Carrier has the best name recognition in air conditioning. Most homeowners are familiar with Bryant too, but Day & Night is more obscure.
These brands have a lot in common, since they are all part of the same huge company. Did you know that?
So, here are a couple questions we hear when this fact is known: Are Carrier and Bryant ACs the except for the names? What about Day & Night?
It’s a Complicated History
Let’s get to know the players.
The first is United Technologies (UTC), the parent company of all three brands and dozens more.
UTC was #51 on the 2017 Fortune 500 list. It’s businesses cover a wide spectrum from aerospace to climate control.
Carrier: Willis Carrier and partners began the company in 1915. In 1955, Carrier acquired Bryant and Day & Night brands. Carrier Corporation was bought by UTC in 1979. Here is Carrier’s AC page.
Bryant: Charles Bryant started the company in 1914 to make water heaters. The company started manufacturing furnaces before being bought by Carrier. This page lists all Bryant air conditioners.
Day & Night: This brand name was discontinued by Carrier. However, in 1999, Carrier acquired International Comfort Products (ICP), a company with a long history of making heating and cooling equipment. ICP brought the Day & Night name brand back into use in 2009. Other ICP brands are Arcoaire, Comfortmaker, Heil, KeepRite and Tempstar. Here are Day & Night ACs.
As you can see, UTC owns a huge chunk of the residential HVAC market.
OK, But Are Carrier and Bryant the Same? What About Day & Night?
Why are Carrier AC prices higher much of the time when homeowners get competing estimates?
Are Carrier ACs better because they cost more?
Are Day & Night ACs different because the brand is part of ICP?
These questions are answered in this comparison guide to Carrier, Bryant and Day & Night central air conditioners.
The quick answer: The three brands are more alike than they are different.
- Carrier and Bryant both make 17 models, and 16 are exactly the same. They each make an entry-level (cheap) model the other doesn’t produce.
- Day & Night makes a limited lineup of 11 models. Only 5 Day & Night air conditioner models directly overlap with the Carrier and Bryant models.
Two tables in this guide show comparisons. The table near the end of this article is for those that like to dig deep into the details, as we do.
And we’ve linked above to the main AC pages for Carrier, Bryant and Day & Night. From those pages, you can click on any model for a description. The pages have filters for narrowing your research. The Carrier page has a useful Compare function that allows you to see side-by-side efficiency and feature overviews of up to three models.
Here’s the first table. It is an overview of the basic similarities and differences between Carrier and Bryant and Day & Night air conditioners.
|Carrier||Bryant||Night & Day|
|Variable-speed||1 model||1 model||None|
|Two-stage||4 models||4 models||2 models|
|Single-stage||12 models||12 models||9 models|
|20 SEER +||2 models||2 models||None|
|19 SEER||1 model||1 model||1 model|
|17 SEER||3 models||3 models||2 models|
|16 SEER||4 models||4 models||2 models|
|15 SEER||None||None||1 model|
|14 SEER||3 models||3 models||3 models|
|13 SEER||4 models||4 models||2 models|
|Coastal||2 models||1 model||None|
|Compact||1 model||2 models||1 model|
There is a longer table below with all models and more details from all three brands.
How Day & Night, Carrier and Bryant are the Same
There are similarities between all three that stem from their common parent company, UTC.
This is the most important similarity. Though some models differ in detail, most of their parts are interchangeable. The brands are made in the same factories using common compressors, fans, coils and other essential components. Each has its own jacket and badging – the name plate and logo – but that is often the only difference.
Top tier quality:
All three rank among the top ten brands for quality. Trane, American Standard and other ICP brands like Heil are also on the list. This is a result of their common parts.
Independent testing and consumer surveys confirm that the dependability ratings for Bryant, Carrier and Day & Night are statistically the same. What matters most is the quality of the installation. We discuss that topic later.
Air conditioning performance:
Carrier and Bryant ACs are available in variable-capacity, two-stage and single-stage models from 21 SEER down to 13 SEER. Day & Night doesn’t make a variable-capacity air conditioner, and its most efficient model is a 19 SEER AC the other brands also make.
Variable-capacity: Only Carrier and Bryant make them. These air conditioners have compressors that modulate between 40% and 100% capacity or speed. The faster the compressor circulates the refrigerant, the faster the home is cooled. However, if cooling happens too fast, there can be temperature swings in the house. The compressor speeds up and down in increments of about 1% to maintain even cooling. The process is often compared to cruise control – engine speed slightly increases or decreases to keep your car steady at your desired speed.
Variable capacity models: Carrier Infinity 24VNA0 and Bryant Evolution 180C.
Two-stage: All three produce multiple two-stage air conditioners. These units have a low speed (65%) and high speed (100%). Low speed is used for slower cooling and even temperatures. High speed is for rapid cooling of a home when the house is hot. For example, if it’s 85F in the house when you get home from work and lower the thermostat setting to 75F, the AC will use its high-capacity mode until the desired temperature is reached, and then will use the low cycle to maintain your home at 75.
Best two-stage models: Carrier Infinity 19VS, Infinity 17 and Performance 17, Bryant Evolution 189BNV, Evolution 187B and Preferred 127A and Day & Night Constant Comfort Deluxe 19 CVA9 and Deluxe 17 CCA7.
Single-stage: These air conditioners run at 100% capacity all the time. They’re the least expensive, but can cause over-cooling and swings of several degrees, which is bothersome if you’re particular about indoor climate comfort.
Best single-stage models: Carrier Infinity 16, Bryant Evolution 186B and Day & Night Constant Comfort 16. They are efficient yet affordable.
How Carrier, Bryant and Day & Night are Different
These points might help you decide which brand is right for your home.
Day & Night has a unit replacement warranty:
All the brands back their ACs with a 10-year general parts warranty. However, Day & Night is the only brand of the three that offers to replace the entire AC if the compressor or condensing coil fail. It calls this coverage the No Hassle Replacement Warranty. The Unit Replacement portion of the 10-year warranty varies: 10 years (2 models), 5 years (1 model), 3 years (1 model) or 1 year (1 model). The warranty coverage can be viewed by clicking on any model on the Day & Night AC page.
If the warranties are longer, are Day & Night ACs better? No. The brand offers the Unit Replacement warranties on those five models as a way to market them. Unit replacement warranties are common to all the ICP brands including Heil, Tempstar and ComfortMaker, not just Day & Night.
Goodman pioneered the unit replacement warranty. After Daikin bought the Goodman and Amana brands, unit replacement warranties were dropped on Goodman. They are still available on several Amana air conditioner models. In fact, some carry a Lifetime Unit Replacement warranty that is the best available.
Day & Night ACs are less efficient:
The five models that are identical to Carrier and Bryant have the same efficiencies. The six Day & Night models that aren’t identical tend to be less efficient. The differences are slight, usually 1 or 2 SEER points. In a cool climate, you probably won’t notice the difference in your AC bills. In hot climates, using a less efficient AC will add up.
Carrier costs the most, followed by Bryant and Day & Night:
This always raises the question: Are Carrier air conditioners better than Bryant or Day & Night? We’ve answered already that there’s no quality difference. So, why does Carrier cost more than Bryant and D&N?
There are two reasons.
First, Carrier is marketed as the supreme HVAC brand available. To bolster this impression, Carrier spends far more on marketing and advertising its brand.
Secondly, many consumers aren’t satisfied unless they buy the “best” brand. Most of us are willing to spend a little more to get the best quality and durability. However, Carrier plays on that mindset to sell Carrier HVAC equipment at a higher cost than the other two, even though the quality is the same.
Here’s how it works: Some consumers say, “Carrier costs the most, so it must be the best. I’ll buy Carrier instead of Bryant or Day & Night.”
- Carrier AC prices are set to make it appear that Carrier is the superior brand.
- Bryant is priced in the middle to compete for consumers that want quality without spending top dollar.
- ay & Night is marketed as a “value brand” like Goodman.
Carrier and Bryant are national; Day & Night is regional:
If you live in the East, Southeast or Northern Plains of the US, there might not be a Day & Night dealer in your city. However, local dealers should have another ICP brand such as Heil, KeepRite, Comfortmaker or Tempstar.
Side by Side Comparison of Identical Models
This table shows all the models that are the same. As you can see, there is much more overlap with Bryant and Carrier than with Day & Night.
|Carrier Model||Bryant Models||Night & Day Models||Stages||SEER||Warranty|
|Infinity 20 24VNA0||Evolution 180C||Variable||20.5 SEER||10 years|
|Infinity 21 24ANB1||Evolution 180B||2-stage||21 SEER||10 years|
|Infinity 19VS 24VNA9||Evolution 189BNV||CC Deluxe 19 CVA9*||2-stage||19 SEER||10 years|
|Infinity 17 24ANB7 & 24ANB7**C||Evolution 187B & 187BNC||CC Deluxe 17 CCA7*||2-stage||17 SEER||10 years|
|Infinity 16 24ANB6||Evolution 186B||Single-stage||16 SEER||10 years|
|Performance 17 24ACB7||Preferred 127A||2-stage||17 SEER||10 years|
|Performance 16 24APB6||Preferred 126CNA||Single-stage||17 SEER||10 years|
|Performance 16 24ACC6||Preferred 126B||Single-stage||16 SEER||10 years|
|Performance 13 24ACB3||Preferred 123A||Single-stage||13 SEER||10 years|
|Performance 14 Compact 24AHA4||Preferred 124ANS||Performance 14 NH4A4||Single-stage||14 SEER||10 years|
|Comfort 16 24AAA6||Legacy 106A||Single-stage||16 SEER||10 years|
|Comfort 16 24ABC6||Legacy 116B||Single-stage||16 SEER||10 years|
|Comfort 15 24AAA5||Legacy 105A||Performance 14 N4A5||Single-stage||14 SEER||10 years|
|Comfort 14 24ACC4||Legacy 114C||Single-stage||14 SEER||10 years|
|Comfort 13 24ABB3**C||Legacy 114CNC||Single-stage||13 SEER||10 years|
|Comfort 13 24ABB3||Legacy 113A||Performance 13 N4A3||Single-stage||13 SEER||10 years|
Note: CC stands for Constant Comfort, the name of Day & Night’s top series of air conditioners. C shows that these models have finishes designed to withstand coastal salt spray.
You might also be interested in our current brand review guides that include prices:
How to Choose the Best Brand for Your Home
Here’s how to decide the Carrier vs Bryant vs Day & Night debate when it comes to your next central air conditioner.
Premium efficiency: The 19 SEER Day & Night AC is very efficient, but not quite on par with the Evolution 180B and Carrier Infinity 21, both 21 SEER units. If your summers are long and extremely hot, you might want the most efficient unit available. If your summers are mild and don’t demand heavy AC use, it’s not cost-effective to pay the higher cost for best efficiency.
Secondly, if reducing your carbon footprint is a top priority, then those Carrier and Bryant models use 10% less energy. The warmer your climate, the more that adds up.
Our SEER Savings Calculator is designed to help you find the right efficiency for your climate. It is customizable includes temperature and electrical cost data from every major city in the US. The calculator allows you to see how much your energy costs will change based on the SEER rating (efficiency) of the air conditioner you choose. Give it a try here!
The best warranty: If you like the peace of mind a premium warranty gives, then one of the Day & Night air conditioners with a unit replacement warranty is a good choice. It could potentially save you $1,500 or more in repair costs. We recommend selecting one with at least a 5-year Hassle Free warranty, since compressors and coils rarely fail before that. If they do fail early, it’s usually an installation problem, an important issue we next.
A proven installer: We’ve emphasized that the brands are equal in quality.
However, HVAC installers are not equal. Some have more experience and a better track record of doing the job right the first time. Installation is the most important factor in whether your air conditioner will give you the efficiency, performance and longevity you expect. No industry pro disputes that.
Bad installation ruins good HVAC equipment, even Carrier, Bryant or D&N. Unfortunately, it happens every day.
We strongly recommend that you get estimates from at least three local air conditioning companies that sell these brands. Some will install all three, while others will offer just one or two of the brands. That’s not important.
What is important is the level of proven expertise each company has. Find out about the experience of the crew that will be doing the work. Check their online reviews. Ask for references from homeowners that bought an AC from them 10+ years ago.
When you find an installer with good reviews, reputation and references, that’s the air conditioning contractor you want to hire, regardless of brand.
With dozens of installers in your area, it can take “forever” to sort through them. For your convenience, the contractors in our Free Local Quote service are prescreened for experience. They are licensed and insured. Feel free to give our service a try.
There’s no obligation to use any of the quotes – just the chance to get a competitive estimate from one of the top central air conditioning installers where you live.
All the best in finding your next central AC. We hope this and other informative guides on PickHVAC have helped. If so, please share this content with friends and followers on social media. We appreciate it!