Xem thêm

Top 10 Most Efficient Central Air Conditioners 2023

CEO Khai Intela
Introduction: When it comes to keeping your home cool and comfortable, having an efficient central air conditioner is crucial. With the constant changes in technology, it's important to stay up to date with the most...

Introduction:

When it comes to keeping your home cool and comfortable, having an efficient central air conditioner is crucial. With the constant changes in technology, it's important to stay up to date with the most efficient options available. In this guide, we will explore the top 10 most efficient central air conditioners of 2023. Not only will we cover their SEER ratings, but we will also discuss the features that set them apart from the competition. Additionally, we will delve into the pros and cons of these units, as well as potential installation issues to be aware of. So, if you're in the market for a new central air conditioner, keep reading to find the perfect one for your home.

Air Conditioners 20 SEER and Higher

What makes you consider investing in the most efficient central air conditioners? For many homeowners, energy efficiency is a top priority due to the potential cost savings. In fact, these highly efficient ACs can help reduce cooling costs by 40% or more. Moreover, they also contribute to greener cooling by reducing carbon emissions through their reduced energy consumption. It's a win-win situation!

Most of the top AC units on our list are variable-capacity air conditioners, with a couple of two-stage models making the cut as well. Variable-capacity ACs offer greater flexibility in cooling and provide optimal temperature control, which makes them highly sought after. However, we will discuss the pros and cons of variable-capacity ACs in more detail later on.

We rate these ACs based on two important factors: the SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating) and the EER (Energy Efficiency Rating). The SEER rating takes into account the efficiency of the AC over the course of a cooling season, accounting for changes in weather conditions. On the other hand, the EER rating measures the peak efficiency of the unit. While the EER is more crucial for consistently hot and dry climates, the SEER is of greater importance elsewhere. All of the AC units on this list are Energy Star certified, meaning they meet or exceed the minimum requirement of 18 SEER and 13 EER to be recognized as the "Most Efficient" by Energy Star.

Top 10 Most Efficient Central AC Units

  1. Lennox Signature Series XC25
  2. Amana AVXC20 & Daikin DX20VC
  3. Lennox Signature Series XC21
  4. Carrier Infinity 21 24ANB1 & Bryant Evolution180B
  5. York YXV, Coleman AC21B, Luxaire AL21B, Champion AS21B, Fraser-Johnston AL21B
  6. Carrier Infinity 20 24VNAO & Bryant Evolution 180C
  7. Rheem Prestige RA20 & Ruud UA20
  8. Armstrong Air & AirEase SCU/BCE Series- Pro Series 4SCU20LX
  9. Lennox Elite XC20
  10. Maytag M1200 PSA1BG, NuTone FSA1BG & Broan FSA1BG iQ Drive

#1 Lennox Signature Series XC25

Top 10 Most Efficient Central Air Conditioners Lennox Signature Series XC25 - 26 SEER / 16.5 EER

When it comes to high efficiency, Lennox leads the way. They have not one, but three models on this list. The Lennox XC25, part of their premium Signature Series, is the most efficient split system central air conditioner with an impressive 26 SEER rating. While there may be more efficient mini split ACs or geothermal heat pumps available, the Lennox XC25 is unmatched among standard central AC units.

One of the major advantages of upgrading to the XC25 is the significant reduction in AC operating costs. By replacing an old unit with the XC25, homeowners can expect to see a 50% to 60% decrease in their cooling expenses. Additionally, Lennox's integration with solar power through their SunSource PV modules is a noteworthy feature. This reduces dependence on energy generated by fossil fuels, making it an eco-friendly choice. Plus, with the availability of a 30% federal tax credit for solar installation, the cost of solar equipment is becoming more affordable.

While Lennox's commitment to high efficiency is commendable, their warranty coverage falls short. The XC25 is covered by a 10-year limited parts warranty, with no lifetime coverage or unit replacement protection. However, it's important to note that Lennox has resolved their previous supply chain issues, which occasionally caused parts shortages. Negative online reviews about Lennox are mostly outdated, so don't let them discourage you from considering this highly efficient AC unit.

#2 Amana AVXC20 & Daikin DX20VC

Top 10 Most Efficient Central Air Conditioners Amana AVXC20 & Daikin DX20VC - 24.5 SEER / 14 EER

Amana and Daikin take the second spot on our list with their identical models, the AVXC20 and DX20VC, respectively. Amana has a well-established reputation in the industry, and since Daikin acquired the brand, they have continued to produce reliable AC units under the Amana name.

What sets these units apart is their variable-capacity technology, also known as modulating, variable-speed, or inverter-driven technology. Daikin has been a leader in the development of inverter technology, which provides greater control and efficiency. While it's still relatively new in standard split systems, data has shown that Daikin/Amana technology is likely to be among the most reliable.

In terms of warranty coverage, Amana offers a lifetime warranty on the compressor, which is a standout feature. If the compressor fails, Amana will replace the entire condensing unit. Additionally, Daikin offers a 12-year unit replacement warranty on the compressor and a general 12-year warranty on all other parts. These warranties are among the best in the industry. However, there may be concerns about the overall reliability of Amana/Goodman parts, as Amana has been slightly below average in the past. Despite this, the overall dependability of these units should not be a major cause for concern.

#3 Lennox Signature Series XC21

Lennox Signature Series XC21 - 21.2 SEER / 15 EER

The XC21 from Lennox is a two-stage AC unit that beats out the Carrier/Bryant models below by a small margin of 0.2 SEER. Designed for super-hot climates, this unit offers great cooling performance and energy efficiency.

The two-stage technology in the XC21 comes with its own advantages. Two-stage AC units cost less than variable-capacity ones, require less maintenance, and are more cost-effective to repair if an issue arises. Additionally, the XC21 is compatible with Lennox's SunSource PV solar modules, allowing homeowners to further reduce their carbon footprint.

As with the other Lennox models on this list, warranty coverage is not a strong point. However, if you're looking for a reliable and efficient AC unit for hotter climates, the XC21 is worth considering.

#4 Carrier Infinity 21 24ANB1 & Bryant Evolution180B

Top 10 Most Efficient Central Air Conditioners Carrier Infinity 21 24ANB1 & Bryant Evolution180B - 21 SEER / 15 EER

Carrier and Bryant share the fourth spot on our list with their identical AC units. Carrier, a well-known brand in the industry, also owns the Bryant brand. These units are particularly suitable for areas with extreme summer heat.

Unlike most variable-capacity ACs, these models from Carrier and Bryant are two-stage units. They operate on low or high mode, with low cooling providing about 70% capacity for even temperature maintenance. When temperatures rise quickly or the thermostat is adjusted, the system switches to 100% capacity for faster cooling.

Two-stage AC units offer proven dependability and typically have lower repair costs compared to variable-speed compressors. While the warranty coverage for Carrier and Bryant units is not exceptional, these brands offer competitive options in the market.

#5 York YXV, Coleman AC21B, Luxaire AL21B, Champion AS21B, Fraser-Johnston AL21B

York YXV, Coleman AC21B, Luxaire AL21B, Champion AS21B, Fraser-Johnston AL21B - 21 SEER / 14.5 EER

These AC units are all identical and fall under the Johnson Controls brands, with York being the most widely sold brand. These variable-capacity air conditioners can be adjusted by the installer to provide optimal efficiency and indoor comfort in different climates.

One notable feature of these units is the inclusion of a 1-year labor warranty, which provides added peace of mind during the first year of use. Additionally, a 10-year general parts warranty is offered, which is standard across the industry. Overall, these AC units provide good value and can be considered for a range of climates.

#6 Carrier Infinity 20 24VNA0 & Bryant Evolution 180C

Top 10 Most Efficient Central Air Conditioners Carrier Infinity 20 24VNA0 & Bryant Evolution 180C - 20.5 SEER / 15.5 EER

Carrier and Bryant make a second entry on our list with these top variable capacity AC units. Impressively, these models boast the highest EER ratings of all the units listed here, making them ideal for scorching hot summers, like those in the Arizona desert.

With the Carrier Greenspeed Intelligence technology, these AC units offer unmatched efficiency and climate control. The 15.5 EER rating ensures optimal energy savings, making them an excellent choice for those looking to reduce their carbon footprint. Additionally, the units come with a 3-year labor warranty, which is a standout feature among AC manufacturers. This extended labor coverage provides added assurance and comes standard with the units.

#7 Rheem Prestige RA20 & Ruud UA20

Rheem Prestige RA20 & Ruud UA20 - 20.5 SEER / 13 EER

Rheem and Ruud, both owned by Paloma Industries, offer their first modulating AC units in the form of the Prestige RA20 and UA20. Introduced in mid-2019, these units are equipped with variable-capacity technology for enhanced efficiency and precise temperature control.

One notable feature of these units is the 10-year unit replacement warranty offered by Rheem and Ruud. If the compressor fails within the first decade, the entire AC will be replaced. This level of warranty protection is highly desirable for homeowners looking for long-term peace of mind. Additionally, these units feature Copeland compressors, known for their reliability and quality.

However, as with any new technology, it's worth considering waiting a couple of years to ensure any potential issues with the modulating technology are resolved. While the warranty provides coverage, it's best to avoid any potential hassles during the peak summer season.

#8 Armstrong Air & AirEase SCU/BCE Series- Pro Series 4SCU20LX

Armstrong Air & AirEase SCU/BCE Series- Pro Series 4SCU20LX - 20 SEER / 14 EER

Owned by Allied Air, a subsidiary of Lennox, Armstrong Air and AirEase offer a cost-effective option in the form of their identical AC units. These variable-capacity units are a great choice for homeowners looking for good value.

One of the reasons these units cost less than comparable models is that Lennox recognizes that their premium brand may be perceived as overpriced by some homeowners. By offering Armstrong Air and AirEase at a lower cost, they are able to capture a larger market share. While the warranty coverage for these units is not exceptional, they come with a 10-year parts warranty, which is standard across the industry.

#9 Lennox Elite XC20

Lennox Elite XC20 - 20 SEER / 14 EER

Lennox makes a third appearance on our list with their Elite XC20 model. Similar to the Armstrong Air and AirEase units, the XC20 offers great value for homeowners seeking a reliable and efficient AC unit.

While the XC20 is almost identical to the Armstrong Air and AirEase models, it comes with a higher price tag. If you can find a reputable Armstrong Air or AirEase dealer in your area, opting for their unit over the Lennox Elite XC20 may be a more cost-effective choice.

#10 Maytag M1200 PSA1BG, NuTone FSA1BG & Broan FSA1BG iQ Drive

Maytag M1200 PSA1BG, NuTone FSA1BG & Broan FSA1BG iQ Drive - 20 SEER / 13.5 EER

Maytag, NuTone, and Broan round up our list of the top 10 most efficient central air conditioners with their identical models. These variable-capacity AC units offer good reliability, making them a solid choice for homeowners.

One standout feature of these units is the 10-year replacement warranty on the compressor. If the compressor fails within the first decade, Maytag, NuTone, or Broan will replace the entire AC unit. Additionally, these AC units undergo stringent quality assurance testing, ensuring their durability and longevity.

Pros and Cons of the Most Efficient Central Air Conditioners

Investing in a super-efficient AC comes at a higher cost compared to single-stage or two-stage units with moderate efficiency. The payback period, which is the time it takes to recoup the higher equipment cost through lower energy bills, varies depending on the climate. Here is a breakdown of the payback period for different regions:

  • Hot climates: 3-8 years
  • Moderate climates: 9-15 years
  • Cool climates: 16-25 years

To help you decide if a 20 SEER AC or a more efficient unit is the right choice for you, let's explore the pros and cons.

Yes: Consider a Top 10 Most Efficient AC

Here are the reasons to consider investing in one of these units:

  • You live in a climate where temperatures regularly exceed 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • You use your air conditioner for 6 months or more each year.
  • Humidity is a problem in your home.
  • You are environmentally conscious and want to reduce your carbon footprint. If you also heat your home, a heat pump may be a greener cooling and heating option to explore.
  • Optimal indoor comfort is important to you. These units not only cool your home efficiently but also provide the best temperature balance in all climates and excellent dehumidification in humid regions.

No: A 20 SEER AC Isn't a Good Choice

While highly efficient AC units have their advantages, they may not be the best choice for everyone. Consider these points if you fall into the following categories:

  • Summers in your area are mild or warm, but not extremely hot.
  • Reliability is more important to you than monthly AC bills.
  • The AC unit will be used part-time, such as in a vacation home, cabin, workshop, or guest apartment.
  • You plan to sell your home within the next five years, which might be too soon to recoup the additional expense.
  • You prefer proven single-stage and two-stage technology over variable-capacity air conditioning, which may be more prone to mechanical issues and costly repairs.
  • You're not interested in the latest communicating technology, even if it offers the highest efficiency and climate control. Consider exploring the differences between communicating and non-communicating technology to make an informed decision.

Final Thoughts

While most air conditioner installers recommend single-stage or two-stage ACs over highly efficient units due to higher costs and potential mechanical issues, it's important to consider your specific needs and preferences. For climates with occasional hot temperatures, a single-stage AC may be sufficient. For areas with warm to hot climates, a two-stage AC offers a balance between efficiency and cost. If you live in a very hot and/or humid climate or prefer the latest technology, a variable-capacity AC may be the best choice for you.

Remember to use our SEER Savings Calculator to estimate your potential energy savings and find the right value for your climate. Don't forget to consider your heating needs as well. Explore our guides on high-efficiency furnaces and the most efficient heating systems to make an informed decision.

When it comes to your home's comfort, it's essential to choose an air conditioner that meets your needs and provides optimal cooling efficiency. With the top 10 most efficient central air conditioners of 2023, you'll be on your way to a cooler and more comfortable home while saving on energy costs.

1