVAC installers in your area:

amana hvac unit

10. HEIL Air Conditioners


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Heil HVAC is another one of the best air conditioner brands that doesn’t get as much love as they should. This AC brand’s tech allows different heating and cooling components to send information and synchronize performance, becoming more energy efficient and reliable overall. A HEIL air conditioner installation would cost around $4,270 for their 14 SEER model from their Quiet Comfort series. Heil AC products can achieve up to a 97% efficiency rating and SEER figures of 19. They also come with comprehensive 10 year warranties.

Let Modernize help you find the most reliable HEIL air conditioner installers in your area:

HEIL AC central air


Bryant Air Conditionersbryant hvac

Bryant air conditioning brand is another great brand that needs to be considered when discussing options for HVAC replacement. Bryant is a reliable brand that offers AC units, heat pumps, and gas furnaces. It is reasonably priced and is a sister company to some of the other top brands on our list. Bryant air conditioners are often made with the same quality parts as a Carrier brand HVAC system. If you were wanting to install a mid tier AC replacement with a 14 SEER Bryant Preferred 124ANS air conditioner, it would cost around $2,624 in installation costs.

bryant air conditioner

Brand Cost Comparison

We’ve compiled a list of the average installation costs of some of the top air conditioner brands around. These costs will change depending on the SEER rating you choose for your unit as well as the TONNAGE you will need to handle the BTU for your home’s layout and size. See cost chart below:

Air Conditioner Brands:Average Unit Cost:SEER Rating:
American Standard$3,65616.8

Find HVAC Contractors Near Me

Local Installers

Getting one of the best air conditioner brands is important whether you’re replacing an old HVAC system, or having the first AC unit system put in your brand new home, but it’s not everything. The best Trane, Ruud, or American Standard HVAC system won’t perform any better than a no-name bargain air conditioner system if it’s not installed properly by a quality HVAC contractor who understands the needs of your home & how the central air conditioners size & SEER rating will benefit your home. It’s important to find an HVAC installation professional with high ratings and expert knowledge within the field so that your top brand air conditioning unit can perform at optimal efficiency.

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