Best air conditioner brands of 2022

The best air conditioner brands of 2022 each speak to the different needs of a homeowner. Whether your preference is technology to connect to your smart home or energy efficiency to keep energy costs low, our top ac brands have you covered.

Our goal is to help you evaluate the best ac brands of 2022 and decide which will keep your family most comfortable and your budget intact. To determine which brands should make our list, we relied on the expertise of two HVAC professionals who share more than 30 years of AC repair and installation experience.

Quality
Trane
  • Top-notch air filtration
  • Durable equipment
Value
Rheem logo
Rheem
  • Quality materials
  • Simple design
Efficiency
Lennox
  • Eco-friendly refrigerant
  • Top SEER rating (28)
Reliability
Trane
  • Constant iteration
  • Advanced testing
Smart home tech
Carrier
  • History of innovation
  • Home automation system

AC shopping checklist

When researching the best air conditioner for your home, we recommend you weigh the following factors.

📏 SizeAir conditioner capacity is measured in British Thermal Units (BTUs). According to the Environmental Protection Agency, multiply your home’s square footage by 20 to determine how many BTUs you need. Central ACs are usually sold by the ton. One ton equals 12,000 BTUs.
🌎 EfficiencyEnergy efficiency will impact the planet and your utility bill. Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) measures AC efficiency. SEER signifies how efficient an AC is on a numeric scale. Modern ACs must have a minimum SEER of 13. The average SEER is 15-18.
🛠 InstallationThe best air conditioner brands are only as good as the installation. Choose a reputable dealer with good local reviews. Installation costs $500-2,500 in addition to the cost of the air conditioner. Some installers may offer financing.
☔ WarrantyA robust warranty can save you money in the long run. You shouldn’t choose an air conditioner with less than a 10-year limited parts warranty. Some air conditioner warranties cover 20 years. Your dealer may also offer a labor warranty.
✨ FeaturesDepending on your unique needs, different features may be more or less important to you. Some AC models include variable fan speeds, cabinets optimized for certain climate zones, compatibility with smart home systems, and sophisticated air filters.
💰 CostOn average, a new air conditioning system costs $5,681. Prices vary based on size, quality, efficiency, and features. Our cost calculator below can help you better understand what you should budget for your new AC.

Best air conditioner brands

The following AC brands are the best of the best. We based our choices on industry research and interviews with HVAC experts who repair and service air conditioners every day.The experts considered the types of materials used, design of the unit, price, system testing, energy efficiency, and technological advancements as they selected the top AC brands.

Best Quality & Reliability: Trane

Trane is known for creating long-lasting HVAC equipment. Its testing standards are rigorous to ensure its equipment functions optimally, even in harsh conditions.

Trane air conditioners feature a spine fin condenser coil, while most other brands use a flat tube and fin design. Trane’s coil transfers heat better and prevents corrosion and leaks that could damage your system. Third-party testing proves that Trane’s proprietary spine fin design supplies superior efficiency, performance, and reliability.

Trane’s CleanEffects air filtration technology is impressive and beneficial for families with asthma and allergy issues. Its TruComfort feature makes a big impact on in-home humidity as well.

The company’s standard limited warranty generally covers parts for 10 years. Trane also offers extended warranty options, including the ability to transfer the warranty when you sell your home.

Product Callouts Section

  • Efficiency Rating
    14.5 to 22 SEER
  • Sound Rating
    55-75 decibels
  • Price Range
    $5,800 – $14,000
Pros:

Product Pros Highlights

  • Durable equipment
  • Top-notch air filtration
  • Extreme system testing
Cons:

Product Cons Highlights

  • High price point
  • High operational noise level on some units
Explore Trane air conditioners
Trane XV20i

Featured Trane AC Model

The Trane XV20i is the brand’s top-of-the-line central AC. It has a variable speed fan, which means your home stays consistently comfortable.

The XV20i has a compressor sound insulator to keep it running quietly. It runs at a max 75 decibels, which is about as loud as a dishwasher.

This AC is ENERGY STAR certified with a SEER of 22. It will save you money and also reduce your impact on the environment.

Trane’s XV20i comes with a 12-year limited warranty on the compressor. It has a 10-year limited warranty on the outdoor coil and other parts. It’s compatible with the Trane ComfortLink wireless thermostat system.

Best Value: Rheem

Rheem logo

Rheem has a reputation in the industry as a budget-friendly alternative to some of the big-name brands. Its products are ideal for homeowners in more temperate environments, as Rheem ACs aren’t built for extremes. 

Rheem uses quality materials and simple design to make our best air conditioner brands list. HVAC technicians find them easy to work on. The only downside is that they’re not compatible with most generic parts. If you need a replacement, it may need to be special ordered. 

While Rheem ACs aren’t the most energy-efficient, they cool effectively. The company has initiatives to significantly reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and waste in the next few years. 

Rheem offers a 10-year limited warranty on parts and the compressor. We recommend opting for a labor warranty if your installer offers one, as many problems with Rheem ACs stem from improper installation. 

Product Callouts Section

  • Efficiency Rating
    13-20.5 SEER
  • Sound Rating
    54-78 decibels
  • Price Range
    $3,000-$5,000
Pros:

Product Pros Highlights

  • Simple design
  • Quality materials
  • Easy-to-find parts for repair
Cons:

Product Cons Highlights

  • History of low energy-efficiency
  • Fewer certified Rheem technicians vs. top-tier brands
Explore Rheem air conditioners
rheem-ra20

Featured Rheem AC Model

The Rheem RA20 air conditioner is affordably priced. It’s also energy-efficient, saving you more money via potential rebates and lower utility bills.

This system includes innovations that enhance temperature control and lower indoor humidity. Additionally, it has features that decrease noise and improve usability. Rheem makes it easy to troubleshoot issues if and when they arise.

The RA20’s condenser has a modern design to enhance curb appeal. Its powder coat paint keeps it looking fresh for longer.

Rheem’s RA20 comes with 10-year conditional parts and unit replacement warranties. It’s compatible with the company’s EcoNet system, a series of smart sensors that let you control your HVAC equipment via app.

Best Efficiency: Lennox

Lennox ACs are tops for innovation and efficiency. The company offers a 28 SEER air conditioner, the most efficient on the market. 

Though Lennox ACs will save you money in the long run with their energy efficiency, they are an investment upfront. Lennox equipment is generally the most expensive compared to other brands. 

Lennox uses proprietary parts. As a result, repairing Lennox equipment is notoriously expensive and challenging. Many customers are willing to deal with this for the premium brand cachet and performance. 

Lennox’s basic warranty is five years for parts and the compressor and 20 years for the heat exchanger. Considering the Lennox price point, the warranty seems stingy. The company does offer extended warranty options and longer warranties on its top-shelf products.

Product Callouts Section

  • Efficiency Rating
    13-28 SEER
  • Sound Rating
    59-76 decibels
  • Price Range
    $4,650-$10,650
Pros:

Product Pros Highlights

  • High energy efficiency (up to 28 SEER)
  • Eco-friendly refrigerant
Cons:

Product Cons Highlights

  • Costly repairs due to proprietary parts
Explore Lennox air conditioners

Featured Lennox AC Model

The Lennox SL28XCV is the most energy-efficient air conditioner available today. With a SEER rating of 28, its efficiency is unprecedented. Replacing an aging AC with an SL28XCV can save you more than 60% on your annual cooling expenses.

This Lennox AC uses R-410 refrigerant, which cools faster and is less harmful to the environment and human health. The system earned the ENERGY STAR Most Efficient recognition in 2022.

This AC uses a variable speed compressor to reduce energy consumption and precisely maintain your preferred indoor temperature. It’s part of Lennox’s Ultimate Comfort System, which integrates and controls your HVAC center using WiFi.

The Lennox SL28XCV comes with a 10-year limited warranty on components and the compressor.

Best Smart Home: Carrier

Carrier is one of the most respected brands in the HVAC industry. Its products are known for their quality construction and longevity. 

A recent focus of the brand is on smart home automation and controls. Its Carrier Côr offering lets you manage your home systems from a mobile app. It’s compatible with Interlogix home security systems and Kidde fire safety products, so you can control them all in one place. 

Carrier has a history of innovation in the HVAC space. In fact, its founder invented the first modern air conditioning system in 1902. Staying ahead of the curve in the industry is a cornerstone of the brand. 

Most Carrier air conditioner warranties cover functional parts for 10 years. This does not cover standard wear and tear. But the company’s products do have a good reputation for reliability.

Product Callouts Section

  • Efficiency Rating
    13-26 SEER
  • Sound Rating
    51-76 decibels
  • Price Range
    $3,000-$15,000
Pros:

Product Pros Highlights

  • Home automation system
  • History of innovation
Cons:

Product Cons Highlights

  • High price point for installation
Explore Carrier air conditioners

Featured Carrier AC Model

The Infinity 26 is Carrier’s best air conditioner for energy efficiency. It’s also the company’s quietest model.

This air conditioner uses cutting-edge thermostat technology and a variable speed compressor to precisely adapt output. Its humidity control effectively removes moisture, making your home even more comfortable.

The Carrier Infinity 26 can be controlled remotely via WiFi. You can adjust the settings for up to eight zones within your home.

Carrier’s most expensive model, this air conditioner delivers powerful cooling and smart home features.

Bottom line: the best air conditioner brands

When shopping for a new AC, it’s less about the brand and more about finding the best air conditioner that meets your unique needs. Whether your priority is cost, energy efficiency, or reliability, most big brands will have an option to meet your requirements.

While it does help to understand what the various HVAC manufacturers are known for, don’t base your entire decision on the brand name. An expert AC dealer can help you choose the best air conditioner for your home.

AC Cost Calculator

The price of a new HVAC system can vary. Our Cost Calculator will help you create a price estimate for the ideal AC unit for your home so you have a starting point as you receive quotes from technicians.

How Much Does HVAC Replacement Cost?

Average Cost: $3,250 – $12,586

Like your home and needs, your HVAC project cost will be unique. Use the calculator to better estimate your investment.

*Estimate is based on current data and does not represent a guaranteed price. For accurate pricing contact a local HVAC dealer.

$5,000 – $6,000

Estimated Total

The average cost for a new HVAC system is $3,250 to $12,550, which includes equipment and labor fees for the installation of a central AC unit and gas furnace. The chosen HVAC brand, necessary ductwork repair, and your location will influence the project cost.

Frequently asked questions

What are the best central air conditioner brands 2022?
The best central air conditioner brands 2022 (based on many factors) include Trane, Rheem, Carrier, and Lennox.
What is the best-rated air conditioner?
If you’re looking for the top rated air conditioning system, Lennox’s XC25 model tops the list in energy efficiency with a SEER rating of 26 — the highest rating on the market and double the minimum rating required of 13. Carrier offers the quietest range of central air conditioners on the market with a sound rating as low as 49 dB.
How do I choose an air conditioner for my home?
When choosing an AC system for your home, there are seven factors we cover in this guide you should consider: cost, customer reviews, energy efficiency, features, home size, installation and warranty.