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Best Rated HVAC Systems for 2019

These are the best complete heating and air conditioning systems for 2019.

  • Trane XR HVAC Series
  • Day & Night Constant Comfort HVAC Series
  • Rheem Classic HVAC Series
  • Bryant Preferred HVAC Series
  • Goodman GSX/GSZ and GMSS HVAC Series
  • American Standard Platinum HVAC Series
  • Heil QuietComfort Deluxe Series
  • Lennox Signature Series
  • Carrier Infinity Series
  • Daikin VC/MC HVAC Series

 

 

HVAC components are designed to work together to give you your preferred performance level. Common examples are:

  • A single-stage AC paired with a single-stage furnace with a multi-speed blower
  • A two-stage heat pump combined with an air handler with variable-speed blower

The first pair would give you basic but affordable heating and cooling.

The second pair would deliver better efficiency and indoor climate control, but at a higher cost.

This guide to the best HVAC systems for 2019 is divided into basic systems and premium systems, like the example above.

The Best 2019 HVAC Systems: Standard Performance

Most components in these systems deliver one stage of heating and/or air conditioning. A few are two-stage.

Pros: The upside is lower equipment costs and lower repair costs because the compressors, blowers and other essential parts are simpler.

Cons: The disadvantage is that these systems might create slightly noticeable temperature fluctuations. In summer, they don’t remove as much humidity. Since they run at full capacity when on, they are louder than two-stage and variable-capacity systems running at lower capacities.

Efficiency: All HVAC systems are becoming more efficient, so the gap in efficiency between premium and basic systems is getting smaller. You can get a single-stage system that will still keep your operating costs under control in very warm and very cold climates.

Many HVAC installers recommend single-stage equipment to their customers for the reasons described.

Important: These are not the cheapest systems made by these brands. The cheapest systems don’t belong on a “Best” list.

  • SEER: Cooling rating for ACs and heat pumps
  • HSPF: Heating rating for heat pumps
  • AFUE: Heating rating for furnaces

Trane XR HVAC Series

XR16XR95

Trane has been making the XR Series for more than a decade, and repair data is clear: This is a durable HVAC system.

  • Efficiency: 14 to 18 SEER, 8.2 to 10.0 HSPF. 80% and 95% AFUE.
  • Features: Single and two-stage heat pumps and ACs. Single-stage furnaces. Multi-speed blower fans. Aluminized steel heat exchangers resist corrosion.
  • Pros: Affordable to mid-range in cost. Good range of efficiency options.
  • Cons: Climate control not as good as with premium systems.
  • Cost level: $$$-$$$$
  • Best components: XR14 air conditioner and XR15 heat pump offer excellent value for the price. The XR95 gas furnace is 95% efficient.
  • Warranty: 20 years on heat exchangers. 10 years on all other parts.

Day & Night Constant Comfort HVAC Series

This is the brand’s second-best series and represents good return on investment – lower upfront cost yet high efficiency models.

Day & Night offers quality comparable to some Carrier equipment. Here’s how: The brand is part of International Comfort Products (ICP). Tempstar, Keeprite and Heil are identical brands with slightly different pricing.

ICP is owned by UTC, parent company to Carrier and Bryant.

The point is that Day & Night and other ICP brands have quality very similar to Carrier but at a much lower price.

  • Efficiency: 13 to 16 SEER,16 HSPF and 96% AFUE
  • Features: Single-stage air conditioners and heat pumps, single-stage and two-stage furnaces.
  • Pros: Very competitive cost combined with quality that is better than average.
  • Cons: Fewer model/efficiency options.
  • Cost level: $$-$$$
  • Best components: G9MXT 2-stage gas furnace, CSH6 heat pump.
  • Warranty: Lifetime heat exchanger, 10 years on other parts. All models include a warranty that provides for the replacement of the entire unit if a major component fails in 1-5 years depending on the model.

Rheem Classic HVAC Series

This is Rheem’s third-best series, but we recommend it with confidence the units will give you good durability when properly installed (the most important factor in how well any brand will perform).

  • Efficiency: 13 to 17 SEER, 85 to 9.0 HSPF, 80% and 92% to 95%
  • Features: Single-stage furnaces, mostly single-stage ACs and heat pumps, but one two-stage model in each.
  • Pros: Excellent range of model options. Average to good efficiency.
  • Cons: PSC motors that cost less but use more energy than ECM motors
  • Cost level: $$-$$$
  • Best components: RA17 two-stage heat pump and AC, 95% AFUE R95P furnace.
  • Warranty: Lifetime and 20-year heat exchanger warranties, 10 years on other parts.

Bryant Preferred HVAC Series

Bryant is a sister brand to Carrier, and most products are identical. You get slightly better value with Bryant.

The Bryant Preferred Series is Bryant’s second-best equipment line.

  • Efficiency: 13 to 17.5 SEER, 8.2 to 9.5 HSPF, 80% and 92% to 96.5% AFUE
  • Features: Mostly single-stage ACs and heat pumps with one two-stage model. Package unit heat pumps are two-stage models. A mix of single-stage and two-stage furnaces.
  • Pros: Good quality and reliability, some high-efficiency models.
  • Cons: Higher cost than competing brands.
  • Cost level: $$$-$$$$
  • Best components:2% AFUE 925S single-stage gas furnace, 127A two-stage AC and 607E package heat pump.
  • Warranty: Lifetime and 20-year heat exchanger warranties, 10 years on other parts.

Goodman GSX/GSZ and GMSS HVAC Series

GSX ACS, GSZ heat pumps and GMS furnaces are Goodman’s most affordable units.

Goodman remains the low-cost leader with good warranties. Now that Daikin Global owns the brand, quality is improving too.

  • Efficiency: 14 to 16 SEER, 9.0 and 9.5 HSPF, 80%, 92% and 96% AFUE.
  • Features: All single-stage models. Fixed and multispeed blowers.
  • Pros: Best value of any on our list.
  • Cons: Climate control is average. Might feel slight temperature changes or cool air coming from your heat grates at the start of a heating cycle.
  • Cost level: $$-$$$
  • Best components: GMS8 80% and GMSS96 96% AFUE furnaces, GSZ16 heat pump with 16 SEER and 9.5 HSPF.
  • Warranty: Lifetime heat exchanger warranties including complete furnace replacement on some models if it fails in the first 10 years. 10-year warranty on all other parts.

 

The Best 2019 HVAC Systems: Premium Performance

These are the top-rated premium lines. Each includes the best equipment the brand makes.

Pros: The best efficiency, temperature balance, quiet operation and humidity control.

Cons: Higher equipment and repair costs.

American Standard Platinum HVAC Series

American Standard Air Conditioner and Furnace

Trane and American Standard are Ingersoll-Rand brands. If you have a Trane dealer you trust, they will have Trane versions of American Standard equipment.

The Platinum Series is the best series from American Standard (Silver and Gold are the others).

  • Efficiency: 18 to 20 SEER, 10 HSPF, 80% and 97.3% AFUE
  • Features: Two-stage and variable-capacity heating and air conditioning, variable-speed blowers, variable-speed AC and heat pump fans, premium humidity control, wi-fi.
  • Pros: Premium climate control including precise temperatures, lower humidity in summer, quiet operation, excellent efficiency.
  • Cons: Expensive equipment. Variable-capacity compressors haven’t been in use long enough to determine long-term reliability. Somewhat limited number of model options.
  • Cost level: $$$$$
  • Best components: Platinum 80 and 95 gas furnaces, Platinum 20 heat pump.
  • Warranty: Lifetime heat exchanger warranties, 12-year compressor warranty and 10 years on other parts.

Heil QuietComfort Deluxe Series

Heil

Heil is an ICP brand and owned by UTC, the makers of Carrier. The quality is nearly the same as Carrier products including the use of many of the same parts.

This is Heil’s best series, and you can find an identical series in other ICP brands like Day & Night, Tempstar and Keeprite.

  • Efficiency: 17 to 19 SEER, 9.5 and 11 HSPF, 80%, 96.5% and 98% AFUE
  • Features: Two-stage AC and heat pumps, two-stage and variable-capacity furnaces, variable-speed fans, wi-fi thermostats,
  • Pros: Premium equipment at a lower cost than Trane, Lennox or Carrier. Excellent warranties.
  • Cons: Variable-speed equipment is newer, so not as proven. Repair costs are higher on complex equipment.
  • Cost level: $$$$
  • Best components: G9MVE 2-stage 96% gas furnace, HVA9 AC and HVH8 heat pump, both 19 SEER, 2-stage models.
  • Warranty: 20-year and Lifetime heat exchanger warranties, 10 years on other parts plus a 10-year full unit replacement if key parts (heat exchanger, compressor, coil) fail in the first 10 years.

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Lennox Signature Series

Lennox makes the most efficient split system heating and air conditioning equipment.

Energy Star Efficient

  • Efficiency:5 to 26 SEER, 9.7 and 10.2 HSPF, 80%, 97.5% and 98.7% AFUE
  • Features: Two-stage and variable-capacity heating and cooling, variable-speed fans, equipped for use with Lennox solar modules, wi-fi.
  • Pros: Excellent efficiency and climate control features.
  • Cons: High equipment and repair cost, occasional part delays on repairs.
  • Cost level: $$$$$
  • Best components: SL280V variable-speed 80% and SLP98V 98.7% modulating furnaces, XC25 (26 SEER) air conditioner and XP25 (23.5 SEER) heat pump.
  • Warranty: Lifetime heat exchanger, 10 years on other parts.

Carrier Infinity Series

The Carrier Infinity Series was the benchmark of premium equipment for years and still ranks among the best HVAC systems. It is Carrier’s top lineup.

  • Efficiency:5 to 21.0 SEER, 8.5 to 13.0 HSPF, 80%, 96.7% and 98.5% AFUE.
  • Features: Two-stage and variable-capacity heating and air conditioning, variable-speed blowers, wi-fi, coastal ACs and heat pumps with enhanced corrosion protection.
  • Pros: Excellent dependability, a wider range of model options than most brands.
  • Cons: Higher cost
  • Cost level: $$$$-$$$$$
  • Best components: Two-stage 59TN6 96.7% furnace, 24VNAO AC and 25VNAO heat pump, both with variable-capacity.
  • Warranty: Lifetime or 20-year heat exchanger warranties, 10 years on other parts.

Daikin VC/MC HVAC Series

Daikin Global purchased Goodman/Amana in 2012 and first simply put a Daikin label on the equipment.

Since that time, this innovative HVAC company has been improving the quality and performance of its residential HVAC systems.

Energy Star EfficientDaikin Inverter Technology

  • Efficiency: 19 to 23 SEER, 10 HSPF, 80%, 96% to 98% AFUE
  • Features: Two-stage and variable-capacity HVAC systems, inverter-driven compressor on variable-speed models, variable-speed blowers, ECM energy-saving motors, wi-fi. This video introduces Daikin's inverter-driven systems.
  • Pros: Best-in-class heat pump and AC climate control, warranties better than most, dependability.
  • Cons: Cost is higher than some comparable brands.
  • Cost level: $$$$-$$$$$
  • Best components: DX20VC 23 SEER AC and DZ20VC 21 SEER heat pump, 2-stage 96% DC96VC gas furnace.
  • Warranty: Lifetime heat exchanger warranty, 12-year general parts warranty.

How to Choose the Best HVAC Series for Your Home

All the brands in this list will deliver excellent performance and durability – but only when properly installed.

Installation issues more than brand quality account for early mechanical failure and the system not running as efficiently as it should.

To find the best fit for your home, find an experienced installer.

  1. Request estimates from 3+ proven HVAC companies in your area
  2. Ask about their history, and don’t choose a newer company with little experience
  3. Ask about the experience of the crew that will install your HVAC system
  4. Check online reviews at Google, Yelp and the BBB
  5. Select an installer you believe will do the best job sizing the system and installing it according to manufacturer guidelines

That process can take several weeks. If you’d like to move more quickly, consider using our partner service that provides you with Free Written Estimates from top installers in your area.

There is no cost or obligation, and the companies are prescreened for expertise, experience and customer service.

 

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