Lennox air conditioners are the most efficient available at all levels of quality – basic, better and best. Every AC is certified Energy Star for efficiency.
Is efficiency all that counts? It’s a lot of what homeowners are looking for, but there are concerns about Lennox durability and repair costs that should be considered before you buy.
This Lennox air conditioner buying guide offers a comprehensive look at one of the best-selling AC brands. We’ve completed buying guides like this for all major brands and some you might have never heard of. The guides are a quick but thorough way to compare central air conditioner brands and models head to head.
For more general information about buying a central air conditioner such as unit prices, installation cost, the right efficiency for your climate, sizing it properly, understanding performance and comfort features, see our comprehensive Air Conditioner Prices and Buyers Guide.
Now, here is the list of topics covered in this Lennox AC buying guide:
A few things set Lennox apart from other brands.
Lennox makes the most efficient split system available right now, the Signature Series Lennox XC25 with a 26 SEER rating.
It also makes the most efficient two-stage split system air conditioner, the Elite Series Lennox XC20 with a 20 SEER rating, and the most efficient single-stage AC, the 18.5 SEER Lennox SL18XC1.
Nine of the 11 Lennox air conditioners are certified Energy Star.
A few brands use variable compressors in their top models, but Lennox was among the first.
Both the XC25 and XC20 are variable capacity.
This diagram shows how their performance maximizes efficiency and optimizes indoor comfort:
A single-stage compressor wastes energy by cooling past the thermostat point – starting, running 100% and then stopping. A two-stage compressor is better, but not as efficient as the balanced running of a variable-capacity unit.
The compressor can run at capacity from about 30% to 100% to precisely meet cooling demand. It will run at the lowest capacity needed to do the job.
This optimizes indoor comfort by keeping temperatures evenly balanced. Running at an even keel for a longer period of time also removes more summer humidity, and air that is drier is more comfortable.
Of course, running at lower capacity is quieter than two-stage and single-stage units can operate.
The Lennox Quantum coil is available on the Signature Series SL18XC1, Elite Series EL16XC1 and Merit Series ML14XC1.
Trane and American Standard use aluminum coils called Spine Fin coils.
Pros: The Lennox Quantum coil is a durable aluminum alloy used in the refrigerant tubing and the coil’s radiator-like fins. The advantages include better resistance to corrosion in salt environment and a lower upfront cost.
Cons: Aluminum coils have a slightly lower heat transfer rate and more difficult repairs. Coils are often replaced due to leaks or cracks because of the challenge of getting a weld to hold.
While the cons are significant, if you live in a coastal environment, aluminum is a better choice.
See our page on Copper vs Aluminum Coils for a complete perspective on your options.
Here is another example of Lennox leading the way toward energy efficiency.
SunSource is similar to other solar power systems.
- 4-16 Solar World modules (about 38” x 66”), in black or silver, are used depending on whether you want to power your HVAC system only or also other home systems such as lighting. Watt peak (WP) is 275 and 280 respectively.
- The solar cells are monocrystalline (or mono crystalline).
- The SolarWorld kit also includes an Enphase DC to AC micro inverter and Envoy Communications Gateway for monitoring the system’s performance.
- Roof-mount kit completes the system.
All components are wired together.
This video has more details.
Is SunSource Worth the Money?
Solar equipment is becoming more efficient while cost is coming down.
According to the solar experts at Energy Sage, SolarWorld solar power kits cost $2.73 to $3.11 per watt of power installed. This includes the panels, wiring, micro inverter, etc.
However, that pricing is usually for an average whole-house system of about 6,000 watts or 6kW.
The 4-panel system for Lennox SunSource would be 1,100 to 1,120 watts, or about 1.1kW. You’d still need the micro inverter and other accessories, hardware and wiring. Their high cost wouldn’t be spread out over as many watts of solar power.
Our estimate is that a SunSource solar system using SolarWorld panels would cost about $4.30 per watt.
That comes to about $4,730 installed. But your final cost will be lower. Here’s how:
Federal solar energy equipment tax credits are still in effect. They are A federal tax credit is available for solar energy systems. The credit is 30% through 2019, then decreases to 26% for tax year 2020, then to 22% for tax year 2021. It expires December 31, 2021. There’s a good chance it will be renewed, but nothing is guaranteed beyond 2021.
Saving 30% on $4,730 would reduce the cost to $3,311. Additional rebates from local energy providers might be available. They can be searched on your provider’s site or at the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency.
With the tax credit and potential local rebates, solar energy systems like Lennox SunSource become cost-effective options.
Suggestion: Before you purchase a SunSource system to power your HVAC system, get estimates for a solar power system that will run your entire home. Depending on the size of your home and your climate, a system of 4kW to 8kW will be needed (most homes). You get better economies of scale with a larger system, so lower cost per kW. With whole-house solar, your energy bill can drop to zero most months of the year.
Lennox Air Conditioner Cons
Lennox uses the highest percentage of proprietary parts of any brand. Most use universal parts like Emerson/Copeland compressors that are affordable and available. There are two negatives associated with Lennox parts.
Some pro HVAC repair technicians claim that Lennox parts tend to wear out faster. That means less reliability and higher cost over the lifetime of the air conditioner.
Parts Cost and Availability
Lennox repair parts such as compressors and motors cost more than parts for most other brands.
Because they are not universal, they are also hard to get much of the time. Repairs that should be same-day/next-day repairs can drag out for a week or more.
Model Analysis and Recommendation
Lennox makes 11 central air conditioners in three series:
- Basic: Lennox Merit Series. 4 models, 13-17 SEER. Single-stage.
- Better: Lennox Elite Series. 4 models, 15.5-20 SEER, single-stage, two-stage and variable capacity.
- Best: Dave Lennox Signature Collection. 3 models, 18.5-26 SEER. Single-stage, two-stage and variable capacity.
Here is a breakdown of the models and our recommendations.
The XC25 and XC20 are variable-capacity units. Both are costly, but deliver excellent efficiency and indoor climate comfort.
Recommended for: Homeowners that want premium efficiency, quiet operation and very balanced temperatures even at a higher cost. The efficiency level is best suited to warm to hot climates. These are also recommended for anyone wishing to dramatically reduce energy use and their carbon footprint.
The XC21 and XC16 are two-stage air conditioners. They run at low capacity, which is about 70%, as much as possible to keep your home cool, dry and comfortable. The 21 SEER of the XC21 is the best in class.
Recommended for: Those that want a balance of lower cost than a variable-capacity AC but better performance than a single-stage model. The efficiency level is right for warm and hot climates.
The Signature Series SL18XC1, Elite Series EL16XC1 and Merit Series ML14XC1 have the Lennox Quantum coil.
Recommended for: Homes within five miles of a saltwater coast.
All other models are single-stage ACs. They run at full capacity whenever on, which might result in slight temperature imbalance. It is also louder.
Recommended for: Homeowners that prefer a lower cost unit than premium climate control. The single-stage models range in efficiency from 13 to 18.5, so you have efficiency options for your climate.
Lennox Air Conditioner Prices By Model
In order to offer an objective and equal comparison, we set the baseline: Each model includes: Lennox 3 ton outdoor condenser, 1300-1400 CFM air handler and programmable air conditioner thermostat without new ductwork.
Unit Only includes equipment wholesale price plus contractor’s profit. System Installed includes Total Cost withe th installation.
Please note that your local price may vary according to different labor fee rate, taxes rate athe nd contractor’s profit margin. If you want to know the price of Lennox’s economy brand Ducane, click here.
Lennox AC 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: Lennox 16 SEER outdoor condenser, 1300-1400 CFM air handler, programmable thermostat.
AC Unit Size
|1.5 ton||600-1000 sf||$1,345-$1,945|
|2 ton||1001-1300 sf||$1,520-$2,120|
|2.5 ton||1301-1600 sf||$1,590-$2,190|
|3 ton||1601-1900 sf||$1,690-$2,290|
|3.5 ton||1901-2200 sf||$1,820-$2,445||$5,445-$6,435|
|4 ton||2201-2600 sf||$2,000-$2,600||$5,790-$6,790|
|5 ton||2601-3200 sf||$2,490-$3,090||$6,930-$7,930|
Submitted Prices and Reviews by Visitors
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.
Brand & Model & Size
|$5,990||lennox ML180UH furnace, C35 coil, and 13ACX air conditioner||Atlanta, GA||1100 sq ft|
|Price did not include new ductwork.|
|$20,205.00||Lennox SLP98U Variable Speed and XC20-048-230 4 TN ELITE 20 SEER VARIABLE||Prescott, AZ||2000 sq ft|
|Suggesting- Aeroseal Duct Seal additional $2,350.00 Removing and replacing Temstar furnace and AC|
|$8,546||Lennox XC25/ Lennox SL2800||Charleston, SC||2900 sq ft|
|The people who installed this were great. After receiving quotes of 25,000 and 15,000 I was ready to look for a different brand but the third guy walked in and started talking seer and what he thought I needed. Finally, we settled on the listed models and the rest is history. Installation was great and it has kept my home cool through out the summer. I not looking fwd to replacing the downstairs unit but if and when I do I am calling these guys.|
|$7,920 installed||XC21||Chicago, IL||2350 sqft|
|Before I go out and get something I like to do a little research first so I looked up the best 3 ton AC and Lennox was among those that came highly recommended. I decided to go with Lennox basically because it had fewer nasty reviews. So far I can’t complain. I count myself lucky because I know there are a lot of home appliance companies that don’t live up to their billing. I thought it would be nice to put this here so that someone else can have confidence in Lennox.|
|$13,500||Lennox XC25 + 80% AFUE Furnace||Charlotte NC||2600 sq ft|
|Purchased installation of a 4 ton Lennox XC25 with an 80% AFUE furnace with a little duct repair and a communicating iPad-like thermostat for $13,500. The initial price was $15,000, but the company knocked $1500 off the price to do the job on a day that one of their work crews was slow. Purchased in 2016, the unit combo qualified for $1200 in Lennox rebates + $650 utility rebate from Duke Energy + $300 tax credit, bringing true realized cost down to $11,350. The AC unit in particular has performed well. Most of the summer in Charlotte is well over 90 degrees, yet our electric bill for a two person household rarely exceeds $90. Big savings!! My neighbors complain of summer bills of $250-$300/month.|
|$6,690||Lennox XC21||Phoenix, AZ||3000 sqft|
|What a disappointment this has turned out to be. I wonder who gets the luck of buying home appliances that just work like they should. This AC keeps breaking down and I think soon it will be useless. I have only had it for 8 months and it can’t go a month now without needing repairs.|
|$5950||Signature Collection XC17||Los Angeles, CA||2800 sqft|
|Terrible piece of equipment. Why won’t they take it back or repair it? The company response is poor yet this thing cost me an arm and a leg to get. Someone from the company should help customers like myself out, this is not a good look.|
How to Get the Best Lennox Air Conditioner Prices
Firstly, When you looking for the best deals for Lennox 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.
Related Article: In-depth Comparison: Trane vs Carrier vs Lennox AC Review