Note: Before you dive into the specific brand review, we highly recommend you to read our elaborate Central Air Conditioner Buying Guide in advance, there are several crucial steps you need to take before you even start to think about the brand.
Carrier is the most recognized name in air conditioning and one of the largest manufacturers of residential and commercial HVAC equipment.
But are Carrier air conditioners the best available?
That’s part of what this Carrier air conditioner guide seeks to answer – along with another important question: Is a Carrier air conditioner the best choice for your home?
Here’s what is included in this Carrier AC buyers guide.
Carrier air conditioners are built mostly with third-party components, which is true of most major brands.
Those components are made in basic, better and best quality. Carrier uses “better” and “best” quality throughout its product lineup.
Here are the major features, even if not totally unique to Carrier.
Copeland is the benchmark for excellence in compressors. A division of HVAC parts giant Emerson, the brand is renowned for reliability and performance. The Copeland Scroll compressor is the most widely used in the industry.
Copeland makes single-stage, two-stage and variable-capacity compressors. Copeland compressor ratings are high from homeowners and HVAC repair technicians.
Did you know? Several other brands are identical or nearly so to Carrier!
This surprises many consumers that have thought of Carrier as a cut above. As noted, the reliability record is among the best.
Here’s why their similar and why a Carrier system might outlast the others.
Carrier and the similar brands have a common parent company – United Technologies Corporation (UTC). UTC owns Carrier, and Carrier owns Bryant. The Bryant line doesn’t have quite as many models as Carrier, but the ones it makes are identical to Carrier versions.
UTC also owns International Comfort Products (ICP) which makes quite a few brands. Heil, Day and Night, Arcoaire, Tempstar, KeepRite, ComfortMaker and a few lesser-known brands are ICP brands. They use many of the same components as Carrier/Bryant and usually cost less. The disadvantage is that most of those brands don’t require factory authorized dealers to install them.
Factory Authorized Dealers/Installers
This is what sets Carrier apart from some other UTC/ICP brands that don’t require authorized installers.
Installation is just as important as the brand. Any HVAC contractor can install Goodman products and many other brands.
Not anyone can install Carrier. Carrier Factory Authorized dealers must be certified by NATE, the North American Technician Excellence certification that many HVAC pros do not have.
Secondly, they must go through extensive training at a Carrier factory to learn installation, maintenance and repair of Carrier products.
These are among the reasons we rank Carrier among Premium Air Conditioner brands.
Carrier makes four lines of thermostat. They are the Infinity, CÔR, Performance and Comfort, each with several models.
You can match your HVAC system’s performance (single-stage, etc.) to the thermostat or choose features you want such as WiFi, which is available on three of the four series. For complete information, see our Carrier Thermostat Buying Guide.
CÔR Home Automation
CÔR is more than just a thermostat. It’s a home automation system that uses the CÔR hub and mobile app.
The system is like most smart home systems. It is used to control the thermostat, lighting, door locks, Z-wave modules, cameras and other security features.
Model Analysis and Recommendation
|Infinity 20 24VNA0||20.5 SEER||Variable||58db|
|Infinity 21 24ANB1||21 SEER||2-stage||65db|
|Infinity 19VS 24VNA9||19 SEER||5-stage||56db|
|Infinity 17 24ANB7 & 24ANB7**C||17 SEER||2-stage||67db|
|Infinity 16 24ANB6||16 SEER||Single-stage||66db|
|Performance 17 24ACB7||17 SEER||2-stage||72db|
|Performance 16 24APB6||17 SEER||Single-stage||72db|
|Performance 16 24ACC6||16 SEER||Single-stage||72db|
|Performance 14 Compact 24AHA4||14 SEER||Single-stage||68db|
|Performance 13 24ACB3||13 SEER||Single-stage||74db|
|Comfort 16 24AAA6||16 SEER||Single-stage||72db|
|Comfort 16 24ABC6||16 SEER||Single-stage||76db|
|Comfort 15 24AAA5||14 SEER||Single-stage||72db|
|Comfort 14 24ACC4||14 SEER||Single-stage||72db|
|Comfort 14 24ACA4**C||14 SEER||Single-stage||73db|
|Comfort 13 24ABB3**C||13 SEER||Single-stage||75db|
|Comfort 13 24ABB3||13 SEER||Single-stage||72db|
While some brands are consolidating their AC line, Carrier has expanded it in recent years to 18 models (compare Trane with 9 and Lennox with 11).
The Infinity 20 with Greenspeed Intelligence is Carrier’s only true variable-capacity air conditioner. That’s surprising from the brand that was one of the first to offer variable ACs and has so many models. This air conditioner has been available since about 2011, so the technology is pretty well established. It’s solid.
Recommended for: Homeowners willing to pay more for a variable-capacity air conditioner with a proven track record.
The Infinity 19VS is an air conditioner that most UTC brands (Carrier, Bryant, Heil, etc.) introduced a few years ago. It’s the middle ground between a variable-capacity and two-stage AC. The compressor costs less, which means a lower sticker price for the AC, and the technology used is very reliable.
You’ll save money with the Infinity 19VS and probably wouldn’t notice a difference in cooling and dehumidification performance from the Infinity 20.
Recommended for: Those that want excellent indoor comfort but want to save a little bit compared with a variable-capacity system.
The Infinity 21, Infinity 17 and Performance 17 are two-stage air conditioners. When air conditioning demand is low to moderate, they run at 70% capacity, which is quieter. When demand is high, they run at 100%. Dehumidification is good, but not as good as with the variable and 5-stage models.
Recommended for: Homeowners looking for good value – a combination of better climate control, but at a lower cost than the variable-capacity and 5-stage models.
The Infinity 16 is the only single-stage model in the Infinity Series. It has a lower cost than other Infinity ACs, the point of making a single-stage, but has the premium sound-reducing and weatherproof options.
All other Carrier air conditioners in the Performance and Comfort Series are single-stage
Recommended for: Single-stage Carrier air conditioners are ideal for anyone that values lower cost over optimal climate control. The nice thing is that these models are backed by Carrier’s 10-year parts warranty, the same warranty behind Carrier Infinity Series air conditioners.
Carrier Air Conditioner Prices By Model
In order to offer an objective and equal comparison, we set the baseline below:
Each model includes: Carrier 2.5-ton outdoor condenser, 1300-1400 CFM air handler, programmable air conditioner thermostat.
Carrier AC Prices by Models
|Infinity GreenSpeed 24VNA0 20.5 SEER||$4,430|
|Infinity 24ANB1 21 SEER||$4,100|
|Infinity 24VNA9 19 SEER||$3,480|
|Infinity 24ANB7 17 SEER||$2,665|
|Infinity 24ANB6 16 SEER||$2,490|
|Performance 24ACB7 17 SEER||$2,410|
|Performance 24ACC6 16 SEER||$2,330||$5,550|
|Performance 24ACB3 13 SEER||$1,965||$5,240|
|Comfort 24AAA6 24ABC6 16 SEER||$1,870||$5,100|
|Comfort 24AAA5 15 SEER||$1,655||$4,885|
|Comfort 24ACC4 14 SEER||$1,630||$4,760|
|Comfort 24ABB3 13 SEER||$1,595||$4,700|
Carrier AC Unit Prices By Size
Before installing your air conditioner, an HVAC contractor needs to size your system by “Manual J” calculation. This will take into accounts factors like where you live, how much insulation you have, windows types and directions, and everything else. Then you will get a right-sized central air conditioner ranging from 1.5-ton to 5-ton.
Each Unit includes: Carrier 15 SEER 2.5-ton outdoor condenser, Carrier 1300-1400 CFM air handler, and Carrier programmable thermostat.
Carrier AC Prices By Unit Size
AC Unit Size
|1.5 ton||600-1000 sf||$1,735|
|2 ton||1001-1300 sf||$1,830|
|2.5 ton||1301-1600 sf||$1,930|
|3 ton||1601-1900 sf||$2,030|
|3.5 ton||1901-2200 sf||$2,250||$6,165|
|4 ton||2201-2600 sf||$2,490||$6,600|
|5 ton||2601-3200 sf||$2,790||$7,250|
Submitted Prices and Reviews by Readers
We will not edit any words from submitted feedback information. We will update this table every 3-6 months and you may not see your submitted review immediately. Only fake and unreasonable submitted information will be filtered.
Brand & Model & Size
|$5,000||Carrier 3 ton 16 seer||Suitland, ML||1800 sq ft|
|Condenser, Evaporator, Plastic slab and Installation|
|$9,800||Carrier Infinity 19||Portland, Oregon||1600 sq ft|
|I wondered if the quote I just got was high so I’m trying to investigate before I approach them to negotiate their price. This Portland HVAC company installed my Carrier furnace in 2012 so I want to stay with them. But . . . am I getting a good price? Seems high compared to what I’m seeing elsewhere.|
|$5,550 installed||Performance 16-24ACC6||Houston, TX||1600 sqft|
|After living in our house for 15 years we figured it’s time to replace the air conditioning. I went ahead and bought this Carrier and I must say it does the job quite well. It takes very little time to warm up or cool down the house which is one of the things we didn’t get from the one we had before. The unit hasn’t needed any repair work and I’ve had it for about half a year now.|
|$4,990 installed||Comfort 14-24ACC4||Washington||2950 sqft|
|My eldest son always complained about how the AC was run-down and we needed to get a new one. For some time I dismissed him but then I realized that it really didn’t distribute air like it did before. We’ve had the thing for 16 years so I didn’t really think of anything else except replacing it. The one I got is worth every penny. The noise level is low and it’s great on energy saving too.|
|$4,290 installed||17-24ANB7||Phoenix, AZ||2200 sqft|
|I’m really picky with my stuff. I like my equipment and appliances original, I won’t have anything to do with cheap knock-offs. So buying this air conditioner to replace my old one was somewhat of a challenging fact. You can’t trust the commercial these days. Am glad I got this though because it has restored my faith in good manufacturing. I haven’t had a problem with this new Carrier I got since I bought it 7 months ago. It’s just perfect.|
|$4,990 installed||Comfort 13 coastal-24ABB3||Plano, TX||2700 sqft|
|I thought this was going to be an improvement but it turned out to be a down grade. This AC cannot run for a month without breaking down and am not talking working under par, totally shutting down. The first 3 months were great but so far it’s just costing me money. I don’t like this at all.|
|$2,649 Unit||Performance Series||Los Angeles, CA||2800 sqft|
|This thing isn’t what they say it is. It’s really disappointing to spend so much money and still get something that doesn’t work like the brochure says. I got this air conditioner about a year ago but now it looks like I will need a replacement. It’s too noisy to keep running so we just turn it off after a while. Someone from the company should come and solve this ASAP.|
|$4,200 installed||14 SEER 24AHA4 4 ton||Canada||2100 sqft|
|I am very disappointed with Carrier. I was expecting an amazing product after getting so many good reviews from many of my colleagues. Unfortunately, the AC I bought broke down within one year. I was shocked and genuinely concerned. I am not sure if this is an isolated case but I would not recommend it to anyone. Even if it is a rare manufacturing defect, being a popular company they should have better quality checking mechanisms. I hope this never happens to anybody.|
|$3,800 installed||Carrier 3 ton 13 SEER||Chicago, IL||1800 sqft|
|I was very happy in the beginning because things ran smoothly without any noise. Moreover, I saw noticeable changes in my electricity bills. After two years, things began to change. There have been awkward sounds. I got it checked and repaired. I am hoping that is the end of the issue. Overall, it has been a good experience. Dependable on the whole. Neat operation and very good cooling system. Yes, I was not happy with its looks in the beginning. But then realized ACs are for cooling and not for beautification.|
|$5,000 installed||Carrier Comfort 15 SEER||Charlotte, NC||2800 sqft|
|I used to own a high-end AC from a very reputed brand (Trane). 2 years ago, I got it replaced and decided to give Carrier try. I was shocked to see that Trane ACs are actually as good, if not better! Considering the price, I did not expect so much quality. I had to get it repaired once though, but it was a minor issue and there have been no other troubles since. It was a very good buy.|
|$5,400||Carrier 14 Seer Comfort Pkg Unit||The Villages, Fla||1300 sqft|
|I bought this AC unit around 10 months ago. So far, everything has been fine. My old York AC needed repair every 6 months and also had an awkward sound every now and then. With Carrier, there has never been any such issues. It is a smooth AC device which performs its duty as promised. A highly recommended product from Carrier!|
|$6,255 installed||24ACC6 4 ton||Miami, FL||2220 sqft|
|Buying Carrier AC was a very good decision I will never regret. I realized my Old Amana AC was actually a rip-off. Things couldn’t have been better. The cooling is very quick. My old AC used to take 3-4 times longer to cool up my room in the same manner. After trying out Carrier in my home 2 years ago, I have replaced all the ACs in my office to Trane. So far, there has been no trouble. In fact, it helped me to save a whopping amount on energy bills. I realized this when I was checking my bills. My energy consumption has in fact halved! This does not come with a compromise on cooling though.|
How to Get the Best Carrier Air Conditioner Prices?
Firstly, When you looking for the best deals for Carrier 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 as we talked above.
- 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 Article: In-depth Comparison: Trane vs Carrier vs Lennox AC Review