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May 4, 2023

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    Carrier is a formidable brand name in the HVAC industry, known for its high-quality air conditioners that operate quietly and efficiently. However, this comes at a price: Carrier falls on the expensive end of the spectrum, alongside top competitors such as Trane and Lennox.

    If you’re considering a Carrier air conditioner unit for your house, this guide is here to help.

    Looking for a new air conditioning unit right now? Contact these top HVAC companies for quotes today.

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    What Is Our Review of Carrier Air Conditioners?

    Carrier earns one of our highest scores for its air conditioners. The company’s units operate quietly, boast high efficiency ratings, and come with an extensive array of options — making it one of the best air conditioner brands on the market.

    While other industry leaders like Trane and Lennox are comparable in some aspects, Carrier surpasses both in its quiet operating sound levels and affordability. Carrier’s AC units operate at levels as low as 51 decibels, the same noise as a regular conversation, making it the best AC brand for noise levels.

    The efficiency ratings of Carrier ACs are also among the best in the industry, with SEER2 (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) ratings falling between 16 to 24.

    Carrier has plenty to offer its customers at different price points, from its basic Comfort models featuring only the essentials, to its high-tech, ultra-convenient Infinity Series. If you’re on a tight budget, we recommend the Carrier Comfort 14 unit. It’s ideal for homeowners seeking a model that prioritizes comfort and simplicity, offering the essentials and nothing more.

    If you’re willing to pay extra for better efficiency, the Carrier Infinity 26 unit may be the right choice. It’s perfect for keeping your home comfortable and cool while maintaining low energy bills and minimizing hot and cold spots.

    Pros and Cons of Carrier Air Conditioner Units


    • Cutting-edge technology, offering greater comfort and control
    • Excellent efficiency ratings for optimal energy savings
    • Industry leader known to produce high-quality products
    • Quiet operation (on most models) to ensure running cycles don’t disrupt your day


    • Lower efficiency units than some competitors
    • Pricier than other brands available on the market

    What Is Carrier’s Air Conditioner Pricing?

    Carrier’s air conditioners are far from a budget-friendly pick. The most inexpensive units start at around $3,500 for the units, while the premium models go for around $5,000 on average.

    If you tack on installation, you can expect to pay between $4,800 and $11,000 for a Carrier air conditioning unit. Of course, pricing hinges on several factors, including the unit size, the model you choose, and its efficiency rating. The chart below outlines Carrier AC unit tiers’ cost ranges (including the unit and installation fees).

    Low-end ModelsMid-range ModelsPremium Models
    $4,800 – $6,900$5,000 – $8,000$7,000 – $11,000

    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.

    How Do Carrier Air Conditioner Models Compare?

    Carrier’s AC lineup includes several models that span various efficiency expectations and budgets to meet the needs of almost all homeowners.

    Carrier segments its central AC units into three series:

    • Comfort Series: Most budget-friendly with decent efficiencies (up to 16 SEER2)
    • Performance Series: Balance between cost and performance, with improved comfort features, including two-stage and variable speed models and better humidity control
    • Infinity Series: Top-of-the-line models for performance and efficiency (up to 26 SEER2)

    The Comfort 14 and Comfort 15 models are strong choices for homeowners wanting the basics — but if you’re looking for extra energy efficiency and top-of-the-line features, Carrier’s Infinity 26 unit is ideal. Here are more details about these models.

    Carrier ModelEfficiency RatingCompressor SpeedCompressor TypeAvailable SizesAverage Unit CostEnergy Star-certified?
    Comfort 1416 SEER2Single-stageScroll1.5 – 5 tons$4,600No
    Comfort 1516.5 SEER2Single-stageScroll1.5 – 5 tons$4,600Yes
    Comfort 15 Coastal16 SEER2Single-stageScroll1.5 – 5 tons$4,700Yes
    Performance 1616.5 SEER2Single-stageScroll1.5 – 5 tons$5,600Yes
    Performance 1717 SEER2Two-stageScroll1.5 – 5 tons$5,500Yes
    Infinity 19VS19 SEER2VariableRotary and Scroll1.5 – 5 tons$7,900Yes
    Infinity 2624 SEER2 Rotary and Scroll1.5 – 5 tons$8,000Yes

    *As of January 1, 2023, air conditioner efficiency ratings have moved from the SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) to the SEER2 system.

    Carrier Comfort 14 Central Air Conditioner

    With nothing but the basics, this air conditioner has just what it needs to provide standard cooling comfort. The unit offers the lowest energy efficiency ratings in Carrier’s current lineup, which still manages to surpass some ratings available on the market today.

    The unit features standard comfort features, humidity control, and sound performance — so while it isn’t anything fancy, it has what it needs to provide plenty of cooling output. However, like Carrier’s higher-end models, this unit has WeatherArmor cabinet protection to keep it safe and secure during every season.

    • Blower type: Single-stage
    • Efficiency rating: 16 SEER2
    • ENERGY STAR rating: Not certified
    • Sound: 73 decibels
    • Warranty: 10-year limited parts

    Carrier Comfort 15 Central Air Conditioner

    Like the Comfort 14 AC unit, Carrier designed its Comfort 15 Central air conditioner with simplicity in mind. The unit features standard cooling capabilities, humidity control, and operating sound levels.

    This unit takes things up from the Comfort 14 model with a higher SEER2 rating and an Energy Star certification, making it an excellent choice for homeowners looking for simplicity and better energy efficiency.

    • Blower type: Single-stage
    • Efficiency rating: 16.5 SEER2
    • ENERGY STAR rating: Certified
    • Sound: 73 decibels
    • Warranty: 10-year limited parts

    Carrier Comfort 15 Coastal Air Conditioner

    Carrier’s Comfort 15 Coastal AC unit offers many of the same features as the standard Comfort 15 unit, complete with a single-stage compressor, identical operating sound levels, and an Energy Star certification.

    However, the coastal model features extras to help it withstand specific weather conditions. In coastal regions, salt wreaks havoc on HVAC units, often shortening their lifespans considerably. This unit features Carrier’s WeatherShield protection for added resistance against the battering of salt spray. With this feature, the unit has a better chance of weathering the conditions for longer than a typical unit.

    • Blower type: Single-stage
    • Efficiency rating: 16 SEER2
    • ENERGY STAR rating: Certified
    • Sound: 73 decibels
    • Warranty: 10-year limited parts

    Carrier Performance 16 Central Air Conditioner

    This air conditioner offers similar perks to Carrier’s Comfort 15 unit. However, while the unit shares many of the same specifications — including a single-stage compressor, an efficiency of 16.5 SEER2, and a mirrored warranty — this model is part of Carrier’s Performance line.

    This model offers solid energy efficiency with standard comfort features in a unit that won’t overwhelm your wallet. It’s a step behind the Performance 17, but it still offers plenty of energy efficiency and cooling output to keep you comfortable throughout scorching temperatures.

    • Blower type: Single-stage
    • Efficiency rating: 16.5 SEER2
    • ENERGY STAR rating: Certified
    • Sound: 72 decibels
    • Warranty: 10-year limited parts

    Carrier Performance 17 Two-Stage Central Air Conditioner

    Carrier’s Performance 17 AC unit offers the perfect blend of comfort and value to avoid breaking the bank. The unit has humidity control and a two-stage compressor for enhanced comfort throughout the summer months.

    This Carrier system surpasses the DOE’s energy efficiency ratings for all areas of the United States, providing efficiency ratings of up to 17 SEER2 or up to 13.5 SEER2 for the southern and northern states, respectively. While this model doesn’t have the fancy features of Carrier’s tech-packed units, it provides an ideal blend of comfort and value.

    • Blower type: Two-stage
    • Efficiency rating: 17 SEER2
    • ENERGY STAR rating: Certified
    • Sound: 71 decibels
    • Warranty: 10-year limited parts

    Carrier Infinity 19VS Central Air Conditioner

    Carrier’s Infinity 19VS AC unit offers a solid energy efficiency rating of up to 19 SEER2. Its five-stage compressor can operate at as low as 25% of its total capacity to minimize energy consumption, ensuring you use the least energy to keep your home comfortable.

    It operates smoothly and quietly due to Carrier’s incorporated Silencer System II design, ensuring the system’s cycles don’t disrupt your day.

    • Blower type: Five-stage
    • Efficiency rating: 19 SEER2
    • ENERGY STAR rating: Certified
    • Sound: 56 decibels
    • Warranty: 10-year limited parts

    Carrier Infinity 26 Air Conditioner with Greenspeed Intelligence

    As Carrier’s most efficient AC model, the Infinity 26 is the priciest unit in its lineup. This system has various features for ultimate comfort and convenience, from its advanced Greenspeed Intelligence technology to its Silencer System II design.

    The Greenspeed Intelligence feature marries Carrier’s adaptable speed technology with its Infinity System Control, providing an intuitive system that adjusts to meet your home’s needs. This design enables the system to operate longer at lower capacities to keep your home consistently comfortable and your energy consumption minimal.

    • Blower type: Variable speed
    • Efficiency rating: 24 SEER2
    • ENERGY STAR rating: Certified
    • Sound: 51 decibels
    • Warranty: 10-year limited parts, 10-year limited unit replacement

    Carrier Thermostats

    In addition to its high-quality AC units, Carrier offers an array of thermostats to complete the setup. The offerings are available in four lines: Infinity, COR, Performance, and Comfort. The Comfort thermostats offer the basics but without any fancy features.

    The Performance lineup is similar to the Comfort thermostats, but you’ll see more advanced features once you reach the COR and Infinity lineups. The Infinity lineup has multiple smart thermostats for advanced comfort control and energy management.

    The Wi-Fi-enabled smart thermostats pass the control into your hands with an easy, effortless connection from your smartphone. You can control various system factors — temperature, humidity, airflow, and ventilation — regardless of your location.

    Carrier’s COR thermostat gives you comprehensive control beyond your home’s HVAC system. The COR hub is a home automation system with a mobile app, similar to most smart-home systems. With it, you can do everything from adjusting the temperature to turning on the lights, even locking the doors.

    The compatibility of Carrier’s thermostats varies based on the AC model you choose, so double-check before choosing a new thermostat. These thermostats are an excellent way to add a layer of control and comfort to your home’s HVAC system, making them an excellent addition to nearly any Carrier AC unit.

    How Does Carrier Air Conditioner Compare to Top Competitors?

    Before committing to one brand over another, it doesn’t hurt to consider each option. The chart below offers a quick overview of how Carrier squares up to its top competitors, Trane and Lennox.

    Premium Unit Cost$6,400 – $8,000$7,500 – $10,000$8,000 – $14,000
    Low-end Unit Cost$2,900 – $4,800$3,500 – $5,000$5,000 – $8,000
    Top Efficiency Rating24 SEER221.5 SEER225.8 SEER2
    Lowest Sound Rating51 decibels55 decibels59 decibels
    Warranty10-year parts, 10-year unit replacement, 20-year with extension10-year parts, 12-year compressor, 20-year heat exchanger10-year compressor, 20-year or limited lifetime heat exchanger

    What Are Carrier Air Conditioner’s Warranty Options?

    Like most top HVAC brands, Carrier offers a few warranty options to its customers. Here’s a quick breakdown of Carrier’s warranty options:

    • Basic Warranty: This 10-year limited warranty option is standard on all of its models and covers parts for 10 years. The warranty solely applies to functional parts, excluding labor costs, refrigerant, and regular wear and tear. Some Infinity models come with an additional 10-year limited replacement warranty.
    • Full Extended Warranty: Extends an additional six to 10 years beyond original warranty. Customers can choose from varying types of coverage based on their budgets, including parts-only, compressor-only, or complete unit.

    Here is Carrier’s take on recommended maintenance for your AC unit.

    What Are Carrier Air Conditioner Reviews From Homeowners?

    We combed through more than 100 customer reviews on sites like Better Business Bureau (BBB), TrustPilot, and ConsumerAffairs. As expected, we came across several positive reviews alongside various negative reviews.

    Satisfied customers applauded the units for quality construction, dependability, and lengthy lifespans. Here are a few actual customer reviews:

    “I decided on a Carrier split system for heating and cooling in an older ranch with electric baseboard heat only. Best decision ever!! It's efficient and cheaper to operate than the new Ruud gas system in my old condo. The heat is so warm. It's not anything like the old heat pumps that seemed to throw cool air for heat. My old condo and my house are about the same size. Both are on slabs. My heating/cooling bills at the house are half of the condo's. What a blessing. Thank you, Carrier!!”

    Martha ConsumerAffairs

    “We have a Carrier furnace and a/c. It is currently 25 yrs old. It just needs a tune up every year. It runs well and is dependable. We are holding out as long as possible to replace it. It is unfortunate that machines don’t last like they used to. Fingers crossed we can maintain ours for a few more years.”

    Andrea ConsumerAffairs

    Unhappy customers cited issues with the systems prematurely failing, poor customer service, and faulty components.

    “The product is ok but customer service is non-existent. It's a problem with the carrier thermostat not connecting with my phone. The service tech who installed 9 months ago said call carrier customer service. Have tried calling and emailing multiple times. Just ignored my attempts. I would buy another product next time.”

    Chris M. BBB

    “Do not buy Carrier. We have a 5-year-old unit, under warranty, and the part we need for the unit to work is backordered. Minimum 90 days. We live in *******. We have called numerous times to escalate and have had no satisfaction from the corporation.”

    J.M. BBB

    What Features Should You Consider for Carrier Air Conditioners?

    As you sift through Carrier’s air conditioners, it’s essential to consider all aspects of your home’s needs. The brand offers an array of models that meet varying needs and preferences, so it’s crucial to evaluate your expectations and needs before purchasing a new model. Here are a few features to consider as you search for the perfect match:

    • Blower Type: Carrier offers several blower types in its AC units, including single-stage, two-stage, five-stage, and variable speed.
    • Budget: If you’re looking for a budget-friendly air conditioner, we recommend considering Carrier’s Comfort lineup, as these models are the brand’s least expensive options.
    • Features: Carrier’s units come with varying features, with the lower-end models featuring the basics and the high-end models with all the bells and whistles.
    • Location and Climate: Some locations require higher efficiency ratings, so choose a model that matches the DOE’s requirements for your area.
    • SEER Rating: As of January 1, 2023, air conditioner efficiency ratings have moved from the SEER to the SEER2 system. Carrier offers AC units featuring SEER2 ratings between 16 and 24, so choose the option that best meets your energy efficiency expectations.
    • Size and Capacity: Carrier’s AC units are available in varying sizes from 1.5 tons to 5 tons, so select the size and capacity that best reflect your home’s needs. The DOE recommends sizing your unit with 20 BTUs of cooling output per square foot of living space.
    • Warranty: The warranty on your Carrier AC unit varies based on the model you choose, ranging from 10 to 20 years (with extensions), so be sure to note the provided warranty on the model you like before purchasing it.

    So, Is a Carrier Air Conditioner Worth It for Your Home?

    Carrier is an industry-leading brand known for its dedication to quality and reliability, so its popularity is no surprise. After meticulous research and careful consideration, we think Carrier is a strong contender to consider as you weigh your options. Between its high-tech features, low sound profiles, and solid efficiency ratings, Carrier has something to offer almost any homeowner.

    However, while Carrier air conditioners might be the perfect fit for some homeowners, they might not be ideal for everyone, as every situation is different. For example, if you’re looking for a budget-friendly option, Carrier might not have what you need. That said, if you’re looking for ultimate control, comfort, and convenience, Carrier’s Infinity 26 AC unit is an excellent option.

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    FAQs About Carrier Air Conditioners

    Is Carrier a good air conditioner brand?

    Carrier products often rank among the top-three brands for air conditioners, heat pumps, and other HVAC products. While the brand’s offerings are more expensive than others, it offers highly-efficient and quiet units to ensure the best results.

    How long does a Carrier air conditioner last?

    Like most high-end air conditioning systems, Carrier’s units can last over 20 years with proper care and preventative maintenance. Of course, poorly-maintained units are unlikely to make it to 20 years — let alone 10 — so it’s essential to maintain a proper maintenance schedule and stay on top of upkeep.

    What is the best air conditioner for a large house?

    Central air conditioning is usually the ideal option for the best, most even cooling results. They rely on a network of ducts spread throughout the home, ensuring the temperature remains comfortable and consistent throughout a large house. However, other factors go into the decision, so it’s best to consult a local HVAC contractor to determine the best cooling system for your house.

    Is a Carrier air conditioner worth the money?

    While Carrier AC units are a pricey option, many homeowners report overall satisfaction with their purchases. These units are some of the quietest, most energy-efficient units available, so many customers view Carrier’s new air conditioners as a worthwhile investment.

    Methodology: How We Rank Carrier and Other Air Conditioner Brands

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

    To gather our information, our experts review publicly available information, gather quotes, speak with HVAC contractors, and analyze consumer reviews.

    A 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 affordability. However, we consider more than just these factors and evaluate how air conditioner brands 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
    Jonathon Jachura

    Jonathon Jachura


    Jonathon Jachura is a two-time homeowner with hands-on experience with HVAC, gutters, plumbing, lawn care, pest control, and other aspects of owning a home. He is passionate about home maintenance and finding the best services. His main goal is to educate others with crisp, concise descriptions that any homeowner can use. Jon uses his strong technical background to create engaging, easy-to-read, and informative guides. He does most of his home and lawn projects himself but hires professional companies for the “big things.” He knows what goes into finding the best service providers and contractors. Jon studied mechanical engineering at Purdue University in Indiana and worked in the HVAC industry for 12 years. Between his various home improvement projects, he enjoys the outdoors, a good cup of coffee, and spending time with his family.

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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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