What’s the Best Brand of Air Conditioner?
Prelude to the 12 Best Air Conditioning Brands: Many people ask me all the time what is the best brand? I can only give you a rating from my experience in the field from the quality of product I’ve but want to emphasize one very important thing to everyone looking to purchase new HVAC equipment. What’s so much more important than brand is getting the right contractor for the job. You can by the best equipment ever made in the history of air conditioners but if it is installed improperly that air conditioner will not meet its designed performance levels and will likely fail. Find the right contractor to install the system for you no matter the brand.
12 Best Air Conditioning Brands
To make it into the list as a top air conditioner brand, your product must be able to provide reliable performance over time as well as help you save on energy bills as you either cool or warm your home. Using parameters such as warranties, energy efficiency, price range, and customer service, below are the twelve best AC Brands in North America;
Mitsubishi is one of the most reputable mini-split/ductless air conditioner manufacturer. The brand is responsible for one of the largest selections of indoor and outdoor mini-split systems. If you are building a new home or if your old home does not have ductwork then a ductless system is, therefore, worth considering.
Mitsubishi comes with a 12-year warranty on its compressor and 10 years on other parts which are averagely better than what is obtainable in the mini-split market. It comes with two model options; single zone and multi-zone systems which offers a wide range of indoor units.
We do not have Mitsubishi listed here in our reviews section simply because Mitsubishi (in the Noth American market) only makes mini-splits or ductless air conditioners. We don’t have a mini-split section yet but are possibly planning it in the future for High Performance HVAC Heating and Cooling Reviews.
Lennox has one of the highest seasonal energy efficiency ratios, going as high as 26 SEER, this is in comparison with other efficient models that have SEER ratings around 20. There are also less efficient models available from the Lennox brand, this is designed for users that don’t have a budget for a more efficient one. Nine of the eleven models sold by Lennox are Energy Star qualified. Generally, Lennox is reputed for making central AC with two-stage air compressors but there are a couple of models that have compressors which run at several speeds. Lennox offers more speed settings, giving users precise control over the cooling in their home.
Lennox’s central AC units are able to hold its own in different weather condition. They are built from galvanized steel and have a zinc-coated steel base. They also work very quietly, some models have been registered only 59 decibels, which is almost as loud as a regular conversation. Some units are however louder than average, registering at 76 decibels.
Lennox products come with a 10-year limited warranty which covers the compressor and most other components. However, these warranties aren’t as robust when you compare it with the lifetime warranties a few central air conditioning brands offer. Also, the replacement parts are a lot more expensive than those of other brands. The price tags for Lennox products and parts are on the high side from other brands so be aware of possible sticker shock when getting quotes. However, being a previous employee of a Lennox dealer, I can tell you they put a lot into training their techs and that is a plus for you.
If you are searching for reliable central air conditioner, then American Standard/Trane should certainly be your top priority. They are installed by factory-certified technicians and are built with quality parts. The downside to these brands is their high cost.
These brands build their own compressors which they call Climatuff and their own coils called “Spine Fin”. These coils are also among the best in the industry. They offer a 12-year compressor warranty and 10-year general parts warranty, which is a little better than the industry average.
There are nine available model options available from 14.5 to 22 SEER, single stage via variable capacity. The brand also offers a compact model, which works nicely where space is of concern.
Carrier and Bryant are both owned by United Technologies Corporation (UTC) and both have many things in common, such as cost. Carrier is the most recognized brand in air conditioning. They have some of the highest price tags in the industry. They come with excellent quality and stellar durability. Also, installers are expected to be certified, which means there is a high likelihood for proper installation.
Carrier and Bryant are built from the best parts possible, such as Copeland compressors which are used in most of its models. You may be paying a higher price, but you will certainly be getting a superior product.
Carrier and Bryant come with a 10-year parts warranty. It does not have an AC replacement warranties but users can buy an extended warranty. The brand comes with a variable-speed air conditioner, a technology which has been greatly improved making the model among the most reliable. The brand also offers some of the best selections of single-stage and two-stage central air conditioners
In a bid to enter the North America market, Daikin, which is one of the largest manufacturers of heating and cooling equipment in the world, acquired Goodman. The equipment is branded as Daikin. Daikin equally makes a complete line of ductless, mini split air conditioners and indoor units.
Just like Goodman, Daikin also employs the use of quality parts. It uses a Daikin inverter-type compressor which modulates at variable speed. This is the type of technology often used in mini split system air conditioners. Although there are no unit replacement warranties, Daikin offers a 12-year parts warranty which is much better than the industry average. The compressor warranty is 12 years, too.
Amana is one of the overall best central air conditioner brand, as it comes with the most efficient models plus the longest warranties. A good example is the Amana AVXC20 central air conditioner which has a lifetime warranty plus can achieve up to 24.5 SEER energy efficiency rating. Although when compared with Lennox’s top model, it doesn’t exactly measure up it still performs remarkably well when compared with a few other brands.
Although top-tier Amana units are more expensive upfront than other models, its lifetime warranty can definitely save you money over time. Take for instance, if the heat exchanger or compressor fails at any time the company will have it completely replaced for you, absolutely free. However, it is important to note that the lifetime warranty on the compressor only covers models with SEER ratings of 16 and above. Models with a SEER rating below 16 carry a 10-year warranty on the compressor and other parts of the Amana product.
Heil Central air conditioner tops the list of best AC brands as it performs excellently well in all categories when compared with other brands. Some of the categories if comparison includes components, durability, warranty, etc. They are quite similar to Carrier models but cost much less. The reason for their low cost is to attract budget-oriented consumers.
Heil products are built with universally available parts, which includes Copeland compressors. This means if there is any need for repairs, securing parts won’t be much of an issue.
The general parts warranty for Heil Air Conditioner is 10 years, and this qualifies it to have a very good rating. However, the Heil Unit replacement warranty, which is also known as the No Hassle Warranty provides for the replacement of the complete air conditioner in the event that the compressor or coil fails.
There are a couple of model options available, such as single-stage, two-stage, and five-stage models. Some of the features in these models range from basic in the less efficient models to advanced options in top models such as communicating technology and Wi-Fi connectivity.
Rheem Air Conditioner is another AC brand that is regarded as one of the best in the industry. The company is reputed for being on the cutting-edge side of things and they also produce air conditioners with quality warranties. If you are in the market for quality central air conditioner, then Rheem AC is one of the top brands that you should consider.
For many years Goodman was known for offering cheap equipment with amazing warranties. This reputation was largely responsible for the huge popularity of the brand. The challenge, however, was that the brand also had a reputation for mechanical failure.
In order to get into the North American market, Daikin in 2012, bought Goodman and since then the quality of its offering has improved. Warranties, however, have not been as good as they were once. Generally, Goodman remains one of the best and most affordable air conditioner brands in the market.
Just like Heil, Goodman also uses universally available parts such as Copeland compressors. Goodman makes proprietary coils which are averagely good but not exactly great. The current warranty for Goodman is still good. The compressors in many of its models have a lifetime warranty. There is also the option to have the entire AC unit replaced in the event that the compressor fails in the first ten years of use of the product.
Goodman comes with Single-stage and Two-stage models which offer customers features such as new ComfortBridge communicating technology which would be installed in the split system’s furnace.
Although Maytag is often overlooked, it delivers some of the most appealing blends of benefits. It mainly uses high-quality universal components which can be easily accessed when repairs are needed. Its warranty is 12 years on all parts. In cases where the compressor fails, the company replaces the entire AC. There are seven model options available, enough to cover from single-stage 14 SEER models to 20 SEER air conditioners with varying capacity inverter cooling.
The challenges that came with York and other Johnson Control brand was that of quality and reliability. The problem came as a result of the micro-channel coil which was prone to leaking. However, upgrades from recent years have caused leaks to reduce and durability to increase.
York generally uses universally available parts except for their coils. The incident of leaking coils was the prime reason many people avoided the brand in the past. It is not entirely certain if the upgrades are effective, this would take a few years to confirm, but all evidence point to the fact that the brand has fixed its leaking issues.
York’s warranty, called Affinity line, offers users a lifetime compressor warranty and 10 years on other parts. York offers ACs in model options between 13 SEER to 20 SEER efficiency.
Ruud Air Conditioning offers consumers a full lineup of cooling and heating products. It is one of the most reliable brands currently available in the market. There are a lot of customer reviews and testing report that describe Ruud AC units as long-lasting. Ruud Air Conditioning is built from universally available parts which are available throughout the U.S. This makes their warranties and replacement quite time efficient.
Characteristics of the Best Air Conditioner Brand and Products
1. Factory Training for dealer installation and service technicians
It is of utmost importance that you get the best qualified technicians that are professionally trained at what they are doing when installing your new equipment. Also, if you need service, you will want someone who is familiar and experienced with the equipment and the brand.
2. Quality component and variable options
One of the key characteristics of the best AC brand is its availability in a range of options, such as basic, better, and best. This fact is true in virtually all products, from automobiles to furniture. This helps to give consumers a range of options for them to choose from with respect to their budget and other preferences.
According to the independent testing group; Consumer Reports, the average central air conditioner repair went for more than $200 per event. A good air conditioner will break down less in its 14-20 years lifespan. This would help save on repair cost.
4. Good warranty
A warranty is the best way you can know what the manufacturer thinks of its equipment. Good AC brands offer customers at least 10 years in general parts warranties. Some even go further to offer lifetime warranties or other extra advantages which help put them among the best by way of warranties in the industry.
Value refers to the pleasure or satisfaction you can derive from the use of a product with regards to its price. Carrier and Heli ACs are very identical, offering close to the same pleasure or product satisfaction. But Carrier ACs are much more expensive than Heli, therefore Heli offers better value.
6. Proper installation
One of the major reasons for premature failure of components is improper installation. This is why Carrier and Bryant only permit certified installers to install their product. The quality of installation is almost as important as the brand being installed.
Top Rated Central Air Conditioner Brands Conclusion
Whether you are replacing an old AC unit or having the very first installed in your home, getting one of the best AC brands is highly important. But it is not all that matters. The best Carrier or Heli will not perform any better than a bargain no-name brand if the product is not installed properly by a qualified HVAC contractor who has a good understanding of the needs of your home and how the AC unit and its SEER rating can benefit your home. It is important that you secure the services of an installation professional with expert knowledge and high ratings within the field. This will ensure that your air conditioner performs at optimal efficiency.
12 Best Air Conditioning Brands