10 Best Air Conditioner Brands
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Finding The Best Air Conditioner Brands
Summer can be insufferable without air conditioning. In sweltering heat, fans just don’t cut it alone. It’s no surprise that the search for an affordable, high-powered AC unit is an important one. In this article, you’ll come to know the best air conditioner brands to help you get some relief from the heat.
What is air conditioning, anyway? Air conditioning is the process of removing heat from the air and passive techniques of doing so date back to Ancient Egypt. It wasn’t until the 16th century that scientists began using nitrate in cooling processes and experiments remained rather static until the turn of the 20th century, when many electrical appliances were developed.
Today, we have multiple options of electric-powered air conditioners in varying sizes, BTUS, and designs. Ready to cool off? I thought so. Read on to get the full scoop on my top 5 best air conditioner brands.
10 Best Air Conditioner Brands
If you’re looking for an energy-efficient central AC unit, look no further than Lennox. With options that have a SEER rating up to 28, this brand is one of the most efficient available. Having an efficient AC means you’ll spend less money each month, which is great considering this brand is typically more expensive than others on the market.
Founded in 1895, Lennox didn’t start making residential cooling systems until 1952. Reaching its first SEER benchmark of 15 in 1985, the brand has been dedicated to improving its score even more. You’ll find 9 different models of central AC units in its collection which cost between $4,500-$10,500.
- Energy efficient
- Eco-friendly coolant
- 20-year & 5-year warranties
As the name suggests, Frigidaire is about all things cooling. Its specialty is fridges, so it should come as no surprise that its AC units are highly rated. Founded in 1918 by William C. Durant, the brand got its start making the world’s first self-contained refrigerator. Pretty historic.
I’ve put Frigidaire on my list of best air conditioner brands because its window ACs cool rooms quickly and are super easy to use. Said to be highly reliable, this brand is established in the appliance world and is one people trust for quality.
Offering window-mounted, built-in, and portable AC options, prices range from $670-$920 for models that offer up to 14,000 BTUs.
- Up to 14,000 BTUs
- Energy efficient
- Trusted quality
Founded in 1885 in Dublin, Ireland, Trane is one of the most trusted names in central AC in North America. With a reputation for durable, high-quality units, this brand employs rigorous testing on each unit in rough conditions to ensure they last in your home.
Using a spine fin condenser coil, Trane central AC units separate themselves from the pack of theirs that use a flat tube and fin design. This method of cooling is said to be more efficient and makes their units more reliable.
Trane is often chosen by people with allergies since its units are equipped with CleanEffects air filtration. Even better, you’ll get a 10-year warranty along with your unit so you know it’s built to last. Prices range from $5,800-$14,000.
- Great for allergies
- Some high SEER ratings
- Unique design makes them more efficient
- Rigorously tested
Say the name Honeywell and immediately you think of home protection. It is also well known for its heat and AC units. Officially founded in 1906 by Mark C. Honeywell, the brand actually has roots in furnace regulation all the way back in 1885.
Though Honeywell got popular because of its heating systems, its cooling systems are what landed it on my list of best air conditioner brands. I’ve nominated it as one of the top runners for portable AC units, offering a great selection of models with BTUs up to 14,500, which is pretty impressive for portable units.
Prices are between $500-$700 but you’ll find simpler units for $170 there too.
- Up to 14,000 BTUs
- Nice selection of portable ACs
- 3-in-1 models
- Sleek, modern designs
LG is a newcomer in home cooling, though its technologically advanced appliances are pretty much dominating the market. Founded in 1958 by Koo In-Hwoi, the brand offers a decent selection of smart and energy-efficient window and portable AC units.
Known for its impressive electronics, you can expect the same level of performance and technology in the brand’s air conditioners. And despite this brand’s reputation for expensive appliances, some of its units are super affordable.
Expect a full range of Smart Wi-Fi-enabled ACs, along with some more traditional models. Prices start at $170 and go up to $800.
- Smart Wi-Fi compatible
- Affordable options
- 5,000-23,000 BTUs
GE’s story starts with Thomas Edison’s research on electricity and ends with one of the world’s largest electronic companies. A hub for all things electric powered, GE’s inventory has an impressive range of smart appliances and its air conditioners sit comfortably among them.
You’ll find home and commercial ACs in the line, many of which are super quiet and energy efficient. Prices range from $140-$1,200 for home ACs with 11,800 BTUs.
- Affordable options
- Home & commercial ACs
- Up to 11,800 BTUs
- Ultra quiet
- Dehumidifier built in
With a simple line of portable air conditioners, Insignia is a popular name in affordable home cooling. It doesn’t have its own website, and it seems that it’s one of the more prominent names on Best Buy’s inventory for ACs, seeing as it’s one of their in-house brands.
Of course, you’ll find them on Amazon as well, and each model doubles as a dehumidifier or fan, with filters that can be cleaned easily in the dishwasher. Primarily making portable models, prices range from $270-$340 cooling rooms up 350 square feet.
- Cools rooms up to 350 square feet
- Portable models only
- 8,000 BTUs
Whirlpool is a big name in home appliances, so naturally, it’s landed on this list of best air conditioner brands. But the grandeur of its name isn’t the only reason it’s here, Whirlpool has a pretty spectacular line of window and portable ACs with up to 24,000 BTUs.
Founded in 1911, it owns Maytag and KitchenAid, though its own line of air conditioners is the reason we’re talking about it here. You can get one of its window ACs for between $200-$900.
- Up to 24,000 BTUS
- Window & portable units
- Affordable options
- Energy Star certified models
Amana has a wide range of energy efficient and high efficiency central air conditioners. Founded back in 1934 by George Foerstner in Iowa, the brand has always been dedicated to maximizing comfort in homes and businesses across the US.
With models that range from 14-16 SEER, you’ll enjoy quiet performance and saving money on your electricity bill each month. Including installation, an Amana AC costs between $2,800 to $5,800.
- Quiet performance
- Energy efficient models up to 16 SEER
- Reasonable prices
- 7 models to choose from
10. American Standard
If it’s energy efficiency you’re after, you might like what you find at American Standard. A brand with a name that says a lot, it’s committed to efficiency both in your AC unit and its own customer service team.
With SEER scores from 14.5 all the way up to 22, along with well-built machines, you can expect lower bills and less frequent need to call for repairs. After installation, total prices cost between $3,500-$6,100.
- Great value
- Up to 22 SEET
- 11 different options
What is Considered the Best Air Conditioner?
I included a few different types on my list of best air conditioner brands because central AC isn’t always possible. With that said, the best air conditioners will vary based on type. You can’t really compare central AC to a window unit after all. It’s just not fair.
For the central AC users, the unit that comes most recommended is the Lennox XC25. It’s energy efficient and actually has the highest SEER rating currently out there. This model is pretty quiet too, producing just 49 decibels of sound (that’s a little above a whisper).
In the window and portable AC category, I have to give it to the LG LW6019ER AC. Energy efficient, quiet, and affordable, you can get it in 6,000 BTUs all the way up to 24,000 BTUs.
Which Brand of Air Conditioner is the Best?
Again, it’s tough to say because I’ve included brands that specialize in window, portable, and central AC. After reading up on what each has to offer, I’m going with Trane.
While Trane’s central AC units are a little more costly, they’re of excellent quality and customers say they have low running costs which means you will save money in the long run.
Are There Different Types of Air Conditioners?
There are about 8 different types of air conditioners. I only touched on three of them in my list of best air conditioner brands so far, so I’ll take you through the lot below now:
- Central: great for large homes, cools rooms through ducts
- Ductless: wall unit, no ducts, good for large rooms
- Portable: moves from room to room, ideal for small spaces
- Window: good for a range of room sizes, can be noisy
- Smart: wall unit controlled by smartphone
- Floor Mounted: like a ductless wall unit, only mounted on the floor
- Hybrid / Dual Fuel: runs on gas and electricity
- Geothermal: built under your home, circulates water for natural cooling
How Do I Pick a Good Air Conditioner?
Picking a good unit from the best air conditioner brands is about finding one that fits your needs and your home. Since both can vary, it’s important to consider the following before making your choice:
It’s easy to go with a brand you already know. Taking a chance on a new name may be a risk, so if it’s a reliable reputation you’re after, be sure to pick a brand that has one. With that said, newer brands offer perks some older ones don’t, like better sustainability ratings and more modern designs.
The lifespan of your central AC unit will be about 15-20 years if you service it twice per year. Window units can last up to 10, but again, you’ll need to take care of it.
Central, ductless, window, and portable air conditioners all come with different power efficiencies. You’ll need to choose the one that best fits your home or room. Higher power efficiency means you’ll enjoy cooler temperatures, so look for the unit’s BTU rating and what that means for your room size.
AC efficiency is measured in SEER ratings. Standing for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, the number will indicate how energy efficient your AC unit is. More recent units must have a SEER of 13+.
Window units have a reputation for being noisy, but some are much quieter than others. Central AC is whisper quiet inside your home, while the outside unit is known to be a little noisier. Although, you shouldn’t hear it inside if it’s well-placed. Look into the decibel ratings of each unit. Anything under 50 is super quiet.
You’re going to want a decent warranty with your AC unit, especially if you bought a central unit. Most units on my list of best air conditioner brands come with a 10-year warranty but some will even have a 20-year warranty. If you want your unit to stay protected over its entire lifespan, go with a brand that offers a longer warranty period.
I’ve included brands in my list that offer window, portable, and central AC units, and choosing one for your home means looking at what you can spend and your room size.
The more efficient, quiet, and cooling your AC unit is, the more it will cost. The type you pick will also greatly affect what you spend. Central units will cost in the thousands whereas window and portable units are in the hundreds.
How often should I have my air conditioning serviced?
Experts say you should have your air conditioner serviced twice per year. Once in the spring and then again in the fall. Your servicing team will clean it and make sure all of its parts are in good working order. Doing this may prolong the life of your unit. Note: this is typically done for wall mounted, floor mounted, and central AC units only.
How can I ensure that my air conditioning unit lasts as long as possible?
Whether you’re investing in a wall unit, portable, or central AC, you want to know that your money won’t be wasted. To ensure your unit lasts as long as possible, here are a few things you can do:
- Replace the filter often
- Keep temperatures steady
- Get it serviced regularly
- Open all registers
- Improve the air quality in your home (so it doesn’t have to filter as much)
Is there anything I can do to make my air conditioner more energy-efficient?
ACs are great, but your energy bill at the end of the month isn’t. Thankfully, there are things you can do to make your air conditioner more energy efficient:
- Ensure all vents are unblocked
- Move all heat-producing appliances (TVs, lights, etc.) away
- Close all of your doors & windows
Can any home have central air?
Yes, but your home needs to have ducts. If you don’t have those and don’t want to install them, go for one of the best air conditioner brands that offer wall mounted, portable, or window units.
What is the average life of an air conditioner?
The average life of a central AC unit is 15-20 years, but you need to make sure you get it serviced twice yearly. Window units can last for up to 8-10 years, but typically, they don’t last that long.
How do I know what size air conditioning unit my house needs?
The size of an air conditioner is measured in BTUs. To find the right size AC for your home or room, multiply your home or room’s square footage by 20.
What is SEER?
Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio is the ratio of cooling output an air conditioner has across a cooling season. That output is then divided by the energy required to run. The higher the SEER, the more energy efficient the AC is.
How often does my air conditioning need maintenance?
Ideally, you should have your air conditioner serviced twice per year. During these visits, your AC tech will decide if it needs any maintenance or repair.
Choosing the right air conditioner for your home depends on your home’s size, your cooling preferences, and the type of unit you prefer. My list of the best air conditioner brands exists to show you some of the top options out there, it’s now up to you to make the final decision.
Check out some of our other curated lists of top brands: