Air conditioners are the epitome of home comfort, keeping our homes cool during the hot summer. However, choosing the right air conditioner is not an easy task, as the performance and reliability of an HVAC system depend on complex characteristics.

The Today’s Homeowner reviews team took an in-depth look at the best air conditioner brands and evaluated them based on their energy efficiency, cost, reliability, noise performance and more. After reading this article, you will have all the information you need to choose the right AC unit for your home. For the most accurate information, it’s best to contact one of the best HVAC installers for a free quote.

Best For Noise Level
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Best For Affordability
Frigidaire Logo
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Best AC Model Variety
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Best For Sustainability
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What Are the Best Air Conditioner Brands?

The experts at Today’s Homeowner have researched dozens of air conditioner brands to find the ones we believe are the best options for homeowners like you. We consider energy efficiency ratings, sound ratings, cost data, warranties, sustainability, and more by researching each company, reading technical specifications, and reviewing customer reviews.

Carrier: Best for Noise Level
trane hvac unit outside
HVAC Installation
In general, you can expect to pay between $5,540 to $10,980 per HVAC unit, installation costs, and removal of your old unit.
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trane furnace cost
Furnace Replacement
In general, you can expect to pay between $4,000 and $7,000 including installation, old furnace removal, and labor.
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trane heat pump cost
Heat Pump Installation
In general, you can expect to pay between $3,000 and $35,000, but most homeowners spend between $5,800 and $7,500.
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How Do The Top Air Conditioner Brands Compair?

The table below compares the best air conditioner brands in terms of our rating, SEER, noise level, and price range.


Our Rating

SEER Rating

Sound Rating


51–73 dB


57–76 dB


59–75 dB


57–76 dB


55–75 dB


59–76 dB


57–75 dB

Best For Noise Level



Our Rating

Carrier has been improving home comfort for more than 100 years and continues to develop new and innovative HVAC products that keep our homes at the perfect temperature. With high-efficiency units that reach up to 24 on the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER), a Carrier Infinity, Performance, or Comfort AC unit can save you money while keeping you cool.

  • Efficiency Ratings: 13 to 24 SEER
  • Sound Ratings: 51 to 73 decibels (dB)
  • Price Range: $3,000 to $15,000
Why We Picked Carrier

Carrier offers a wide range of high-quality air conditioning systems, including split systems, ductless air conditioning systems, geothermal heat pumps, and more. From variable-speed compressors to two-stage systems, Carrier has an energy-efficient system for your home. Plus, you can receive up to $1,000 in rebates when you combine local programs with federal tax credits.

Some Carrier air conditioners are among the quietest systems on the market at just 51 decibels A (dBA). So if you are sensitive to noise levels, a Carrier AC system should be at the top of your list. Every Carrier air conditioning system comes with a 10-year limited parts and replacement warranty, so you are protected if something goes wrong with your AC system.

Today’s Homeowner Tips
When choosing air conditioners, it is important to determine your home’s requirements for noise level, SEER rating, or cost. Units with higher efficiency and lower noise levels tend to be more expensive, but if you use them regularly, you’ll save more money over time.

Not every Carrier model is Energy Star-rated. So if you want the most efficient unit installed, you’ll have to pay more for a high-end Carrier model with Energy Star certification. Also, remember that the required SEER rating is 15 for southern regions and 14 for northern regions. Some Carrier models only have SEER 13, which does not meet 2023 efficiency requirements.

Best For Affordability



Our Rating

Frigidaire is a common household brand for all your home comfort needs. From gas furnaces to high-efficiency air conditioners, this 100-year-old company has the experience and the quality HVAC products for your home.

  • Efficiency Ratings: 14 to 20 SEER
  • Sound Ratings: 57 to 76 dB 
  • Price Range: $2,500 to $5,600
Why We Picked Frigidaire

If you are looking for an affordable air conditioner that produces minimal noise and has a good SEER rating, Frigidaire is a good choice. This company’s air conditioners have a long lifespan and are reliable, and you get a 10-year warranty on parts and comfort quality.

Frigidaire air conditioners are incredibly reliable, and that reliability is due to the company’s rigorous manufacturing process. Every unit at Frigidaire goes through the “check, check, and recheck process,” meaning each split air conditioner is inspected 144 times, and each packaged air conditioner is inspected 72 times.

Frigidaire AC units have lower efficiency than other air conditioners on our list. These lower ratings mean that Frigidaire air conditioners are more affordable than other brands, but you may not save as much money on your energy bills.

Best AC Selection



Our Rating

Amana is part of the Daikin brand with more than 90 years of experience in the home comfort industry. Leading the HVAC industry in innovation and high-efficiency systems, Amana offers excellent HVAC units for your home.

  • Efficiency Ratings: 14 to 24.5 SEER
  • Sound Ratings: 59 to 75 dB
  • Price Range: $3,500 to $6,500
Why We Picked Amana

Amana offers more than a dozen air conditioning systems, from high-quality split-system air conditioners to high-efficiency packaged units. 

Each of Amana’s air conditioners has a high SEER rating, with some of the most efficient units on the market having a SEER rating of up to 24.5. An Amana air conditioner will effectively cool your home and save you money regardless of where you live in the United States.

Amana’s AC units come in various sizes and range from 1.5 tons to 5 tons, meaning these systems average 17,800 to 56,500 BTU/h and can easily cool homes up to 3,000 square feet or more. Plus, you get a 10-year limited warranty covering system and workmanship defects.

Amana air conditioners tend to be more expensive than other units on the market. This is largely due to the expensive, high-efficiency systems, but you should know that these efficient systems will save you more money over time because they use less energy.

Best For Sustainability



Our Rating

Rheem has nearly 100 years of experience in the HVAC industry and holds a highly regarded A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB). With its excellent reputation and affordable air conditioners, Rheem is the perfect AC brand choice for homeowners on a budget.

  • Efficiency Ratings: 13 to 20.5 SEER
  • Sound Ratings: 57 to 76 dB
  • Price Range: $3,000 to $4,800
Why We Picked Rheem

Rheem has some of the most affordable air conditioning on the market, with up-front costs as low as $3,000. But just because Rheem is affordable does not mean it lacks in other categories. This manufacturer offers a 10-year limited warranty on its products, high efficiency ratings, and rebates of up to $1,000.

Rheem is also known for its commitment to sustainability. The company strives for zero-waste design and plans to bring heating, cooling and water heating products to market that reduce carbon emissions by 50% by 2025.

Rheem air conditioners meet energy efficiency requirements, but their SEER ratings are lower than some of the other brands on our list of the best AC brands. Compared to the 24 or more SEER we have seen from Amana, Carrier and Lennox, 20.5 SEER is a bit lower. However, this lower efficiency makes Rheem’s units more affordable.

Best For Efficiency



Our Rating

Trane has been in the HVAC business for more than 100 years and has installed more than 10 million HVAC units in homes across the United States. With 10,000 dealers across the country, Trane has quickly become a household name in American homes.

  • Efficiency Ratings: 14.5 to 22 SEER
  • Sound Ratings: 55 to 75 dB
  • Price Range: $7,000 to $21,900
Why We Picked Trane

Trane combines high-efficiency 22 SEER air conditioners with quiet noise levels as low as 55 dB. As a company that cares about its environmental impact, Trane has completely phased out the harmful refrigerant R-22. That means you’ll save money and protect the environment simultaneously with a Trane AC system.

Trane prides itself on designing reliable air conditioners. The company holds more than 1,500 heating and cooling patents and puts every type of system — from outdoor units to ductless air conditioners — through rigorous testing that lasts 2,600 hours. Trane offers a 10-year limited parts warranty and a 12-year compressor warranty to support its quality systems.

Although some Trane air conditioners are affordable, others are among the most expensive on the market. The more expensive units are more efficient and larger, so you may not need the most expensive unit if you only use your air conditioner a few months out of the year or have a smaller home.

Best For SEER



Our Rating

Lennox air conditioners are among the best ACs available today, both in terms of efficiency and appearance. Lennox received the Most Efficient of Energy Star award to validate its high-quality innovations in 2021. So if you’re looking for efficiency, Lennox is the air conditioning brand for you.

  • Efficiency Ratings: 13 to 28 SEER
  • Sound Ratings: 59 to 76 dB
  • Price Range: $5,000 to $10,500
Why We Picked Lennox

Lennox air conditioners are the most efficient systems currently available. The most expensive model from this company boasts a SEER rating of up to 28, which is virtually unheard of on this efficiency scale. You can complete your Lennox air conditioning system with the Ultimate Comfort System, combining the most efficient furnace, Wi-Fi smart thermostat, and Lennox air quality systems.

Lennox has been in business for nearly 130 years and has an A+ rating from the BBB. In addition to their high efficiency, Lennox air conditioners are also very quiet at only 59 dB. Plus, you get a 10-year warranty that covers all components of your new air conditioner.

Lennox’s extremely efficient systems do come with a higher price tag. These air conditioners are among the most expensive on the market, so if you have a tighter budget, you may want to consider a lower-efficiency model from Lennox or explore other brand options.

Best Warranty

American Standard


Our Rating

American Standard has installed more than 5 million HVAC units in the United States and continues to develop quality air conditioners. With more than 6,000 authorized dealers, you can easily access the resources to install one of these efficient air conditioners in your home.

  • Efficiency Ratings: 13 to 21.5 SEER
  • Sound Ratings: 57 to 75 dB
  • Price Range: $3,500 to $6,100
Why We Picked American Standard

With air conditioners that reach up to 21.5 SEER and are quieter than a vacuum cleaner, American Standard offers an excellent selection of air conditioners for your home. The Platinum, Silver, and Gold Series AC units are available in two-stage, single-stage, and variable-speed models.

These energy-efficient systems can be equipped with precision AccuComfort technology that constantly adjusts your system to run at a more efficient speed. American Standard offers excellent product and parts warranties that cover your system for up to 10 years after installation. You also have the option to extend your warranty, but this extension depends on your location.

American Standard is available nationwide, but this company operates by selling through dealers. Since these dealers cannot be found in every major city in the United States, the company’s reach may be limited. However, all you need to do is contact American Standard’s customer service department, and they will put you in touch with an authorized dealer.

What Factors Should You Consider When Buying an Air Conditioner?

As you research air conditioning units, there are several factors you’ll want to keep in mind. There are several great AC brands, so make sure to consider the following as you narrow down your search:

  • Air conditioner cost
  • British thermal unit (BTU)
  • Energy efficiency rating (EER)
  • Seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER)
  • Type of air conditioner
  • Warranties

Air Conditioner Cost

Air conditioner price depends on several factors: type of system, efficiency rating, labor, and whether or not you need to add ductwork. On average, most central AC units cost between $2,500 and $7,500, but this price may vary depending on the needs of your home. 

Below you will find the average price of the most common types of air conditioning units. The most affordable type of AC is window units because the homeowner often installs these. The most expensive type of air conditioning system is a geothermal heat pump because of its high installation costs.

Type of AC UnitLow CostHigh Cost
Window AC$150$750
Ductless Mini Split$1,500$8,000
Central AC$2,500$7,500

British Thermal Unit

The British Thermal Unit (BTU) measures how much energy your air conditioning system uses to remove heat from your home in one hour. This number tells you how large of a system you need for your home. 

Square FeetBTUs
600 square feet12,000 BTU
800 square feet16,000 BTU
1,000 square feet20,000 BTU
1,200 square feet24,000 BTU
1,400 square feet28,000 BTU
1,600 square feet32,000 BTU
1,800 square feet36,000 BTU
2,000 square feet40,000 BTU
2,500 square feet50,000 BTU
3,000 square feet60,000 BTU

To measure how many BTUs you need to heat and cool your home efficiently, you can multiply your home’s square footage by 20. This will give you an approximate BTU, but the size you need may depend on your geographic location. Use the numbers below to get a general estimate, but for the most accurate information, it’s best to contact a local installer for a free quote.

Energy Efficiency Ratio

The Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) describes how effectively an air conditioner cools your home. An EER value of 8.5 is considered average, and buying an AC unit with a lower EER value is not advisable, as it consumes considerable energy.

The higher the EER value, the more efficient your air conditioner; the most efficient air conditioners on the market have an EER value of 11.5 to 12. Since more efficient HVAC systems are more effective at heating and cooling your home, systems with higher EER values will save you money on your electric bill.

Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio

Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) indicates how much energy an AC system consumes in a year. The higher the SEER value, the more efficient the system is and the more money you can save each month. SEER ratings range from 13 to 28 SEER, but most air conditioners have a value of 15 to 18 SEER.

As of January 2023, air conditioners in northern parts of the United States must have a SEER rating of 14 or higher, and AC units in southern states must have a rating of 15 SEER or higher. 

Type of Air Conditioner

The type of air conditioning system you install in your home may depend on the current systems installed in your home and your budget. For example, if you do not have a central AC, installing this system will be more expensive because you will also have to install the ductwork.

The most common types of air conditioning systems include:

  • Ductless mini-split air conditioner: This ductless AC system has no ductwork. Instead, it mounts to the wall and pumps air directly into your home from the outside.
  • Heat pumps: Heat pumps are a type of split system that pumps cool air into your home. There are two types of heat pumps: air-source heat pumps and energy-efficient geothermal heat pumps.
  • Packaged central air conditioning: This system consists of a single unit that contains the evaporator, compressor, and condenser. There is no need for a separate furnace in the house.
  • Split-system central air conditioners: Central split air conditioners circulate cool air throughout your home through a system of supply ductwork and return registers. You must buy an air conditioner and furnace separately.
  • Window air conditioners: Window air conditioners are easy-to-install systems that attach to your home’s windows. These systems push air into your home via the window mount.

Type of Compressor

Your air conditioner’s compressor is an essential component of the entire system. The compressor is responsible for converting refrigerant from liquid to gas to cool your home. There are a few different types of air conditioner compressors, and the most common types you will see from our top AC brands include:

  • Single-stage compressor: The most affordable type of compressor, a single-stage compressor runs at 100% power all of the time to cool your home.
  • Two-stage compressor: A two-stage compressor has a high speed used in hot weather and a low speed used in milder weather. Two-stage compressors are more efficient than single-stage and are best suited for regions that experience mild to extreme heat.
  • Variable speed compressor: A variable speed compressor is the most energy-efficient and produces only the cool air you need for your home. It does not cycle on and off but pumps exactly as much as needed to cool your home’s inside temperature.


The best air conditioning brands offer a five- to 10-year limited warranty that covers the cost of repairing air conditioner components and parts that do not work properly. Along with this parts warranty, the best HVAC companies have at least a one-year labor warranty covering repairs if your unit was installed incorrectly.

You should consider a home warranty plan if you want even more warranty coverage. Unlike the manufacturer’s and labor warranties, the best home warranties cover the cost of repairing your air conditioner if it breaks down due to normal wear and tear. 

Final Thoughts on the Best Air Conditioner Brands

Every one of these air conditioning brands is an excellent choice for your home. Lennox, Trane, or Amana are the brands to consider if you want the most efficient option. If cost is your biggest concern, Frigidaire or Rheem may be the best choice. If you want a quiet air conditioner that barely makes a sound, you may purchase a system from Carrier or Trane.

Best For Noise Level
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Best For Affordability
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Best AC Model Variety
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Best For Sustainability
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FAQs About the Best Air Conditioner Brands

What is the best air conditioner installation company?

The best HVAC companies are approved vendors of the best air conditioner brands. Some of the best HVAC installation companies are ARS, Service Experts and Service Champions because each of these companies offers a wide selection of air conditioners, flexible financing options, and great warranties for air conditioning work.

What is the best air conditioner for the money?

Which air conditioner is best for your home depends on your individual needs. If you live in a warm climate, consider purchasing a high-efficiency air conditioner from Lennox or Trane. However, if you live in a colder climate and do not use your air conditioner as often, you can purchase a less expensive air conditioner from Rheem or Frigidaire.

How can I determine the best air conditioner capacity for my home?

To determine the right size air conditioner for your home, you must first determine the exact square footage of your home. Then, look for air conditioners with BTU that are appropriate for the size of your home. For example, a 2,000-square-foot home requires about 50,000 to 60,000 BTU.

What is the most energy-efficient air conditioner for a house?

Lennox offers the most energy-efficient air conditioner with a SEER rating of 28. The minimum recommended rating for SEER is between 14 and 15, and this high-efficiency air conditioner doubles that. Amana, Carrier, and Trane also have high-efficiency air conditioners with SEER ratings between 22 and 24.5.

Methodology: How We Evaluated the Best Air Conditioner Brands

The experts at Today’s Homeowner provide only the most transparent and accurate information for all your home improvement projects and needs. Our reviews of HVAC companies, which include air conditioner brands, focus on what matters most to homeowners — including efficiency, sound ratings, cost, and more.

To gather our information on the best air conditioner brands, our experts reviewed publicly available information, gathered quotes, spoke with HVAC contractors, and analyzed consumer reviews.

An air conditioner company can score a total of 100 points across five categories. This score is then converted into a five-star scale. We studied dozens of the best air conditioner brands to develop the following rating methodology:

  • Affordability (20 points): Material and labor costs are the two most important factors in assessing the affordability of an air conditioner brand. However, we consider more than just these factors and evaluate how air conditioner companies accommodate a range of budgets.
  • Efficiency (25 points): An air conditioner’s efficiency directly affects your monthly energy bills. We look to see if air conditioner brands offer high-efficiency units and ensure each unit passes the minimum SEER and EER requirements for each region. 
  • Sound Rating (20 points): The best air conditioners can cool your home with little to no sound. We rate air conditioner brands based on how quiet their systems are. Companies that offer air conditioners that produce fewer than 57 decibels do the best in this category.
  • Products (25 points): We evaluate the company’s brands and whether they offer multiple equipment options and high-efficiency units. Companies that offer split-system, packaged systems, ductless systems, heat pumps, portable units, and window air conditioners score the best in this category.
  • Warranty (10 points): The best air conditioner brands back up their products and services with extensive warranties. We research each company’s material and workmanship warranties and evaluate them based on comprehensiveness and length.

We monitor company data on an ongoing basis to keep rankings and information up to date.

Editorial Contributors
Alora Bopray

Alora Bopray

Staff Writer

Alora Bopray is a digital content producer for the home warranty, HVAC, and plumbing categories at Today's Homeowner. She earned her bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of St. Scholastica and her master's degree from the University of Denver. Before becoming a writer for Today's Homeowner, Alora wrote as a freelance writer for dozens of home improvement clients and informed homeowners about the solar industry as a writer for EcoWatch. When she's not writing, Alora can be found planning her next DIY home improvement project or plotting her next novel.

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Roxanne Downer


Roxanne Downer is a commerce editor at Today’s Homeowner, where she tackles everything from foundation repair to solar panel installation. She brings more than 15 years of writing and editing experience to bear in her meticulous approach to ensuring accurate, up-to-date, and engaging content. She’s previously edited for outlets including MSN, Architectural Digest, and Better Homes & Gardens. An alumna of the University of Pennsylvania, Roxanne is now an Oklahoma homeowner, DIY enthusiast, and the proud parent of a playful pug.

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