What Are The Best Air Conditioner Brands? | 2024 Guide

By Alex Hawkins & Reviewed By ENERGY STAR Updated June 19, 2024

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Air conditioners are key to keeping your home cool and comfortable, but finding the right one can be difficult. There’s a lot of technical terminology and jargon that goes along with shopping for an AC that can make it challenging to figure out which ones are better than others.

To simplify the process, we’ve researched the best air conditioner brands and closely compared product specifications, prices, and extra features. Read on for our top recommendations for AC brands.


Best Air Conditioner Brands of 2024

We spent hundreds of hours researching the HVAC industry to rank brands against each other. Here are the best air conditioning brands according to our rating methodology:


Side-By-Side Comparison: Top Air Conditioning Brands

Compare our top-recommended air conditioning brands of 2024 below.

Company Star Rating Best For Cost Range Link
4.9
Most Energy Efficient $3,000–$10,000 GET QUOTE
4.8
Best Overall AC Units $3,200–$15,000 GET QUOTE
4.6
Most Experience $4,500–$9,000 GET QUOTE
4.6
Most Protection $3,000–$15,500 GET QUOTE
4.5
Best for Extreme Climates $3,500–$11,000 GET QUOTE
4.5
Best Window AC Units $300–$900 GET QUOTE
4.5
Best Basic Units $3,000–$6,000 GET QUOTE
4.4
Best Selection $3,500–$11,000 GET QUOTE
4.6
Best for Maintenance $1,500–$10,000 GET QUOTE
4.6
Best Smart Technology $3,000–$7,000 GET QUOTE
No results were found.

Lennox

Most Energy Efficient

4.9

Our Rating

Price range: $3,000–$10,000
SEER rating: Up to 28

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Found at popular retailers such as The Home Depot
  • Features some of the highest SEER ratings available
  • Includes options for solar-powered AC units

Cons

  • Varies warranty coverage by product
  • Has higher prices than other brands

What We Like

Lennox partners with ENERGY STAR to create high-efficiency air conditioners. It offers units with high seasonal energy efficiency ratios (SEER) up to 28, including small split systems and large full-size models.

Lennox offers many high-end products alongside its AC units, such as a smart thermostat that integrates your HVAC system with popular smart-home platforms such as Amazon Alexa, AppleHomeKit, and Google Assistant. Lennox also can add its SunSource technology to any of its Signature Collection units to power your AC via solar panels.

Recommended Model

We recommend Lennox’s SL28XCV AC unit. This AC from the company’s Signature Collection is ENERGY STAR-certified and has a SEER rating of 28. It comes with a 10-year limited warranty on covered components, including the compressor. You can power it via solar panels if desired.

Carrier

Best Overall AC Units

4.8

Our Rating

Price range: $3,200–$15,000
SEER rating: Up to 26

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Has some of the quietest ACs available
  • Includes air purification and humidity control with some models
  • Provides a 10-year limited parts warranty for registered products

Cons

  • Requires a consultation for an accurate quote
  • Has higher prices than some competitors

What We Like

Carrier builds some of the quietest and most efficient AC units. Some Carrier air conditioners have sound levels as low as 51 decibels (dB), meaning you won’t be bothered by the roaring and rumble other ACs may make when combating high temperatures.

The company also manufactures air purifiers and humidity control products to improve your home’s comfort. Additionally, it has a smartphone app that syncs with its smart thermostat for remote control. These features help Carrier create a complete and convenient AC system for your home.

Recommended Model

We recommend Carrier’s Infinity 26 Air Conditioner with Greenspeed Intelligence. It has a SEER rating of up to 26 and comfort control features such as humidity control and a built-in sound blanket that makes it quieter than many competitors. In addition, you receive a 10-year limited warranty on parts when you register the product, and a 10-year limited warranty for unit replacement.

York

Most Experience

4.6

Our Rating

Price range: $4,500–$9,000
SEER rating: Up to 21

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Climate Set technology that adjusts for your indoor and outdoor climates
  • Affinity Series can handle up to eight conditioning zones
  • YXV Series received Good Housekeeping‘s Seal of Approval

Cons

  • Its single-stage ACs have a history of leaking
  • Warranties often only cover one or two parts

What We Like

York is a long-standing company that’s been around since air conditioning’s inception. The company produces high-quality air conditioning units with high energy efficiency and low sound levels. It includes limited warranties and extends unit longevity with extra guardrails to protect the coil and compressor. York also installs variable control features on its high-end AC units. These optimize your HVAC system so it uses only the power needed to maintain a consistent temperature in your home.

Recommended Model

We recommend York’s YXV 20 SEER2 Variable Capacity Air Conditioner. It includes variable speed and York’s built-in Climate Set technology, which provides improved comfort by automatically fine-tuning the AC system to the indoor and outdoor environment. The model reaches up to a 20 SEER rating and includes a lifetime compressor limited warranty.

Trane

Most Protection

4.6

Our Rating

Price range: $3,000–$15,500
SEER rating: Up to 22

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Offers solar-powered components that integrate with your AC system, such as water heaters
  • Includes a comprehensive 12-year compressor warranty plus 10 years for other parts and labor
  • Helps create fully integrated smart home HVAC systems

Cons

  • Requires ComfortLink II smart thermostat to operate high-end units
  • Is known to require more maintenance than other brands

What We Like

Trane focuses on emerging technologies in the HVAC industry. The company offers multiple variable speed models and a ComfortLink II smart thermostat. These features integrate with Trane’s mobile app to let you precisely control your AC system and optimize your home’s temperature and humidity in one accessible location.

In addition, many of Trane’s units include a 12-year compressor and a 10-year parts and labor warranty. These are more comprehensive warranties than those offered by other AC brands.

Recommended Model

We recommend Trane’s XV20i TruComfort Variable Speed Air Conditioner. This is Trane’s most efficient AC unit, and it includes technology that automatically charges, configures, and calibrates to achieve optimal performance. Additionally, this unit includes Trane’s CleanEffects Whole Air Home Cleaner to purify your home’s air and filter out dust and harmful irritants.

American Standard

Best for Extreme Climates

4.5

Our Rating

Price range: $3,500–$11,000
SEER rating: Up to 21.5

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Has a network of certified dealers for easy installation
  • Offers various smart home options
  • Produces high-quality variable speed models

Cons

  • Having a certified dealer network means higher installation costs
  • Only includes compressor coverage for high-end units

What We Like

American Standard has been a go-to AC brand since 1929. It offers cost-effective AC units paired with 10-year limited warranties, meaning you’ll get a lot out of your investment. Additionally, American Standard offers several top-of-the-line features, including variable-speed fan motors. The company also offers AccuLink and AccuComfort smart thermostats, which allow you to control your AC via American Standard‘s mobile app.

Recommended Model

American Standard’s AccuComfort Variable Speed Platinum 20 Air Conditioner is its best model to date. It has a SEER rating up to 21.5 and a sound rating of 55 to 75 A-weighted decibels (dBA), providing an excellent balance between performance and energy efficiency. You can also choose to add American Standard’s AccuClean Air Cleaner, which helps your air conditioner filter out more dust and harmful irritants.

LG

Best Window AC Units

4.5

Our Rating

Price range: $300–$900
SEER rating: Up to 18

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Designs high-quality, stylish portable AC units
  • Has some of the lowest sound levels due to LG’s specially designed parts

Cons

  • Only offers window-mounted and portable ACs
  • Some models require ample space in a window or wall fixture for installation

What We Like

We recommend LG’s air conditioning products if you want a high-quality window-mounted AC unit or portable AC for your condo, getaway cabin, or apartment. We especially encourage this if you own other LG appliances, as LG’s smart wi-fi enabled air conditioners sync to smart-home technology via the brand’s ThinQ products. This system lets you control cooling, change the unit’s mode, or set the temperature while you’re away via a mobile app. In addition, an LG air conditioner is compatible with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa for voice commands.

LG’s ACs also have low noise levels—as low as 44 dB in sleep mode. Best of all, LG’s air conditioners exceed minimum ENERGY STAR certification, so you receive highly efficient single-room ACs.

Recommended Model

LG’s LW1522IVSM Dual Inverter Smart Wi-Fi Enabled Window Air Conditioner is an impressive window-mounted air conditioner with a competitive price tag. This unit cools approximately 800 square feet and uses LG’s unique BLDC Motor and DUAL Inverter Compressor for low sound levels.

Ruud

Best Basic Units

4.5

Our Rating

Price range: $3,000–$6,000
SEER rating: Up to 20

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Has an established service network for installation and maintenance
  • Offers highly competitive pricing on quality AC units
  • Integrates your entire HVAC system through its Econet smart technology

Cons

  • Is known for noisy AC units
  • Has a limited product selection compared to other brands

What We Like

Ruud is the upscale branch of HVAC manufacturer Rheem. The company offers competitively priced, smart home-integrated, high-efficiency units. Ruud also emphasizes sustainability in its HVAC products, including options such as solar-powered water heaters.

For air conditioning, Ruud offers its Econet line, including its Econet Smart Thermostat. This thermostat has a seven-day programmable and vacation scheduling feature, allowing you to save energy and money while you’re away and return to a comfortable home after work or a getaway.

Recommended Model

Ruud’s Econet Enabled Ultra Series Variable Speed (Ua20) is an excellent air conditioner. This model is efficient and durable. It has a variable compressor and up to a 20 SEER rating, plus powder coat paint, rust-resistant screws, and a 10-year parts warranty and 10-year conditional unit replacement warranty (registration is required).

Amana

Best Selection

4.4

Our Rating

Price range: $3,500–$11,000
SEER rating: Up to 24.5

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Offers a vast selection of indoor air quality products with smart-home integration options
  • Includes a limited lifetime replacement warranty on its high-end units
  • Adds sound blankets and insulation to its units to drastically reduce noise

Cons

  • Has average performance compared to other brands
  • Only its single-stage ACs are cost-friendly

What We Like

Amana offers many middle-ground, quality AC units as well as excellent smart home integration options. The company’s minimalist smart thermostat lets homeowners set a schedule to match their AC usage with their typical weekly routine. The thermostat also works with Amana’s mobile app to control the company’s high-efficiency ACs from anywhere at any time.

Additionally, Amana offers a large selection of indoor air products through its sister company, CleanComfort. The selection includes high-quality air purifiers for your electronics and living spaces, plus humidifiers and dehumidifiers. All of these integrate with Amana’s smart-home products.

Recommended Model

We recommend Amana’s AVXC20 air conditioner. This is Amana’s highest efficiency unit, with a 24.5 SEER rating and a variable-speed compressor that links with the company’s ComfortNet technology for programmable performance. This unit also includes a lifetime unit replacement limited warranty when registered.

Goodman

Best for Maintenance

4.0

Our Rating

Price range: $1,500–$10,000
SEER rating: Up to 24.5

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Manufacturers units with durability and longevity features
  • Offers above average warranties

Cons

  • Doesn’t offer as many premium features as other brands
  • Doesn’t have a certified installer network

What We Like

Goodman is synonymous with air conditioning. The company focuses on durability with features such as dirt-blocking filters and rail guards to protect coils from harsh weather. It’s a sister company to Amana and has a more limited but cost-effective selection. You can pair Goodman’s units with Amana’s ComfortBridge smart home technology.

For added security, Goodman has an impressive warranty package including a 10-year limited warranty on parts, a 10-year limited warranty for entire unit replacement, and a lifetime compressor warranty. Additionally, Goodman uses R-410A refrigerant, which is less harmful to the environment than other refrigerants.

Recommended Model

We recommend Goodman’s GVXC20 model, which has up to a 24.5 SEER rating. This unit combines durability features—such as a ground lug connection and copper tubing—with smart-home features through the ComfortBridge Controls System. It’s a long-lasting AC that you can monitor and manage remotely from anywhere with an internet connection.

Rheem

Best Smart Technology

4.6

Our Rating

Price range: $3,000–$7,000
SEER rating: Up to 20.5

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Offers cost-effective pricing
  • Provides smart home integration via EcoNet
  • Uses powder coat paint and corrosion-resistant hardware

Cons

  • Lacks customer support tools
  • Has average performance

What We Like

If you’re looking for an affordable, quality air conditioning unit, Rheem is an excellent option. Though many of its units have average performance, you can connect them with EcoNet smart-home products. This allows you to fully integrate a cost-effective AC unit with your home’s heating and cooling systems to maximize comfort and savings.

Recommended Model

We recommend Rheem’s Variable Speed Prestige Series RA20 ACs. These units feature a 20.5 SEER rating, a variable-speed Copeland scroll compressor for optimal performance, and a composite base pan that helps eliminate corrosion and decrease noise.


What to Look for in an Air Conditioner Brand

Many factors determine which air conditioner is right for your home. We’ve highlighted some of the most important things to look for.

Open Lines of Communication to Customer Service

Installing an air conditioner requires you to work closely with a company, so you’ll want to ensure there’s plenty of customer support available. Take note of whether a brand offers a direct phone line or customer support via live chat or mobile app. The more means of communication, the better. Additionally, read customer reviews on popular review sites such as the Better Business Bureau (BBB). This will help you get a realistic idea of what it’s like to deal with each brand’s network of contractors and customer service representatives. 

Intelligent Cooling

Intelligent cooling is another way to say smart-home integration. For a more convenient and optimized system, find brands that offer smart-home options that allow you to control and adjust your air conditioner from your smartphone. These features often let you connect the AC to other parts of your home’s HVAC system and control the system through voice commands.

Units with Low Noise Levels

A noticeable noise level is a common complaint for ACs. You certainly don’t want a unit that might disrupt your sleep or bother your house guests or pets.

We advise checking the noise level of the AC units that interest you. Currently, air conditioners can be as quiet as 50 to 60 dB. We recommend looking for ACs under 70 dB. To give you a better idea of how loud this is, check out the following breakdown from Purdue University’s Chemistry Department:

Type of AC Unit

When shopping for AC units, it’s important to know which type you need. There are six main types of air conditioner systems, and each meets different needs. Learn about each type below to determine which kind you need:

Variable Speed

Any air conditioner that uses a variable-speed compressor is a serious plus. Though a variable-speed AC system costs more up-front, the investment is worth it because it lowers your energy bills and increases your home’s value. These units don’t cycle on and off like traditional air conditioners. Instead, they adjust the air handler’s speed to match your home’s cooling needs, resulting in increased comfort, reduced humidity, higher efficiency, and quieter performance. 

Warranties

Some air conditioners have longer warranties than others. Additionally, some AC warranties only cover certain parts of the unit, such as the compressor, while others may include entire unit replacement. Check the manufacturer’s website for information and see if the brand’s network of installers will include a workmanship warranty.


Air Conditioner Energy Efficiency

The HVAC industry uses various ratings and metrics to determine a product’s efficiency, but the two most important ones for an AC unit are its SEER rating and ENERGY STAR certification. 

What Is a SEER Rating?

Seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) ratings measure an AC unit’s efficiency. The ratio reflects an AC’s cooling output over a typical cooling season divided by the energy it uses in watt-hours. 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. 

What Is an Energy Star Rating?

An AC unit with ENERGY STAR certification meets federally mandated guidelines regarding energy efficiency set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy. ENERGY STAR requires all of its certified central air conditioners and heat pumps to have a SEER rating of at least 15.


Our Recommendation

The best air conditioner brand depends on your preferences, budget, and home layout. We find Lennox to be one of the best AC brands due to its high SEER ratings, smart home capabilities, and SunSource technology. However, Carrier offers more intelligent cooling options, and York builds some of the most durable and quietest ACs. 

We recommend getting at least three quotes from different AC brands to compare costs, warranties, and additional features. Use our tool below to request free quotes from reputable HVAC installers near you.

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Air Conditioner Brands FAQ

Is Trane or Carrier better?

Whether Trane or Carrier is better depends on your individual preferences and home. However, we found that Carrier is generally better, given its focus on smart home integration and its assortment of air purifiers and humidity control products.

Do HVAC brands matter?

Yes, HVAC brand matters for a few reasons, namely due to warranties. Some brands also charge a premium because of their name and reputation while lesser-known brands might offer a similar product at a more affordable rate. 

What is the life expectancy of an AC unit?

Your AC unit should last 15 to 20 years with proper maintenance and care.

How much does a new AC system cost?

A new AC system costs an average of $5,000 to $6,000. However, this price varies based on your home’s layout, additional features such as air purification and smart thermostats, brand name, and installation fees. 

What is the best month to buy an air conditioner?

The end of winter is the best time to buy an air conditioner. Retailers have a high supply of air conditioning units during winter, but homeowners often aren’t thinking about replacing or repairing their AC units during this time. The decrease in demand means prices and installation costs are lower.


How We Chose the Top HVAC Brands

We researched dozens of HVAC brands to determine which ones offer the best air conditioners, heat pumps, furnaces, and other heating, ventilation, and air conditioning products. We then crafted a rating system based on each brand’s mid-tier and high-end product offerings.

We analyzed each company’s product specifications, SEER ratings, AFUE ratings, and their best available sound rating. We also ensured that each brand offers ENERGY STAR-certified products. In addition, we closely analyzed each company’s warranties to ensure their product and labor guarantees match or exceed industry standards. 

Finally, we assessed the manufacturer’s years of experience and customer reputation on popular review sites such as the Better Business Bureau. We also checked whether the brand fulfills the high-end and luxury needs of Architectural Digest readers, such as smart-home integration options, solar-powered capabilities, and home comfort control products such as air purifiers and humidity control.