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Top central air brands for your home

You'll be surprised to find out who is in bed with who. Learn about the top central air brands of today and their stand out ACs.

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The top central air brands will blow you away. Photo by Benjamin Lehman on Flickr.If you're preparing to install a new heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) unit, you're probably interested in knowing about the best central air units currently on the market.

Although there are a dozen or so central air conditioning manufacturers in existence, many of the brands are owned or manufactured by a larger brand:

    • Carrier = Bryant
    • Goodman = Amana
    • Lennox = Ducane
    • Rheem = Ruud
    • Trane = American Standard
    • York = Coleman

In short, there are only nine main central air manufacturers, provided Bryant, Ducane and Ruud actually have separate manufacturing facilities from their owners. With this is mind, the list below details the most reliable brands and the models that helped them land on this list.

When you're shopping for the right AC unit, the right central air unit will keep your home cool without sending your electric bill through the roof. The air conditioner prices vary by model and location, but this list has units from all ends of the price spectrum.

Also, keep in mind the price of an air conditioner doesn't always include the price to install the unit. When you hire a contractor, he or she will explain all the costs involved.

Maytag is the only central air brand on this list that is a stand-alone company. Some features of Maytag include:

    • Maytag M1200 PSA4BI iQ Drive
    • Quiet and efficient
    • Seasonal energy-efficiency ratio (SEER) rating up to 24.5.
    • Runs at approximately 59 decibels (dB), the same level of sound as a normal conversation.
    • 12-year warranty

Carrier Infinity 21 Central Air Conditioner – 24ANB1

    • 21 SEER
    • Noise level below 65 dB
    • Two-stage cycle
    • Eco-friendly Puron refrigerant
    • Self-diagnostic system
    • 10-year warranty

Trane XL20i

    • SEER ratings as high as 20
    • Communication technology
    • Climatuff compressor
    • Two-stage operational
    • Dual-spine fin coil
    • Dual fan
    • Thermostat control and other eco-friendly features
    • Comprehensive 12-year warranty

Bryant Preferred Series Air Conditioning System – 126B

    • This system is a less-expensive version of its owner, Carrier's mid-range series.
    • It's one of the most popular air conditioners on the market.

Amana 18 SEER Air Conditioning System – ASXC18

    • Highly efficient
    • Single- and two-stage models
    • Uses R410-A chlorine-free refrigerant
    • SEER ratings between 16 and 18
    • Temperature and humidity sensors
    • Usually has lifetime warranty on compressors
    • 10-year warranty on parts

Rheem Prestige RASL-JEC

    • Highly efficient
    • SEER ratings from 16 to 19.5
    • SmartComfort control system
    • Suitable for residential and commercial use
    • Two-stage compressors
    • On-board diagnostic system
    • Detects repair issues instantly
    • Strong steel cabinet housing

Choosing the best air conditioner for your home can seem daunting, but with information at hand, you can make the best choice. This top list of central air brands should get you started. When you're ready for custom HVAC estimates, go with local professionals.

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Photo credit: Benjamin Lehman via Compfight CC.