Bryant Air Conditioner Reviews and Prices 2020

bryant ac buying guide

Bryant makes 17 central air conditioners with efficiency from 13 SEER to 20.5 SEER. It is one of the most complete lineups of any brand.

Bryant AC cost is $4,195 to $9,650 for installed air conditioners based on model, size and installation factors.

Note: If you’re just beginning your research into central air conditioners, then our Central AC Ultimate Reviews and Guide is the best place to start. It has in-depth information about AC performance, size, efficiency and how these factors allow you to choose the right AC for your climate and indoor comfort preferences.

This Bryant central AC review is comprehensive, including model comparisons, costs for the equipment and installation, Bryant air conditioner pros and cons and more.

About Bryant – Are Bryant and Carrier the Same?

Bryant is owned by Carrier – and Carrier is owned by United Technologies Corp. Known as UTC, the company also produces Heil, Day & Night, Payne and several other brands. The residential HVAC industry has consolidated to the point there are only 7 or 8 players. Together, they make close to 30 brands, or 30 pieces of residential AC pie. UTC owns 8 pieces of the pie.

Did you know?

Bryant and Carrier air conditioner models are the same equipment with a different cabinet and name badge and a price difference of 5% to 10%.

Bryant is the more affordable brand. UTC takes this approach to give consumers perceived options and to garner a larger total market share. Local dealers are prohibited from carrying both brands.

Pro Tip: Experience Counts

Should you automatically choose Bryant over Carrier? No, because the quality of installation is so important. Our recommendation is to get estimates on both brands and choose the installer you think will do the best job based on experience and customer reviews. We’d rather spend 10% more and get an AC installed properly. But then again, the Bryant dealer might be just as experienced or more so, and then take the savings!

There’s more below about who to select to install a Bryant AC including a discussion of Bryant Factory Authorized Dealers and dealers with NATE-certified technicians.

Bryant ACs – What’s Available?

The diverse lineup includes single-stage, two-stage, variable capacity and newer, unique 5-stage models.

See Energy Management for details on single-stage and staged AC options and how they affect efficiency and climate control.

WiFi controls, communicating technology and a complete range of accessory equipment such as air cleaners, ventilators and moisture control components are available. Be aware of the equipment accessories – because any Bryant HVAC salesperson will at least mention these upgrades, though most won’t be pushy.

Bryant Air Conditioner Pros & Cons

There is plenty to like from this premium brand. Bryant typically places in the top 10 among brands in consumer satisfaction and durability.

However, there are a few disadvantages, and those are discussed too. Here’s an overview table before getting into details.

ModelSEERCompressorQuietest Stages
Evolution Series
187B and172-stage70db
187BNC Coastal (2-4tons)
Preferred Series
124ANS Compact16Single-stage66db
Legacy Series
114C & 114CNC Coastal14Single-stage73db

Bryant AC Pros & Unique Features

Bryant breaks it down in to 4 categories. In fact, we like the way Bryant organizes it so well, we’ve used the template for other brands.  

1. Energy Management

Homeowners are demanding better efficiency as a means of reducing energy use and cost. It’s good for the environment and for the wallet.

Bryant still makes entry-level units too. The table above shows all models.

The unit’s compressor is the most significant component determining efficiency. It affects indoor temperature balance and dehumidification, and those issues are discussed later in this Bryant AC review and price guide.

Here are Bryant compressor options from lowest to highest performance.

  • Single-stage: Bryant makes 11 models with single-stage compressors – 100% capacity whenever running. Equipment cost is low, operating costs are higher, because efficiency is poor, especially in the entry-level models.
  • 2-stage: 4 models are built with 2-stage compressors. The stages are 65% and 100% capacity. The purpose is to run at the lower stage whenever possible to be more energy efficient. Unless the outside temperatures climb quickly or you turn down the thermostat by several degrees, the unit should keep up with cooling on the low stage. There’s an impact on humidity too, described below.
  • 5-stage: The 180BNV has five capacity levels starting at 25% then about 40/60/75/100%. We first noticed the 5-stage design with Heil, and at this point it is unique to UTC brands. The lower capacity an AC runs at while maintaining the temperature you want, the more efficient it is. There are lower-capacity options with this unit than single-stage and two-stage models.
  • Variable capacity: Aka variable speed, the 180C is called the Bryant Evolution Extreme. It has an inverter-driven compressor that functions like cruise control. The compressor can run at almost any capacity from 25% and up, and it will modulate in increments of less than 1% to keep the temperature right where you want it. Little energy is wasted, and the efficiency is Bryant’s best.  

2. Comfort Management

The compressor is also key to indoor climate control and comfort such as temperature balance and humidity control.

Compressors: As with efficiency, single-stage compressors offer the least control over the indoor environment. AC cycles are shorter and “full blast,” and then the unit shuts off. This causes slight temperature swings, which might be noticeable, and less dehumidification.

Two-stage models are better, but not as good as the 5-stage AC.

Neither can match the climate control of the variable speed unit. Inverter-type compressors use long, low-speed cycles when possible to produce the best temperature balance. And they keep air moving nearly continuously over the indoor coil, where moisture from the air is condensed out of the air in your home and drained away. In summer, drier air is more comfortable.

Blower fans: Another aspect of comfort control is the blower motor in your furnace or air handler. You’ll get the best comfort management with a variable-speed blower. It will match the speed or stage of the compressor, working with it to maintain temperature balance and maximize dehumidification.

Bryant thermostat options: It is the thermostat that controls the functionality of the system.

bryant ac thermostat

The Evolution Connex thermostat is the top of the line. It is a full-color, LCD touchscreen thermostat in black or white.

Connex and Housewise thermostats control all system components – AC or heat pump, furnace or air handler, humidifier or dehumidifier, air purifier and ventilator.

What about WiFi? As we’ve seen in the table above, there are three series or tiers of Bryant ACs. And there is a WiFi thermostat for each.

The Evolution Connex, Preferred Series Housewise and some Côr thermostats for the Legacy Line have WiFi. Using WiFi with the app and a smartphone helps comfort control and saves money.

While programming a thermostat is great when you’re home and want the house at a specific temperature when you get up, when away, WiFi is a better option.

Let’s say you typically get home at 6pm, so the thermostat is programmed to start boosting cooling at 5:15, lowering the indoor temperature from money-saving 80F when nobody is home to a cooler 74F when you arrive. Well, if you decide to go out with friends for dinner and won’t be home until 8 or 9, use the app to reprogram the thermostat to keep the house at 80F while out and use it again to lower the thermostat setting a while before you expect to get home.

Do you have to use a Bryant thermostat? If you want to use Bryant’s communicating technology on an Evolution AC, then yes you do. The Connex is the only communicating model. In standard systems, the thermostat controls each component without feedback. In a communicating system, the AC sends temperature and humidity control data back to the thermostat. The result is more precise comfort control.

Pro Tip: Be cautious about communicating technology. On Evolution and some Preferred Series models, communicating technology is an option. We’re not sold on it and have written more about it here.

The user comments at the bottom of the page are worth reading too. For example, a reader named Jason shared this view:

“I have a Bryant Evolution which I hate. I replaced the main thermostat with an Emerson Sensi and planned to do the same upstairs until I found out it was an ABCD communicating thermostat. So now I’m trying to figure out how to replace the upstairs thermostat and lose the ‘communicating’ nonsense once and for all. No clue how to do this.”

Communicating technology is expensive. It’s value is modest – you likely would not notice any climate control improvement using a variable capacity or two-stage AC with a communicating thermostat compared with a non-communicating thermostat.

And the technology can be quirky, as Jason and others have discovered. If there are communication issues, the system might not work. Salespeople love the commission on communicating equipment and thermostats. Repair people are not so happy with it when they have to figure out what is wrong with the system and how to get the units “talking” again.

Final word on thermostats: Other than when a communicating system is installed, you can use any thermostat you want. Just make sure it is wired to handle the system type you have, for example two-stage cooling.

3. Humidity Management

It’s not just the heat – it is also the humidity, right?

Perfect Humidity technology is available for Evolution and Preferred Series with more than one stage of air conditioning. It uses multi-stage ACs and variable speed blower fans to maximize dehumidifying.

Even when the AC cycle is over and the outdoor unit shuts down, the fan will continue to run – continue to pull humid air over the still-cold indoor coil to condense additional moisture out of the air.

If you live in AZ or other dry area, this won’t make much difference. But in the muggy South and Southeast, it is well worth considering.

Regardless of the thermostat, a 2-stage or variable capacity AC will always remove more humidity than a single-stage model.

4. Sound Management

The best way to reduce AC sound is to buy a 2-stage or variable speed Bryant air conditioner. It will run at a lower speed most of the time, and of course, that’s quieter than 100% capacity.

Bryant also uses what it calls the AeroQuiet System II in Evolution models. The fan design is quieter. The energy efficient ECM (vs PSC) motor is quieter. And the compressor is better insulated for sound than in lower-tier models.

5. Other Bryant Air Conditioner Pros

There are two other benefits to note that don’t fall into the categories above.

  • Coastal models – the 187BNC 2-stage AC and 114CNC single-stage unit have a baked-on powder paint finish coated in epoxy (Bryant calls it TuffCoat). All metal parts are painted on all sides. However, the warranty in coastal applications is just 5 years.
  • Compact model – If space in your yard is limited, the 16 SEER, single-stage Preferred Compact 124ANS AC is worth a look. In fact, it looks something like a mini split AC. It’s less than half as deep as a standard condensing unit and about as wide.

Cons – Problems with Bryant ACs

As one of the better brands, there are no glaring problems, though we’ve mentioned concerns with the Evolution communicating system.

The 13 and 14 SEER models are inefficient. If you live in a cool climate, they are a good choice. You’ll pay high cooling costs in warm-to-hot climates.

The 116B 16 SEER model is an affordable single-stage AC, but it is loud. If your AC is installed near a deck or patio that’s often used while the air conditioning is running, you’ll appreciate a quieter AC.

Legacy Series warranties – 5 years or 10? Bryant’s site shows 10-year warranties on the Legacy Series. But we’ve heard from contractors that they are 5-year warranties. We haven’t heard back from Bryant, but will update this when we do. For now, ask about the warranty if you’re considering a Bryant Legacy Series AC.

Bryant Air Conditioner Prices

The AC Unit Cost Range is for the contractor cost for the condensing unit, indoor coil and refrigerant line set plus profit.

The Total Cost Range includes installation but no changes to the ductwork. Local rates might be slightly outside these ranges due to variables such as labor cost, taxes and local competition among dealers. This is one reason it is a good idea to get several estimates from dealers that know they are competing for your business.

Bryant Models
AC Unit Cost Range
Total Cost Range
Evolution 180B $4,885 – $7,100
$6,185 – $9,650
Evolution Extreme 180C $4,975 – $7,225
$6,475 – $10,200
Evolution 189BNV $4,950 – $7,185
$6,450 – $10,160
Evolution 187BNC 187B $4,575 – $6.465
$5,875 – $9,015
Evolution 186B $4,095 – $5,925
$5,295 – $8,210
Preferred 127A $4,350 – $6,185
$5,650 – $8,735
Preferred 126B $3,975 – $5,100 $5,175 – $7,385
Preferred 124ANS $3,705 – $4,650 $4,905 – $6,935
Preferred 123A 538A $3,325 – $4,025 $4,525 – $6,310
Legacy 106A 116B $3,575 – $4,495 $4,775 – $6,780
Legacy 105A $3,165 – $4,035 $4,365 – $6,320
Legacy 114C 114CNC $3,350 – $4,215 $4,550 – $6,500
Legacy 113A $3,045 – $3,950 $4,195 – $6,350

There’s more information in or HVAC Installation Cost Ultimate Guide about installation variables including dealer profit.

Bryant Air Conditioner Prices By Size

Properly sizing an air conditioning system – the condensing unit, indoor coil and blower (if that’s being changed too), is one of the most critical steps in optimizing efficiency and indoor comfort. Models start either at 1.5 or 2.0 tons and range to 5.0 tons.

Your dealer should complete a Manual J Load Calculation to determine the size equipment you need. It factors house size and layout, number and type of windows, insulation value, your climate and much more. If you’ve upgraded your windows, doors or insulation or have Energy Star roofing, then your new AC might be smaller than the old one.

AC Unit Size
Home Size
System Only
System Installed
1.5 ton 600-1000 sf $3,455
2 ton 1001-1300 sf $3,650
2.5 ton 1301-1600 sf $3850
3 ton 1601-1900 sf $4,100
3.5 ton 1901-2200 sf $4,320 $6,800
4 ton 2201-2600 sf $4,500 $7,100
5 ton 2601-3200 sf $4,950 $7,630

Bryant Warranties

Warranties are a new arena of competition among brands, and that is good for consumers.

Bryant’s warranties are average, at best. Goodman, Amana, Heil and American Standard are among brands with better warranties.

All Bryant models show 10-year parts warranties. As noted, be sure to check on Legacy AC warranties if you’re considering a model in that series. Some claim the warranties are still 5 years.

Labor warranties are getting longer.  

The Evolution Extreme 180C is backed with a 3-year labor warranty

Pro Tip: Be sure to register your Bryant warranty within 90 days of installation. If you don’t, it becomes a 5-year parts warranty regardless of the model. This is true with all brands. California and a few other states don’t allow companies to get away with reducing the warranty if the product isn’t registered in a timely fashion.

Who Installs Bryant?

This is an important consideration because the quality of the installation will impact efficiency, performance and durability. The quality of the installation is widely regarded to be as important as the quality of the air conditioner.

With Bryant, you have two options:

  • Bryant Factory Authorized Dealers are local installers that have gone through a Bryant training program to ensure they are competent and that they understand the specifics of installing Bryant equipment.
  • Other local dealers that have not been through Bryant’s program – though they might have been through a similar program from another brand and/or be certified by NATE, the North American Technician Excellence program. Many Bryant Authorized Dealers have NATE certification too.

bryant authorized installation

About 1/3 or less of Bryant dealers are Factory Authorized. For example, in the 60120 Elgin, IL list, 17 of the 49 dealers are authorized – 35%.

In 75217, one of several Dallas, TX zip codes, just 2 or 11 local Bryant dealers are authorized.

By comparison, 4 of the 11 Dallas companies use NATE-certified installers, the 2 authorized dealers and 2 others.

Getting a Good AC Properly Installed

The bottom line is that you might be safest choosing a Factory Authorized Dealer, but there are quality installers that haven’t gone through the Bryant program.

Those certifications are important – but also look at reviews of the companies you are considering and compare costs. Find out how long the crew that will install your AC has been on the job.

Choose a balance of experience and cost, if possible. If not, go with the installer with the most proven track record of quality installation and outstanding customer service. 

Submitted Prices by Visitors 2019-2020

Brand & Model & Size
Home Location
Home Size
$10,110 Bryant 820 series gas furnace, coil & condenser ny. long island 800 sqft
NO details.
$6,250 Bryant Legacy 113A Montgomery County, PA 2,600 sqft
Feel like we are WAY overpaying for this model and installation.
Its the summer and our house is hot, so the contractor has us over the barrel, but don’t want to get gouged for the lowest level model Bryant makes!
$9,550 Bryant 16seer,2speed 3 ton AC 2stage variable speed gas furnace and matching coil CLEMMONS 2,200 sqft
Just got the quote from local contractors and haven’t installed it yet.
$23,275 Bryant Evolution 180CNV and 987MA Collingswood, NJ 3,100 sqft
Decided to replace both zones of our existing 10 SEER Rheem AC’s and 92% Efficiency Ruud Furnaces. I wasn’t in a breakdown, so I had time to shop and do tons of research. If you can preemptively decide to replace, I highly recommend as it gives you the leverage!

I received bids on Lennox, Luxaire (York), Coleman, American Standard and Bryant. Went with Bryant Evolution because the install company was thorough, straight forward and actually required doing an independent manual J calculation (at their cost) before finalizing the bid. Also, they were able to offer 0% financing for 60 months (had to apply for Bryant credit card through Wells Fargo).

Once the financing was secured, I opted to go into the higher end units because I wanted the best with all the features. Bryant Evolution 180CNV, 3 ton downstairs and 2 ton upstairs, wanted the best comfort through humidity reduction so modulating was a key feature. The furnaces were both 80k 987MA Bryant Evolution units. I didn’t really get a chance to use them before it became AC season, so no initial thoughts.

If I hadn’t been diligent and shopped hard, I would have ended up paying $3,000 more for Lennox units with only dual stage AC and Heat plus less efficiency overall.

$4,090 123A 13 SEER Bakersfield, CA 3200 sqft
After living for 18 years in the same house there are some replacements that you just have to make. A new AC unit was such a replacement for me. The old Carrier kept on breaking down and costing us money to fix so we decided not to fix it anymore when it broke down last summer. This new Bryant AC is an excellent replacement though. It’s so quiet and hasn’t broken down once since we got it 4 months ago. Everything is just as the dealer said it would be, you don’t find that too often nowadays. Thank you, Bryant.
$2,630 Unit Only Bryant 17 SEER Blueridge, VA 2200 sqft
When I bought this I had read rave reviews about Bryant and thought I’d go for it since I found a 3 ton that was just right for my budget. Now I wish I had spent more on something better. The Freon keeps leaking and the refills are exasperating as they are costly.
$3949 Legacy Series Blytheville, AR 2300 sqft
Please don’t buy Bryant. You will save yourself a lot of trouble just by buying another brand. I got this unit a year ago and the compressor is already malfunctioning. Air conditioners are supposed to last for years before you have to deal with so much repair work. Bryant isn’t the best, you can get better.



How to Get the Best Bryant Air Conditioner Prices?

Firstly, When you looking for the best deals for Trane AC, keep in mind that installation quality is always the most important thing for residential HVAC project.

  • So never sacrifice contractor quality for lower price.
  • Secondly, remember to look up the latest tax credit and rebates.
  • Thirdly, ask for at least 3 bids before you make the decision. You can click here to get 3 free estimates for your local contractor, and this estimate already takes rebates and tax credit into consideration and filter unqualified contractors automatically.

Lastly, once you chose the right contractor, remember to use the tactics from this guide: Homeowners Tactics When Negotiating with HVAC Dealer to get the final best price.

Other Related Articles:

Bryant Central Air Conditioner Prices and Installation Factors

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