Every year WebHVAC.com reviews hundreds of HVAC products from all the manufacturers. As we do, certain ones stand out from the crowd as offering superior quality, performance and value. As a service to our readers, we have brought together this year’s best A/C units in one guide. These are the Top Rated Central Air Conditioners for 2011.
These Models Offer a Range of Efficiency Levels to Meet Different Needs
You will notice that not all of these offer extremely high efficiency. That is because the top manufacturers make quality central air conditioners that cover the range from standard efficiency through mid-efficiency to high efficiency. They know that consumers are looking for different levels of efficiency based on their individual budget, their plans for living in the home, and the climate in which they live.
For example, a homeowner in a warm climate who expects to live in his current home for the foreseeable future might choose a high-efficiency central air conditioner for the long-term cost advantages of lower energy bills. A northern homeowner who doesn’t use her air conditioner very much might find a standard to middle efficiency model to be most cost-effective. Models in that range might also be more attractive to someone who plans to move in the next few years and doesn’t want to spend a lot on equipment they won’t get their money out of. Those committed to a greener lifestyle might choose high efficiency no matter where they live. For these reasons, central air conditioners come in all levels of efficiency. We break down the best by how efficient they are:
Standard Efficiency: 13 SEER to 15 SEER
Mid-Efficiency: 16 SEER to 18 SEER
High Efficiency: Above 18 SEER
Here are the top rated central air conditioners for 2011 in 3 efficiency levels. We list central air conditioners 1 through 4 in each class.
Top Standard Efficiency Central Air Conditioners
1. York Affinity Series Model CZE 15 SEER Central Air Conditioner
York is a premium brand with high-quality parts and performance to match. This model delivers 15 SEER efficiency which should reduce operation costs by 25% to 40% in many homes while providing precision indoor comfort most standard-efficiency air conditioners do not.
Top Features of the York Affinity Series Model CZE
This model offers a 2-stage compressor, a feature not found in many standard efficiency air conditioners. Running on low most of the time, it provides more consistent temperature with less fluctuation. It also gives the homeowner better control over humidity levels and air filtration/purification. A redesigned coil guard and QuietDrive design are just 2 upgrades that give this unit an edge over the competition. It is finished with a sturdy, powder-coated cabinet that will keeps its looks longer while offering the compressor and coil excellent protection.
Who Should Consider the York Affinity Series Model CZE 15 SEER?
It is a very good choice in moderate climates or for homeowners looking for a good balance between respectable efficiency and reasonable equipment costs. If you don’t need a high-efficiency air conditioner, and don’t want to spend extra to get one, this model will give you advanced climate control without more affordably.
Other Top Standard Efficiency Air Conditioners to Compare and Consider
2. Coleman Echelon Series Model AC5B 15 SEER Central Air Conditioner
Coleman’s redesigned HVAC division is turning out quality units like the Echelon Series AC5B. A 2-stage compressor, Whisper-Drive system for low-noise operation and a 10-year warranty show that standard-efficiency models can offer outstanding performance.
3. Payne PA13NA Central Air Conditioner Price 13 SEER R-410A
A high-quality compressor with built-in switches along with a 10-year warranty make this the top 13 SEER air conditioner on the market. It’s a popular choice for those in moderate or cool climates who want a long-term solution to their air conditioning needs.
4. Aire-Flo 13 SEER Model Number 4AC13L18P Central Air Conditioner
This unit makes the list because of its outstanding affordability and good dependability. Nothing fancy about it, just solid performance you can rely upon. It’s a value-priced unit for homeowners and property owners that want to keep costs to a minimum.
Top Mid-Efficiency Central Air Conditioners
1. Heil QuietComfort Model Number DXT+ Central Air Conditioner
This 18 SEER Heil air conditioner stands out for the quality of its design and build. A hallmark of a superior model is the caliber of the materials and components used to manufacture it, and the Heil QuietComfort Model Number DXT+ tops the field at this efficiency level.
Top Features of the Heil QuietComfort DXT+ Central Air Conditioner
Top of the line components include the 2-stage scroll compressor made by Copeland, the acknowledged industry leader for efficient durability. Matched with a compatible variable speed furnace, the Heil DXT+ will give you excellent control over indoor features such as temperature, humidity, air filtration and ventilation. Several built-in components like the aerodynamic fan design work to make the Heil QuietComfort Model Number DXT+ a very quiet central air conditioner as well.
Who Should Consider the Heil QuietComfort Model Number DXT+?
This model is a popular choice for those who want to significantly reduce energy costs while customizing the climate in their home. With the 18 SEER performance, the Heil QuietComfort DXT+ is also a popular choice for those who are committed to reducing the impact their home has on the environment. It produces fewer greenhouse gases and used refrigerant that is safe for the environment.
Other Top Mid-Efficiency Air Conditioners to Compare and Consider
2. Luxaire Acclimate Model Number AL8B Central Air Conditioner
This is another 18 SEER central air conditioner with an efficient 2-stage compressor for performance and comfort. The Acclimate Residential Communicating Control offers superior onboard diagnostics and system protection with high- and low-pressure switches. This unit costs more than some, but will definitely lower energy bills in most homes.
3. Trane High Efficiency XR15 Central Air Conditioner
Homeowners trust Trane because their products are reliable, efficient and quite affordable. The XR15 delivers up to 17 SEER performance with a variable-speed furnace or air handler. That level of efficiency keeps energy costs down; the single-scroll compressor keeps equipment costs down. The ClimaTuff compressor is highly-rated and very quiet. One more note worth mentioning: The base pan is corrosion-free composite material so it will look better and do its job longer.
4. Goodman 18 SEER R-410A Refrigerant – DSXC18 Central Air Conditioner
A long list of quality parts and performance features make this Goodman air conditioner worth a long look: 2-stage Copeland compressor, 18 SEER efficiency, 2-stage condenser fan, pressure switches and a limited lifetime warranty on the compressor.
Top High Efficiency Central Air Conditioners
1. Carrier Infinity Series Model 24ANA1 Central Air Conditioner
Carrier is one of the most trusted names in HVAC equipment and this very efficient central air conditioner meets the expectations of those who put their faith in it. With up to 21 SEER efficiency, it will dramatically reduce energy use in most homes. Savings of 50% to 65% on air conditioning bills will be the norm where it replaces a unit 12-20 years old. When paired with a variable speed blower, the 2-stage compressor will enhance crucial indoor climate factors.
Top Features of the Carrier Infinity Series Model 24ANA1 Central Air Conditioner
The Carrier Infinity Series 24ANA1 will do a better job reducing humidity, keeping temperatures consistent, and filtering or purifying the air. The Infinity Control coordinates system components to optimize performance while providing outstanding system monitoring and protection. This Carrier central air conditioner is also very quiet at just 68db, thanks to numerous Silencer System II features.
Who Should Consider the Carrier Infinity Series Model 24ANA1?
Homeowners who want to reduce their energy costs as much as possible while also enhancing indoor comfort will find what they are looking for in this model. It delivers even temperatures, humidity levels that are comfortable all season, and better air quality. It is a popular choice in homes where residents have issues that affect breathing, such as asthma or C.O.P.D. The Carrier Infinity Series 24ANA1 is also a top choice among advocates of a green lifestyle.
Other Top High-Efficiency Air Conditioners to Compare and Consider
2. Dave Lennox Signature Collection XC21 Central Air Conditioner
This unit is very similar to the Carrier Infinity 24ANA1, with a 2-stage compressor that delivers precise indoor comfort control. In addition, it is less expensive than the Carrier. It offers 21 SEER performance for very low energy bills and high-quality parts that should deliver 15-20 years of service even in climates where it is used heavily.
3. Bryant Evolution Model 180B 20 SEER Air Conditioner
There’s a lot to like about this unit. It begins with Bryant’s track record for quality and dependability. Add to it the 20 SEER performance, 2-stage operation and the Evolution system controller and you’ve got a winner.
4. American Standard Platinum ZM Allegiance 20 Central Air Conditioner
This is a real Cadillac. It boasts 2 separate compressors to give you all the cooling power you need on even the hottest, most humid days. It runs on low most of the time to deliver steady air conditioning with improved dehumidification and air quality.
These are the top rated air conditioners of 2011. Each one scores high in consumer central air conditioner reviews, and they impressed us as we reviewed them. Each of them uses environmentally safe R-410A / Puron refrigerant. This guide will give you good places to begin your search for your next central air conditioner. Determine the right balance for your needs between energy costs and equipment costs and you’ll find several air conditioners that will serve you very well. Whichever one you choose, having it installed by an experienced, qualified contractor is the best way to keeping it running efficiently and dependably in the years ahead.