Best Central Air Conditioner Reviews, Prices and Buying Guide

Feeling cold in winter but extremely heated in summer? Say goodbye to those uncomfortable feeling with central air conditioner. This thing circulates cool air through a kind of supply and return system. The supply system will carry cool air around the house from the air conditioner. After some time, the cool air will be warmer and the air will flow back to the air conditioner return system.

Not only that, but this system also can control the humidity inside the house, by dehumidifying the incoming air. For you who want to make life easier, there is an air conditioner which automatically and efficiently changes the temperature by adjusting the condition in the room. It is great, isn’t it?

Before jumping to the conclusion that this is the best option for you, you should know the detailed central air conditioner review so you can consider which one to buy. These reviews are useful in matters of comparing the air conditioner, including in deciding on which one is appropriate for your house.

Not only that, this kind of air conditioner comes with so many types and also advantages which means that it also comes with various prices. Then, you also should search for the range of central air conditioner prices. Let’s dig in to know more about this air conditioner.

Factors Affecting Central AC Cost

There are several factors that affect the final cost of the unit.

Quality

Of course, the more the quality of central air conditioner, the more expensive it will be. So, it depends on you to choose which air conditioner with what kind of quality. If you want a full service from a durable, and top quality central AC, then you should be ready to pay more. However, you may also find AC with similar features but cheaper, but still, there is some service you may not get.

One quality that may not exist in all central AC is the pollution filter. Well, every AC, of course, has a filter in it but how effective the pollution filter may depend on the AC quality itself. However, this filter is important, especially for you who live in the middle of the big city or factory area. Believe you don’t want the pollution to be at your house, so you may consider buying high-quality AC with a good pollution filter.

Performance

This is what you should consider before buying and installing the AC; its performance. Who wants to have a central AC system with low performance, which does not make the room cooler when it is hot or make the room warmer when it is needed. This is an important thing to consider before buying an air conditioner.

Not only that, the duration it takes to make the room cooler or warmer should be considered important. It is better to get an AC with an automatic controller which can detect the room’s temperature changes. In that way, you can get a nice temperature whenever and whatsoever happens in the room. If you want this kind of feature, then consider saving more money.

Efficiency

This is also an important thing to consider. Of course, you wont to waste your money and time to buy something that costly but do nothing and need costly and repetitive maintenance. So consider the efficiency of the AC before you buy it. Usually, the more efficient the AC is, the more expensive it costs, but it is just in the beginning since the efficiency may reduce your electricity bill, so the AC costs is a good deal.

First thing first, you should consider how big the electricity the AC consumes when you turn it on and how big the power it needs. Adjust it with your house power and do not buy an AC that seems good in performance but to turn it on, you need to add more power and your electricity bill increased.

Size

You should also consider the right size for your house too. If the AC is too big, well, of course, your house will be cooler or warmer faster, but of course, it will consume more energy and it will waste your money. If it is too small, you cannot get the benefit of it since it will not give significant effect and, again, it will waste your money. So pick the one up that gives you the exact benefit you want in a reasonable amount of money, or if it is possible, less than it should be.

Central AC Prices by Brands

You may already have certain AC brands in your mind when you go into an electronics store or you may be confused since there are so many brands around the market. You can go safe by choosing the well-known brand or go something cheaper but risky with a less-known brand. Well, it is up to you, but there is a relation between brand, price, and quality.

Let’s be honest, actually, you can find air conditioner with similar features in different brands, can’t you? However, which one will you choose? The famous or the less one? Here is the thing to consider, the famous brand one may be expensive, but it has been lingering in air conditioner productions for some time and they know what they do. Not only that, the famous brand usually already has many service centre that you can find easily. The expensive price may be worth it.

It does not mean that the less famous brand is not great but the image has not been established. They may give more affordable price to attract consumers, or maybe they really know how to produce the air conditioner with less money.

The quality can be less than the famous one since to get the cheaper price they should use less-qualified material and maybe they should cut the production cost too. The same features, cheaper price, but it is just less noticeable and maybe the service will not be as full as the famous one.

Let’s take a sneak peek into the most popular brand’s price. American Standard, as one of the favourite brand, has a price range between 2,600 dollars to 3,200 dollars. Choosing Rheem? When you choose another well-known brand such as carrier, you need to pay around 4,600 dollars. This is proof that the price will go up as their popularity.

Central AC Prices by Unit Size

Well, as you may already know, the bigger the size, the price will be more expensive. So that is why you should consider the size and your need so your money will not be wasted. The bigger the air conditioner, the bigger the area it will cool or warm, so if you have big enough room, then you should get the big central AC unless you want to pay more for more AC units.

What you need to do first is to measure your house. It is an important thing to do so you can really sure about the size of central AC you need and it will work effective and efficient enough in cooling and warming your room. The small house doesn’t need the big AC unit and the small AC unit will not cover the need for a big house, so choose wisely.

Let’s say that you need to cool or heat 600 square feet, you need a 1.5 tons central AC. This number is not exact actually since the climate and the weather affects your need for a central air conditioner. However, the average size for 600 square feet will be 1.5 tons which can cost around 1,000 dollars. Then the two tons AC may cost 1,500 dollars, then the price will go up as the size also go up. Here are some lists of the average size of central AC and how much it costs.

Central AC Unit Size House Size Cost of the AC Unit
1.5 ton 600-1000 sf $940 – $1,895
2 tons 1001-1300 sf $1,490 – $2,690
3 tons 1601-1900 sf $1,650 – $2,990
4 tons 2201-2600 sf $1,860 – $3,350
5 tons 2601-3200 sf $1,920 – $3,590

With this comparison of size and price, you can later know which one is the most suitable for your home. Remember that you need to count your budget and consider the most efficient central air conditioner for your house.

Central AC Installation Cost and Extras

Speaking of Central AC prices, you should have more money to pay for the installation and it is not cheap either. Unless you want to install it by yourself, which is not an easy thing to do, you do need to pay for the installation and the extras or certain adjustment needed for your house. The cost maybe is the same as the price of the AC unit itself.

For the average house size, central AC installation can be in the range of 3,200 dollars and up to 5,500 dollars. It depends on your home’s square footage though. It’s quite expensive, so you should carefully count your need and also get your money ready once you buy the unit since you need to pay the installation cost afterwards.

It does not stop in the installation cost, you may make your budget bigger since you may need to pay for some extras. You may need the permit of central AC installation from your local government and they need to inspect your house beforehand. Well, it will cost you more. Another cost for you if you live in an old building and you have lead paint or asbestos. These materials may need a replacement or test.

You also may consider sparing the money for delivery, plumbing, removal of the existing system, electrical work, move your AC to a new location, modifying the framing, installing the newest additional feature, maintenance, and any other extra costs.

These extra costs may be included in the installation cost or it also may be separated, so you need to check what is included in your AC instalment and do not let you pay twice for the same thing. However, the extra costs may let you save more later so consider to pay it at once if it is needed, so you will not have any problem in the future that will cost you more money.

What Size Air Conditioner Do I Need?

This is a common question to ask and the common answer for it is ‘it depends’. Yes, it depends on your house size. So what you need to do is to carefully measure your house. The rough measure is not suggested if you want to keep your budget tight. If you have an open space in the middle of your house, then you can exclude it from your measurement. Here is a guide you need in measuring the size of air conditioner you need.

House Area Capacity Needed (BTUs per hour)
400 to 450 sf 10,000
451 to 550 sf 12,000
550 to 700 sf 14,000
700 to 1,000 sf 18,000
1,000 to 1,500 sf 24,000
1,500 to 2,000 sf 30,000
2,000 to 2,500 sf 34,000

The size of air conditioner you need also depends on the quality and efficiency of the AC itself. You can compare the efficiency among brands and know that brand A and brand B with the same size cover the different size of the area. For example, you have 1,000 square feet house and you choose brand A air conditioner with a size of 1.5 tons.

The output will be different if you choose brand B since its 1.5 tons air conditioner can cover up to 1.2 square feet house. This kind of calculation will be affected by the climate change in your area since the more humid you are, you may need a bigger size air conditioner more rather than those who live in a dry area. You need to be thrifty about this kind of thing and that is why comparing and researching one brand to another is important as reading the air conditioner specification in detail.

However, when it comes to the budget, you may need an air conditioner with the size that is more affordable and efficient at the same time. In this case, brand A with its 1.5 tons will be a perfect option since the smaller the AC, the cheaper it will cost; not only the unit price but also the installation and any extra cost.

Characteristics of Best Central AC Brands

Now we come to the characteristic of best central AC brand, which many of you are already curious about. The best central air conditioner does not depend on how famous the brand is but it is more on the quality. For some people, they could already have a favourite brand and they wont to buy any other brand, but what is important here is the quality and the service that you will get.

The best central AC brands will give you a full service in the matter of customer service and also the sales. A good brand will help you as long as you are interested in their products. They will look for you the best air conditioner within your budget and will patiently answer your questions and explain what you need to know.

Not only that, they usually will prepare the recommendation of installation. Some of the good brands will also include every extra cost you need so you just need to pay all at once. Even, they will get you the info about the permission you should get or anything more.

Best central air conditioner brands according to the consumers will be the one who gives a good range of price so it could fit any budget you have. Discount is also considered as something good so the consumers can get the best deal with the best product. So, go check your air conditioner brand and ask for a discount if it is possible.

The features of the best central air conditioner are also renewed gradually. This thing is important, not only for their sales but also for the sake of the consumers.
Feature upgrade may also be available for the customers so they do not need to spend more money on a new installment with the new feature, just upgrade it. Well, this upgrade is so much needed to increase the efficiency of the AC and when it is efficient then it means that you can save more money annually.

Fast respond for the maintenance need can also be a point to consider. The best AC brand will respond as fast as they can since they know customer satisfaction is the most important for them. Well, the best product will no need that much of maintenance but still it is good to know that the brand has fast responded so if the worst thing happens, you know who and where to call.

Best Central Air Conditioner Reviews by Brands

You have already known the basic things you should know about the central air conditioner, and nowhere are some reviews of AC brands so you can compare and then decide which one you will get.

1. Goodman Central AC

This brand has been lingering for decades and can be said as the ones of the first line of central air conditioner brand. The most standout thing about this brand is their low cost yet great warranty. There were some rumours of mechanical failure back then, but Goodman makes their products better now.

The other reason why Goodman is so popular is because of the use of many universal parts so that the repairmen can find the spare parts easily. One of them is Ultratech, the most used compressor in air conditioning and also heating. However, the durability of Goodman products is not good as the other brands since their material quality is actually just good, not that surprising.

The lifetime warranty is still the best thing Goodman has, although some people argue that it was not as great as the old days. Goodman warranty is the entire AC unit replacement if the compressor is broken within ten years and other parts are guaranteed also for ten years.

As people may say that Goodman is the boss of low-cost central air conditioner since there is no other brand will give you this lowest cost. So, if you are in a tight budget but you need one air conditioner installed, you know where to go now.

2. Heil Central AC

One of the best central air conditioner brands is this Heil. The top performance in categories is the thing that you should take a look. What is great about Heil is they are similar to Carrier, another best brand, but in much lower cost so Heil is the answer for you who want to get good quality but cheaper.

The components of Heil products mostly are universal parts including the best compressor, Copeland. Other components are in top quality and available if they need to be replaced. So, it will be easier to replace the components, but it is rarely needed.

The warranty of the Heil is rather just so so since they only give ten years warranty for the general parts. However, you still can get a full replacement if the coil or the compressor fails which is called no hassle warranty. This warranty is in a varied range of years for different modes, start from one to ten years for the top models.

In the matter of the models’ variation, Heil has many options. You can get from 14 to 19 SEER and also choose among single-stage, two-stage, or five-stage models offered. This line of variety will give you options and all you need is just to match it with your budget.

3. Maytag Central AC

Talking about the most beneficial central air conditioner, Maytag will be in those line of brands. First of all, Maytag uses high-quality universal components which means that it already guarantees the quality and durability of the product. Not only that, but the availability of the spare parts is also guaranteed so you don’t need to wait if repair is needed.

Another shout out for Maytag is its warranty that covers up to 12 years on all parts. A quite long warranty, isn’t it? Maytag will also replace the entire air conditioner unit if the compressor fails within those 12 years.

Variety of models is also the benefit you can get from Maytag. With its seven models from the single-stage 14 SEER to the 20 SEER air conditioners, you will be more than confused in choosing since they have a top-notch quality. Maytag also has the variable-capacity inverter cooling so that the options grow bigger.

For the price, Maytag can be considered as a good deal too. Those high-quality materials plus an excellent warranty and the latest technology can be affordable. There is also a claim that Maytag products can last for 18-22 years with such a great efficient system which means that you can save more money by buying this brand.

4. Daikin Central AC

Daikin maybe a worldwide air conditioner and heating manufacturers that everyone may know. Although in the North American market this brand is not that famous, Goodman as Daikin’s representation there is incredibly noticed. However, right now there are several products under Daikin’s brands already available in the North American market.

The model options from Daikin is also varied. There is a standard system from 14 SEER to 23 SEER, the single-stage, and also an inverter-driven model. What is greater is that Daikin also produces other products such as mini-split air conditioners and also indoor units which is a great deal too.

One of the highly-rated products from Daikin is DX20VC which is considered a unique one. Similar to Goodman, Daikin uses qualified universal parts, but in DX20VC Daikin employs the inverter-type compressor which has various speed. The technology exists in the mini-split system air conditioner has been brought in this model.

Talking about the warranty, Daikin’s is above the average other brand warranty. They give 12 years warranty for general parts and also for the compressor. However, Daikin does not give the unit replacement warranty. It is argued whether it happens because of their confidence about the product or because of simply they do not want to replace all unit because of the failure of a part.

5. Trane Central AC

For the North American market, Trane central air conditioner can be said as the most reliable brand. The proof is the ten years warranty for both spare parts and also the labour. However, it goes with a price that is usually more expensive than other brands with similar technology and warranty, but you cannot compare the quality that you get.

Premium brand, maybe the right title Trane Central Air Conditioner since you can get the best qualities in every single product. Although it seems pricy, the rate for its energy efficiency is also quite high which means that a pricy product but it can make you save more in the future. So it is still a good deal. It’s SEER ratings go as high as 22, one of the highest in the line.

They have TruComfort technology which can be used to reduce the humidity so that the air will always feel fresh with less moisture. This kind of technology is rarely inserted by other brand or if it is inserted in the product, the price is usually getting higher.
The respond of its customer service should also be marked as the best one. Fast respond and fast solution since they do not want to fail their customers which means that it can aggravate their image.

6. Carrier Central AC

The best central air conditioner brand? Many people may refer to Carrier as the best one. It mainly because of the strict quality standard which cannot be found in any other brands. A little bit pricy though, but people seem do not care about it since the quality is quite good. Not only that, but Carrier also has more options than other brands so you will definitely find one that fits your budget and your need.

Although it seems pricy, Carrier can be more affordable in terms of the repair cost. It is claimed that Carrier has the most affordable repair cost among the brands. It means that you can save up and the unit and instalment seem a good deal. Not only that, you can save up more since the 21 SEER rating will decrease your electric bill for sure.

The instalment is also quite good and fast since Carrier repairs are trained well so they are the qualified repairs only for Carrier products. It means that they really know how the products work, the common failures, so they can fix it easily and faster. However, you do not need to call the repairmen soon since Carrier products have such good quality and durable.

7. Bryant Central AC

Bryant may be an underdog in this air conditioner industry that needs more recognition. Bryan is a brand that offers gas furnaces, heat pumps, and of course AC units. The price is rather more affordable than other brand but you can’t question its quality; it is a good one. Even Bryant uses similar parts as Carrier that is already known for its quality.

It’s most recognized feature is the silence that will make you wonder whether you turn on the air conditioner or not. However, Bryant is not that efficient in the matter of energy savings since the average SEER rating is just 16.2, the second-lowest among the brands. This is why Bryan products are less costly rather than other product. So, if you are looking for the affordable product, you should go for this brand though.

Bryant is also an earth-care product since they use the Puron refrigerant which will not harm the ozone layer. It is environmentally saving and friendly. To control the temperature, there is thermostat and high-low pressure switch for several models of Bryant so you can adjust the temperature by yourself.

The warranty is good enough with 10 years warranty. However, you should register your unit within 90 days or you just will get the five years of the warranty which is not that great. Unfortunately, there is no lifetime warranty so let’s hope that nothing will hardly damage the product.

8. American Standard Central AC

Including in the most reliable central air conditioning in the market, American standard gives a good range of price. It is still considered affordable, compared to other brands. However, this brand is claimed to get more call to repair its AC unit rather than other brands, which you should notice. If you don’t want to frequently call them but you still want this brand, better to buy its premium product since you will get more value.

The SEER ratings of this brand are quite high though which can reach up to 22 SEER. It means that this brand allows you to save more money by not paying much extra bill. Not only that, but the compressor also works well with small increments adjusting, so the range will be not as big as the old-fashioned as well as other brands that only have on/off or high/low switch.

In the matter of humidity, the products of American Standards can gradually decrease the humidity and control it in the phase that is the most comfortable. Even, this humid reduction does not consume that much energy. This is something that the other competitors brand cannot do and a total win for American Standard. Not only that, the air conditioner works quietly too so there will be no noisy sound that disturbs you and your neighbours.

9. Mitsubishi Central AC

Having a problem with filtering? It will not happen with Mitsubishi central AC. They use two separate filters in most of the products to maximize the filter process so you can enjoy the cleaner air. Definitely, the air quality in your house will be improved and you can feel the fresh air just by sitting down in the house.

The system Mitsubishi used in their products is the ductless system and has Energy Star certification. It means that their products are highly efficient. They consume less electricity and you can save more with it. It also leads to the notions that Mitsubishi is a rather eco-friendly product. Not only that, the machine works quietly so you will not be disturbed with machine noise.

Worry about the heat pump? Just don’t worry, the pump will be usable all the time, whatever the weather will be. The inverter technology that they use produces the right amount of heat, enough to heat your house and keep it not overheated. It is just as good as the air conditioner function.

Mitsubishi also offers a good range of price which will be a good deal compared to the benefits that you will get. Can be considered as the flagship brand but with more affordable price for sure.

10. York Central Central AC

York central air conditioner unit is known for the value price since it is affordable more than other brands, both in unit price and also the instalment. It works in silence and based on some reviews, York is nominated as the most silent air conditioner product.

However, many say that York products are not that efficient in the matter of energy consumption since the highest SEER rank offered is just 18. If you want to keep York product but do not want big energy consumption, York offers a more efficient product, but of course with a higher price than the other products.

This brand has an excellent customer service who ready to help you whatever the situation is. It is also quite essential to have good customer service around, isn’t it? Unfortunately, the warranty is not as good as the customer service and many reviews say that York’s warranty is just a so-so.

Here is the thing to consider before buying York products. There are maybe products that will cost you less with the same features as York product, but York value price is because of its unquestioned quality. Then, now it is yours to choose between those brands, which one is the most suitable for you.