Carrier is known for providing a balance of high-quality air conditioners with reasonable prices. The manufacturer’s lineup of 16 air conditioner models is one of the most diverse in the industry, which means you’ll have plenty of options to choose from, no matter the size of the space you need to keep cool or the climate you’re located in.
Units are available nationwide. Not only does Carrier make it easy to find a qualified local technician through its Factory Authorized Dealers online search tool, but Carrier units are also carried by national retailers like the Home Depot.
Since Carrier air conditioner units are so diverse, the price, sound rating, size, capacity, and warranty will vary for each. In this review, we’ll introduce you to the full spectrum of Carrier air conditioners to see which one would be the best fit for your home.
Good balance of quality and price
Nationwide network of certified installation and maintenance technicians
Higher prices than some competitors
Carrier Air Conditioner Overview
- Efficiency (SEER rating): 13-20.5
- Model options:16
- Warranty: 10-year parts limited warranty, 3-year labor limited warranty if registered within 30 days of installation
- ENERGY STAR rating: 10 of 16 models
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Energy efficiency – SEER rating
Carrier air conditioners range from 13 to 20.5 SEER ratings, all of which meet the U.S. Department of Energy energy efficiency standards. The three most efficient units, which all have SEER ratings of 19 and above, will save you the most on your energy bill. However, you should be prepared to pay more upfront for these units. To decide which SEER rating is the most cost-efficient for your home, you’ll have to speak with a local HVAC professional and calculate what type of savings you might get from a more efficient unit based on your home and climate.
Most Carrier air conditioner models come with a 10 or 5-year parts limited warranty. But there’s one caveat. For some models, you must register the unit within 30 days of installation for the warranty to be valid. Once you miss the registration window, you’re out of luck. This isn’t a lot of time, especially when some competitors offer registration periods of 60 or more days.
Other Carrier models must only be registered within 90 days to take advantage of the warranty, so make sure you’re aware of the terms upon purchasing your unit. Don’t forget to complete the registration with Carrier before the deadline to avoid paying unwanted expenses out of pocket in the future.
Installation and maintenance
Installation is not done by Carrier itself, but by authorized dealers who are qualified to install and maintain Carrier air conditioners. Carrier makes it easy to locate these professionals through its online portal, which shows you Factory Authorized Dealers in your area. Units can also be purchased and installed through the Home Depot.
Carrier recommends a few steps to maintain your air conditioning unit and prolong maximum efficiency. You should change the air filters regularly; the exact time intervals depend on the model, so check the manual and make a note in your calendar. It’s also essential to make sure none of the air conditioner parts become blocked or obstructed. This includes keeping indoor vents clear from furniture and clutter and checking the outdoor unit for debris, especially leaves in the fall. Avoid running the air conditioner when the outdoor temperature drops below 55 F. Finally, call a Carrier-certified HVAC professional to clean the interior parts regularly, or if you notice anything out of the ordinary such as water collecting around the outdoor unit.
With sound ratings spanning from 56 dB to 76 dB, Carrier air conditioner noise levels vary widely between models. To give you an idea of how loud these units might be, the average conversation is around 60 dB, while a lawnmower is much louder at 90 dB. Since your air conditioner will be installed outside, the sound rating can be higher than an indoor appliance like, for example, a refrigerator. However, if your air conditioner is positioned outside a window leading to a room where you sleep or watch television, it may present an issue in your day-to-day life. If the sound is a concern, discuss your options with a qualified HVAC professional.
Compare to Other Air Conditioner Brands
Carrier Air Conditioner vs. Trane Air Conditioners
The main advantage of choosing a Carrier air conditioner over Trane is the range of models available. Carrier currently lists 16 models, while Trane only advertises nine on its website.
While Carrier’s SEER ratings are fairly good for the industry, Trane’s are slightly better. Trane also has a higher percentage of ENERGY STAR ratings on its air conditioners; only about two-thirds of Carrier models have this rating, compared to nearly 90% of Trane models.
In terms of sound rating, Carrier and Trane air conditioners are neck and neck. The ranges on each manufacturer’s models are nearly identical. Overall, both manufacturers are known for making high-quality, top-of-the-line air conditioning units.
Carrier Air Conditioner vs. Goodman Air Conditioners
Carrier is overall a much more expensive brand than Goodman, although you’ll get more for your money by choosing a Carrier model. Carrier air conditioners have a higher maximum SEER rating, and the brands are quieter than Goodman models. Carrier also carries a model lineup nearly three times the size of Goodman, giving you more options to suit your home.
However, both brands are about equal in the overall percentage of models with ENERGY STAR ratings. Both also have similar warranties, with up to 10-year limited warranties upon registration of your air conditioner. Goodman also gives you 60 days to register your unit, while Carrier’s registration periods vary by model from 30-to-90 days.