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.
Luxaire and Coleman central air conditioners are sister brands to York. The three are owned by Johnson Controls, one of the oldest and largest HVAC technology companies in the business.
The three brands’ products are identical except in name and badging. What can set them apart is what sets any central air conditioner apart – quality installation that plays a major role in how durably and efficiently the AC performs. American Standard dealer Dave Nuzzo says, “Most units that mechanically fail are due to poor installation,” regardless of brand.
This Coleman and Luxaire central AC review provides you with prices, efficiency and features information for all models. Contractor reviews and submitted prices from other homeowners round out the picture you’ll get of these brands.
Luxaire’s and Coleman’s Unique Features/ Coleman and Luxaire Pros
There are two notable technology features to mention for these brands.
The first is that the top lines, Luxaire Acclimate and Coleman Echelon, can be adjusted to perform optimally in your climate. Luxaire says the systems can be, “perfectly tuned to the outdoor environment in which they are located. Humid, dry or normal condition settings allow contractors to set up systems accurately [to] maximize overall efficiency and provide improved homeowner comfort.” Luxaire calls the technology Climate Sync; Coleman calls it Climate Connect.
Secondly, these brands are among a growing number that has introduced central air conditioners with variable-capacity compressors. These advanced compressors adjust constantly in increments of less than 1% to keep indoor temperatures precisely balanced while maximizing efficiency too. The models are the Coleman Echelon AC21 and the Luxaire Acclimate AC21. These identical units offer 20 SEER efficiency and a lifetime limited compressor warranty, a rarity in HVAC equipment.
Cons for Luxaire and Coleman Air Conditioners
It’s worth noting that respected consumer products review organization Consumer Reports, following a large survey of homeowners, flagged York (and by association, Luxaire and Coleman), as “among the less reliable” brands.
Perhaps the biggest issue is the LX models with MicroChannel coils in the condensing units. The CC7, TW4, TC4, TC3, TCJF, TCHD and TCHE are MicroChannel models. These are compact coils that provide more surface space in a compact unit. However, problems with these coils leaking have been a significant part of the poor ratings.
Johnson Controls has gone to significant lengths to fix the issues. To boost consumer confidence, warranties for all Luxaire, Coleman and York products are now among the best available.
Model Analysis and Recommendation
This table shows all models and analyzes their essential features.
|Coleman model||Luxaire model||SEER Rating||Compressor||Communicating||Other|
|Echelon AC21||Acclimate AL21||20||Variable||Yes||Energy Star|
|Echelon AC8B||Acclimate AL8B||18||Two-stage||Yes||Energy Star|
|Echelon AC6B||Acclimate AL6B||16||Single-stage||Yes||Energy Star|
|LX CC7||LX TC7||17||Single-stage||No||Energy Star|
|LX TW4||LX TW4||14||Single-stage||No|
|LX TC4/TF4||LX TC4/TF4||14||Single-stage||No|
|LX TC3/TF3||LX TC3/TF3||13||Single-stage||No|
If you’d like to learn more about communicating technology designed to optimize efficiency and performance, see our Guide to Communicating vs. Non-Communicating HVAC systems. Taking the step up to communicating technology costs significantly. Our guide shows the pros and cons of what you get for the extra money.
The AC21 and AL21 are the variable-capacity or modulating central air conditioners in the lineup. They offer premium efficiency and the best indoor climate control. The potential downside is that an expensive communicating thermostat from Coleman/Luxaire must be purchased.
Secondly, many homeowners and even local HVAC contractors have had problems with communicating systems. Our current recommendation is to stay away from communicating HVAC systems. They aren’t worth the upgrade, and the potential for mechanical/performance issues are quite real.
The AC8B and AL8B are the only 2-stage models from either brand. It’s a bit unusual to have just one 2-stage unit. This one is efficient and comes with fewer potential issues than either the communicating models or the LX models with MicroChannel coils. In short, the AC8B and AL8B are the best Coleman and Luxaire models, in our opinion.
The LX CC7/TC7 and TCJF from both brands are efficient single-stage models that will lower your energy use and cost at affordable prices.
The TCJF is an efficient single-stage unit, but it has the problematic MicroChannel coil. The 14 SEER TF4 for southern climates and the TF3 suitable for northern climates are the only LX Series models without the MicroChannel coils, and so we recommend them despite their low-efficiency ratings. The TF4 is suitable for part-time use in southern climates, but we don’t recommend it as a workhorse AC where summers are hot.
Coleman AC Prices and Luxaire AC Prices
The prices include a range of sizes for each model from 1.5 ton or 2.0 ton to 5.0 ton ACs. That’s 18,000 BTU or 24,000 BTU to 60,000 BTU, as each ton equals 12,000 BTU.
Secondly, the System Installed cost includes the AC, labor and all supplies such as a line set, condenser pad, sheet metal connection and new programmable thermostat (if the new AC has functions and performance the old unit lacked).
|Echelon AC21||Acclimate AL21||$2,785-$3,400|
|Echelon AC8B||Acclimate AL8B||$1,665-$3,095|
|Echelon AC6B||Acclimate AL6B||$1,615-$3,025|
|LX CC7||LX TC7||$1,550-$2,865|
|LX TW4||LX TW4||$1,275-$2,600||$2,475-$4,600|
|LX TC3/TF3||LX TC3/TF3||$1,100-$2,275||$2,300-$4,275|
Luxaire and Coleman AC Prices by Size
This section is designed simply to give you a very rough estimate of what your total cost will be based on the size of the AC you need. We use home size, but the proper size unit for your home can only be determined by a Manual J load calculation that takes climate and multiple factors about your home into account. The units in the table below are for “average” homes in moderate climates. If you live in a warm region, you’ll need a unit .5 to 1.0 ton larger than what is listed. In cooler climates, you might get by with a slightly smaller central air conditioner.
Note: Prices are based on the most common units installed, the LX Series TCJF, a single-stage, 16.5 SEER unit that is Energy Star compliant. The table uses the average cost for installation too, $1,700.
AC Unit Size
|1.5 ton||Up to 1,000 sf||$1,265|
|2 ton||1001-1300 sf||$1,395|
|2.5 ton||1301-1600 sf||$1,635|
|3 ton||1601-1900 sf||$1,800|
|3.5 ton||1901-2200 sf||$2,085||$3,785|
|4 ton||2201-2600 sf||$2,485||$4,185|
|5 ton||2601-3200 sf||$2,735||$4,435|
Where to Get the Latest Rebates and Incentives
Federal tax credits for efficient HVAC equipment come and go. Currently, there are none. However, your utility company might offer rebates and incentives on energy for the installation of an efficient Luxaire or Coleman central air conditioner. Contact your energy provider or search the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency.
How to Find a Luxaire or Coleman Installer at a Great Price
You can make a list, call each one, wait for a representative to get back to you, arrange a meeting, etc.
Or, you can fill out a quick, simple form and have several of the top Luxaire/Coleman installers in your area contact you. There’s no cost or obligation for using our Free Local Quote service. The contractors are prescreened for the experience. Each is licensed and insured for your protection. They know they are competing for the job, so prices are excellent.
Before you talk with AC companies, you might also want to browse our tips for negotiating with HVAC dealers.