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Best Rated HVAC Systems for 2016

There are many good reasons for installing a complete HVAC system rather than continuing to replace components as needed. Complete systems are engineered to work together to produce the highest efficiency and best performance such as:

  • Consistent temperatures without spikes
  • Better humidity reduction in summer months
  • Quieter cycles

We’ve divided the best 2016 HVAC systems into two categories this year:


The best of the best HVAC systems are for those who want superior climate control or have extreme weather where super-efficient equipment is a cost-effective choice.


The best HVAC systems available that offer good value, the right combination of quality, efficiency and performance at a lower cost.

Best 2016 HVAC Systems: Premium

To make this list, price isn’t considered. In other words, these are expensive systems in the $10,000+ range when a new thermostat and accessories are included. That doesn’t take installation into account or significant changes to your ductwork, if required. What is considered is elite performance such as modulating heating and cooling, variable-speed fans and other superior features.

1. Dave Lennox Signature Collection

This system is for those who want to cut utility costs and reduce energy use with a system they forget all about because it is quiet and creates a consistently comfortable environment.

Top Lennox Signature Models:

  • Lennox SLP98V 98.7AFUE modulating gas furnace
  • Lennox SL280V 80% AFUE modulating gas furnace
  • Lennox XP25 23.5 SEER/10.2 HSPF modulating heat pump
  • Lennox XC25 26 SEER modulating air conditioner
  • Lennox iComfortS30 smart GPS and Wi-Fi thermostat with mobile app

You can complete your Lennox Signature Series system an air handler, air purification equipment and/or the SunSource solar modules.

Reason to Choose a Lennox Signature Series HVAC System

This brand has been on the cutting edge for decades. The Lennox Signature Series system is the most efficient available, so it is very ecofriendly, and it creates an indoor climate that is “perfect” every day.

2. Maytag M1200 iQ Series

Maytag has climbed the charts with brilliant technology, high efficiency and outstanding warranty protection. The iQ Series is ideal for a smart home, if you hadn’t guessed by the name. While Maytag is a national brand, other Nortek Global brands with the same product lineup are regional including Frigidaire, Tappan, Westinghouse, Broan and NuTone.

Top Maytag M1200 iQ Drive Series models:

  • Maytag PGC2MQ iQ Drive 97% AFUE modulating gas furnace
  • Maytag PSH4BI 22 SEER/10HSPF modulating heat pump
  • Maytag PSA4BI 25.5 SEER modulating air conditioner

Maytag M1200 Series components can be used in a dual fuel system, meaning it contains both a heat pump and a gas furnace and uses the most efficient means to heat based on outdoor temperatures. The series can be completed with a wireless programmable thermostat, air filtration components and/or air handler.

Reason to Choose a Maytag M1200 iQ Drive HVAC System

Maytag offers tremendous efficiency and quality covered by warranties that offer full unit replacement rather than repair when select parts fail.

3. American Standard Platinum and Trane XV

These Ingersoll-Rand brands continue to innovate for greater energy efficiency and home comfort, so they remain in the top five premium HVAC companies. They’re product lines are essentially identical.

Top American Standard Platinum models:

  • American Standard Platinum 95 97.3% AFUE modulating gas furnace
  • American Standard AccuComfort Platinum 20 20 SEER/10.0 HSPF modulating heat pump
  • American Standard AccuComfort Variable Speed Platinum 20 air 21 SEER modulating air conditioner

Top Trane XV models:

  • Trane XC95m 97.3% AFUE modulating gas furnace
  • Trane XV20i 20 SEER/10.0 HSPF modulating heat pump
  • Trane XV20i 21 SEER modulating air conditioner

Systems from both brands can be completed with wireless touchscreen thermostats, air purification and dehumidification equipment. The Nexia Home Intelligence system is smart home technology for optimizing the HVAC system and other home systems.

4. Carrier Infinity & Bryant Evolution

These nearly identical lines from United Technologies have traditionally been a year or two in front of the pack, but there hasn’t been as much innovation in the last few years. Still, Carrier Infinity and Bryant Evolution have mastered the ability to make your home comfortable in any weather.

Top Carrier Infinity Models:

  • Carrier Infinity 98 98.5% AFUE modulating gas furnace
  • Carrier Infinity 20 20.5 SEER/13 HSPF modulating heat pump
  • Carrier Infinity 21 21 SEER two-stage air conditioner

Top Bryant Evolution Models:

  • Bryant Evolution 987M 98.3% AFUE modulating gas furnace
  • Bryant Evolution 280A 20.5 SEER/13 HSPF modulating heat pump
  • Bryant Evolution 180B 21 SEER two-stage air conditioner

Carrier Infinity and Bryant Evolution wireless touchscreen thermostats, air handlers, air quality equipment, dehumidifiers and other accessories allow you to create the exact package you want to make your home’s indoor climate ideal.

Reason to Choose a Carrier Infinity or Bryant Evolution HVAC System

They’re proven. Both brands have top-five service records, so you’ll enjoy excellent indoor comfort with long-term reliability.

5. Armstrong Pro Series

Armstrong’s parent company, Allied Air, is now a subsidiary of Lennox. This might account for the significant upgrade in the Armstrong product lineup. The new Pro Series components are efficient performers competing with the perennially biggest brands and doing quite well. Note: Air Ease is a regional brand that sells most of the same products as Armstrong.

Top Armstrong Pro Series HVAC models:

  • Armstrong A97MV 97% AFUE modulating gas furnace
  • Armstrong 4SHP20LX 20 SEER/ 10.0 HSPF modulating heat pump
  • Armstrong 4SCU20LX 20 SEER modulating air conditioner

Armstrong’s ComfortSync coordinating, wireless and touchscreen thermostat offers responsive control including mobile control of the system. The brand doesn’t yet have air quality and dehumidification equipment, but it won’t surprise anyone if that’s part of the next stage of growth.

Reason to Choose an Armstrong Pro Series HVAC System

Armstrong is making top-quality equipment in its Pro Series that performs well and costs a bit less than comparable equipment from Lennox, Carrier, Bryant, Trane and some others.

Best 2016 HVAC Systems: Affordable

The top brands make good, better and best series. The “best” HVAC series are above. These series are each brand’s “better” series or comparable.

1. Carrier Performance

Carrier has the best top-to-bottom lineup of products in the industry. The Performance Series models are as good as some brands’ top of the line products.

Top Carrier Performance models:

  • Carrier Performance 96 96.7% AFUE 2-stage gas furnace
  • Carrier Performance 16 17.5 SEER/9.5 HSPF 2-stage heat pump
  • Carrier Performance 17 17 SEER air conditioner

Reason to Choose a Carrier Performance HVAC System

Models in the Performance Series are backed by the best warranties offered by these brands. Most of the indoor air quality accessories are compatible with these models.

2. Goodman

This brand has carved an impressive niche in the HVAC market by offering decent quality backed by the best warranties available. The cost is very competitive too. While Goodman doesn’t market series like Carrier, Lennox and American Standard do, it does have a range of products from basic to best.

Top Goodman 2nd-Tier models:

  • Goodman GCSS96 96% AFUE single-stage gas furnace
  • Goodman GSZ16 16 SEER/9.0 HSPF single-stage heat pump
  • Goodman GSX16 16 SEER single-stage air conditioner

Reason to Choose a Goodman HVAC System

These units offer decent quality at a low cost, backed by impressive warranty protection. Goodman is the value leader in the HVAC industry.

3. Rheem Classic & Ruud Achiever

These Paloma Group brands have excellent track records for quality and dependability. These series come right behind the top Rheem Prestige and Ruud Ultra Series. Most models have very good warranties, though not among the tops in the industry.

Top Rheem Classic models:

  • Rheem Classic R96P 96% AFUE 2-stage gas furnace
  • Rheem Classic RP17 18.5 SEER/10.5 HSPF 3-stage heat pump
  • Rheem Classic RA17 17 SEER 2-stage air conditioner

Top Ruud Achiever models:

  • Ruud Achiever 95% AFUE R95P single-stage gas furnace
  • Ruud Achiever RP 15 16 SEER/8.5 HSPF single-stage heat pump
  • Ruud Achiever RA1616 SEER single stage air conditioner

Reason to Choose a Rheem Classic or Ruud Achiever HVAC System

These series offer dependable performance at reasonable cost.

Get the Best Results with Experienced HVAC Installation

When you buy a new system, you expect it to give you the efficiency and performance that is advertised by the manufacturer. The best way to ensure that outcome is to have the HVAC system installed by a qualified contractor. We can help you get very competitive estimates from experienced contractors where you live. Fill out one quick and convenient form, and you’ll receive written estimates from three of the top HVAC installers in your area. There is no hassle, no cost and no obligation.

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