Searching for Carrier air conditioner prices only to come up short? Don’t worry, we’ve got your back. In this guide, we’ll cover costs, things to consider, and whether we think these a/c units are worth buying.
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- About Carrier Air Conditioners
- Is Carrier a Good Brand?
- Carrier Air Conditioner Prices
- Carrier AC Units vs Others
Carrier Air Conditioner Prices
Carrier air conditioners are known for being some of the best around, but how much do they cost? Shopping for a Carrier central air conditioner is easier with a complete price guide.
A Carrier air conditioner costs anywhere from $3,000 to $15,000. But the exact price will vary based on location, SEER rating chosen, and the contractor you hire to install it.
Keep reading to learn about Carrier air conditioner prices, the models available, cost comparisons with other popular brands, and the pros and cons of buying one.
About Carrier Air Conditioners
Carrier is the world’s largest manufacturer of air conditioners and has been in business since 1915. The company specializes in air conditioners and makes heating, ventilating, refrigeration, and food service products.
Carrier is recognized for its high-quality products both in the United States and worldwide. Their competitors include Trane, Lennox, Goodman, Rheem, and American Standard.
Carrier makes a variety of air conditioner models with different cooling power and price points. Each model is part of a series that indicates its overall energy efficiency, performance level, and quietness.
Comparing Carrier air conditioner prices and models is essential to find the best value for your budget. We’ll explore these models and prices in detail, but first, here’s a little background on the company.
Carrier Company Background
The Carrier name is familiar to most people as a top air conditioner brand, but its origins aren’t as well-known. In 1902, a man named Willis Carrier was an engineer at Sackett & Wilhelms printing plant.
At the New York-based publishing company, he noticed that the high humidity levels in the building made papers contract and expand. As a result, ink that took much longer to dry and was often smudged.
Mr. Carrier, a savvy engineer, set to work inventing a device that would remove humidity from the air. He succeeded, first calling his invention an “air washer and humidifier.”
His air washer’s intention was not to create more comfortable indoor temperatures, but that was the side effect.
Once Stuart Cramer, a textile mill executive, coined the term “air conditioning” to describe Carrier’s invention, it stuck. Soon after, the Carrier Air Conditioning Company was formed.
However, it wasn’t until the 1950s that Carrier began marketing its air conditioners for homes. It was a big hit, and the company has been going strong since.
As of 2020, they are worth more than $18.6 billion and sell their products on 6 continents. But what are Carrier air conditioner prices, and are they worth the cost?
Is Carrier a Good Company?
Carrier has been in business for more than 100 years, but is it considered a good company? We’ve compiled information about the company to determine whether you can trust this household name.
- Carrier has 17% of the air conditioner market share, more than any other brand.
- Consumer Reports gives Carrier its top rating of Excellent based on reliability, satisfaction, and rare instances of problems or repairs needed.
- Carrier Factory must install Carrier air conditioners Authorized dealers who are certified by the North American Technician Excellence (NATE).
- Every Carrier air conditioner meets or exceeds the U.S. Department of Energy’s energy efficiency standards.
- Carrier air conditioners are rated highly for cooling, silence, efficiency, and design.
- Carrier offers 5- and 10-year parts limited warranties, but models must be registered within 30-90 days of purchase to activate the warranty.
Considering the overall value, reliability, and wide availability of their products, we believe Carrier air conditioners live up to their reputation.
Pros (What’s Great About Carrier)
- Value. Carrier’s prices are within the average range, and each properly-maintained unit can last up to 25 years.
- Quality. Carrier is synonymous with quality. It has been used in hundreds of sports arenas, U.S. government and military applications, museums and fine art institutions, and more.
- First. Carrier is the original air conditioning company and is more than 100 years old.
Cons (What’s Not Great About Carrier)
- Price. Carrier’s prices are higher than lower-end brands but on par with competitors Trane and Lennox.
- Installation. NATE certification requirements to service or install Carrier air conditioners limits the number of HVAC professionals who can do it.
- Noise. Some lower-priced models are reviewed as being louder than others.
Of course, we are basing some of these cons on user reviews. I personally have a Carrier air conditioner and think it’s effective, affordable, and just as quiet as any other brand I’ve owned or used.
Carrier Air Conditioner Prices
Below, you can see the prices for all different Carrier central air conditioning units. More powerful, high-performance units cost more than basic energy-efficient units.
Carrier offers three series of air conditioning units:
- Comfort Series
- Performance Series
- Infinity Series
The Comfort Series is the lowest-priced, usually used in smaller areas. The Performance Series is mid-priced and packs more power, usually used in mid-sized or small areas that are difficult to cool.
The Infinity Series is higher priced and offers the best performance, usually used in large or mid-sized areas that are difficult to cool.
You will see that some models contain two asterisks and the letter C (**C) at the end of the model number. These models are Carrier’s coastal units built to withstand the harsh salt air in coastal areas.
Please take note that the prices you see below are estimated based on a system including a 2.5-ton condenser, 1,300-1,400 cfm air handler (cubic feet per minute), and a programmable thermostat.
Your needs may be greater or lesser depending on the size of the area you’ll be cooling, your climate, ductwork, and more.
Comfort Series Air Conditioners
- SEER efficiency ratings up to 16
- Quality: Good
- Price range: $
Words like economical, efficient, and quiet are used to describe the Comfort Series air conditioner models. They’re not as energy-efficient as the higher-end models.
But they still meet all energy efficiency requirements from the U.S. Department of Energy. These units have good reviews and a track record of reliability.
Here’s a look at the prices for Comfort Series models ranging from 13 to 16 SEER ratings.
Installation prices vary based on your location and installer, but you can expect to pay about $4,700 to purchase the air conditioner and have it professionally installed.
Performance Series Air Conditioners
- SEER efficiency ratings up to 17
- Quality: Better
- Price range: $$
More energy efficient than the Comfort Series, the Performance Series still packs more cooling power. Performance models are also quieter, have higher SEER ratings, and are available in compact sizes for smaller spaces.
Here are the prices for the Performance Series models.
Installation costs for the Performance Series air conditioners vary based on your location and installer, but you can expect to pay about $5,400 in total for the air conditioner and installation.
Infinity Series Air Conditioners
- SEER efficiency ratings up to 19
- Quality: Best
- Price range: $$$
The Infinity Series air conditioning units are Carrier’s top-of-the-line models. These are pricier than the Comfort and Performance series because they’re the most energy-efficient, the quietest, and the most powerful models Carrier makes.
These are the prices for the high-performance Infinity Series models.
Installation costs vary for the Infinity Series air conditioners based on your location and installer. Purchasing an Infinity Series unit, you can expect to pay about $6,900 for the unit and professional installation.
Carrier AC Prices vs Other Brands
Are the Carrier air conditioner prices above average for central air conditioning units? Let’s look at the data. In the United States, the average central air conditioning unit cost ranges from $1,500 to $4,000.
Some units are less expensive, and some are more. Regardless, Carrier air conditioner prices are well within the average range. Even their highest-priced, top-performing air conditioner is only $4,125.
Average Air Conditioner Cost by Brand
Comparing Carrier to other well-known air conditioner brands, it is closer to the high end of average, but not the most expensive. Lennox air conditioners appear to be the most expensive on average.
- Lennox: $3,400
- Trane: $3,300
- American Standard: $3,200
- Carrier: $3,200
- Rheem: $2,500
- Goodman: $2,100
- Coleman: $1,700
Again, these numbers are based on publically available information. Your exact bid will vary by location, prep work, and installer. So use our numbers as a starting point to ensure you aren’t getting ripped off.
However, when I managed properties, our in-house tech told me that Carrier units are harder to work on, and require specific training. As a result, those costs are passed along to the consumer in the form of higher prices.
As I said above, I have a Carrier unit and mine cost $4,500 for parts and labor. It’s a mid-range unit and does a wonderful job of keeping my home cool. Would I buy one again? Absolutely.
Are Carrier Air Conditioner Prices Worth It?
Carrier air conditioners are more expensive than low-end brands like Coleman and Comfortmaker, but why? Is it worth it to pay the difference in cost for the Carrier brand name?
If you’re wondering if paying the higher cost is worth it, consider what you’re really paying for with the following cost factors.
Overall, some of Carrier’s products are less expensive than the average cost of central air conditioners in the United States, and some are a little more expensive.
If quality, reliability, quietness, efficiency, and functionality are your main criteria for an air conditioner, a Carrier unit is likely to be a good fit.
So, we’ve listed ballpark Carrier air conditioner prices for each model, information about each one, and cost comparisons. With this info, you should feel more prepared to purchase your AC unit with confidence.
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