Five of the Best Air Conditioner Units for Your Money

Looking to purchase a new A/C Unit? Check out our five picks

Whether you believe in climate change or not, you must admit this summer has been one for the books.

With the recent scorching hot temps, the average air conditioning system has not been able to compete with the sweltering heat. Just ask your local HVAC companies.  And yes…the HVAC professionals are making a fortune on service calls and air conditioner repair fees.

This record-breaking heatwave has taken an extraordinary toll on the country’s energy providers this year.  Even New York has suffered a devastating black out, presumably due to the over extended power grid. 

There are likely tens of thousands of residents around the country trying to hang on to an old and inefficient central air conditioning unit hoping  it could survive one last summer with a simple air conditioner repair service.   Unfortunately, many folks are finding they have to tap into their emergency fund to fork over a few hundred bucks for a brand new air conditioner.

All of this talk of air conditioning woes prompted me to do some comparison shopping.  I looked for the best central air conditioning units on the market right now, and I think the list below may be among the most popular purchases this year.

Here are five types of air conditioning units that could save you from buyer’s remorse.  Whether your home is large and in need of a powerful unit, or on the smaller side which could be sufficiently cooled by a portable air conditioner….This product data will help you choose the most reliable air conditioning system to keep your home, family and pets cool and comfortable for many summers to come. 

While there are several types of central air conditioning units to choose from, not all of them are created equal.  Some are built to be more energy-efficient and better on your wallet than others. 

To help you make an informed decision, here is an in-depth look at each one we reviewed.  Hopefully this buying guide will help you decide which brand and type will work best for the unique cooling needs of your home.

AMANA 22,000 BTU 230V Window-Mounted Air Conditioner

Amana AC units are efficient and solid HVAC systems. They are quite popular for their excellent SEER energy efficiency which can be as high as a 24.5 rating. This 22,000 BTU air conditioning system is capable of cooling rooms up to 1,400 sq. ft. 

This model is available in a variety of BTU ratings to suit different user requirements. This variety provides homeowners with a wide selection of products to choose from . Therefore regardless of what your home cooling requirements may be for an air conditioning unit, you will be sure to find an Amana model that meets your needs. 

Another standout feature of this Amana air conditioner is the incredibly long warranty. Amana offers a 10-year warranty coverage on its AC units with SEER ratings below 16, and a lifetime warranty coverage for AC units with SEER ratings 16 and higher. 

Meaning that if any of your AC parts such as the heat exchanger or compressor fail within the expected lifespan of the AC system, Amana will replace them for you free of charge. This is one of the best HVAC warranties in the market. All in all, this Amana AC unit is efficient and will withstand the test of time and elements. If you are looking to purchase a reliable air conditioning unit, put this Amana on your short list.

Why we love it 

  • The units have good SEER energy efficiency
  • Comes with a fantastic warranty coverage
  • Available in a variety of models 
  • Can cool rooms up to 1,400 square feet

Bryant Legacy 5 ton 14 SEER Air Conditioner

Bryant is considered a premium brand and their AC units are highly regarded as one of the best and most reliable in the industry. Bryant has a wide range of  A/C unit models (17), offering its customers plenty of affordable options for cooling their homes. For this model, with a SEER performance as high as 14, Bryant air conditioning units will do well to keep the temperature of your home nice and cool.

This Bryant air conditioner is designed with several energy saving features including an ozone-safe refrigerant and a louvered coil guard. The AC is also Energy Star rated to top it off. Although this may not be the quietest air conditioner unit on the market, it is not exactly loud enough to cause a noise inconvenience to your household.

Bryant offers the standard 10-year warranty for their products. However, to activate the warranty, you must register your air conditioner with the company within the first 90 days after installation. Otherwise, you will only be eligible for 5 years of coverage. Nonetheless, with its energy saving features and remarkable SEER performance, Bryant is a pretty decent brand.   

Why we love it

  • Impressive SEER performance
  • Standard 10-year warranty
  • Designed with several energy saving features
  • Energy star rated
  • Many models to choose from

Goodman 5 Ton 18 SEER Air Conditioner DSXC180601

If you need an affordable and efficient air conditioning system you can rely on, Goodman is one brand to be trusted. The AC units from Goodman have a solid body construction and are built from top quality materials to withstand years of use. Talking about years, Goodman offers a lifetime compressor warranty on its central AC units. So if your compressor fails, provided the AC unit is still in the same home it was originally installed in, Goodman will replace it for the homeowner for free. The GSX models only have a 10-year warranty coverage, however this is still quite impressive considering the warranty coverage from other manufacturers in the business.

The air conditioner comes equipped with an on-board diagnostics system that will notify the homeowner of potential faults in the air conditioner before they get worse. This Goodman air conditioning unit also boasts a high SEER rating coming in at 18. While it may not be as energy efficient as other top models, it is nonetheless better than the market average of 16.7.  Goodman is a company you can count on to deliver ,if you want value for your money.

Why we love it 

  • Designed with on-board diagnostics to facilitate the detection of problems
  • Durable body construction and reliable performance
  • Great warranty coverage
  • Good SEER ratings

Frigidaire FFRE1033Q1 10,000 BTU 115V Air Conditioner  

The Frigidaire FFRE1033Q1 air conditioner is a reliable and efficient unit you can trust to keep your home nice and cool. Even on low setting, the 10,000 BTU unit can still sufficiently cool rooms as large as 450 square feet. When it comes to its performance, the unit has a very efficient and quick cooling system that can reduce the heat in any room and cool the space within a few minutes.

Regarding its features, the FFRE1033Q1 by Frigidaire comes equipped with expanded side panels such that they can easily be installed and fitted in window spaces as high as 36 inches. Other impressive features of the air conditioner include a temperature regulating remote control, an eight-way air deflection mechanism, a 24-hour timer that can easily be programmed and a low-power energy-efficient start. If you or any one living with you has certain allergies, then you will really love the built-in air ionizer in the unit which works well to remove impurities in the air that could trigger one’s allergies. With its energy saving features and remarkable cooling performance, the Frigidaire FFRE1033Q1 is a pretty decent air conditioner.

Why we love it

  • Easily expandable size to fit larger spaces
  • Effective cooling performance 
  • Built-in ionizer to prevent allergies

LG LW1216ER 12,000 BTU 115-Volt Window Air Conditioning unit 

LG AC units are efficient and solid HVAC systems and the LG LW1216ER model is unsurprisingly no different. If you have a large space up to 550 square feet that needs cooling, then look no further than the LG LW1216ER. This 12,000-BTU unit by LG measures about (24 x 15 x 22 inches) and weighs about 81 pounds. Although that may seem bulky compared to most air conditioning units, it comes with sufficient cooling power to complement its large size.

About the features, this unit comes with a remote control for regulating the settings of the air conditioner. It is also designed with an energy saving mode, three fan speeds, three cooling speeds, a four-way air deflection mechanism and a 24-hour timer. The washable filter has a slide out design to allow for easy and convenient cleaning. Another standout feature of this unit is its quiet operation so that you can enjoy the coolness of your home in peace and quiet without any distracting noise. LG is one of the best HVAC company in the market. So if you are after an energy efficient model, you will be hard pressed to find one better than an LG product.

Why we love it

  • Excellent operation with energy-efficient cooling
  • Easy and convenient to use
  • Designed with lots of features
  • Quiet operation

Friedrich Chill CP06G10B 12000 BTU Window Air Conditioner 

If you are trying to cut down on your electricity bill but you still need an air conditioning unit to avoid being cooked by the heat, then you will be pleased to learn about the Friedrich Chill CP06G10B. The conditioner is Energy Star rated so you can enjoy a cool home this summer with having to worry about high energy costs. The 12,000 BTU air conditioning unit is capable of cooling rooms up to 550 square feet. The unit can be mounted on windows or installed in walls, depending on your preference. 

If you are a light sleeper, then you should definitely consider getting this unit. The air conditioner operates quietly with very little noise so you do not have to worry about being kept up by the whirring sound from your AC.

The power cord of the AC is also designed to allow for maximum flexibility such that it can easily reach the power outlet in your space, regardless of where the outlet is located within the room.  In all, Friedrich Chill is a first rate AC company and you can trust their expertise.

Why we love it

  • Can be installed in windows or walls
  • Energy Star rated
  • Ultra quiet operation
  • Flexible power cord  

Factors to consider when buying an air conditioning system:

The market is filled with hundreds of different models of air conditioning units, but not all of them will meet your needs nor are they all worth buying. Some units are more efficient and better built than others. That said, there are a few things every homeowner should take into consideration before they decide to purchase any AC unit. From warranties to size to energy efficiency 

Below is a list of some of the most important things you’ll want to take into consideration to make sure you get the best value for your money

  • Energy efficiency

An air conditioner’s energy efficiency is measured by its cooling capabilities compared to the amount of energy it consumes. If a system has excellent cooling capabilities with very low energy consumption, then it will have a high SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) ratings.

The United States Department of Energy requires at least a 13 SEER rating for central air conditioners so you should definitely ensure that the AC unit you are interested in meets this requirement before you buy and install it in your home. However, the higher the SEER ratings, the more expensive the unit is likely to be. 

  • Durability

The cost of repairing a standard AC unit can be very costly. As such, when picking out your central air conditioning unit, you should go for a product that has a long life expectancy. You can look up ratings and reviews online for the particular model you want to ensure that your AC unit will not need lots of repair and will last you a long time. On the average, a great central AC system can last you anywhere between 12 to 15 years when it is properly installed and serviced as required. 

  • HVAC Warranty

Always ensure that you check for the warranty coverage on an AC unit before you make the purchase. The industry standard warranty coverage for the top central AC brands is 10 years. You can ask the retailer for the warranty or check the brand’s website for information regarding the warranty for the model you want to buy.

  • Size

Before you purchase an air conditioner, you should think about the space you want to cool. The size of the space you want to cool will determine the size of the of unit you will need to buy. Beyond the size of your room in terms of square feet, you will also need to consider factors like the height of your ceiling, the amount of sunlight that gets into the room and how many people usually occupy the room. 

This is where the A/C BTU (British Thermal Unit) comes in. The average cooling capacity for most air conditioners range from 5,000 to 12,500 BTU. The bigger the space you want to cool, the higher the BTU should be. Higher BTU means better efficiency at removing heat and keeping a room cool. However, a higher BTU means more energy consumption, so you may want to budget more for your utility bills.

  • Smart features

Thanks to advancement in technology, most air conditioning systems today come with a variety of smart and convenient features designed to allow for ease of use. Touch pad controls, voice control, built-in timers and digital displays are some of the smart features integrated in today’s AC units. Some AC systems are also designed to be connected to your smartphone from where you can adjust the settings. These features do not just make your AC more convenient for you to use, they also improve the efficiency and performance of the unit. So if your preferred brand has an AC model with smart features, go for it.

  • Noise

There are certain models of air conditioners that are very quiet whereas the only sound you may hear when the system is on is the fan running. These are the best types of AC units. You will want to go for an air conditioner with very low sound output that will not disturb you and people around you when it is turned on. 


So when the heat turns up and you need to chill out, make sure you’re equipped with the best data before spending your hard earned money on a central air conditioner.  I hope you found the insights in this buying guide useful as you make a decision on how to keep your home cool.

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