The HVAC industry is one of consolidation, with brands and companies acquiring one another and producing smaller brands to offset costs and technological advances. When shopping for a specific brand or model, it can quickly become a minefield of information and confusion.
Our goal is to help you understand the various brands, their features, models, and offerings. We also aim to clear up the confusion and help you find the right brand and specific model for your needs.
In this American Standard vs. Bryant air conditioner review, we take two of the more prominent names in the industry and do just that. Read on, and let’s clear up the confusion and help you find the model that will keep your home cool for the foreseeable future.
Bryant Vs. American Standard: Which AC Is Better?
Unfortunately, it is next to impossible to put the HVAC industry into a black and white category, such as which brand is better. Each brand has unique offerings and, as a whole, can be better or worse than the next brand. However, there are enough features that where one brand may be better in one area, it is then worse on another feature.
To that end, the “best brand” is the one that meets your needs on as many features and options as possible, which is subjective based on the individual making the decision. Let’s take a look at how Bryant and American Standard compare on those important features.
Reliability and Expected Lifespan
With modern HVAC systems, the expected lifespan has increased dramatically. What used to be an 8 to 10 year life expectancy has now jumped to 20 years regardless of brand. Almost every major brand, including both Bryant and American Standard, are expected to last this long.
Of course, there are factors at play. Cleaning, routine maintenance, early problem detection, and repairs are all adding months or even years to that life expectancy. If you allow your HVAC system to fall into disrepair or do not perform the required annual maintenance, it may only last a few years.
Winner: Tie. With proper care and maintenance, both brands will last 20 years or more.
One major factor that seems to be falling out of fashion is human-to-human communications. Customer service has grown more automated over the last several years, and it can be difficult to contact and talk to a human directly.
Because customer service is important, there is a line between efficient and supportive. Talking to a computer is less reassuring than speaking with another human, even if it is more efficient and costs less.
Both American Standard and Bryant have human customer service agents. However, they both also make you go through automated systems first. American Standard is also far more likely than Bryant to push you off to a local contractor for assistance.
Winner: Bryant. While both brands use a mix of human and computer customer service, Bryant is a bit more human-focused.
Unit Purchase Price
The HVAC industry is one of the few where you cannot simply ask “how much does that cost” and get a straight answer. Because it requires federal certification and licenses to install, repair or service an HVAC system, the unit cost is rarely seen.
What you do see when you look at a price tag is the cost of the system, parts, labor, and installation fees all combined. And, as you can imagine, depending on the size of the model, the brand, and where you live (along with who performs the install), this price can vary greatly.
On average, for similar sized systems with the same efficiency and similar parts, American Standard will have better pricing. The lower-end, budget-friendly models will typically be priced around $1,200, with higher-end models reaching upwards of $2,400.
For Bryant, the low-end pricing starts at around $1,200 and goes up from there, with the high-end pricing topping out around $6,000. So while you can take steps and do extra research to bring the prices down a bit, you may sacrifice quality and reliable installation in the process.
Winner: American Standard has slightly better pricing across the board compared to Bryant.
As there are many brands and models, there are many types and coverage of warranties. In the HVAC industry, it is typical to find warranty coverage in two forms, all-inclusive and split. A split warranty covers the parts, electronics, and labor on one part and the sealed system on the other.
An all-inclusive warranty combines the parts, labor, electronics, and sealed system (compressor and refrigerant lines) under one term. Both Bryant and American Standard offer all-inclusive warranties that start with 5 years of coverage.
With American Standard, you must register the purchase and installation within 60 days, and the warranty will extend to 10 years. Bryant offers the same deal but gives you 90 days to register for the 10-year warranty coverage.
Winner: Tie. Both brands offer a 5-year standard warranty with a 5-year extension option for registration.
Costs of Parts and Future Repairs
HVAC replacement and repair parts are common and found anywhere HVAC equipment is sold. This includes home improvement stores, hardware shops, and HVAC suppliers. You can also find the needed parts online at approved 3rd party sites like Amazon.
Some parts will be highly affordable and easily replaced by the homeowner. Others may require professional installation by an HVAC technician. However, buying the parts yourself can save you some money, and if you have the right tools and knowledge, you can save on labor costs, too.
Both American Standard and Bryant offer common replacement parts direct to the consumer, making DIY repairs possible.
Winner: Tie. Both brands have readily available replacement parts for DIY installation.
Range of SEER Ratings Available
The Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, or SEER rating, directly correlates to the amount you can save on your energy bills. Higher SEER ratings mean a potentially more efficient system; however, this isn’t the only factor.
While the SEER rating is a quick identifier, it is also one of the most effective methods to know about quality and cost. For example, to be a highly efficient machine, it will require higher-end parts, more expensive compressors, and better quality construction. All of this equates to higher-end models.
American Standard has a model with several offsets that combine variable speed compressor, high-quality construction, sound dampening, and more. Unfortunately, while it is the highest SEER rating model, it is also the most expensive.
Bryant also has a high SEER rating model and several that are much lower. On average, though Bryant models average a higher SEER rating across the board compared to American Standard.
Winner: Bryant has an average SEER rating that comes in at 17.8 SEER compared to the 16.6 SEER average of American Standard.
Part of the process of cooling the air in your home is to remove the heat from the current air supply. This heat transfer process also causes the moisture in the air to condensate and is removed via drain from the home. Natural humidity control through your AC occurs as long as the system is running.
For more humidity control, though, you will need to run the system longer, even at a slower speed. This requires additional components such as smart thermostats and sensors to detect humidity levels in the home.
Neither Bryant nor American Standard offers additional in-house components for direct humidity control. However, they are both compatible with 3rd party smart devices that can do it for you.
Winner: Tie. Both brands can control humidity levels with additional, 3rd party smart devices.
Noise Levels of AC Units
Noise is a constant issue with HVAC systems, and some brands offer steps to reduce the noise their products produce. There are many more, though, that do not. Louder units can disrupt daily life, evening rest, and even nighttime sleeping.
It may also not only affect you but your neighbors as well. Depending on the install location, a loud enough system can disrupt sleep, television watching, or outdoor activities during the day. This doesn’t need to be a concern, though.
American Standard uses a system they call Aero Quiet II on most (though not all) of their units. This effectively drops the decibel level down from an average of 80dB to 70dB.
Bryant uses sound blankets and other dampening devices to reduce their noise production, and in most cases, the noise created does not leave the body of the unit. The average decibel level is about 38dB.
Winner: Bryant uses better sound dampening devices to reduce the noise production lower than that of American Standard.
Variable Speed Systems (Compressors)
One of the most advanced system parts of an HVAC setup is the compressor. With the advent of variable speed compressors, the efficiency has drastically risen, but so has the average cost.
A variable-speed compressor can run at 1% capacity up to 100% capacity and anywhere in between. The compressor adjusts based on the needs of the system. Since they never fully shut down, they require much less energy to start up.
Of course, these compressors cost a lot to install in the system, and that cost is generally added to the consumer price tag. Bryant offers two models with variable speed compressors, as does American Standard, but Bryant’s offers much higher SEER ratings.
Winner: Bryant variable speed compressors have a SEER rating of up to 26 while the American Standard top model only reaches 20.5 SEER.
Single Vs. Two-Stage Cooling Options
When a variable speed compressor is too expensive, the solution is to opt for single or two-stage compressors. These are more common, less expensive, and can still offer high SEER ratings.
For American Standard, you will find most mid-range models to use two-stage compressors, and the low-end models come with a single-stage compressor. Bryant offers a similar style of compressor management.
The lower-end models use single-stage compressors, while the mid-range models use the two-stage compressors. The other similarities are that both Bryant and American Standard offer similar pricing increases between the two compressor types keeping both options much more affordable than the variable speed compressor models.
Winner: Tie. Both brands offer single-stage and two-stage compressors in lower-end models that can save money while still offering high efficiency.
Technology Integration and Developments
Mid-range brands like Bryant and American Standard are generally only identified by their model price ranges. However, another tale-tell sign is the number of technological advances used in the systems.
With American Standard, there are a couple used in most of their models. This list includes the WeatherGuard system with corrosion-resistant screws and panels, a rustproof drain pan, and a weather-resistant topper.
American Standard also utilizes the Aero Quiet II noise reduction system on most models, but the technological advances typically end there. Instead, they rely on 3rd party systems like thermostats and sensors.
Bryant is the same in terms of using the technology advances. While they still use sound dampening to quiet the noise production, the one big advancement you will find with Bryant models is the Evolution Connex thermostat system. With WiFi-enabled communications and complete system control, it is one of the most advanced thermostat systems on the market.
Winner: Tie. Both brands have limited involvement in technology inclusion, but what is available is similar between them.
Financing Options Available (Via The Brand)
HVAC systems aren’t cheap and can cripple some lower-income budgets. However, most brands include financing options, including Bryant and American Standard.
American Standard uses the common method of passing the financing details through the vendors and dealers. American Standard finalizes the approval, but payments are made to the contractor or vendor that you applied through.
For Bryant, approval is done through Bryant (via Wells Fargo Bank), which offers low monthly payments, flexible terms, and online account management. Whether you qualify will depend on the credit and viability of your application.
Winner: Tie. Both American Standard and Bryant offer financing options to help you acquire a new air conditioner.
When it comes to previous consumers, reading and hearing what they have to say can be a major factor in your final decision. It can be a double-edged sword, though, as most consumers are more likely to post negative reviews when things go wrong.
While they are still important, it is critical to understand that whatever you read or hear about any brand needs to be considered thoroughly. As it stands, American Standard is rated and reviewed relatively highly, with average ratings in the top 5 of brands and consumer reviews.
Bryant also received high marks in most places, with some consumers complaining of the coils and fans burning out or leaking prematurely. This can be a brand problem or due to improper installation, and it is hard to determine. Read carefully and make a decision based on your own findings.
Winner: Both brands have higher than average ratings but aren’t without the negative aspects, too.
Comparing Popular Bryant and American Standard Model Numbers
Both Bryant and American Standard offer several models. Each model will also have various capabilities and sizes to accommodate various home sizes and uses. The chart below covers the most popular models, their highest SEER rating, compressor cooling stages, and potential energy saving percentages.
|Model Number||SEER Ratings||Cooling Stages||Energy Saving (%)|
|Bryant 189BNV||19 Seer||750||56%|
|American Standard Platinum 18/ 20||21 SEER||700||50%|
|Bryant 180B||21 SEER||2-Stage||52%|
|American Standard Gold 17||18 SEER||2-Stage||50%|
|Bryant 180C||20.5 SEER||750||54%|
|Bryant 187BNC||17 SEER||2-Stage||54%|
|Bryant 187B||17 SEER||2-Stage||54%|
|American Standard AccuComfort™ Platinum 18||18 SEER||700||50%|
|Bryant 186B||16 SEER||1-Stage||50%|
|Bryant 127A||17 SEER||1-Stage||52 %|
|American Standard Silver 16,15,14||16 SEER||1-Stage||48%|
|Bryant 126CNA||17 SEER||2-Stage||54 %|
|American Standard Silver 16 Low Profile||17 SEER||1-Stage||52%|
|Bryant 126B||16 SEER||1-Stage||52%|
|Bryant 124ANS||14 SEER||1-Stage||50 %|
|Bryant 114C||14 SEER||1-Stage||50 %|
Overview of Bryant Air Conditioners
With over 100 years of dedication and reliability, Bryant’s systems aren’t frivolous or light-hearted. When you buy a Bryant, you buy a history, dedication, and reliability. With a motto of “Whatever it Takes,” you know the brand is behind you.
Starting with humble beginnings with plumbing, heating, and cooling, Bryant helped develop the first 90%-efficient gas furnaces. Then, adding silica gel to commercial air conditioners helped propel the name into what it is today; innovative and dedicated.
The brand also joined forces with Payne as well as Day & Night to form the Affiliated Gas Equipment group. This group was further acquired by Carrier. This step has helped the brands of AGE make leaps and bounds in productivity and performance.
By staying on top of the industry and the technological advances, Bryant continues to find ways to remain relevant and affordable.
Quick Look At Bryant Air Conditioner Features
Bryant is not a brand known for its outward features when it comes to advancements and technologies. Instead, they tend to stick to a more traditional look and functionality. Instead, their feature focus is mostly internal, offering better efficiency, lower maintenance, and more durable components.
This doesn’t mean they don’t have technological advances, just that they aren’t as readily identifiable. For example, the DuraGuard Plus protection system is designed to allow the units to withstand coastal atmospheres, saltwater air, higher humidity, and resist corrosion.
You will also find the Evolution Connect thermostat system on select models. While this is an optional upgrade, it can help turn your HVAC system into a smart system, giving you complete control over all aspects of usage. When done right, you can actually increase the savings and efficiency of the unit over the long term.
Pros & Cons of Bryant AC Units
As with all HVAC brands, Bryant has both positive and negative aspects. While the good side may put the brand on your buy list, there may be a negative aspect that removes them. Let’s find out both sides of the Bryant coin.
What We Like
- Worldwide service
- Durable and reliable models
- Meets all criteria for credits and rebates
- High efficiency values
- Lower-end models are highly affordable
- Financing available
- Models available for coastal regions
Things We Don’t
- Must register for extended warranty
- Wholesaled to independent contractors
- Not the highest efficiency ratings available
Overview of American Standard Air Conditioners
Like Bryant, American Standard got its start in the early 1900s and was, at the time, two different companies. When American and Standard merged, they quickly grew into a powerhouse in the plumbing, manufacturing, and HVAC industries all over the country.
By the second World War, American Standard was one of the few US-based brands that was a household name. After the war, they continued to thrive, grow and develop.
One of the biggest surprises in the industry was in 1984 when American Standard took over Trane HVAC. This move cemented the brand as one to watch and it helped turn a name brand that was struggling into a household brand once again.
After being taken over by Ingersoll Rand in the early 2000s, American Standard kept to their history and values and continue to produce durable products to this day.
Quick Look At American Standard Air Conditioner Features
When you buy American Standard, you get an affordable unit with great value, performance, and reliability. When things do go wrong, the repairs are also affordable and straightforward.
Low maintenance, easy care, and a dedication to reliability are at the forefront of the brand’s image. Like Bryant, you won’t find a lot of bells and whistles on their units. Instead, you see things like weather-resistant toppers, rustproof drain pans, and easy access panels using weatherproof screws.
By focusing on performance, cost and dependability, the end-user won’t see the technological advancements right away. Instead, you will find out after many years of service that the system is still running as if it were brand new.
Pros & Cons of American Standard AC Units
As we like to do, it is important to show you the pros and cons of each brand to help you make a decision. Because there are negative and positive points to everything, one may become a deal-breaker or a deal maker for you. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of American Standard.
What We Like
- Variable speed compressor options
- High SEER ratings across the board
- Less expensive than many other brands
- Available all over the country
- Made in the USA
- Highly dependable parts
- Replacement parts are affordable
- Low install costs
Things We Don’t
- Must register for extended warranty
- Not available through all contractors
- May need repairs sooner than other brands
People Also Ask (FAQ)
Here are frequently asked Bryant & American Standard AC questions.
Is American Standard and Ameristar the same brand?
Yes, American Standard, as part of the Ingersoll Rand family, introduced the Ameristar brand as an entry-level solution for HVAC equipment in the US. Due to brand consolidation, this is just one example of the brand umbrella in the HVAC industry.
What do Reddit users say about these AC brands?
Reddit users have a lot of positive things to say about both brands. For American Standard, the professional installers and technicians on the site like the price points and serviceability of the brand. For Bryant, the quality and ease of maintenance top the list of pros for these site reviews.
Should I consider other brands of Central AC units?
If you are not satisfied with the negative aspects or they do not override the positive aspects of either American Standard or Bryant air conditioners, you should continue your research and due diligence with other brands. We have reviewed and rated over 20 of the top brands in the industry to help you out.
When you find yourself in the market for a new air conditioner, you may want to change brands or need an upgrade with features or options that aren’t available with your current brand.
Finding a new model that suits your needs and is affordable can be a challenge. As many homeowners have already found out, two names that continue to come up are Bryant and American Standard.
Both are considered mid-range HVAC brands with affordable and durable options. Are they right for you? Only you can decide that. But hopefully, we have helped shed some light on that decision for you, making it easier to get that final choice nailed down.
Last Updated on April 18, 2022
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