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Top 10 best air conditioner brands in 2023

Are you looking for the best air conditioner brands? Here is everything you need to know from an actual AC company.

Guide for the Best air conditioner brands in 2023 from an actual AC company. Check out our Top 10 AC Unit Brands

Let’s face it; a new air conditioner can be a big investment. No homeowner wants to pick a brand that might not hold up in the long run. It can be a challenge to sort through all the different AC brands and choose the right one because there are many variables to consider. What is the life expectancy, is it energy efficient, how much will it cost, or how often will I have to repair it?  That’s a lot to consider, so we built this guide to help homeowners make the most informed decision on the best air conditioner brands available in the US.

Most Popular Air Conditioner Brands In America

Seeing what homeowners are buying throughout the US is one indicator of the best AC brands on the market. These are the top 6 most sought-after and purchased air conditioner brands by homeowners in the US. 

Homeowners Top AC Brands in America

  1. Carrier Air Conditioner
  2. Trane Air Conditioner
  3. Goodman Air Conditioner
  4. Lennox Air Conditioner
  5. Rheem Air Conditioner 
  6. York Air Conditioner

#1 Carrier

Carrier AC brand logo

Carrier is one of the most sought-after brands in all of the US, and the reasons why are what might be expected. Carrier was first founded in 1915 and run by Carrier Global Corporation. Being more than 100 years old definitely gives them an advantage over the other brands. They have simply had more time than other companies to perfect their product, and it shows. At this point, they have been able to work out just about all the bugs and flaws in their air conditioner systems that other manufacturers are still struggling with. They not only manufacture just the this line but a total of nine different brands. Their primary three brands being Carrier, Bryant, and Payne. In 1999 Carrier purchased International Comfort Products or ICP for short. Which came with an additional six different air conditioning and heating brands. Makes like Comfortmaker, Tempstar, Day & Night, Heil, Arcoaire, and Keeprite. These are amongst the best HVAC brands on the market today but just not as coveted as the Carrier line. If you are asking yourself, what is the best air conditioner brands? Let’s put it this way, if I were making a list of the top 10 air conditioner brands, I would put Carrier number one on the list.

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5 Stars

  • Life Expectancy – 20 Years
  • Parts Warranty – 10 Years
  • Compressor Wty – 10 Years
  • Future Repairs – Low

Carrier Global Corporation Brands

  • Carrier
  • Bryant
  • Payne
  • Arcoaire
  • Day & Night
  • Comfortmaker
  • Heil 
  • Keeprite
  • Tempstar

4 Stars

  • Complete System  – $5,700 to $16,500
  • Outdoor AC Unit – $3,500 to $10,400
  • Indoor Furnace – $3,000 to $7,500

(pricing varies based on furnace type and SEER)

5 Stars

  • SEER – 13 to 26 SEER
  • Gas furnace – 80% to 95% efficient

#2 Trane

Trane AC brand logo

Trane is an extremely well-known HVAC brand and routinely competes with Carrier for the number one spot in the public eye. The Trane line is owned by Trane Technologies, and they have a similar advantage in the marketplace as Carrier. Trane started manufacturing air conditioners as far back as 1931, making it a very reliable system. What separations the technology in a Trane air conditioner from most others is the spine fin coil design in their outdoor AC units. Which has its own pros and cons. Trane Technologies manufactures a total of five different HVAC brands. Their flagship brands are both Trane and American Standard, which will have the latest and greatest technology. However, the most budget-friendly brands are Ameristar, RunTru, and Oxbox. So, if you are asking, is Trane one of the best HVAC brands? There is no way you can go wrong with a Trane. Trane is one of my top picks for the best AC brands for homeowners in 2023.

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5 Stars

  • Life Expectancy – 20 Years
  • Parts Warranty – 10 Years
  • Best Compressor Wty – 12 Years
  • Future Repairs – Low

Trane Technologies Brands

  • Trane
  • American Standard
  • Ameristar
  • RunTru
  • OxBox

4 Stars

  • Complete System  – $5,700 to $16,500
  • Outdoor AC Unit – $3,500 to $10,400
  • Indoor Furnace – $3,000 to $7,500

(pricing varies based on furnace type and SEER)

4 Stars

  • SEER – 13 to 22 SEER
  • Gas furnace – 80% to 95% efficient

#3 Goodman

Goodman AC brand logo

Goodman has recently become extremely popular. In the last ten years, Goodman has made a big comeback as the low-cost air conditioning solution. Goodman was mismanaged for many years until they were bought by Daikin Industries in 2012. Daikin invested heavily in R&D and manufacturing turning around the Goodman name. Goodman has strived to become one of the top HVAC brands delivering the most cost-effective air conditioner while maintaining good quality. While Goodman is Daikin’s flagship HVAC system, they also manufacture two other lesser-known brands, Daiken and Amana. If you are asking, is Goodman one of the best ac unit brands? The short answer is they are widely considered by many to be the best budget-friendly brand available. Goodman should be on top of your list for the best budget-friendly option.

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4 Stars

  • Life Expectancy – 18 Years
  • Parts Warranty – 10 Years
  • Compressor Wty – 10 Years
  • Future Repairs – Low

Daikin Industries, Ltd Brands

  • Goodman
  • Amana
  • Daikin

5 Stars

  • Best HVAC System  – $5,100 to $15,000
  • Outdoor AC Unit – $3,100 to $7,500
  • Indoor Furnace – $2,900 to $6,700

(pricing varies based on furnace type and SEER)

4 Stars

  • SEER – 13 to 19 SEER
  • Gas furnace – 80% to 95% efficient

#4 Lennox

Lennox AC brand logo

Lennox is popular among people looking for a luxury air conditioner system. Lennox has always fought to be known as the Mercedes of air conditioning. They will routinely offer the highest seer-rated AC unit on the market, which is great for saving on your electric bill. Lennox International not only owns Lennox but four other more budget-friendly brands, Armstrong Air, Concord, Ducan, and Aire-Flo. For the last decade, Lennox has been having some quality control problems with their HVAC systems. This has led to major repair issues on newer HVAC systems which can be frustrating to homeowners. If you are asking, should I put Lennox in my list of top 10 air conditioner brands? I would have a hard time recommending it due to their recent QC problems. However, some of the issues they have been struggling with might have been fixed; the problem is it takes years to find out.

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3 Stars

  • Life Expectancy – 15 Years
  • Parts Warranty – 5 to 10 Years
  • Compressor Wty – 5 to 10 Years
  • Future Repairs – High

Lennox International Brands

  • Lennox
  • Armstrong Air
  • Concord Air
  • Ducane
  • Aire-Flo

3 Stars

  • Complete System  – $6,100 to $24,500
  • Outdoor AC Unit – $3,900 to $12,500
  • Indoor Furnace – $3,400 to $10,500

(pricing varies based on furnace type and SEER)

5 Stars

  • Best SEER Rating – 13 to 28 SEER
  • Gas furnace – 80% to 95% efficient

#5 Rheem

Rheem AC brand logo

Next up on our list is Rheem, which homeowner trust as one of the best middle-of-the-road air conditioner brands. Rheem is not quite as high quality as a Carrier or Trane, but it’s also better than a Goodman. So, Rheem AC systems help to fill the gap between the best HVAC brands and the most budget-friendly systems. Rheem Manufacturing owns Rheem along with Ruud air conditioning. As a side note, their heat pump AC units are manufactured a little differently from most other brands, which can get an inexperienced technician turned around. So, I would recommend using a company that Rheem is their preferred brand just to make sure the installation is done correctly. If you are questioning, is Rheem one of the top HVAC brands? I would say, yes, it is a good air conditioning brand that is worth considering in your list of top HVAC systems.

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5 Stars

  • Life Expectancy – 20 Years
  • Parts Warranty – 10 Years
  • Compressor Wty – 10 Years
  • Future Repairs – Low

Rheem Manufacturing Company Brands

  • Rheem
  • Ruud

4 Stars

  • Complete System  – $5,600 to $16,100
  • Outdoor AC Unit – $3,400 to $10,000
  • Indoor Furnace – $3,000 to $7,000

(pricing varies based on furnace type and SEER)

4 Stars

  • SEER – 13 to 20 SEER
  •  Gas furnace – 80% to 95% efficient

#6 York

York AC brand logo

York is the last major brand homeowners are looking for. York is another middle-of-the-road AC system, much like Rheem. York has a pretty big footprint in the commercial sector because the parent company is Johnson Controls. They also own brands like Coleman and Luxaire. Since York is not as big as some of the other brands, I would recommend making sure they have a strong presence in your area. This will help to make sure future repairs and maintenance won’t be a problem. If you are asking, is York one of the best ac unit brands? It’s not going to be the best on the market, but it is a great brand worth considering.

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4 Stars

  • Life Expectancy – 18 Years
  • Parts Warranty – 10 Years
  • Compressor Wty – 10 to lifetime
  • Future Repairs – Low

Johnson Controls Brands

  • York
  • Luxaire
  • Coleman

5 Stars

  • Complete System  – $5,100 to $15,000
  • Outdoor AC Unit – $3,100 to $7,500
  • Indoor Furnace – $2,900 to $6,700

(pricing varies based on furnace type and SEER)

4 Stars

  • SEER – 13 to 21 SEER
  • Gas furnace – 80% to 95% efficient

All AC Brands Explained

There is a way to dramatically simplify all the confusion that revolves around central HVAC brands. All we have to do is break it down to the major manufacturers that build these brands. There is a total of 28 major brands however there are only 6 manufacturers.

Top HVAC Manufactures in the US

  1. Carrier Global
  2. Trane Technologies
  3. Daikin Industries
  4. Lennox International
  5. Rheem Manufacturing
  6. Johnson Controls
AC brand logos

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Chart comparing all HVAC brands in the US

Carrier Global: All Brands

Top of the line

  • Carrier 
  • Bryant

Middle of the road

  • Arcoaire
  • Comfortmaker
  • Day & Night
  • Heil
  • KeepRite
  • Tempstar

Budget / Builders Grade

  • Payne

Trane Technology: All Brands

Top of the line

  • Trane
  • American Standard

Middle of the road

  • RUNtru

Budget / Builders Grade

  • Ameristar
  • Oxbox

Daikin Industries: All Brands

Top of the line

  • Daikin

Middle of the road

  • Amana

Budget / Builders Grade

  • Goodman

Lennox International: All Brands

Top of the line

  • Lennox

Middle of the road

  • Armstrong Air

Budget / Builders Grade

  • Concord
  • Ducane
  • Aire-Flo

Rheem Manufacturing: All Brands

Top of the line

Middle of the road

  • Rheem
  • Ruud

Budget / Builders Grade

Johnson Controls: All Brands

Top of the line

Middle of the road

  • York
  • Coleman
  • Luxaire

Budget / Builders Grade

Best AC Brands for Quality

If you’re planning on living in your home for the next 10+ years, quality starts to become an important factor when deciding on the right HVAC system. From the 10,000+ AC systems we have services, there is a clear pattern of which air conditioners last the longest with the fewest repairs. There are 5 air conditioner brands that clearly stick out from the others.

Top 5 Best Quality AC Brand in America

  1. Carrier / Bryant
  2. Trane / American Standard
  3. Daikin 

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#1 Carrier / Bryant

Carrier brand logo with the Turn to the Experts tagline

You might be asking yourself, why are there two AC brands in the #1 spot? The short answer is there is arguably no difference between a Carrier and a Bryant. They both have the same technology, parts, and even come off the same assembly line. The only difference is the paint color and name. That’s why we have lumped them both together.

After working on thousands of HVAC systems, the reason these two stickers out as the best air conditioner brand for quality is due to their long-term reliability. Throughout the life expectance of a Carrier or Bryant, we see the fewest number of repairs and other issues. These systems will routinely run longer than 20 years. Which is tough to say about other brands. I definitely recommend considering these two systems if you are in the market for quality.

#2 Trane / American Standard

American Standard heating and air conditioning brand logo

Trane and American Standard are extremely well-made AC systems. Much like Carrier and Bryant, both Trane and American Standard are pretty much the same thing with different labels. They both use the same technology and come off the same assembly lines. The only difference being the color of the paint they use the name. That’s why they both fall into the same category.

After the thousands of Trane and American Standard air conditioning systems we have worked on, we have noticed a pattern. You should be able to get 20 years out of these systems as long as it was installed correctly and annually maintained. The only problem we have seen is right at 20 years old, the spine fin coils on the outdoor unit will start leaking freon. Which is usually a deciding factor in replacing it and not repairing it. That being said, 20 years is a long time for an AC unit. Other than that, I would consider Trane and American Standard to be one of the best AC brands for quality.

#3 Daikin

Daikin air conditioning brand logo

Daikin is one of America’s most underrated air conditioners because they are not well known. Daikin also manufactures Goodman, but the Daikin name is the premium line. Most homeowners aren’t familiar with this brand because the Daikin name primarily makes commercial equipment. Commercial-grade equipment has to run longer and harder than residential. So, they end up paying more attention to quality.

Over the years of working on these systems, we have noticed how few repairs they need, along with a long-life expectancy. In 2023 I would consider Daikin to be one of the best HVAC systems for quality.

Best And Cheapest Air Conditioner Brands

There are a few instances when is just doesn’t make since to buy the best ac brand. You might be looking to sell your home soon, or it’s a rental home, maybe you’re just looking to get the best deal. Either way, after working on thousands of central air conditioners we have found a few HVAC systems that stick out. Our top 3 air conditioner brands that are also budget friendly is Goodman, Payne, and York.

Top 3 Best & Cheapest AC Brands

  1. Goodman – Complete System $5,200 to $15,000
  2. Payne – Complete System $5,400 to $15,000
  3. York – Complete System $5,500 to $15,000

#1 Goodman

Goodman AC and heating brand logo

Goodman puts a lot of effort into keeping their equipment cost as low as possible. The reason they try to keep their prices down is that the primary market they sell into is the multi-family and rental properties. The ideal application for a Goodman is in places where it isn’t easy to perform proper maintenance, like in a rental home or apartment. That way, they can be used and abused without spending any more than you have to. Another ideal application is when a homeowner plans to move in the next few years. Since an air conditioner brand does not change the value of your home, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to overspend on a new air conditioner. So, if you are on a budget and are looking for top air conditioner brands, Goodman might be the right solution for you.

  • New Goodman Replacement Cost – $5,200 to $15,000

#2 Payne

Payne heating and cooling brand logo

Payne is designed and marked as a cost-effective air conditioner solution under the Carrier line. Payne is a sound AC system because it is similar to a Carrier. One of the only downsides to a Payne is not the equipment but the local support. Since Payne is a lesser-known brand, there is a chance that there might not be very many HVAC companies that offer this brand. Which could lead to poor service when you need it. If you find a local contractor that uses Payne as their primary AC brand, they should be able to take good care of you. Overall, Payne is going to be one of the best AC units to keep your cost as low as possible while maintaining good quality.

  • New Payne Replacement Cost – $5,400 to $15,000

#3 York

York HVAC brand logo

York is a good mid-entry HVAC system that has been around for a while. We have worked on many York air conditioner units, and they are reliable systems. I don’t have a lot of negative to say about their central AC systems. Not only are they reliable, but one of the best things about these systems is their prices. They are priced very competitively. So if you are looking for an inexpensive HVAC system, I would consider York to be one of the top HVAC brands for a budget-friendly option.

  • New York Replacement Cost – $5,500 to $15,000

Top Energy Efficient Air Conditioner Brands

If you are looking for the top energy-efficient brands on the market, Lennox, Amana, and Carrier are all good options.

Top 3 most energy efficient aC brands

  1. Lennox – Up to 28 Seer
  2. Carrier – Up to 26 Seer
  3. Amana – Up to 24.5 Seer

#1 Lennox

Lennox HVAC brand logo

Lennox is considered by many as the luxury brand of air conditioning. The latest and greatest Lennox systems can deliver an astounding 28 SEER rating, beating out all competitors. They also have all the bells and whistles and are the most energy-efficient air conditioner on the market. However, all the bells and whistles come at a price, making Lennox the most expensive air conditioner system on the market. Not only is it the most expensive system, but it has more parts to break, and they do. Most people with Lennox air conditioners have more than one system on their home, so it’s not too big of a deal if one goes down. If you are looking for the top-of-the-line, most energy-efficient AC, Lennox might be your go-to.

#2 Carrier

Carrier brand logo with the Turn to the Experts tagline

Not only is Carrier one of the most reliable air conditioner brands on the market they also have one of the most energy-efficient systems. Their Infinity Greenspeed air conditioner can reach an efficiency rating as high as 26 SEER. They don’t have quite as high SEER ratings as a Lennox, but they are still one of the top most efficient air conditioner brands. The best part about Carrier is they have always been considered one of the top 10 air conditioner brands in USA because they are always innovating. So if energy efficiency is your number one priority, I would consider this brand as an option.

#3 Amana

Amana heating and air conditioning brand logo

Amana is an upper-end arm of the Daikin line and is a great system. An Amana system can deliver an amazing 24 SEER rating on some of their AC systems. Amana is normally a more budget-friendly option than Lennox. However, it will not come with all the bells and whistles. Since Amana systems don’t have as many moving parts, it is a little more durable than Lennox. One of the downsides to a high-end variable speed system, they require routine maintenance to make sure everything is working correctly.

Top 10 Air Conditioner Brands

A quick disclaimer about our opinion: We are an air conditioner company in Texas that works on and replaces thousands of air conditioners every year. So we have real-world experience with how HVAC systems perform under some of the harshest conditions in the summer. However, we have mild winters, so furnace quality might be a little different in your area.

How we rate each brand: Since we service and replace so many AC units every year, we have a good idea of what to expect out of most brands. The metrics we are going to be looking at to rate the top 10 AC brands are 1) reliability which ties into life expectancy. 2) The number of repairs and the frequency of repairs. 3) Customer satisfaction. 4) How competitive the equipment cost is.

  1. Reliability
  2. Number of repairs
  3. Customer Satisfaction
  4. Replacement Cost

Our pick of the Top 10 AC Brands

  1. Carrier Air Conditioner
  2. Bryant Air Conditioner
  3. Trane Air Conditioner 
  4. American Standard Air Conditioner
  5. Daikin Air Conditioner
  6. Goodman Air Conditioner
  7. Rheem Air Conditioner 
  8. Ruud Air Conditioner
  9. York Air Conditioner
  10. Coleman Air Conditioner

Best Air Conditioner Brands

1 & 2) On top of our list of the top 10 air conditioner brands, you are going to find Carrier and Bryant. The reason why we put them as top air conditioner brands is because they are the most reliable with the fewest number of repairs, and customers love them. The only mark against them is pricing. They do have good prices however just not the best.

3 & 4) Trane and American Standard are next in our lineup. These systems are great because the life expectance is good, and the number of repairs normally is at a minimum. Most of our customers have nice things to say about them. The only drawback is, much like Carrier, the pricing is good but just not the best.

5 & 6) Next up, we have Daikin and Goodman. Daikin is a little more reliable with fewer repairs than a Goodman. However, Goodman has the lowest cost on this list. So, Daikin is a better AC system, but no one can beat the price of a Goodman.

7 & 8) When it comes to Rheem and Ruud HVAC systems, I would have to say they are great middle-of-the-road air conditioners. They are not your top AC units or your low-end. All around, they are a great AC system that is reliable but not overly expensive.

9 & 10) Last on our list are York and Coleman air conditioners. The best way to view these systems is they are in between a Rheem and a Goodman system. They are a little bit cheaper but not as much as a Goodman. The reason they are at the bottom of the list is because they are just not quite reliable as the other system on this list.

Key Takeaways Top air conditioner brands

The key takeaway to help decide which brand is right for you is simply, it’s all about application.

  1. If you are planning to live in your home for many years down the road. It would be ideal to purchase a higher-end air conditioning system. They will help reduce long-term maintenance costs, along with knowing you can count on it when you need it.
  2. If you own rental properties or just not planning to live in your home much longer, then a more budget-friendly option might be the way to go. This will help keep your cost down as low as possible while taking care of your tenant or future home buyer.
  3. If you are looking to go solar in the future or just looking out for our planet, you might want a brand that has high seer ratings. A higher seer rating will help keep your energy usage as low as possible while staying cool in the summer and warm in the winter.

Best of luck if you’re needing a new HVAC installation. I hope this article helped you track down the top AC brands. If you happen to be in our service area, please give us a call.

A technician uses manifold gauges, an HVAC diagnostic tool for checking refrigerant pressure, during an AC repair.

12 Things Every Homeowner Should Know Before Buying a New AC

Download the Atlas AC Buyers Guide before you buy a new AC.

The HVAC industry still operates like the wild west, and many homeowners are left to fend for themselves. Atlas AC created the AC Buyers Guide to prevent homeowners from being exploited by untrustworthy AC companies.

Use this guide to help you select the best AC Company for your next AC Replacement.

If you are looking for HVAC replacement cost, new AC unit cost, or new furnace cost, visit our other blog posts that include pricing so you can set budgets for your home. If you need an air conditioner repair in San Antonio, give us a call, and we can help.

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