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.
Tempstar and Comfortmaker are International Comfort Product (ICP) brands along with Heil, Keep Rite and several others. ICP is owned by United Technologies, the parent company of Carrier and Bryant too. Most ICP product lines are unique, but some of the 13 SEER and 14 SEER models, including those designed for coastal environments where salt spray is an issue, seem to be identical to Carrier/Bryant. Comfortmaker and Tempstar units have both “fancy” names like the Deluxe 19 AC with SmartSense and standard model numbers like TVA9.
Comfortmaker/Tempstar Central Air Conditioner Unique Features
These are solid brands with good efficiency and performance, but their features don’t necessarily set them apart. A couple are worth mentioning.
The Tempstar TVA9 and Comfortmaker CVA9 have variable-capacity compressors with 5 levels of operation. These are also called variable-speed compressors, since the compressor uses rotary technology and speeds up to deliver more air conditioning or slows down for less. Variable-speed models from most other brands have “infinite” levels of operation between 40% and 100% capacity. You’ll notice little difference in cooling consistency with a 5-speed vs. an infinite-speed model, and the cost of these units is slightly less.
The Observer Communicating technology on top models from both brands (see the Models table under the Communicating row) must be paired with the Observer Communicating thermostat to take advantage of this feature. Communicating technology allows system components such as the AC, thermostat and air handler (furnace) to share data to precisely balance the air conditioning level. For example, in the TVA9 and CVA9 just mentioned, the communication between components would determine which of the 5 speeds the system runs on. Data is constantly being shared, so the compressor will speed up and slow down, like cruise control, for the most balanced cooling and dehumidification.
While not a technology feature, we also like the warranties these brands offer on their top models. The Comfortmaker CVA9 and CVA7 and the Tempstar TVA9 and TVA7 have 10-year replacement warranties on the compressor and coils. This means the entire condensing unit will be replaced if either part fails in the first 10 years. Other models have 5-year or 1-year replacement warranties. All models, from top of the line to the least efficient have 10-year general parts warranties.
Finally, the Comfortmaker NH4A4 and the Tempstar NH4A4 are compact 14-SEER ACs ideal for locations where space is tight.
These are among the Comfortmaker and Tempstar AC pros along with a good range of products are most efficiency and performance levels.
Cons for Comfortmaker and Tempstar
There are two issues worth mentioning. The first is minor, in our opinion, but the second is of greater concern.
The most efficient models have a SEER rating of 19. While that’s quite good, the most efficient ACs from other leading brands range from 20 SEER to the Lennox XC25 with a 26 SEER rating. If you live where summers are scorching hot and/or extremely humid, you might want an AC with 20+ efficiency.
The more important issue is communicating technology, and what we say is true for all brands that offer it. Communicating components and the thermostat/wall control ($350+) are expensive. The wall control offers WiFi connectivity with an app, and it’s attractive but costly. Worse, many HVAC pros steer clear of communicating systems because they can be challenging to diagnose when issues arise. Quite a few HVAC techs recommend that their customers remove the communicating control and run the system as a standard two-stage AC. Now, it should be said that every brand’s communicating system is different, proprietary. There are fewer complaints about ICP communicating systems than most. Talk with a Comfortmaker or Tempstar installer for more details.
Model Analysis and Recommendation
Comfortmaker and Tempstar make 12 models, and that’s more than many other brands. This table lists them with efficiency and other important features to compare them by. We’ve prepared tables like this for other AC brand reviews, so making comparisons at a glance is easy.
- The CVA9 and TVA9 ACs are top of the line with the 5-speed compressors discussed above. They offer the best climate control of any Comfortmaker and Tempstar models. Right behind them are the 2-stage, slightly more affordable CCA7 and TCA7 air conditioners. All four are a good choice for warm, humid climates.
- The Softsound and QuietComfort models offer good durability in affordable single-stage ACs. You have your choice of 13 SEER for cool climates or locations like vacation homes where the unit isn’t used heavily. The 15 and 16 SEER units are ideal for moderate-to-warm climates.
- Performance Series central air conditioners are affordable and available in a range of efficiency levels including several two Energy Star 16 SEER ACs.
- The Coastal Climate models feature components and a coating on the cabinet for enhanced resistance to corrosion.
Comfortmaker AC Prices and Tempstar AC Prices
Each model is produced in a range from 1.5 ton (18,000 BTU) or 2.0 ton (24,000 BTU) to 5.0 ton (60,000 BTU) ACs. Prices in the System column reflect the capacity/size range for each model.
The System Installed cost includes the AC, labor and all supplies such as a line set and condenser pad. If the new unit has features such as two-stage or 5-speed performance the old unit did not have, you might need a new thermostat too. The cost of an Observer wall control is not included. The unit costs $350-$400.
|SoftSound Deluxe Series||Deluxe Series|
|Softsound Series||QuietComfort Series|
|Performance Series||Performance Series|
Comfortmaker and Tempstar AC Prices by Size
What size AC is right for your home? Sizing your central air conditioner is an important issue, and it is discussed in detail in the Air Conditioner Buying Guide we’ve prepared along with these brand guides. The information about how to size an air conditioner for your home will allow you to closely estimate the right unit. The Home Size column is a rough estimate only.
This table shows Comfortmaker and Tempstar prices across all models by size. Once you determine the size AC you need, this table will assist you in pricing one for your budget. In each size, the more expensive units are more efficient and produce lower electric bills. They also offer enhanced comfort control such as balanced temperatures and better dehumidification, an important part of cooling your home.
AC Unit Size
|1.5 ton||Up to 1,000 sf||$1,135-$2,300|
|2 ton||1001-1300 sf||$1,225-$2,655|
|2.5 ton||1301-1600 sf||$1,345-$2,695|
|3 ton||1601-1900 sf||$1,500-$2,835|
|3.5 ton||1901-2200 sf||$1,685-$3,050||$2,885-$5,050|
|4 ton||2201-2600 sf||$1,835-$3,175||$3,035-$5,175|
|5 ton||2601-3200 sf||$1,965-$3,500||$3,435-$5,475|
Where to Get the Latest Rebates and Incentives
There are no 2018 federal tax credits, but many power companies are offering rebates and credits for the installation of Energy Star equipment. Contact your energy provider or search the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency. Plug in your zip code, and see what’s available.
How to Get the Best Comfortmaker/Tempstar 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 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.