Ameristar is an economy line of three central air conditioners.
Its ACs are built with many of the same components as three of the most affordable Trane and American Standard ACs. All three brands are produced by Ingersoll Rand. The Ameristar air conditioners are marketed at a lower cost than Trane and American Standard. They give homeowners budget options.
This Ameristar air conditioner buying guide includes pros/features, cons and costs. It follows the format we’ve used in central air conditioner reviews for all leading brands.
Ameristar AC Top Features – Pros
Here are the advantages of considering Ameristar air conditioners.
1). Affordability is the main plus these units offer. They are essentially the same as their Trane and American Standard counterparts, but offered at a lower price with a shorter warranty.
2). The Ameristar M4AC6 air conditioner runs at just 67 decibels. That makes it one of the quietest single-stage central ACs available. It’s an ideal choice if the unit will be installed near a deck or patio.
3). 7 sizes of each model are produced: 1.5, 2.0, 2.5, 3.0, 3.5, 4.0 and 5.0 tons. Each ton equals 12,000 BTUs, so the range is 18,000 to 60,000 BTUs. This many sizes means you’ll have a good fit for your home – an AC that isn’t too small and can’t keep up or too large and wasting energy.
4). Compact design. These aren’t as small as genuine “compact” ACs, but their cabinets are smaller than most standard air conditioners. This makes them popular for small backyards where there is little space to spare.
5). 10-year warranties. Consider the cheapest Lennox/Ducane warranties are 5 years. To get the 10-year warranty, you must register your product within 60 days. If you fail to, it becomes a 5-year warranty. Shortening the warranty is illegal in some states, but it makes sense to register your product regardless. Registration will make filing a claim and having it paid much easier.
Ameristar AC Cons
Here’s the downside of these units.
1). Limited efficiency: Models are 13, 14 and 16 SEER. Only the 16 SEER model is suitable for regions with warm summers. The others are OK for cool climates and part-time locations like a guest apartment or cottage.
2). All single-stage: Single-stage models are fine when low cost is more important than indoor climate control. They create slight temperature swings, since they tend to cool a little bit past the thermostat set point. The other issue is that they don’t remove as much humidity as two-stage and variable-capacity central ACs.
3). The 13 and 14 SEER units are loud. 76 decibels each louder than the average of about 73 decibels for entry-level air conditioners.
Model Analysis and Recommendations
This table is brief, since there are only 3 models. It shows the models and their basic features.
1). The Ameristar M4AC3 is a 13 SEER, single-stage air conditioner. It is sold only in northern climates – by law, ACs sold in southern regions must be at least 14 SEER.
Recommendation: In our opinion, the only suitable application for a 13 SEER air conditioner is in a part-time location where it won’t get much use. They use too much energy – with higher utility costs – for full-time use.
2). The Ameristar M4AC4 is a 14 SEER, this unit is only slightly more efficient. It is popular in part-time locations, but quite a few are sold for full-time use in cool climates where the AC isn’t needed much.
Recommendation: It’s a good fit in northern states when saving money on the equipment is more important than cutting utility costs.
3). The Ameristar M4AC6, at 16 SEER, this is the most efficient unit. But it is still single-stage, so doesn’t optimize indoor comfort.
Recommendation: This unit is suitable for cool to moderate climates and part-time use in warm climates. If your summers are hot, we recommend paying more for a more efficient AC from American Standard or Trane. The higher cost will be paid back in 3-10 years through lower energy bills.
Ameristar AC Prices
As noted, these units are all offered in 7 capacities from 1.5 to 5.0 cooling tons.
This table has two columns:
- The System Only column is the cost of the AC, also called a condensing unit.
- The System Installed price is the cost of the AC, the coil and all installation supplies.
|Model||SEER||System Only||System Installed|
As you compare Ameristar AC prices to other brands you are considering, you will see that this is a low-cost brand.
Ameristar AC Prices by Size
This is another way to sort Ameristar air conditioners.
The price ranges cover the three models, 13/14/16 SEER at each size.
|AC Unit Size||Home size||Equipment cost||Installed Cost|
|1.5 ton||Up to 1,000 sf||$900 - $1,635||$1,850 - $3,600|
|2.0 ton||1001-1300 sf||$1075 - $1,715||$1,995 - $3,750|
|2.5 ton||1301-1600 sf||$1,265 - $1,900||$2,125 - $3,985|
|3.0 ton||1601-1900 sf||$1,445 - $2,280||$2,390 - $4,175|
|3.5 ton||1901-2200 sf||$1,665 - $2,400||$2,600 - $4,455|
|4.0 ton||2201-2600 sf||$1,750 - $2,595||$2,815 - $4,575|
|5.0 ton||2601-3200 sf||$1,885 - $2,750||$2,950 - $4,700|
* The “Home Size” column is a very rough estimate. The warmer your climate is, the bigger the AC must be relative to house size. Have a load test done to get your air conditioner properly sized.
To price an Ameristar for your home, it will be helpful to know the capacity of the current AC.
If you don’t know its size, check the metal tag with the model number. Look within the model number for any of these two digits which should indicate its capacity:
If your project is in new construction or you cannot determine the size of the old unit, then the HVAC technician should do a load test such as a Manual J to accurately size your AC.
Our Air Conditioner Buying Guide gives much more detail about sizing an AC and how important it is. It is the most comprehensive central air conditioner buying guide available.
Pro Note: If you have upgraded your home’s energy efficiency with added insulation, better windows and doors and other upgrades, your new AC should be smaller than the one it replaces.
How to Get the Best Estimates
As you know, you have to shop around. It can take a couple weeks to make a list of AC contractors, call them, wait for a return call, set up an appointment, etc.
A quick, easy way to expedite the process is to use the toll-free number or convenient Free Local Quotes form on this page. It reduces the time dramatically.
There is no cost or obligation for using the service. The companies supplying you with estimates are all local to you. They are prescreened to ensure that they are experienced, licensed and insured. It’s the best way to get a quality installation job at a competitive price.
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