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Top Rated Central Air Conditioners 2017

Here are the 2017 best central air conditioners based on the quality of their components and the brand’s history of reliability. All the top 2017 AC models on this list have an efficiency level of at least 15 SEER; the list of the 2017 most efficient central air conditioners can be seen here.

Best Central Air Conditioners 2017

These units should work flawlessly for 5+ years and give reliable performance for 15-20 years with consistent maintenance and the occasional minor repair. Here are the best central air conditioners along with buying tips for each. The range in prices reflect that each furnace comes in capacities from less than 60,000 BTU to more than 100,000 BTU.

1. American Standard Gold 17 Central Air Conditioner

American Standard gets high marks from HVAC pros and independent researchers like Consumer Reports. In terms of quality, the Gold 17 is tops with excellent design and build. American Standard Gold 17 Features:

  • Efficiency up to 18 SEER
  • Two-stage cooling that operates at 70% capacity (low) except on very hot days or when a significant drop in temperature is required
  • Built with a high-quality Duration compressor
  • The Spine Fin condenser coil and fan quickly disperses heat

Warranty: 12 years on compressor, 10 years on condenser coil, 10 years on functional parts, must register within 60 days for full coverage, extended warranties available.

Price Range: $1,500-$2,700

Buy the Gold 17 If you live in a cool to warm climate and prefer the quieter, more balanced cooling of a two-stage model compared with a single-stage AC.

2. Amana ASXC16 Central Air Conditioner

Amana is a Goodman brand, but its parent company since 2012 is global HVAC leader Daikin. This has brought about an upgrade in the Amana line, and it shows in the quality of the ASXC16 AC. Plus, Amana’s warranties might be the best in the industry. Amana ASXC16 Features:

  • Up to 16 SEER efficiency
  • Two-stage cooling with the top-rated Copeland scroll compressor
  • Wired for Amana’s ComfortNet Communication system and thermostat that coordinates components for optimal efficiency and comfort

Warranty: Lifetime unit replacement warranty on the compressor, 10 years on all other parts.

Price Range: $1,300-$2,200

Buy the Amana ASXC16 if you live in a climate with cool or temperate summers and you prefer two-stage cooling for quieter operation and better dehumidification than a single-stage AC provides.

3. Bryant 187B Central Air Conditioner

Bryant leads the pack of United Technologies brands (also Carrier, Heil, Payne and more) with the right combination of quality and value. Bryant 187B Features:

  • Up to 17 SEER efficiency
  • Two-stage scroll compressor runs on low most of the time for quiet, comfortable cooling with better dehumidification
  • Compatible with Bryant’s wireless Connex programmable control/thermostat
  • ECM fan motor uses less energy than a standard motor

Warranty: 10 years on all parts

Price: $1,600-$2.600

Buy the Bryant 187B if you’ve had a good experience with Bryant in the past and/or want a good value in terms of quality and price. The 17 SEER is appropriate for summers in cool-to-warm climates.

4. Trane XV20i TruComfort Central Air Conditioner

Trane makes most lists of top five AC brands for quality and durability. The XV20i adds premium performance too. It’s equipped with a variable-speed (modulating) compressor that, instead of having just high and low capacity, varies by degrees from 40% to 100% capacity to accurately meet the cooling demands of the space it serves. Trane XV20i Features:

  • Up to 22 SEER efficiency
  • Variable-capacity compressor
  • Operation as quiet as 55 decibels, much quieter than most other models
  • Aluminum Spine Fin coil maximizes heat transfer
  • Compatible with Trane’s communication system and control known as ComfortLink II that optimizes performance of system components

Warranty: 10 years on all parts, but product must be registered within 60 days, or the warranty is just 5 years.

Price: $2,800-$4,000

Buy the Trane XV20i if you live in a very warm or hot climate or if cooling your home as efficiently as possible is your goal. It’s also for homeowners that want premium climate control including balanced temperatures and excellent humidity control.

5. Heil HVA9 QuietComfort Deluxe 19 Central Air Conditioner

It seems like the names get longer with each product generation! Anyway, this has a unique 5-stage compressor, better than a two-stage model, not quite as variable as a modulating compressor. Also, Heil’s warranty is better than most. Heil HVA9 Deluxe 19 Features:

  • Up to 19 SEER efficiency
  • 5-stage compressor
  • Variable-speed condensing unit fan reduces sound and optimizes heat dispersion
  • Compatible with the Heil Observer communicating wireless/Wi-Fi control for remote monitoring and control of the HVAC system

Warranty: 10 years on all parts including the Heil 10-year No Hassle warranty on the compressor that provides for a complete replacement air conditioner if the compressor fails in the first decade of operation.

Price: $1,900-$2,800

Buy the Heil QuietComfort Deluxe 19 if you live in a warm or hot climate and appreciate outstanding temperature balance and humidity control along with quieter-than-most operation.

6. Daikin DX18TC Central Air Conditioner

Daikin is a Japanese company with a global HVAC reach, the parent company of Amana and Goodman. It’s air conditioner line is essentially the same as Amana’s. This efficient, high-performance AC will cut energy use and cost while keeping your home cool and comfortable.

Daikin DX18TC Features:

  • Up to 19 SEER efficiency
  • Two-stage, low/high cooling that operates on low most of the time
  • Energy-saving ECM fan motor
  • Copeland CoraSense diagnostics
  • ComfortNet compatible (See the Amana AC above)

Warranty: 12 years on all parts

Price: $1,900-$2,800

Buy the Daikin DX18TC if summers are warm and humid where you live and you want better climate control than offered by single-stage air conditioners.

7. Armstrong Air Pro Series 4SCU20LX Central Air Conditioner

Armstrong is a brand that flies under the radar. It’s owned by Allied Air Enterprises, a division of the Lennox International. The 4SCU20LX is the most efficient model made by Armstrong, and it features a variable-capacity inverter-driven compressor for optimal cooling comfort.

Armstrong Air 4SCU20LX Features:

  • Up to 20 SEER efficiency
  • Variable-speed/modulating compressor
  • Compatible with Armstrong’s Comfort Sync communicating technology that coordinates components to ensure the best efficiency and climate control
  • The MHT Technology system maximizes heat dispersion in the condensing coil to improve cooling speed

Warranty: 10 years on all parts

Price: $2,300-$3,600

Buy the 4SCU20LX if your climate is hot and/or you’re committed to green cooling for your home and/or appreciate premium indoor comfort with low humidity in summer.

8. Lennox Signature Collection XC21 Central Air Conditioner

There’s concern that Lennox parts take longer to get for repairs than those for other brands, so keep that in mind. However, if you’ve had good experience with Lennox in the past, this is a quality AC worth considering and the most efficient 2-stage model available.

Lennox XC21 AC Features:

  • Up to 21 SEER efficiency
  • Two-stage cooling
  • On-board iComfort diagnostics for quick resets and repairs
  • On Energy Star’s list of 2017 Most Efficient central air conditioners

Warranty: 10 years on all parts

Price: $2,000-$3,4000

Buy the Lennox XC21 if you want to pay a bit less for a two-stage model than you would for a variable-capacity model but still get 21 SEER efficiency because your summers are hot and humid and/or you’re committed to cutting energy use.

9. Maytag PSA1BG IQ Drive Central Air Conditioner

The IQ Drive system has been a winner for Maytag (and sister brands Westinghouse, Tappan and others). This is a newly introduced unit that updates the PSA4BI IQ Drive that topped our list last year.

Features of the Maytag PSA1BG:

  • Up to 20 SEER efficiency
  • Inverter-driven rotary compressor with variable-speed performance
  • 144-point quality check at factory
  • Very quiet, with noise level as low as 57dB

Warranty: 12 years on all parts including a commitment to replace the entire condensing unit (outdoor unit) if the compressor fails.

Price: $2,600-$3,800

Buy the Maytag PSA1BG if your summers are long and hot and/or you’ve had one of the big-name brands and want to try something different.

10. Carrier 24anb7 Infinity 17 Central Air Conditioner

If there’s a concern with Carrier, it’s that the brand doesn’t update its lineup often. The good side to that is that Carrier has tried and true quality on units it has been producing for years, ACs like the Infinity 17.

Features of the Carrier Infinity 17:

  • Up to 17 SEER efficiency
  • Two-stage scroll compressor – Low for maintaining balanced cooling and high for a boost in cooling or to keep up on a very hot day
  • Pressure switches for maximize compressor protection
  • 67dB sound on low is quieter than most

Warranty: 10 years on all parts

Price: $1,800-$2,900

Buy the Carrier Infinity 17 AC if your summers are warm and you prefer a brand with a proven history or reliability.

AC Quality is Only as Good as the Installation

While these are best-in-class ACs, poor installation will limit the efficiency, performance and durability of any of the best 2017 central air conditioners. Choose a contractor with a track record of proper installation. The company might not be the cheapest on installation cost, but you’ll benefit by getting the best from whatever AC you choose. If you’re looking for estimates from pre-screened, license and experienced installers, click our qualified contractor link. The estimates are free, and there is no obligation.

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