A good air conditioning (AC) unit keeps your home comfortable and cool. However, some complicated industry terms maket determining the best air conditioner difficult.

We at the This Old House Home Reviews Team have thoroughly researched the best air conditioner brands, reviewing warranties, product specifications, and average AC costs. Here are our top recommendations.

Important Note: While these brands are manufacturers of air conditioning units, it is important to note that they do not personally handle the installation of their products. However, ARS Rescue Rooter specializes in HVAC services and offers professional installation. Get a free installation quote today for your project.

ARS Rescue Rooter Best Customer Service

Established in 1975, ARS Rescue Rooter provides heating, air conditioning, plumbing, and sewer and drain services. ARS Rescue Rooter offers a one-year service guarantee and various financing options. It has certified technicians and partners with organizations such as St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and Alpha Omega Veterans Services for community outreach efforts.

Services Offered

ARS Rescue Rooter services for eight core home systems. Here are the services it provides for each system:

  1. Air conditioning: Air conditioning repair, installation, and maintenance
  2. Heating and furnace: Heating system repair, installation, and maintenance
  3. Indoor air quality: Duct cleaning and indoor air quality installation
  4. Plumbing services: Plumbing repair, plumbing installation, drain cleaning services, plumbing maintenance, sewer, and water line services, gas line repair, water heater services, sump pump services, and garbage disposal services
  5. Smart home products: Installation of Nest thermostats, Nest Protect, Nest cams, and Google products and LeakSmart leak detection
  6. Attic insulation services: Radiant barrier, attic ventilation, and attic insulation
  7. Commercial services: Commercial plumbing and commercial HVAC services
  8. HVAC systems: HVAC repair, installation, and maintenance for your swamp cooler, ductless mini-split, geothermal, zoned HVAC, radiant cooling and heating, heat pumps, and dual-fuel
Pros & Cons
Pros Is available 24/7 and offers emergency services Provides a written estimate before initiating service Only uses certified, drug-tested, and background-checked technicians Cons Not available in 26 states Warranty only lasts for one year Some customer reviews mention abrupt canceling and rescheduling

Top 10 Air Conditioner Brands

Here are the best air conditioner brands based on our research and methodology:




Our take: Best Performance
SEER rating: Up to 26
Our rating: 97.5 out of 100
Price range: $–$$$$

Carrier Best Performance


Carrier offers AC units with seasonal energy efficiency ratios (SEER) between 13 and 26. It partners with Energy Star to meet strict energy efficiency requirements set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This, combined with the company’s low sound ratings and variable speed compressors, results in some of the highest-performing AC units available.

Carrier’s most efficient and best-performing model is the Infinity 26 Air Conditioner with Greenspeed Intelligence. Each Carrier AC includes the option for a five- or 10-year limited warranty, depending on when you register the product.

Pros and cons

Pros Has high energy efficiency rates Includes a 10-year limited parts warranty for registered products Some units have sound levels as low as 51 decibels Cons Is more expensive than other brands Cost information requires a salesperson to visit your home






Our take: Best Energy Efficiency
SEER rating: Up to 28
Our rating: 97.5 out of 100
Price range: $–$$$$

Lennox Best Energy Efficiency


Like Carrier, Lennox partners with Energy Star to provide high-efficiency AC units. SEER ratings vary by model, but its SL28XCV unit can reach as high as 28. Lennox’s high-end air conditioners feature technology that modifies how they cool based on the surrounding climate, leading to higher efficiency. You can also add the company’s SunSource technology to any of its Signature collection units, allowing you to power your AC by solar panels.

Pros and cons

Pros Has the highest SEER rating on this list Uses high-end technology, such as solar panels Is available at popular retailers such as The Home Depot Cons Is more expensive than some companies Varies warranty options by product






Our take: Best Warranty
SEER rating: Up to 22
Our rating: 90.5 out of 100
Price range: $$–$$$$

Trane Best Warranty


Founded in 1913, Trane is an excellent option if you want a secure investment. It includes a 12-year compressor and a 10-year parts and labor warranty, which is more comprehensive than other brands. Its XV20i TruComfort Variable Speed air conditioner uses variable speed technology to continuously communicate with other air conditioning system parts and a Trane thermostat for optimal efficiency.

Pros and cons

Pros Includes a comprehensive 12-year compressor warranty plus 10 years for other parts and labor Uses a rustproof DuraTuff base pan for longevity Incorporates cutting edge smart-home technology Cons High-end options require a ComfortLink II thermostat to function properly Charges a premium for many of its products






Our take: Best Comfort Control
SEER rating: Up to 25
Our rating: 90 out of 100
Price range: $$–$$$$

Amana Best Comfort Control


Amana is part of Goodman, the world’s largest manufacturer of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning products and systems. It offers quality AC units backed by a solid warranty.

Though many of Amana’s products have average performance, their features boost your ability to control your home. The company’s ComfortBridge technology uses two-way communication to determine which speed or stage the AC runs on, rather than relying on your thermostat. This allows your HVAC system to use data to automatically adjust to the minimum amount of energy needed to heat or cool your home, lowering your utility costs. Amana also uses a variable-capacity compressor, which improves your humidity control.

Pros and cons

Pros Includes a limited lifetime replacement warranty on its high-end compressors Adds features to improve comfort control Has a user-friendly website to search for dealers and find manuals and other resources Cons Performance is average for the company’s pricing Communicating technology is new and can be difficult to fix if it malfunctions





American Standard

Our take: Best Value
SEER rating: Up to 22
Our rating: 89.5 out of 100
Price range: $$–$$$

American Standard Best Value

American Standard has become a household name in air conditioning since its founding in 1929. The company offers affordable AC units with 10-year limited warranties. It has many units to choose from, including options for single, two-stage and variable-speed fan motors depending on your budget and desired energy efficiency. The company also offers AccuLink and AccuComfort smart thermostats, which allow you to control your AC via American Standard’s mobile app. Best of all, the company has competitive prices.

Pros and cons
Pros Offers smart-home technology Has competitive pricing on quality products Uses a network of certified dealers Cons Requires you to buy a high-end unit to receive compressor coverage Has higher sound levels than other brands





Our take: Most Experience
SEER rating: Up to 21
Our rating: 89.5 out of 100
Price range: $$–$$$

York Most Experience


York is the most experienced company on this list. It began in 1874 producing ice makers, then expanded into HVAC systems once the technology became available. Johnson Controls, which manufactures mechanical equipment globally, now owns the company. York’s AC units combine high energy efficiency and low sound levels. Every model has guardrails to protect the coil and compressor for additional durability.

Pros and cons

Pros Has one of the longest histories in the air conditioning industry Offers ClimaSet technology that can be adjusted for humid, dry, or temperate climates Ensures longevity with durable hardware and a 10-year limited warranty for parts Cons Online reviews mention leaking problems and mixed experiences with customer service reps Has a limited product selection compared to other brands






Our take: Best for Window-Mounted Units
SEER rating: Up to 21
Our rating: 89.5 out of 100
Price range: $–$$$

Frigidaire Best for Window-Mounted Units


Frigidaire has become a common household name over the last 100+ years due to its quality refrigerators and freezers. The company brings the same quality to its AC units. Frigidaire offers built-in and portable air conditioners but stands out for its window-mounted ACs. Some options include technology typically reserved for large ACs, such as Wi-Fi connectivity, mobile app control, and inverters that optimize energy efficiency and air circulation.

Pros and cons

Pros Uses an inverter compressor that runs at low capacity and uses little energy Offers high-quality and competitively priced window-mounted air conditioners Includes a 10-year warranty Cons Has a more limited product selection than competitors Possibly more difficult to find a certified installer depending on your location






Our take: Best for Affordability
SEER rating: Up to 20.5
Our rating: 86.5 out of 100
Price range: $$–$$$

Ruud Best for Affordability

A part of the manufacturer Rheem, Ruud offers affordable full-size AC units. The company’s standard 16 SEER unit, the RA16 Achiever Series, starts as low as $3,000. It also offers financing options through an in-house financing firm, KwikComfort Financing, with options for zero-interest payment plans. Ruud’s high-end options, such as its UA20 Variable Speed Econet Enabled Ultra series, offers competitive pricing for smart-home integrated, high-efficiency units.

Pros and cons
Pros Offers highly competitive pricing on quality AC units Provides an extensive service network Is known for simple, fast maintenance and part replacement Cons Only includes a five-year warranty for the entire AC unit Has similar offerings to Rheem but with additional downsides, such as high noise level





Our take: Best for Longevity
SEER rating: Up to 24.5
Our rating: 82 out of 100
Price range: $–$$$

Goodman Best for Longevity

Goodman began in 1975 manufacturing flexible air ducts, then expanded to air conditioners seven years later. Though known in the past for relatively standard AC units, its products have improved in quality and durability since Daikin Industries acquired the company in 2012. Its ACs are built to last, with features including special, dirt-blocking filters and rail guards to protect the coils from weather and debris. Goodman backs its ACs with a 10-year limited warranty on parts, a 10-year limited warranty for entire unit replacement, and a lifetime compressor warranty.

Pros and cons
Pros Uses R-410A refrigerant, which is less harmful to the environment Includes features for added durability and longevity Offers an above-average warranty for registered units Cons Warranty only covers labor for one year May be challenging to find a certified installer because the company sells units wholesale





Our take: Best for Smart Homes
SEER rating: Up to 20.5
Our rating: 77 out of 100
Price range: $$–$$$

Rheem Best for Smart Homes


Rheem offers a variety of AC units and other HVAC and plumbing products with a focus on smart home integration. Its EcoNet products allow you to fully integrate your home’s heating and cooling systems to maximize comfort and savings. It also has a smartphone app that lets you control your entire system and receive notifications for maintenance or other issues. The company’s RA20 Variable Speed units are a standout, including EcoNet integration, higher SEER ratings, and eligibility for a $300 energy efficiency rebate.

Pros and cons

Pros Offers a large selection of heating and cooling products with a focus on sustainability and savings Provides full smart-home integration via its EcoNet products Uses the variable speed Copeland Scroll Compressor, one of the longest-lasting and quietest compressors available Cons Many available products are still too new to know their long-term viability Website lacks customer support





Summary of the Top-Rated Air Conditioning Brands

Compare our top-ranked air conditioning brands on critical factors in the table below. 

BrandSuperlativeOur Rating (Out of 100)SEER RatingPrice Range
CarrierBest Performance97.5Up to 26$3,000 –$15,000
LennoxBest Energy Efficiency97.5Up to 28$3,100–$10,000
TraneBest Warranty90.5Up to 22$3,500–$15,600
AmanaBest Comfort Control90Up to 25$3,600–$11,000
American StandardBest Value89.5Up to 22$3,500–$10,900
YorkMost Experience89.5Up to 21$4,000–$10,000
FrigidaireBest for Window-Mounted Units89.5Up to 21$500–$1,082
RuudBest for Affordability 86.5Up to 20.5$3,00–$6,100
GoodmanBest for Longevity 82Up to 24.5$1,500–$8,000
RheemBest for Smart Homes77Up to 20.5$3,100–$6,100



Factors To Consider When Choosing an Air Conditioner Brand

There are a number of factors to consider when choosing an air conditioner brand. We’ve listed the most significant ones below.


Your budget is vital in determining which AC brand is best for you. Premium brands cost more because they use newer technology and offer smart home capabilities. You can save money by opting for a standard AC unit if you don’t want or need these features.

The type of air conditioner influences its price, too. For example, a full-size central air conditioner costs more than a smaller option, such as a ductless air conditioning system, also called a split AC unit.

Below are some of the average costs of different AC types. We’ve also included the costs of vital AC parts, such as a condenser. These are included in the unit cost but can increase or decrease the overall price.

  • Central air conditioning: $2,500–$7,000 
  • Compressor: $800–$3,000
  • Condenser: $1,200–$4,200
  • Heat pump: $1,000–$6,000
  • Split air conditioning: $1,600–$3,500
  • Window air conditioning: $150–$750

Be aware that some brands, such as Trane, may use their name recognition and long history as a reason to charge higher prices. Though a good reputation is a strong indicator of quality, it doesn’t necessarily mean you should pay more for a comparable unit from a lesser-known brand.

You should also consider that you’ll have to pay for installation in addition to the unit. This costs $1,200–$2,200. 


Warranties help secure your AC investment. Most companies offer a five-year limited warranty for parts but will commonly increase this to 10 years if you register their products online. We encourage you to register your AC unit with its brand to get the most out of your investment. 

A 10-year limited warranty for parts or replacement is standard. A brand that offers a lifetime compressor warranty or lifetime replacement warranty signals the company stands by its products.


Air conditioning technology is continuously progressing. You can buy an AC with all the bells and whistles, such as an internet-accessed monitoring system and smart thermostat. However, more features mean a higher cost. Consider what features and convenience level you want and compare them with the brand’s price tags to find a middle ground. 

Central air conditioning systems that merge your HVAC systems into one unit with a heat pump may cost more up-front. You can save money by opting for a split system, which separates your HVAC system into a furnace for heating and an air conditioner for cooling. However, unified systems with a heat pump are more efficient during summer and lead to lower energy bills, saving you money long-term.

Customer Service

Pay attention to how much customer support is available. A good AC brand should offer various forms of communication, such as an online submission form and direct phone line. Also, take note of whether the company provides certified installers, either in-house or through a network of dealers. 

We recommend researching brands you’re interested in on popular customer review sites such as the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Reading customer reviews will give you insight into the installation process and what it’s like to deal with that brand’s customer service representatives.



Air Conditioner Energy Efficiency

Energy efficiency determines an air conditioner’s overall performance and value. Below are two of the most common ways an AC’s energy efficiency is determined. 

SEER Rating

Seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) ratings are the ratio of an AC’s cooling output over a typical cooling season divided by the energy it uses in watt-hours. A SEER rating is calculated over an entire cooling season using a constant indoor temperature and a variety of outdoor temperatures ranging from 60 degrees Fahrenheit to over 100. Be aware that a SEER rating is the maximum efficiency rating. Your unit’s efficiency could be lower depending on your home’s conditions, such as insulation and windows

Any SEER rating above 13 is considered good. The average rating is 16, and anything above 20 is top-of-the-line. Units below 13 are likely low-quality. 

Energy Star Ratings

A brand that partners with Energy Star is another good indicator of quality. Energy Star uses strict guidelines to certify AC units. For example, the unit must have a SEER rating of 14.5 or higher. It must also have an energy efficiency ratio (EER) rating—a more standardized measurement than SEER—that uses 8% less energy than conventional AC models.

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Our Conclusion

The best air conditioner brand depends on your budget, needs, and wants. Carrier’s units are some of the best-performing, while Lennox has one of the highest SEER ratings and best energy efficiency scores. Brands such as Trane or American Standard may be a better fit if you’re looking for something more affordable.

One of the biggest mistakes homeowners make when shopping for air conditioners is not obtaining multiple quotes from installers. We recommend getting at least three quotes from different brands to compare costs, warranties, and additional features.



FAQ About the Best Air Conditioner Brands



Our Rating Methodology

The This Old House Reviews Team is committed to providing comprehensive and unbiased reviews to our readers. This means earning your trust through transparent reviews and data to support our ratings and recommendations. Our rating system for HVAC providers is on a 100-point system based on seven factors:

  • System cost (20 points): We determine if the company’s cheapest option for a full-size AC or furnace starts below $3,100 or if it exists somewhere between $3,100 and $8,500. The cheaper the average price range, the more points a company receives. 
  • Efficiency rating (20 points): We consider the company’s best available energy efficiency ratings, namely its highest Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) and Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) ratings. The higher the rating, the higher the score.
  • Sound rating (10 points): We analyze a company’s lowest possible sound rating in decibels. Companies with lower sound ratings are rated higher.
  • Warranty options (10 points): We award the most points to companies with warranties beyond the average 10- and 5-year warranties. We deduct points from companies with warranties that cover three or fewer parts.
  • Energy Star certification (10 points): We award more points to companies with Energy Star-certified products.
  • Reputation (10 points): We factor in how each company is scored on the Business Better Bureau (BBB). We deduct points for any alerts or pending lawsuits.
  • Customer service and resources (20): We consider each company’s available customer support and resources. This includes whether the company offers a user-friendly product search tool, FAQ section, pricing guides, online manuals, and a mobile app. 

To share feedback or ask a question about this article, send a note to our Reviews team at reviews@thisoldhousereviews.com.