Amana Versus Carrier Air ConditionersAmana Versus Carrier Air Conditioners - Amana and Carrier both make good air conditioners and are popular brands. For this Buyers Advice comparison, we selected like models from both brands and do a side by side comparison and then offer a basic breakdown of all the features described in the comparison table matrix. This allows a potential buyer to compare the models in a side by side comparison matrix in the event they are considering a purchase of both brands.

Amana Versus Carrier Air Conditioners

It is not uncommon for air conditioner manufacturers to list information in their sales brochures that the average person may not understand. For this reason, we offer a detail section under the comparison matrix to explain this information in a way you can understand. Both brands are known for producing HVAC equipment including air conditioners. With Carrier being the more known brand, partially because of their history but also because they have more dealerships and seemingly more advertising than Amana. There are distinct differences in the brands and how they operate and the basic way they have set up their dealer network.

Amana and Carrier Air Conditioner Opinion Graphs

  • Amana Warranties 96%
  • Amana Quality 95%
  • Consumer Opinion based on Field Experience 85%
  • Amana Efficiency Compared to Other Brands 99%
  • Overall Amana Opinion from a Technical Perspective 95%
  • Carrier Warranties as Compared to Other Brands 90%
  • Carrier Quality as Compared to Other Brands 95%
  • Consumer Opinion based on Field Experience 90%
  • Carrier Efficiency Compared to Other Brands 93%
  • Overall Carrier Opinion from a Technical Perspective 85%

Carrier has a dealer network all over the USA and Canada (actually worldwide) and is owned by United Technologies. Amana, the name is owned by some obscure corporation but the brand name is licensed to Goodman who manufactures and distributes the HVAC products. So it is likely if you purchase an Amana that you are purchasing it from a Goodman dealer in some capacity.

Technical/Brand Opinion | Amana Versus Carrier Air Conditioners

My personal opinion between the two (since I have tons of experience in the field and more) is that both a good. Carrier would be the more expensive product to purchase with Amana being offered at a lower price. The better equipment in this article, as you will see below, is that the Carrier air conditioner takes the edge over the Amana air conditioner even though they are similar models comparisons as well as similar efficiency ratings.

As far as choosing between brands if you are on a budget the lower priced system will likely be the Amana. If you are not on a budget the system with better technology will be the Carrier. However, the bottom line advice on any type of HVAC replacement is contractor over the brand. Quality installation is always the preference.

Before we get into the comparison matrix between the two brands you can see individual Carrier air conditioner reviews and Amana air conditioner reviews in our reviews section of the website. You can simply navigate to either the air conditioner review category or the HVAC Reviews brand page we recently created (and are still working to complete).

Amana Versus Carrier Air Conditioners 
INFINITY® 19VS CENTRAL AIR CONDITIONERASXC18 - Air Conditioners
ThermostatInfinity® Touch controlComfortNet™ Communications System compatible
Compressor5-stage operation 25% to 100% Inverter Drive2-Stage Copeland Scroll
RefrigerantR-410AR-410A
ECM Variable Speed BlowerYesYes
ECM Variable Speed Condenser Fan MotorInvertor Variable Speed Condenser Fan Motor2-Speed ECM Variable Speed Condenser Fan Motor
CabinetLouvered Coil GuardsLouvered Panels
Highest Efficiency Ratings*Up to 19 SEERUp to 19 SEER
DecibelsSound: as low as 56 decibels when matched like indoor systemNo decibel level listed
DiagnosticsInfinity level advanced diagnostic intelligenceCopeland ®  CoreSense Diagnostics
Compressor Staging5-Speeds2-Stage Scroll
High and Low Refrigeration Pressure SwitchesYesYes
Refrigeration System Filter DrierYesYes
AHRI CertifiedYesYes
EnergyStar RatedAll sizes meet ENERGY STAR® qualifications when matched with indoor unitAll sizes meet ENERGY STAR® qualifications when matched with indoor unit
Warranty10 Year Limited Parts Conditions ApplyLifetime Unit Replacement Limited Warranty on Select Models/Conditions apply
Extended Parts & Labor Warranty AvailableOptional labor warranty availableNot specified. Check with Dealer

Thermostat | Amana Versus Carrier Air Conditioners

communicating thermostat

A communicating thermostat showing the history of problems.

Taking this from the top and beginning with the listed thermostats. Manufacturers have increased the technology they throw into their systems. One of the features manufacturers began adding to their equipment was communicating thermostats. Some of the features are good and much better than features used in conventional systems but as a consumer here are the options you need to consider when buying a system with a proprietary thermostat. Remember, you always have the option to have a conventional thermostat installed over the communicating thermostat. As a negotiating point to sell the contract, some contractors will offer premium WiFi thermostats as a part of the deal.

Communicating thermostats offer added control and a way to pull in diagnostic codes from the equipment when there are problems. However, they use a different type of wire than a conventional thermostat. This means if you want to change your thermostat you need to pull new wire. If you are getting this feature then I would make sure the contractor knows to keep the old conventional thermostat wire in the wall. This way you can change the thermostat back to a conventional thermostat easier than going through the process of pulling new thermostat wire. You will still likely have to call a contractor to change to a conventional thermostat but the service charge will be less if you make sure the conventional wire is there and available.

Compressors | Amana Versus Carrier Air Conditioners

There is a big difference between the two compressors from the Amana brand to the Carrier brand. One compressor uses an inverter and sophisticated control while the other uses a simple method of staging. The Carrier with the 5-stage inverter is the more sophisticated system which will likely require someone who has been trained specifically on the system to not only install it but if you have problems with it. The Amana has the two-stage scroll compressor which offers you comfort and efficiency by staging the compressor based on a demand level. The Carrier does the same except it has 5 levels of staging and a more complex method of control for those 5 stages of cooling.

Blowers |  Amana Versus Carrier Air Conditioners

The blower operation for air conditioners is slightly different than the condenser fan motor operation. The both essentially move air but they have different jobs to do in their scope. In the summer, a blower motor needs to be controlled differently than a condenser fan motor. In most HVAC applications where variable speed motors are used for the blower, the program is set to run the blower at a lower speed for the first few minutes of operation. This allows for the evaporator coil to become colder or it helps the evaporator coil fall below the dew point temperature. This enhances dehumidification, which in the summer is important. Less humidity in the air people feel cooler.

Both Carrier and Amana have ECM variable speed blowers that allow this control feature along with control the airflow to match the compressor speed or stage. This is important, as the refrigeration system needs to be balanced to run correctly. Both Amana and Carrier have this down to a science. The only problem I have experienced with this is the proper set up of the system. There are options the installation technician must be aware when installing a new system. If the mess it up the system will function as efficiently as it is designed to function. This is why I am always stressing a good contractor over a brand. You can purchase the most expensive, best brand in the world but if it is not installed properly it will not work as designed.

Condenser Fan Motor |  Amana Versus Carrier Air Conditioners

Both the Carrier and the Amana have variable speed condenser fan motors for added efficiency. Typically these are ECM variable speed motors however there are some distinct differences between the two as with the compressor. The Carrier condenser fan motor works off of an inverter. The same inverter that controls the compressor staging. I can only assume, but the fan likely works in the same staging operation as the compressor. When the compressor is running at a low stage the condenser fan motor is running at the minimum speed. When the compressor is running at high speed the condenser fan motor is running at maximum. And all stages in between run are matched to run that same stage as the compressor.

The Amana has a two-stage ECM variable speed condenser fan motor. It also matches the staging of the compressor. If the compressor is running in the 1st stage the condenser fan motor is also running in 1st stage. The same for the second stage. While Carrier has 5 separate stages and the Amana 2 stages both have the same efficiency ratings for these specific models. In this case, it is why I lean towards the Amana system as being the air conditioner of choice but again, that all depends on the contractor and some other considerations such as the warranties that come with the equipment.

Diagnostics and Pressure Switches |  Amana Versus Carrier Air Conditioners

Air Conditioner Diagnostics and RepairThese features are oftentimes not listed or offered on builders grade or economy models of lesser efficiency rating. In one regard, these types of features do add to the overall pricing of these air conditioners, but in another regard, these features can save you in the long run by offering nearly automatic diagnostic features to the equipment. For systems that stage, they add a layer of complexity because the air conditioner systems are controlled differently than conventional air conditioner systems. It takes a higher level HVAC technician to troubleshoot a problem if it develops a problem. So in that regard, diagnostics are good.

Pressure switches are another feature usually lacking in lower-tier air conditioner models. High-pressure and low-pressure refrigeration switches in an air conditioner give the air conditioner an added layer of protection. A refrigeration system has two sides of operating pressures and depending on the load and some other factors both sides, the low-pressure side and the high-pressure-side, will operate between a specific set of pressures. Anything outside of that set and you have a potential issue. Pressure switches protect the equipment in that case.

Refrigeration System Filter Drier, AHRI, and EnergyStar® | Amana Versus Carrier Air Conditioners

Just a quick blurb about refrigeration filter driers. Most manufacturers offer this feature on all their systems so it’s not anything special from one manufacturer to another. The filter drier protects the systems from contamination and moisture that could damage the refrigeration system including the compressor. It is a mandatory component to install in any refrigeration system and in the past, manufacturers did not have this as a standard feature. I’m guessing someone did the math and figured it would save them in the long run from warranty issues so they began including this in the air conditioner rather than having the contractor install one.

An AHRI and EnergyStar® rated air conditioner are good things. AHRI is a certification laboratory that certifies the system meets or exceeds all manufacturers claims for efficiency. EnergyStar has standards that need to be met also before the appliance or air conditioner can use this label. If you have the EnergyStar rating you can possibly qualify for tax or energy credits. We refer those credits as enticements to get you to purchase the higher SEER air conditioners to save energy.

Warranties | Amana Versus Carrier Air Conditioners

The Amana warranty is unbeatable in this comparison because a lifetime warranty is about the best you can get from any manufacturer. Of course, with any warranty, terms and conditions apply so make sure you read the warranty and comply with all the conditions. The last row in the table is important. We always encourage our readers to seek out and purchase a labor warranty in addition to a parts warranty. If the dealer offers one then I would highly consider the purchase for its value.

Nearly all warranties come with the standard conditional limited parts warranty but very few come with labor on top of that. In some cases, having a skilled technician install a component or part can cost as much or more than the part itself depending on what is involved in the repair. In some cases, there are hidden costs involved. Basically, you are looking for a blanket to cover you under every circumstance.

And the Winner is? | Amana Versus Carrier Air Conditioners

We all have our personal opinions and biases. You could ask 100 HVAC technicians who work on HVAC equipment every day and you would probably get different answers from all of them. The bottom line is to make sure the air conditioner is installed properly. Proper installation depends highly on the skill of the contractor and their installers. Simply make sure you check out the contractor and choose the best one based on many factors including reputation. By doing that you will get a good air conditioner that will provide you will years of troublefree comfort no matter the brand. Good luck!!

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Amana Versus Carrier Air Conditioners

 

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