Best Central Air Conditioners - A Complete Buyer's Guide

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Central air conditioning systems are among the most efficient heating and cooling systems in the market, and are capable of maintaining temperatures throughout multiple rooms in a home. Often installed in landed properties, these HVAC systems are best suited for cooling down large areas at a time. Here’s what to consider before installing a central AC unit in your home.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Central Air Conditioner

Before you shop for a new central air conditioner for your home, consider the size and location of your home first. Your home's square footage will indicate how many British Thermal Units (BTU) you will need for your air conditioning unit.


Budget is your main factor in deciding whether to install a central air conditioning unit or not. Central AC units are relatively expensive, and can cost anywhere from $4000-$8000 depending on the size and cooling power of the unit. 

Energy Consumption

Another consideration would be the energy costs of running your HVAC equipment. Just because a model features high energy efficiency, does not mean it is the perfect model for your home. An energy efficient unit may have a lower cooling capacity, which is adequate for small homes, but will not properly cool large homes.

Space Requirements

The main requirement of a central AC system is ductwork. The space must have existing ductwork that goes through the entire household to be able to install a central AC system. You must have ample outdoor space to place the unit, as well as space in the main duct system to fit the cooling coils. These units are not suitable for condominium units and apartments. 

Cooling Power

The cooling capacity of central air conditioners is unrivaled, with most central AC units having a cooling power between 20,000 BTU to 50,000 BTU on average. These are enough to cool multi-story homes and offices, and smart units can optimize cooling as well to lower energy consumption on cool-weather days. 


Consider the HVAC replacement cost as well. Scout for air conditioner maintenance and repair companies in your local area that can properly service your unit. You may have difficulties finding a technician who can inspect and repair your AC system if the brand is unfamiliar in your area.

The 6 Best Central Air Conditioner Brands in 2022

American Standard Central Air Conditioner - $3,500 to $6,000

Top 7 Benefits of American Standard Central AC systems

Our rating: ★★★★★

The American Standard brand of central air conditioners are some of the best central air conditioner models on the market, with warranties of 10 years and above for compressors and other essential parts. While installation costs may reach up to $5,000, these air conditioners are reliable, durable, and range in energy efficiency rating from 14 SEER to 22 SEER ratings.

The American Standard line of air conditioner models are quieter than its competitors as well. However, its cooling power is unhindered by its energy efficiency as the American Standard central AC unit can effectively cool down small and large homes alike. Due to its versatility, these air conditioners are great for mobile homes as well.

Trane Central Air Conditioner - $3,000 to $6,100

Our rating: ★★★★★

Being America's Most Trusted HVAC System brand, Trane does not fall far behind its sister company, American Standard. The air conditioners sold under the Trane brand are equipped with identical features of models under its sister company, but only Trane features the Spine Fin Coil that increases the cooling capacity of each air conditioner.

Trane also features advancements in their air conditioners, such as smart device pairing, and thermostat-smart phone link via Wi-fi. However, the warranties of the Trane line of air conditioners can be improved to cater to a variety of common AC issues.

Rheem Central Air Conditioners - $3,100 to $4,000

Air Conditioners for your Home - Rheem

Our rating: ★★★★☆

Rheem is considered a budget brand compared to its competitors, but features the same durability as pricier brands. Rheem air conditioners are relatively noisy, however, but will still provide an efficient cooling system to any household. Rheem also does not provide lifetime warranty for its air conditioning system, but provides a 10-year warranty on all parts and labor.

These air conditioners can be energy-saving as well, with a SEER rating between 13 to 20, making them low in cost to run throughout the home. Installation may occur at initial costs upwards of $3,000, but when installed properly, Rheem air conditioners can last for decades.

Goodman Central Air Conditioners - $3,200 to $4,200

Our rating: ★★★★☆

Goodman air conditioners are among the popular budget brands for central AC's as the brand does not compromise the quality of their appliances despite the low price. One unit starts at $985, which is a lot more affordable than its competitors. Installation costs, however, may bring the price up to $3,200 or more depending on the number of units.

Still, the Goodman line of air conditioners is a budget-friendly option for households that want to keep cool without burning a hole through their wallets. The air conditioners are quiet, effective, and energy efficient, so they won't rack up high costs in the electric bill.

Carrier Air Conditioner - $4,900 to $7,200

How Long Do Air Conditioners Last? | Carrier Residential

Our rating: ★★★★★

Carrier continues to be one of the best air conditioner brands in the HVAC industry, and the same is true for their central air conditioning units. Carrier energy star central air conditioners are top of the line, with a seasonal energy efficiency ratio between 13 to 22 for its wide range of 16 models.

Despite the high unit and installation costs, Carrier air conditioners are produced with the highest of quality, which makes them reliable, durable, and extremely quiet. However, its high efficiency can be costly when it comes to electrical consumption.

#6 Amana Central Air Conditioners - $3,800 to $6,300

Our rating: ★★★☆☆

Amana air conditioners are mid-range HVAC systems that provide enough cooling capacity to efficiently cool up to eight zones or more depending on the size and power of the unit. The brand provides a Limited Lifetime Warranty for all of its energy efficient AC unit models, and a 10-year warranty on other units.

However, the Amana air conditioner units are notoriously noisy, and lack the protective grill to the compressor, which may cause issues with the internal components of the unit in the long run. Still, with proper care, maintenance, and cleaning, Amana air conditioners can make for effective HVAC units for any home!

Talk to Us!

Make air conditioner shopping hassle-free and easy with Luce Aircon! Our technicians are knowledgeable about the different aircon specifications and space requirements, so you can always count on us to match you with the perfect AC brands and models for your home. Get the best HVAC systems through us, and we'll handle the maintenance and repairs too!

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