Carrier has long been a leader in the HVAC industry. As a manufacturer of the full range of HVAC systems, including energy-efficient air conditioners, furnaces, geothermal heat pumps, boilers, ductless mini-split systems, and more, Carrier has met the HVAC needs of thousands of homeowners across the country.
Carrier air conditioners are known for their low sound levels and high efficiency, which come at affordable prices. The company’s air conditioners are all in the average cost range, making them a good choice for many homeowners.
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What Is the Typical Cost of a Carrier AC Unit?
The average cost of a Carrier air conditioner is between $4,600 and $8,000. This cost is for the unit alone — when you factor in the AC installation cost, the total can be $10,000 or more.
The cost of installing a new Carrier air conditioner depends on several factors, including the size of the unit, the efficiency rating, and labor cost. We’ll explore these factors in the following sections, so read on to learn more about Carrier air conditioners and their costs.
|Low Cost||Average Cost||High Cost|
Low: $4,600 – High: $8,000
Low: 51 decibels – High: 59 decibels
Low: 16 SEER2 – High: 24 SEER2
Read our in-depth review of Carrier ac units for more details on what we think of its models and options.
Carrier AC Unit Cost by Model
Carrier AC units cost between $4,600 and $8,000, depending on size and efficiency.
The table below shows each model of Carrier air conditioner, its efficiency rating, and the average cost. These cost estimates are based on an average 3- to 4-ton unit designed to cool a 2,000-square-foot home. If your home requires a larger unit, your cost will be higher, and vice versa.
|Carrier Model||Compressor Type||Efficiency Rating||Average Cost|
|Carrier Comfort Series|
|Comfort 14 Central 24SCA4||Single-stage||16 SEER2||$4,600|
|Comfort 15 Compact 34SCA5||Single-stage||16 SEER2||$4,600|
|Comfort 15 Coastal 24SCA5***C||Single-stage||16 SEER2||$4,700|
|Comfort 15 Central 24SCA5||Single-stage||16.5 SEER2||$4,800|
|Carrier Performance Series|
|Performance 17 24TPA7||Two-stage||17 SEER2||$5,500|
|Performance 16 24SPA6||Single-stage||16.5 SEER2||$5,600|
|Carrier Infinity Series|
|Infinity 19VS 24VNA9||Variable-speed||19 SEER2||$7,900|
|Infinity 26 24VNA6||Variable-speed||24 SEER2||$8,000|
*As of January 1, 2023, air conditioner efficiency ratings have moved from the SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) to the SEER2 system.
Watch a Comfort series Carrier air conditioner run in the video below:
How Much Does a Carrier AC Unit Cost vs. Competitors?
Carrier air conditioners are cheaper but just as efficient compared to their competitors and come with an industry-standard 10-year parts warranty. That means you can buy a high-efficiency air conditioner from Carrier and get some of the same energy savings you’d get with a more expensive unit from a company like Trane or Lennox.
In addition, Carrier central air conditioners have lower sound levels than other leading HVAC providers — Carrier AC systems will effectively cool your home, and you won’t even know they’re running.
The table below shows how Carrier products compare to other top air conditioner brands.
|Premium Unit Cost||$5,600 – $8,000||$7,500 – $10,000||$7,000 – $10,000|
|Low-End Unit Cost||$4,600 – $4,800||$3,500 – $5,000||$3,000 – $5,000|
|Top Efficiency Rating||24 SEER2||21.5 SEER2||25.8 SEER2|
|Lowest Sound Rating||51 decibels||55 decibels||59 decibels|
|Warranty||10-year parts||10-year parts, 12-year compressor||10-year compressor|
Which Factors Impact Carrier AC Unit Costs?
Many factors impact Carrier AC unit costs. You’ll find that system size and efficiency rating influence cost the most, but several other factors also play a role. Each of these is discussed in the sections below.
The efficiency of air conditioners is measured by the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) value). The higher the SEER rating, the more efficient the system. However, higher efficiency also means higher costs. As we’ll discuss further below, AC efficiency ratings have moved from the SEER system to the SEER2 system in 2023.
Modern air conditioners have SEER2 ratings between 13 SEER2 and 26 SEER2, with the most efficient units rating 20 SEER2 or higher. Carrier’s base models all have SEER2 ratings from 16 SEER2 to 24 SEER2. The 16 SEER2 models are the least expensive at $4,600 to $5,600; you’ll have to pay up to $8,000 for the Infinity 26, a 24 SEER2 model.
|SEER2 Rating||Carrier Models||Average Unit Cost|
|16 SEER2||Comfort 15 Central 24SCA5, Comfort 15 Coastal 24 24SCA5***C, Comfort 15 Compact 34SCA5, Comfort 14 24SCA4, Performance 16 24SPA6||$4,600 to $5,600|
|17 SEER2||Performance 17 24TPA7||$5,500|
|19 SEER2||Infinity 19VS 24VNA9||$7,900|
|24 SEER2||Infinity 26 24VNA6||$8,000|
Installation and Labor
HVAC installation costs between $70 and $150 per hour, or between $3,080 and $5,965. Labor costs differ based on location, but they can also vary from contractor to contractor. This is why we always recommend you get at least two quotes.
Central AC installation costs are also based on the installation difficulty and whether you need new ductwork. More complex projects that require new ductwork can involve extensive remodeling, which can add thousands of dollars to your total cost.
Location and Climate
Your location impacts your labor costs and dictates your required SEER. As discussed above, The SEER rating indicates how efficient your air conditioner is — the higher your system’s SEER rating, the more efficient your system is. As of January 2023, AC efficiency is measured by a new system — SEER2.
The new required rating for ACs is 14.3 SEER2 (equivalent to 15 SEER) for Southern and Southwestern U.S. states and 13.4 SEER2 (equivalent to 14 SEER) for states in the North. These requirements only apply to newly installed air conditioners and are something you should keep in mind as you shop for a new AC system. The good news is that Carrier air conditioners have a rating of 16 SEER2 or more, so regardless of which model you choose, it will meet SEER requirements, as shown in the table below.
|Location||Carrier Models||Average Unit Cost|
|Northern U.S. 14+ SEER/13.4+ SEER2||Comfort, Performance, Infinity||$4,600 to $8,000|
|Southern U.S. 15+ SEER/14.3+ SEER2||Comfort, Performance, Infinity||$4,600 to $8,000|
Maintenance and Repair
On average, HVAC preventive maintenance costs between $70 and $550, but most people pay around $200 for this service. If you regularly maintain your air conditioning system, you’ll be able to catch problems before they lead to the need for complete replacements, saving you loads of money.
If you get an HVAC inspection and find you need repairs, these can cost as little as $100 or up to $800 or more. In this case, you must decide whether to repair your system or buy a new one. If your air conditioner is older, it may be better to replace it since other parts may be wearing out too. Your HVAC contractor will be able to help you make this decision.
Want to know how to keep your air conditioning system in top condition year-round? Check out this video.
Single-stage, Two-stage, or Variable-speed Compressor
There are three types of AC compressors: single-stage, two-stage, and variable-speed. The compressor is located in the outdoor component of your AC unit and allows heat from inside your house to be discharged to the outside.
Each type of compressor has its advantages — for example, the single-stage is the least expensive, and the variable-speed is the most efficient. Carrier offers all three types:
- Single-stage compressor: Single-stage compressors are the most affordable type but are the least efficient. AC units with these compressors operate at only one speed: either on or off. All of the Carrier Comfort models and the Performance 16 have single-stage compressors. These air conditioners cost $4,600 to $5,600 on average.
- Two-stage compressor: Two-stage compressors are more efficient than single-stage compressors because they can alternate between two operating capacities: 100% and 30-40%. Carrier only has one two-stage model – the Performance 17 24ACB – and its average cost is $5,500.
- Variable-speed compressor: Variable-speed compressors, the most efficient type, adjust their operation to only use the capacity needed to maintain your home’s temperature. Carrier’s two Infinity models have variable-speed technology and cost between $7,900 and $8,000 on average.
Type of Refrigerant Needed
As a company Carrier is committed to its environmental impact. Carrier currently uses R-410A refrigerant in its AC units, but in 2023 plans to switch to using Puron Advance (R-454B), which has lower GWP (global warming potential) than Puron.
To fully recharge the refrigerant in your AC, expect to pay between $100 and $350. Although the cost depends on the type of refrigerant used, it is about $50 to $150 per pound.
Carrier air conditioners come in sizes from 1.5 tons to 5 tons and can cool 600 to more than 3,000 square feet of living space. The larger the AC unit, the more expensive it will be. For example, you may pay just $4,900 for a new air conditioner for a 1,000-square-foot home but $7,500 or more for a 5-ton unit designed to cool 3,000 square feet.
Use the table below to see how much you could pay for a new air conditioner that is the correct size for your home.
|Carrier AC Unit Size||Home Square Footage||Average AC Unit Cost|
|1.5 ton||600 to 1000 square feet||$4,900|
|2 ton||1,000 to 1,300 square feet||$5,300|
|2.5 ton||1,300 to 1,600 square feet||$5,500|
|3 ton||1,600 to 1,900 square feet||$5,900|
|3.5 ton||1,900 to 2,200 square feet||$6,100|
|4 ton||2,200 to 2,600 square feet||$6,600|
|5 ton||2,600 to 3,200 square feet||$7,500|
How To Save on Carrier AC Unit Costs
Carrier cooling systems are fairly affordable, but you can save even more on installation in several ways.
- Do regular maintenance. The easiest way to save money on an air conditioner is to maintain the one you have. You should get biannual HVAC tune-ups and perform regular maintenance to ensure your air conditioner works properly and fulfills or exceeds its expected useful life.
- Know your limited warranty. If you have a five- or 10-year warranty and your AC unit breaks down, review your warranty. You may save money on parts if your air conditioner is still covered under warranty.
- Upgrade to a more efficient system. By simply replacing your air conditioner, you may save money. Efficient air conditioners use less energy, so you’ll pay less monthly on your utility bills.
- Taking advantage of rebates and tax credits. Carrier offers rebates up to $1,000, and you can access federal tax credits for HVAC systems. Many energy providers also give rebates to customers who upgrade their old air conditioners to more efficient units.
- Compare quotes from multiple contractors. Each contractor works with different air conditioner brands and may charge different rates for labor. Because certain air conditioner brands cost more than others, you should get several quotes and compare them.
So, Is a Carrier AC Unit Worth the Cost?
If you’re looking for an energy-efficient air conditioner at a good price, Carrier is the right choice for you. Not only are the company’s prices comparable to industry averages, but the company also offers less expensive units for homeowners on a budget. In addition, Carrier’s units are among the quietest in the industry, with a noise level as low as 51 decibels.
FAQs About Carrier AC Units
How much does a 3-ton Carrier AC unit cost?
A 3-ton Carrier air conditioner unit costs between $4,600 and $8,000. This cost includes the air conditioner but excludes labor costs and old air conditioner disposal.
Is Carrier a good AC unit?
Carrier makes high-quality air conditioning units with great SEER ratings, ENERGY STAR-rated, and a good manufacturer’s warranty. If you choose a Carrier HVAC unit, you won’t be disappointed.
How long do Carrier AC units last?
On average, a Carrier air conditioner lasts between 15 and 20 years. If you engage in regular maintenance and clean your system at the end of each season, it should last up to that 20-year mark.
What is the average cost of Carrier AC units?
Carrier air conditioner prices are typically between $4,600 and $8,000. However, your total cost for the unit plus installation will vary depending on the size of the system you need, energy efficiency, and labor. For the most accurate cost estimate, contact an HVAC contractor.