If you are in the market for a new air conditioner, you probably already know how difficult it can be to find the right brand and model. You want to upgrade your older system, but there are so many things to remember.
Do you focus on initial savings and unit cost, SEER ratings, compressor speeds? The list is almost endless, and we haven’t even started talking about brands and models yet. The right brand may surprise you, and you may wish to either stick with a big-name brand model or opt for a lesser-known or less popular brand.
In this Carrier vs. American Standard air conditioner review, we will examine the main factors, features, options, and benefits of each brand. We will also rate and review the brands against each other to help you decide which one is best for you.
American Standard Vs. Carrier: Which AC Is Better?
One of the main problems with saying a brand is better than another is that it is subjective. For example, Carrier ACs may have better SEER ratings, but if you live in an area where the AC only runs for a few weeks, that may matter less to you.
Let’s compare Carrier and American Standard apples to apples on the main points of interest, largest decision-making factors, and optional accessories that each one does (or does not) offer you.
Reliability and Expected Lifespan
Not too long ago, when we were worried about the Y2K computer shutdowns and other turn of the century theories, brand names held a lot of importance. You knew that if you bought a brand that everyone had heard of before, you would have less to worry about.
Today, though, with technology and cost savings being what they are, the brand name is starting to mean less and less. With Carrier, though, you are still getting high-quality goods for a fair price. When you buy Carrier, you know it will be reliable, durable, and performance-ready.
American Standard has been around as long as Carrier but isn’t as popular today (in the HVAC world, at least). However, that doesn’t mean they are less reliable. In fact, both Carrier and American Standard use reliable, durable parts and can easily last up to 20 years or more with proper care and maintenance.
Winner: Tie. Almost all major brands will have 20-year capable machines.
One of the largest decision-making factors that isn’t tied to a price tag is customer service. It is essential to know what the company does for you after the sale, not just before the sale. Can you contact them easily? Are they willing to communicate with you and answer questions or solve problems?
In the case of American Standard, you can email or call their customer service line at any time. It is almost entirely automated, and any real issues are generally referred to their local contractors and vendors for further assistance. However, they are there and can get your issues solved.
Carrier has a little more personal approach. Getting in touch with a human is a bit easier, and you are more likely to get a speedy solution when reaching out. Carrier also implements post-sale regimens to get feedback from their consumers to further improve their development.
Winner: Carrier has a slightly higher personal touch to their customer service communications.
Unit Purchase Price
Air conditioners and most HVAC equipment will need to be installed by a trained, licensed, and certified professional. This is not something for the DIYer, by law. Because of this, you will rarely find unit pricing for air conditioner systems. Instead, you will get a package price that best estimates the cost of the unit, plus the cost of labor based on your location.
Because of that, it can be challenging to pin down exact pricing until you talk to a contractor for installation estimates. However, what we can tell you is that both Carrier and American Standard have three primary groups that their models fall in.
The low-end models will range (typically) between $2,000 and $3,000 for a full installation with American Standard and $2,500 to $4,000 for Carrier. The mid-range will add about $1,500 to $3,000 more on top of that for both brands.
For the high-end models, you find the biggest separation. American Standard models will fall between $6,000 and $8,500, while Carrier will come closer to $10,000 to $12,000.
Winner: American Standard offers similar models with similar technologies for a notably lower price in most cases.
Warranties are the best thing you can get to protect your investment. Any brand worth researching to buy will offer a decent warranty. The industry average is about 10 years of coverage, though this is getting longer as better technology emerges.
You can expect most warranties to cover two categories: the normal wear and tear, parts and electrical side of the unit, and the sealed portion of the unit, including the compressor.
For American Standard, they keep things relatively simple. You get a standard warranty coverage when you purchase the unit that covers everything for 5 years. If you register the purchase and installation of the system within 60 days, the warranty will extend for 10 years (total).
Carrier Doesn’t require that you register (though it is a good idea) and also offers a single coverage warranty that is set at 10 years. There are a few exceptions to the warranty, though, such as older systems not using Puron refrigerant or higher-end models that may have a 12-year warranty.
Winner: Carrier has a slight edge since you aren’t required to register to get the longer warranty.
Costs of Parts and Future Repairs
As with any mechanical and electrical appliance, things will wear down over time. For most of the AC repairs and replacement parts (except those that deal with the refrigerant), you can do the replacement yourself.
When buying the AC parts, you can contact the contractor that installed the system for you, the manufacturer directly, or through any home improvement, hardware, or HVAC shop in your town.
If you know your model number, serial number, and part number, you can also order AC parts online through HVAC sites or 3rd party vendor sites like Amazon. For most parts that are DIY replaceable, the cost is affordable and, with almost no exception, readily available.
Winner: Tie. Both brands offer parts for repair and replacement at reasonable costs.
Range of SEER Ratings Available
The SEER rating, or Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, is one of the current metrics that help you know which model is the most efficient or offers the most considerable long-term savings. Of course, you can’t go by the SEER rating only, but it is an excellent place to start and a great indication of the potential savings you can get on your monthly energy bills over time.
With American Standard, the average SEER rating across all lines is about 16 SEER. The actual models all vary in capacity and power requirements, and they offer models as low as 13 SEER and as high as 22 SEER.
On the other hand, Carrier focuses more on the higher-end models, with fewer low-range models. Their average SEER rating falls in about 17.5 SEER, with models ranging from 13 to 21 SEER.
Winner: Carrier has a slightly lower top-end SEER rating than American Standard, but their models have higher SEER values overall.
Humidity control mostly comes from smart thermostats and smart controls with sensors to detect humidity levels. An air conditioner just running normally will remove humidity from the air. But in some cases, depending on your region and humidity levels, it may be too much.
The humidity sensors and programming from smart devices can help regulate the amount of moisture removed during operation to keep the levels where you set them. Carrier systems have some additional humidity control, but your best option is to use a smart thermostat with humidity sensors.
The same is true for American Standard, though they don’t offer internal humidity control options like Carrier. Humidity control sensors with the thermostat are still your best bet.
Winner: Carrier has some humidity control built-in giving them the slight edge.
Noise Levels of AC Units
When it comes to noise from the AC, it is to be expected. These are large machines with a lot of moving parts, fans, motors, and even the air. The compressor and condenser units are the loudest part, and some brands will take extra steps to reduce the noise volume they emit.
American Standard has Aero Quiet II on certain models that brings the average decibels down from about 80dB average to almost 70dB.
Carrier is one of the quietest brands on the market and ranges from 49 to 70dB. You will find sound dampening, insulation, and reduction methods on almost every model.
Winner: Carrier has much quieter machines, with some being barely audible, even running at high speeds.
Variable Speed Systems (Compressors)
Variable speed systems have two parts that run at different speeds. The compressor is the main component and can run at multiple speeds depending on system needs. These compressors run 100% of the time and never fully shut off. However, running at 1 or 2% is almost fully stopped.
Because they never shut off completely, they require less power to change to a higher speed and can run at lower rates to maintain the set temperature. As a result, variable speed systems are the most energy efficient ACs on the market.
The second component is the condenser fan, which must match the speed of the compressor to ensure proper cooling and airflow of the system. Both Carrier and American Standard offer variable-speed models that are as efficient as any other brand in the industry.
Winner: Tie. Both brands offer multiple models with variable speed compressors.
Single Vs. Two-Stage Cooling Options
The other compressor options you will find are single speed and two-stage models. Unlike the variable speed options, these two shut off all the way. Single-stage compressors have only one speed; 100%. A two-stage compressor can run at 100% but only when needed. Otherwise, it runs at a much slower rate to maintain the set temperature.
Two-stage compressors are more efficient in most cases than single-stage models, and the cost is passed on to the consumer. This means that a two stage may or may not be worth it, depending on your budget.
Carrier offers a few single-stage and several two-stage compressor options, effectively making up their low-end and mid-range models. American Standard also has both options and mixes them between the low-end range and mid-range models.
Winner: Carrier has more models with more options for both single and two-stage options.
Technology Integration and Developments
When it comes to technological advances, the HVAC industry stays on the cutting edge. As a whole, they are experimenting with greener solutions, solar-powered options, and much, much more.
On an individual scale, American Standard has devices in place such as WeatherGuard systems that offer weather-resistant tops and rustproof drain pans. They also have all-aluminum fins and coils that help increase efficiency for cooling the refrigerant.
Carrier uses a lot of technology in their systems, including wireless communications and mobile app control, giving you more options for operating your system, even if you aren’t home.
Winner: Carrier has weatherproofing systems in place as well, plus the added smart controls on select models.
Financing Options Available (Via The Brand)
HVAC systems are expensive for many budgets, and being able to finance the purchase and install fees will be a great help to many. However, how you qualify, through whom, and what it takes will vary from brand to brand.
Some brands offer in-house financing, but you must buy from their approved contractors. Other brands will honor financing through the vendor you select.
American Standard uses the first option, allowing financing options on approval through their selected and approved contractors. These contractors will also perform the installation and cover all costs with reasonable monthly fees.
Carrier does both the in-house and owner-selected routes, depending on which works best for you. You can even apply directly online without ever talking to a contractor first (though you should).
Winner: Carrier has more financing options to fit more individual needs.
During your research into the best brand for your home, you will undoubtedly come across several reviews and ratings. It is important to understand what you are investing in and hear from those that have gone before you can make or break your decision.
With American Standard, Consumer Reports rates them reasonably high. They have over 55,000 collected reviews from around the country to back their findings. In some categories, American Standard is rated as high as #1 and falls to as low as #9 in others.
Carrier gets an average rating of 3.4 out of 5 stars from Consumer Affairs, with the vast majority of their 160 reviews being 4 and 5 stars.
Winner: American Standard has a lot more to read about where online reviews are concerned, giving them a better pool of opinions to help make your decision.
Comparing American Standard and Carrier Model Numbers
Now that you know what to look for and what each brand offers, let’s take a closer look at their individual models. We compare them based on expected SEER rating, compressor cooling stages, and potential energy savings percentages.
|Model Number||SEER Ratings||Cooling Stages||Energy Saving (%)|
|American Standard Platinum 18/ 20||21 SEER||700||50%|
|Carrier 24VNA6||26 SEER||750||56%|
|American Standard Gold 17||18 SEER||2||50%|
|Carrier 24ANB1||19 SEER||2||54%|
|Carrier 24ANB7||17 SEER||2||52%|
|Carrier 24ACC6||17 SEER||2||52%|
|American Standard AccuComfort™ Platinum 18||18 SEER||700||50%|
|American Standard Gold 17||17 SEER||2||50%|
|Carrier Infinity 24||19 SEER||2||54%|
|Carrier Infinity® 19VS||19 SEER||2||54%|
|American Standard Silver 16,15,14||16 SEER||1||48%|
|Carrier Infinity® 16||16 SEER||2||50%|
|American Standard Silver 16 Low Profile||17 SEER||1||52%|
|Carrier Performance™ 15||17 SEER||1||50%|
|Carrier Comfort™ 15||16 SEER||1||48%|
Overview of American Standard Air Conditioners
American Standard started as the plumbing brand American that merged with Standard at the turn of the 20th century. By the 1920s, American Standard was more than a household name. They had a reputation for reliability, durability, and affordability. These are features that continue today.
In 1984, American Standard made one of their most important and largest acquisitions by taking over Trane. While this only lasted about 15 years, that time gave American Standard a huge technological push to help keep their products in line with many of the current trends.
You can still see the Trane influence in their HVAC lines with things like WeatherGuard toppers and rustproof drain pans. While they aren’t as popular as they once were, American Standard is still an affordable and dependable solution for many homes across the country.
Quick Look At American Standard Air Conditioner Features
Speaking of the Trane influence, there are a lot of unique features to American Standard air conditioners that you should be aware of. Let’s take a quick look at some of the most essential features.
One of the most efficient additions to American Standard units is the inclusion of the Spine Fin coils system. This is an all-aluminum coil and fin setup that removes more heat at a faster rate than copper and copper/aluminum systems. Usually, you only find these on high-end models.
They also use what is called AccuLink Communications. This internal communication system helps diagnose any issues and keeps all systems operating at optimal speeds and temperatures to maximize efficiency.
Along with the WeatherGuard corrosion protection system, SermaGard screws are used as a rustproof casing alternative that makes access to the controls and connections easier. With quieter operation and variable speed compressors (on select models), American Standard raises the bar for low and mid-range model expectations.
Pros & Cons of American Standard AC Units
There are two sides to every choice, and both the positive and negative aspects can either make or break your decision. Let’s look at the good and the bad so you can decide for yourself.
What We Like
- Multiple variable speed compressor models
- Made in the USA
- Available in every state
- Low care and maintenance levels
- Simple installation
- Replacement parts are readily available
- Better than average SEER ratings
Things We Don’t
- Must register in time for full warranty coverage
- Not every contractor is an approved vendor
- Repairs may come sooner than with other brands
Overview of Carrier Air Conditioners
Carrier is a brand that started at the turn of the century, much like American Standard. The difference is that Carrier began as an engineering corporation and not a plumbing manufacturer.
Willis Carrier is also credited with inventing the air conditioner as we know it today in 1902. Having a humble start in New Jersey, the brand quickly became one of the most famous corporations in the world.
By introducing cooled air in theaters and businesses, the demand quickly rose. From there, it is all history. Today, the brand is the parent company for several different brands and continues to innovate and excite the market with new features and options.
Quick Look At Carrier Air Conditioner Features
What are those features? Well, they use (and were the first) Puron refrigerant., This form of R-410a refrigerant is not toxic to the atmosphere and has replaced R-22 as the go-to standard for residential and commercial refrigeration needs.
Carrier also introduced the Infinity Home Air Filtration system and microtube technology that allows the HVAC systems to perform better and work smarter with fewer energy needs while adding more functionality.
With the Carrier Silencer System II, all Carrier models run silent and true without disrupting you or your neighbors, even at high speeds.
The Copeland compressors are among the most durable and efficient models in the industry, and they are included in every model made by Carrier. So not only do you get the highest level of functionality, but you get the best parts, lowest levels of maintenance, and year-round performance.
Pros & Cons of Carrier AC Units
Like all things, there are benefits and negative aspects that you should be aware of. One list may sway your decision over the other. Let’s take a look at both sides here.
What We Like
- Worldwide availability
- Strong Warranty coverage
- Excellent customer service
- All models qualify for credits and rebates where applicable
- Smart technologies included
- Corrosion protection and sound dampening
- Parts and service easily obtained
Things We Don’t
- More expensive than other brands
- Not the most efficient for the cost
- Subject to inferior install with wholesale options
When looking for a new air conditioner for your home, the first thing you will find is a lot of options. Not only does each model give you various features and options to choose from, but each brand has multiple models.
Two of those brands, Carrier and American Standard, were covered in this comparison. Hopefully, you now have a better idea of what each brand offers, where they are lacking, and which features or options you need the most.
Last Updated on April 13, 2022