Skip to content
Need a Renovation Cost Estimate?

What is the Best Air Conditioner Brand?

$3,000 - $10,000
average total installed cost
$50 - $100
cost of labor (hourly)
Get your renovation costs using Renotag's renovation cost calculator:

When selecting an air conditioner, homeowners face a myriad of options, each offering a range of features and benefits. Understanding the differences in pricing, energy efficiency, and features can help you make an informed decision. This guide explores the best air conditioner brands, what to look for when buying an AC, and how to get the most value for your money.

Key Takeaways

  • Brand Range: Top brands include Amana, Goodman, Lennox, Trane, and more, each with unique features.
  • Cost Considerations: The total installed cost of air conditioners varies widely from $2,300 to $25,000, depending on the brand and model.
  • Energy Efficiency: SEER ratings are crucial for energy savings, with top models offering up to 25.8 SEER.
  • Installation: Professional installation is recommended for optimal performance and warranty validation.
  • Features: Different brands offer various features, such as Wi-Fi connectivity, quiet operation, and more.

$3,000 – $10,000 Average Total Installed Cost

The cost to purchase and install an air conditioner varies significantly depending on the brand, model, and installation specifics. Generally, you can expect to spend between $3,000 and $10,000. This range covers different types of units, from basic models suitable for smaller homes to high-end units designed for larger spaces with advanced features.

Best Air Conditioner Brands

Our detailed analysis includes a comparison of the most recognized AC brands based on their total installed cost and energy efficiency, as measured by SEER ratings. Here’s a comprehensive overview:

BrandTotal Installed CostSEER Rating
Amana$2,800 – $7,500Up to 22.5
American Standard$3,500 – $8,000Up to 21.5
Bryant$2,300 – $7,000Up to 24.0
Carrier$3,000 – $15,000Up to 24.0
Goodman$3,200 – $6,500Up to 24.5
Heil$3,000 – $9,000+Up to 19.0
Lennox$3,500 – $10,000Up to 25.8
Rheem$3,000 – $8,500Up to 20.5
Ruud$3,000 – $8,500Up to 20.5
Trane$5,000 – $25,000Up to 21.5
York$3,400 – $10,500Up to 20.0

Each brand offers a range of models to suit various needs and budgets. For instance, Lennox stands out for its high SEER rating, making it an excellent choice for those seeking maximum energy efficiency.

What to Look for in an AC Brand

Choosing the right air conditioner goes beyond price and energy efficiency. Here are key factors to consider:

  • Durability and Reliability: Look for brands with good reputations for building durable and reliable units that can withstand years of use.
  • Energy Efficiency: A higher SEER rating means better energy efficiency and lower utility bills. Consider models with SEER ratings of 20 or higher.
  • Warranty and Support: Check the warranty terms and customer support services offered by the brand.
  • Features: Some models offer advanced features like smart home compatibility, variable speed fans, and noise reduction technologies.

How to Save Money on a Brand-Name Air Conditioner

To maximize your investment while reducing costs, consider the following tips:

  • Purchase during Off-Season: Buy during fall or winter when demand is lower.
  • Rebates and Incentives: Look for local rebates and federal tax credits for energy-efficient air conditioners.
  • Professional Installation: Ensure your unit is professionally installed to maintain its warranty and operate efficiently.

Air Conditioner Brand FAQs

What is the best air conditioner brand?

While the “best” brand can vary based on individual needs, Lennox is noted for its high SEER ratings, making it a strong contender for energy efficiency.

Do air conditioner brands matter?

Yes, different brands offer varying levels of quality, efficiency, and after-sales support, which can significantly impact long-term satisfaction and costs.

What is the most affordable air conditioner?

Goodman and Amana offer models that are generally more affordable, providing a good balance of cost and performance for budget-conscious buyers.

What is the most energy-efficient air conditioner for my home?

Look for air conditioners with high SEER ratings. Brands like Lennox and Carrier often offer the most energy-efficient models.

How long does an air conditioner last?

A properly maintained air conditioner can last between 15 to 20 years. Regular maintenance is crucial to extend the lifespan of your unit.

Getting Estimates from AC Installation Companies

Before finalizing your purchase, it’s beneficial to get multiple estimates from licensed professionals. This ensures you receive the best price and service for your new air conditioner. Consider using our comprehensive directory to find trusted installation experts in your area. Choosing the right air conditioner involves considering a multitude of factors. By following the tips and information provided in this guide, you can find an air conditioner that fits your needs and budget, ensuring comfort in your home for years to come.

For further guidance on selecting the best air conditioner for your needs, refer to our detailed guide on best air conditioner brands.

How to Evaluate Air Conditioner Brands

When deciding on an air conditioner, it’s essential to evaluate each brand on a variety of critical aspects to ensure that you make a choice that suits your specific requirements and budget constraints. Here are some key considerations:

Efficiency Ratings

SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) ratings determine the energy efficiency of air conditioners. A higher SEER rating often results in lower energy costs. Most new air conditioners must have a SEER rating of at least 14, but the most efficient models can exceed a SEER of 20, providing significant long-term savings.

Cost vs. Value

While the initial cost is a crucial factor, considering the unit’s long-term value through energy savings, durability, and warranty terms can influence your decision significantly. It’s often more cost-effective to invest in a higher-priced model with better energy efficiency and longer warranty coverage.


Modern air conditioners come with various features such as smart thermostat compatibility, noise reduction capabilities, and multi-stage cooling. These features can enhance comfort and convenience but may also impact the price.

Brand Reputation

Researching customer reviews and expert opinions can provide insights into the reliability and customer service associated with different brands. Brands with a solid reputation are often preferable due to the quality assurance and after-sales support they offer.

Detailed Brand Overview


  • Cost Range: $2,800 – $7,500
  • SEER: Up to 22.5
  • Features: Amana offers reliable, USA-made units with competitive pricing, though their high-end models can be quite expensive.


  • Cost Range: $3,200 – $6,500
  • SEER: Up to 24.5
  • Features: Known for affordability and good warranties, Goodman ACs are a popular choice among budget-conscious consumers. However, they may have fewer advanced features compared to other brands.


  • Cost Range: $3,500 – $10,000
  • SEER: Up to 25.8
  • Features: Lennox units are highly efficient and come with innovative technologies, though they tend to be on the pricier side and some models may experience noise issues.


  • Cost Range: $3,000 – $15,000
  • SEER: Up to 24.0
  • Features: Carrier offers durable, quiet models with solid SEER ratings, but the cost, especially for installation by certified technicians, can be high.

Each of these brands has its strengths and weaknesses, and the best choice depends on individual needs such as budget, desired features, and efficiency levels.

What to Ask When Choosing an AC Unit

Size and Installation

Ensure the unit is correctly sized for your home to avoid inefficiency and increased wear. It’s advisable to have a professional conduct a load calculation to determine the appropriate size.

Maintenance and Upkeep

Inquire about the ease of maintenance and the frequency of needed services. Regular maintenance is crucial for keeping an AC unit functioning efficiently and extending its lifespan.


Understand the warranty provided by the manufacturer. A longer warranty period might reflect the manufacturer’s confidence in their product’s durability.

Enhancements and Upgrades

Consider whether you might want to integrate advanced features like smart thermostats or air quality enhancements in the future.

For further reading and comparisons between top air conditioner brands, visit our detailed review page here.

By considering these factors, you can make an educated decision that ensures comfort, efficiency, and satisfaction with your air conditioning system for many years. Whether it’s the high efficiency of Lennox, the affordability of Goodman, or the durability of Carrier, there’s a perfect fit for every home.

Renotag's renovation cost calculator being used by a person to price their home renovation costs.
social proofs renotag
5K+ homeowners trust Renotag

Your renovation cost is waiting

The world's first renovation cost calculator.

Table of Contents

Calculate your reno price

Add your project details, choose your finishes, and get a price for your project – no contractor needed until construction time.