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 AC’s Exclusive Features
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.
Carrier AC Models Reviews
|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 Conditioners Price List By Model
Unit Cost Range includes equipment wholesale price plus contractor’s profit. Total Cost Range includes Total Cost with the installation. The installation cost doesn’t include new ductwork.Please note that your local price may vary according to different labor fee rates, taxes rate and contractor’s profit margin. If you want to know more about the HVAC contractor’s profit margin, read our HVAC Installation Cost guide.
|Carrier Models||Unit Cost Range||Total Cost Range|
|Infinity GreenSpeed 24VNA0 20.5 SEER||$5,100 – $7,475||$6,700 – $10,575|
|Infinity 24ANB1 21 SEER||$5,250 – $7,600||$6,850 – $10,700|
|Infinity 24VNA9 19 SEER||$4,990 – $7,150||$6,590 – $10,450|
|Infinity 24ANB7 17 SEER||$4,850 – $6,800||$6,200 – $9,500|
|Infinity 24ANB6 16 SEER||$4,400 – $6,375||$5,550 – $8,775|
|Performance 24ACB7 17 SEER||$4,650 – $6,700||$4,650 – $6,700|
|Performance 24ACC6 16 SEER||$4,200 – $5,335||$5,350 – $7,735|
|Performance 24ACB3 13 SEER||$3,750 – $4,400||$4,900 – $6,800|
|Comfort 24AAA6 16 SEER||$3,950 – $5,175||$5,100 – $7,575|
|Comfort 24AAA5 15 SEER||$3,690 – $4,725||$4,840 – $7,125|
|Comfort 24ACC4 14 SEER||$3,485 – $4,450||$4,635 – $6,850|
|Comfort 24ABB3 13 SEER||$3,350 – $4,285||$4,500 – $6,685|
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.
|AC Unit Size||Home Size||AC Unit System Price||System Installed Cost|
|1.5 ton||600-1000 sf||$3,655||$5,870|
|2 ton||1001-1300 sf||$3,850||$6,280|
|2.5 ton||1301-1600 sf||$4,050||$6,600|
|3 ton||1601-1900 sf||$4,300||$6,800|
|3.5 ton||1901-2200 sf||$4,520||$7,000|
|4 ton||2201-2600 sf||$4,700||$7,300|
|5 ton||2601-3200 sf||$5,150||$7,850|
Note: The above table is updated on Feb 1, 2020 and shows the average cost based on a Carrier 16 SEER AC Unit with an Variable Air Handler. “System Installed Cost” includes the whole equipment cost and national average installation cost. The installation cost doesn’t include new ductwork.
Carrier Air Conditioner Add-ons and Extras
|ComfortZone II Zoning||$1,500 - $5,000+|
|Carrier Air Purifier||$475 - $700|
|Germicidal UV Lamp||$450 - $650|
|ERV/HRV Ventilator||$3,000 - $8,000|
|Duct Repair||$1.50 - $3.50 per foot|
|Duct Replacement||$10 - $17 per foot|
If you want to learn more about Carrier Add-ons, read our detailed price guide for Carrier here.
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 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.
Carrier AC FAQs
Why are Carrier air conditioners more expensive than most?
There are several reasons.
- Quality: Carrier Infinity and Performance Series air conditioners are better than most. Service records showing fewer repair issues demonstrate their quality. You get what you pay for.
- Carrier-certified Installers: To install Carrier equipment, you have to get special training from Carrier. This isn’t foolproof, but does make it more likely the AC (or heat pump, furnace, boiler, etc.) will be correctly installed – and that it will be less subject to breaking down.
- It’s a Carrier – It must be good: Carrier enjoys an excellent reputation. Many homeowners are willing to pay more for a Carrier because they’ve heard good things about the brand.
- Marketing: Carrier advertises more than most brands. That raises equipment costs.
How long will a Carrier air conditioner last?
17-25 years when regularly cleaned and tuned by an HVAC tech.
- Carrier Comfort: 17-20 years
- Carrier Performance: 18-22 years
- Carrier Infinity: 20-25 years.
Can I finance a Carrier air conditioner?
Yes. You have two options.
Wells Fargo finances Carrier (and Trane) HVAC systems. Your local bank might too.
Carrier also has a lease-to-own plan through Microf with options up to 60 months.
Submitted Prices and Reviews in 2019-2020
We will update this table every 3-6 months and you may not see your submitted review immediately. Last update: Feb 1. 2020
|Price||Brand & Model & Size||Home Location||Home 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.|
|$9,784||Carrier 4 ton 14 seer||Wilmington, NC||2,350 sqft|
|The installation includes hvac unit with air handler.|
|$16,500||Carrier Infinity 21||Dallas, TX||5,000 sq ft (2 story)|
|One of my AC units went out and was considering replacing them both with two 3.5 ton Carrier Infinity 21 AC units. Was wondering what a fair price and/or the highest price I should expect to pay for both of them. Please help.|
|$4,100||Carrier 4 ton 16 SEER||Houston, TX||2,000 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.|
|$13,430.00 and $16,248.00||Carrier 24 ABB 336 A0N3, Comfort Series 31,000-BTU condenser; Single speed blower||Drexel Hill, PA||2,000 sq ft (Only Two Upper Floors are going to be air conditioned)|
|I am replacing our High Velocity System because of a serious refrigerant with the old refrigerant, R-11. The installer will be using the above noted equipment, a Carrier, Comfort Series Single Stage Condenser, 31,000 BTUs. They are also installing an Unico single Stage Blower module, and a Unico Evaporator Coil, 31,000 BTUs and a 12 SEER. They will be adding three (3) high velocity supply lines and reuse the existing 17 supply lines. They will also reuse the refrigerant lines and evacuate the R-11 refrigerant and replace with a R410 refrigerant. They will also install a Honeywell 5000 programmable cooling thermostat. I also have an option for an extra $2,818.00 to install a Carrier Performance Series two-stage condenser (31,000 BTUs and a 14 SEER); a Unico two-stage blower module and a Unico R-410 Evaporator Coil module that are both rated at 14 SEER and are 31,000 BTUs.|
|$9,327||Carrier 24ACC6, Carrier 59TN6||Woodbury||2,560 sqft|
|Through Home Depot|
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