Best Central Air Conditioner Brands For The Money

Discover which central AC unit is the best value for your dollar. We’ll also help you find a great contractor to get it installed. In fact, whether you need an HVAC expert or a local handyman, we’ve got you covered.

Find out which central air conditioner brands are the best investment.

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What Are the Best Central AC Brands for a House?

You might wonder how the top five air conditioners stack up. The following sections offer facts about each. They’ll help you make a decision on which is best for your needs and budget.

These manufacturers make the top AC brands. From Trane to Bryant, you’ll learn about them all.

A residential central air conditioning and heating unit sitting outside a home.

The best AC brands have different features that can meet your needs, depending on what’s important to you. For example, energy efficiency may serve as a top priority. Alternatively, you may own a large home and want to find the right size options.

First, however, there are a few things you should know about air conditioning.

Central AC vs Split Air Conditioning?

Central air conditioning is part of your home’s HVAC system. It distributes cool air through your home using ducts.

You may have an existing duct system. If so, you’re an ideal candidate for an HVAC system upgrade. In some cases, you can even keep the same ductwork.

AC Installation

Still, you may not have ductwork in your home. In that case, you may consider a split system to reduce the cost of installation.

split system has two main components. One component goes inside your house, and the other goes outside.

The outside unit is the air conditioner, condenser, and compressor. The inside unit includes an electric or gas furnace for heat. The air comes out through a vent mounted on your wall.

What Is the Difference between Floor AC and Central AC?

A floor-mounted air conditioner is a type of mini-split system. It’s ideal if you don’t have the space for a wall-mounted split system.

The indoor component of the split system sits on the floor. Meanwhile, contractors can install the outside unit with minimal site preparation and no ductwork.

Best AC Units

A floor-mounted air conditioner also works well if your home has tilted walls. For example, you may want to make more use of your attic.

Alternatively, you may have a modern home with a slanted glass wall. In these cases, you may consider a floor AC unit.

Does a 2 Story Home Need 2 AC Units?

In exceptionally hot areas, an AC unit for each floor is a good idea. With two AC units, it’s easier to balance the temperature of your home.

Often, one part of your home is warmer and harder to cool. Typically, the upstairs of your home will get warm faster because warm air rises.

With two air conditioning units, it’s easier to balance the temperature in your home. You can choose different temperatures. In turn, you can enjoy better efficiency by running two units.

Air Conditioner Costs

$2,800 is a reasonable price for a new air conditioner. However, some installations can cost $7,000 or more. Most homeowners pay between $2,600 and $4,500 for a new central air system.

For example, you might pay around $4,500 for a Rheem air conditioner with a 15 SEER rating for use in a hot climate. In this case, the price is fair because you most likely need a 4-ton unit for an average-sized home.

These costs are examples. You always want to get a written estimate from several HVAC contractors before weighing your options.

The following entries will give you a better idea of air conditioner costs by brand.

Goodman Air Conditioner Cost?

Goodman LOGO

Goodman offers a wide range of air conditioning units. The following are a few:

• Goodman GSX13
• Goodman GSX14
• Goodman GSXC16
• Goodman GSXC18

A Goodman air conditioner might cost anywhere from $1,580 to $4,120.

For years, Goodman had a reputation for cheap equipment. However, the company did provide an excellent warranty. Still, their units failed often.

However, the quality of Goodman air conditioners has improved in recent years. At the same time, the manufacture’s warranty isn’t as good as it was in the past.


Trane Air Conditioner Cost

Trane LOGO

Trane also manufactures a range of air conditioning units that might meet every need. A few of the company’s models are:

• Trane S8B1
• Trane XV80
• Trane S9V2
• Trane S9V2-VS

You may pay anywhere from $1,800 to $6,500 for a Trane air conditioner.

Trane air conditioners are known for reliability. If you want a unit with reliable parts, this is your brand. The manufacture also only allows certified technicians to install its products.

Trane air conditioners are a bit on the pricey side. Also, their warranties are somewhat lacking.

Furthermore, Trane air conditioners use several proprietary parts. As a result, you might find that repairs cost more over time.

Rheem Air Conditioner Cost

With a wide range of high-quality air conditioning units, Rheem can help you cool your home and keep it running efficiently. A few of Rheem’s models are:

• RA13
• Class RA16
• Classic Plus RA17
• Prestige RA20

You could pay anywhere from $4,515 to $9,250 for a Rheem air conditioner.

Rheem is a well-known air conditioner brand. The manufacturer also produces Ruud air conditioners.

There’ve been reports that Rheem units are slightly less reliable compared to other air conditioning brands. However, studies show that the manufacturer’s equipment is only 2% to 4% less reliable than other equipment. This difference is negligible and shouldn’t affect your opinion of the brand.

Furthermore, the manufacturer uses many of the same components as other quality air conditioning units, such as Copeland compressors. Also, the company has improved its coil design, which is often a weakness among other manufacturers.


Carrier Air Conditioner Cost

Carrier Logo

With a Carrier air conditioner, you can stay cool and comfortable all year round. A few of Carrier’s models include:

• Comfort 13 24ABB3
• Performance 13 24ACB3
• Performance 17 24ACB7
• Infinity 21 24ANB1

A Carrier air conditioning unit may cost anywhere between $2,350 and $10,700.

Carrier is another well-recognized air conditioning manufacturer. The company also makes Bryant air conditioners.

Carrier is another one of the more expensive air conditioning units on the market. Nevertheless, they produce excellent products. The company’s air conditioners are highly durable and reliable.


Daikin Air Conditioner Cost

Daikin Logo

Daikin offers several effective AC systems for your home. Some of Daikin’s models are:

• DX13SN
• DX14SA
• DX16TV
• DX20VC

A Daikin your conditioner could cost anywhere from $1,165 to $4,000.

Daikin is one of the largest manufacturers of HVAC equipment in the world. The company purchased Goodman to produce air conditioning units in the United States. Daikin and Goodman air conditioners are identical, with the exception of the Daikin DX20VC model.

Daikin also produces a full line of mini-split and indoor air conditioners. More importantly, the company has a reputation for using quality parts.


Bryant Air Conditioner Cost

Bryant Logo

Bryant offers several air conditioning solutions that might meet your needs. A few of the company’s models are:

• Legacy 113A
• Preferred 123A
• Evolution 186B
• Evolution 2-Stage 180B

A Bryant air conditioner might cost anywhere from $4,195 to $10,160.

Bryant is owned by Carrier. However, Carrier air conditioners cost 5% to 10% more than Bryant units.

You can’t get price quotes for Bryant and Carrier from the same contractor. Accordingly, the quality of the contractor should serve as your determining factor if you’re torn between the two brands.

In some cases, you might find that it’s worth paying 10% extra in the long run if the installer has a better reputation.


Choosing the Best Air Conditioning for Your Home

There are a few things that you’ll want to consider if you’re trying to choose the best air conditioner for your home. Ultimately, your decision will depend on what you value the most.

You’ll also need to consider installation costs. If the contractor can use your existing ductwork, labor could cost between $400 and $800. If you need new ducts, however, labor alone could cost $1,300 or more.

Repairing Home Heating System Cost

You’ll also want to consider the long-term cost of ownership. For example, you may want to think about the suggested lifespan of the unit.

It’s also important to review the manufacturer’s warranties. In addition, you’ll need to assess the energy efficiency and the size of the unit you’ll need.

The following points might help you to make a more informed decision.

AC Quality

Not all manufacturers produce air conditioners of the same caliber. For instance, Goodman is a budget air conditioner that might last from 12 to 16 years. Meanwhile, Rheem is a standard air conditioner that could last from 15 to 18 years.

Carrier and Bryant, however, are top HVAC brands. An air conditioning unit made by one of these manufacturers might last 18 to 25 years or longer.


Air Conditioner Performance

Air conditioners typically fall into one of three categories when it comes to performance. Basic single-stage air conditioners usually have a SEER rating between 13 and 15. Meanwhile, a mid-range unit might have a SEER rating of 16 to 19.

The best units available are variable-capacity central air conditioners. The compressors in these units only modulate in small degrees between 25% and 100%. These quiet and efficient units are typically made by premium manufacturers such as Carrier.

AC Efficiency

The SEER rating system also helps to measure air conditioner efficiency. The SEER rating is the ratio of cooling output over a typical season. It’s divided by the energy used in watt-hours.

SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. You may also hear called the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating.

In some instances, a higher SEER rating will provide greater efficiency. At a minimum, you’ll want an air conditioning unit with a SEER rating of 13. However, some air-conditioners have SEER ratings as high as 22.

Central Air Conditioner Size

Finally, you’ll want to consider the size of an air conditioning unit. For a rough estimate, you’d multiply the lengths times the widths of your rooms.

Now, you’ll multiply that number times 25 BTU. This estimate will provide you with the cooling power you need for any range of weather conditions.

Imagine that you’re estimating the cooling needs for a 12’ x 15’ room. The room is 180 square feet.

You’ll multiply 180 x 25 BTU. This means that you’ll need at least 4500 BTU to cool the room.

Which Air Conditioner Brands Are the Best?

It’s important to know how to choose the right air conditioner. Whether you need an air conditioner for your home or office, it should cool you down in any weather. You’ll want one with a proven track record of efficiency and reliability.

Trane, Rheem, Goodman, Carrier, Daikin, and Bryant are some of the best air conditioners on the market. They’re engineered to keep up with today’s power demands. At the same time, they provide great performance at every price point.

Still, you’ll need to do more research by reaching out to local contractors. Fortunately, 5Estimates makes getting information about your choices easy by giving you unbiased reviews of top models. We also make it easy for you to get estimates fast.

5Estimates is a comparison website that helps you find the best estimates for any type of project. Whether it’s home renovation, construction, or landscaping, we have an estimator for every need.

With our easy-to-use interface and comprehensive list of contractors in your area, finding the right contractor has never been easier.


Find the Things You Need Fast

Now you know more about which central air conditioner brands are the best investment. What you need now is a top local installer.

Want to find the best estimate for these HVAC brands for your project? You’re in the right place!

5Estimates makes it easy to compare prices on projects with- just a few clicks. You can filter by category and location. More importantly, you’ll get exactly what you want at the price you deserve.

If you don’t like any of our estimates, simply request more quotes from other contractors in your area until you find the right one. It’s free and only takes seconds—why go anywhere else?

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