Carrier air conditioner cost is among the highest of any brand. The quality is very good, so you get a dependable AC for the money.
The reasons for the high cost are considered in the Carrier AC FAQs below.
What’s in this Carrier Air Conditioner Price Guide?
Carrier Air Conditioner Unit Price Table with Installation
Carrier offers 17 air conditioner models, almost twice as many as Trane’s 9 and quite a few more than Lennox’s 11.
They are roughly divided into three tiers:
Basic: Carrier Comfort air conditioners
Better: Carrier Performance air conditioners
Best: Carrier Infinity air conditioners
Each model is built in sizes up to 5 tons (cooling capacity, not weight) or 60,000 BTUs. One ton = 12,000 BTUs
Here is the Carrier Central Air Conditioner Price List.
|Model||Top SEER||Performance||Unit Cost Range||Installation||Total Cost Range|
|Infinity 21||21||2-stage||$5,250 - $7,600||$1,600 - $3,100||$6,850 - $10,700|
|Infinity 20||20.5||Variable||$5,100 - $7,475||$1,600 - $3,100||$6,700 - $10,575|
|Infinity 19VS||19||Variable||$4,990 - $7,150||$1,600 - $3,100||$6,590 - $10,450|
|Infinity 17 Coastal||17||2-stage||$4,925 - $6,950||$1,350 - $2,700||$6,275 - $9,650|
|Infinity 17||17||2-stage||$4,850 - $6,800||$1,350 - $2,700||$6,200 - $9,500|
|Infinity 16||16||Single-stage||$4,400 - $6,375||$1,150 - $2,400||$5,550 - $8,775|
|Performance 17||17||2-stage||$4,650 - $6,700||$1,350 - $2,700||$6,000 - $9,400|
|Performance 16 24APB6||17||Single-stage||$4,350 - $5,500||$1,150 - $2,400||$5,500 - $7,900|
|Performance 16 24ACC6||16||Single-stage||$4,200 - $5,335||$1,150 - $2,400||$5,350 - $7,735|
|Performance 14 Compact||14||Single-stage||$3,900 - $4,875||$1,150 - $2,400||$5,050 - $7,275|
|Performance 13||13||Single-stage||$3,750 - $4,400||$1,150 - $2,400||$4,900 - $6,800|
|Comfort 16 24AAA6||16||Single-stage||$3,950 - $5,175||$1,150 - $2,400||$5,100 - $7,575|
|Comfort 16 24ABC6||16||Single-stage||$3,800 - $4,900||$1,150 - $2,400||$4,950 - $7,300|
|Comfort 15||14||Single-stage||$3,690 - $4,725||$1,150 - $2,400||$4,840 - $7,125|
|Comfort 14 Coastal||14||Single-stage||$3,625 - $4,650||$1,150 - $2,400||$4,775 - $7,050|
|Comfort 14||14||Single-stage||$3,485 - $4,450||$1,150 - $2,400||$4,635 - $6,850|
|Comfort 13||13||Single-stage||$3,350 - $4,285||$1,150 - $2,400||$4,500 - $6,685|
Carrier Air Conditioner Cost Factors (AC Only)
The cost to install a Carrier AC follows. But first, let’s discuss prices related to the three essentials of central air conditioning system.
- The condensing unit – This is the outside unit, which homeowners typically call the air conditioner. It contains a compressor to circulate refrigerant and a coil, like a radiator, to disperse heat removed from your home.
- The indoor coil – Also like a radiator, the indoor coil collects heat inside your home. As it removes heat, it gets cold enough to condense moisture out of the air passing over it. The moisture is drained away, and the air in your home is dehumidified.
- The refrigerant line set carries refrigerant between the two coils.
Let’s see how these components affect the cost of a Carrier air conditioning system.
System Size: A common range of sizes in each model is 18K, 24K, 30K, 36K, 42K, 48K and 60K BTUs. Cost rises with cooling capacity. The condensing unit and coil are larger. The line set has a larger diameter.
Efficiency: AC efficiency is measured in SEER and EER. EER is the efficiency of the unit under controlled conditions (95F outdoor air, indoor air maintained at 80F with 50% humidity). It’s a lower number than SEER, which measures the seasonal energy efficiency rating. The more efficient the unit is, the more it will cost, all else being equal.
Compressor Performance: The most affordable central air conditioners have single-stage compressors. They run at 100% capacity. Mid-range models have two-stage compressors that run at 65% and 100% capacity. The lower capacity is used to maintain balanced cool.
The most expensive units have modulating or variable compressors that run as low as 35% or 40% depending on brand and up to 100%. Efficiency and indoor climate control improve with performance. Cost goes up too.
Thermostats: If you install a new thermostat, costs start below $25 for cheap, non-programmable units. Most programmable thermostats range from $40 to $100.
If they have extra features like a touchscreen and/or WiFi connectivity, cost can exceed $400. Carrier makes a wide range of thermostats including Infinity, Côr and Performance Series thermostats.
Communicating technology: In most HVAC systems, the thermostat tells the AC and air handler/furnace what to do. Communicating systems “talk” to one another. The thermostat uses data from the other components to optimize cooling comfort.
In our opinion, communicating technology isn’t worth the $500 to $1,250 it adds to the total bill. See our Review of Communicating Systems for more details.
Carrier AC Installation Cost Factors
These are about the labor cost to install a Carrier air conditioner.
We included the typical range of installation costs in the table above.
To narrow it a bit, most homeowners pay between $1,400 and $2,100 for the labor to install a Carrier air conditioning system (condensing unit, indoor coil, line set and refrigerant).
Here are factors within this range and beyond this range.
Installation Difficulty: Roof installation of a condensing unit, installing a coil in a furnace in an attic or crawlspace, having to drill through the foundation to run refrigerant lines – these are challenges that raise installation prices.
Ductwork repair or replacement: Old ducts come apart and have gaps. These allow for heating or air-conditioned air to escape, wasting as much as 30% of the energy cost, according to the Department of Energy.
Repairing ducts by repairing gaps and wrapping exposed ducts in mastic and insulation costs up to $3.50 per linear foot.
When the ductwork is very old or the wrong size for the new system, it must be replaced. The cost of ductwork ranges from $10 to $17 per linear foot. If you’ve been told you need new ducts – or if you’re building a new home or addition – our Guide to Ductwork and Costs is the most comprehensive available.
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|
There are two ways to approach this topic.
The positive approach is to say that some of these extras will make your home healthier and more comfortable.
The cynical approach is to warn you that a Carrier salesperson might push hard to upsell you on these items.
Here are the most common Extras added to an HVAC system when installing a new air conditioner – with their pros and cons.
ComfortZone II Zoning
Zoned air conditioning and heating improve energy efficiency by using less AC in non-occupied areas of the house.
For example, keep living areas cooler during weekend days and sleeping areas cooler at night.
Carrier zoned systems use sensors, controllers and motorized dampers to create two or more zones in your home. Each can have its own climate settings.
If you live in a very warm climate and plan to stay in your current home for 10+ years, then zoning might be a cost-effective solution. If you sell, homebuyers might find it an appealing aspect of your home.
Zoning equipment installed starts at about $1,500 to add a second zone to a small home. Cost can easily rise to $5,000 or more.
See our Guide to HVAC Zoned Systems for a lot of useful information.
Carrier Air Purifiers
Carrier offers the Infinity Air Purifier with MERV 15 filtration. That’s ideal for homeowners with severe allergies.
The Carrier Comfort EZ Air Purifier is a more affordable MERV 10 filter.
Both are housed in a cabinet that is installed in your ductwork. The media filter must be changed regularly. The advantage is that these filters trap more dirt and debris than standard furnace and air handler filters. However, they are not True HEPA filters, so don’t stop as much or as small particles as quality air purifiers.
The installed cost of a Carrier air purifier is $475 to more than $700 plus the cost of replacement filters.
In our estimate, your money would be better spent on one or two-room/zone air purifiers. If you’d like to learn more, see our Complete Air Purifier Buying Guide plus individual guides on purifiers for specific issues like pets and mold and reviews of the top brands like Honeywell, Dyson, and Levoit.
Performance Series Germidical UV Lamps
UV kills viruses, bacteria and mold on the indoor coil. Think about it – the indoor coil condenses moisture from the air flowing over it. The coil can become dirty – dust, pet dander and other debris. The wet, dirty surface is an ideal location for mold and bacteria growth.
It makes sense to have your coil cleaned yearly – but between maintenance visits, a UV germicidal light will keep your coil healthy.
A UV germicidal light installed ranges from $450 to $650.
Whole House Carrier Ventilators
Today’s homes are nearly airtight for energy efficiency. The downside is that the air in your home gets stale. That’s a nice way of saying it is polluted – more than five times polluted than outside air, even in urban areas.
Carrier makes a large selection of ventilators. The units exchange air, bringing in fresh air and exhausting stale air.
There are two broad categories:
Heat recovery ventilators, or HRVs, are for cold climates. They use the warm air being exhausted to partially heat incoming air. The air doesn’t mix.
Energy recovery ventilators, or ERVs, are for moderate and warm climates. When the AC is on, they use cool air being vented to cool incoming air. Again, the air doesn’t mix.
Installed Carrier HRVs and ERVs start at about $3,000 and can exceed $10,000 for units serving large homes. If it’s in the budget, a ventilator makes a difference in indoor air quality.
If the price is a little steep, you can get fresh air for less by opening a door and a window for cross ventilation and leaving them open for 10-15 minutes a couple of times a day.
Rebates on Carrier Air Conditioners
Finally something that might put money back in your pocket!
Rebates are offered by most energy providers for customers that install efficient HVAC components including air conditioners.
For example, many utilities are offering a $450 rebate if you install a Carrier Infinity 21 AC and a $200 rebate for customers that install a Performance 16 central air conditioner.
There is more information including how to get your rebate in our Guide to HVAC Credits and Rebates.
This Carrier page has a complete list of equipment that has a rebate offer.
Carrier AC FAQs
Here are answers to commonly asked questions.
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.
The Carrier Dome in Syracuse NY.
Are there good-quality alternatives to Carrier?
Bryant ACs are nearly identical, and cost is slightly lower. Check prices by getting estimates from a local Carrier dealer and a local Bryant dealer.
ICP and Carrier are owned by United Technologies (UTC), and the air conditioners are almost identical. However, UTC prices the ICP brands lower than Carrier to appeal to a wider range of consumers.
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.
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.