despite what you might think, all of these brands are comparable, for the most part. Many of them even use the same internal components, made by the same companies, and some are even produced on the same assembly line. Yet, in a search, which are the best cheap air conditioners for sale? At the end of the day, the most important part isn’t the brand you choose, it’s doing your research on the contractors you will use to install it. Think about it – are all mechanics the same? How about all doctors? Mechanical contractors (aka “air conditioning contractors”) are not like the other trades in that we require extensive knowledge of all mechanical systems and their components, including high and low voltage electrical, plumbing and refrigerant.
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Your AC system is an engine that will run for hours a day, for 15-years, if done properly. Yet, every guy with a truck and a wrench is out there saying that they’re a contractor. We often come across people who are taking multiple bids for their project (which is a good idea), and then, against our advice, decide go with the cheapest contractor available to “save money.” Listen, it always costs you more in the long run.
To give you a reference, we are almost never the cheapest bid, and we tell people that at the start. We do not use undocumented laborers or unskilled workers, we use high quality parts, and everyone on our team is an HVAC professional – but that costs money. If one contractor is significantly cheaper than others, ask “why?” These units aren’t just something that you plug in and it works, and not all materials are the same; they require on-site, custom fabricated parts and tuning to work properly.
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We break down each of the 10 best central air conditioning brands by comparing the costs of a 14 SEER (standard efficiency) AC unit and then discussing some of the top features of each highly rated central AC unit brand. Here’s a quick roundup of our top 10 best AC brands on the market today:
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1. American Standard Air Conditioners
American Standard air conditioners are one of the best central air conditioning brands in the business. The average cost to install a 14 SEER American Standard AC unit would be around $2,600 to $3,200. The company gets far fewer repair calls for its’ AC systems than most of the other AC units in the business. You can feel good about paying a premium for this AC unit, because you’ll be getting a whole lot of value with the purchase.
2. Carrier Air Conditioners
There’s a reason that many people refer to Carrier AC units as a top air conditioner brand. Their HVAC systems are built with strict quality standards in mind. Installation of a 14 SEER Carrier Comfort Series air conditioner would cost around $4,783 to install. Because this brand offers more options than most manufacturers, you’re sure to find the exact central air unit you need for your home’s heating and cooling needs. Carrier offers up to a 21 SEER rating, which is the highest on the market. Carrier repairs are usually fairly affordable in comparison to the rest of the HVAC industry. Carrier is also known for having highly qualified installers who are trained specifically in how to install a Carrier air conditioner. The company also offers heat pumps, gas furnaces, and other HVAC system types.
3. Goodman Central Air Conditioners
Goodman air conditioners are another of the top HVAC AC units on this list that isn’t quite as revered as Trane or Carrier. They are known for being cheaper in price range, but still being a good brand to rely on. If you wanted to install a Goodman GSX 14 SEER AC unit you could expect to pay around $3,475 in total installation costs. The company’s products have a solid build and quality, along with warranty programs you can count on. Best of all, they’re a real value overall for one of the best ac units from this list.
Let Modernize help you find the best Goodman HVAC installers in your area:
4. Trane Central AC Units
Trane central air conditioners are known for upholding warranties and offers a standard 10-year warranty that covers both parts and labor. A Trane XR14 that has a 14 SEER rating in energy efficiency would cost anywhere from $4,800 to $6,800 to install. Trane products are often pricier than other HVAC brands, but as the old saying goes, “You get what you pay for.” Trane is considered a premium brand that offers outstanding air conditioners, heat pumps, and gas furnaces.
5. Rheem Air Conditioners
Rheem central AC units are regarded as one of the best HVAC brands in the industry. The company is known for being on the cutting edge side of things, and they produce highly efficient air conditioners with quality warranties. A replacement Rheem air conditioner such as the Rheem Classic RA14 model would cost around $3,450 in total installation. Rheem HVAC units are one of the top brands to consider when trying to find the best central air conditioner. See the link above for prices on Rheem furnaces, heat pumps, and packaged HVAC units.