Comfortmaker is another brand in a long line of names under the United Technologies Corporation group, alongside Carrier, Heil, Bryant, and Tempstar. If you are looking for a new air conditioner and want to know more about Comfortmaker, this is the place for you.
We plan to look at everything Comfortmaker offers, from the types of air conditioning units to the SEER values and even what we like and don’t like about the brand.
If it deals with Comfortmaker or their air conditioners, you will find it here. Whether you are looking for an upgrade to an existing system or replacing an older unit, Comfortmaker has value, selection, and prices to match every budget.
Quick Look At Comfortmaker Air Conditioners
If you have done your research, you may have come across Comfortmaker in your results. If you, you may have also seen Tempstar. These two brands are identical. The only difference between these models is the first letter of the model number, the name on the nameplate, and which warehouse they are stored in.
Comfortmaker is branded under the United Technologies Corporation, alongside Tempstar, Carrier, Bryant, and others. It is one of the largest worldwide air conditioner and heater companies, and it stands to reason they would have various models with the same parts.
Comfortmaker is more readily available in the southwest, where Tempstar makes its biggest impact in the southeast. However, you can get either model in almost every region of the country.
Comfortmaker air conditioners have moderate SEER values as an average, though for value models, it is actually high. Because the parts are interchangeable with the Tempstar (and some Carrier parts), repairs are usually done quickly.
If you are on a tighter budget, Comfortmaker has less expensive models than most other brands, and for the price, the efficiency, ease of install and overall performance are quite good.
Cost Expectations & Price Comparisons
When looking at the cost for air conditioning units, there are three main costs to be aware of. First is the unit cost. This is how much you pay for the condensing unit as a whole. Some companies include package deals where you can purchase the entire HVAC system, which would also be considered the unit cost.
For Comfortmaker, there are two main lines of ACs; the Premium line has the Ion System Control units, which are more efficient, have wireless capabilities, and costs more. The Value line does not use Ion controls and has less efficient models compared to the Premium models. In total, there are 12 models to choose from.
Next is the installation cost. When you look up averages in your area, you will see pretty high numbers. The average installation of a central AC system is not cheap. However, most of the numbers will include the system itself and the labor to install it. If you need labor only costs, subtract your unit cost from the installation costs.
Finally, there are the running costs. This is how much you pay (per month or per year) to run the system. A lot of variables go into figuring the running costs. Before we get into that, let’s see where the Comfortmaker ACs fit in with your budget.
|Model||Price* (w/out Installation)||Price* (w/ Installation)||Estimated Running Cost**||Government Tax Break|
|CVA9||$2800 – 3000||$6000 – 8500||$360 – 440||$300|
|CCA7||$2000 – 2500||$5200 – 8000||$390 – 460||$300|
|CSA5||$2250 – 2700||$5450 – 8200||$475 – 525||$300|
|N4A7||$2000 – 2500||$5200 – 8000||$390 – 460||$300|
|N4A6||$2000 – 2500||$5200 – 8000||$400 – 490||None|
|NH4A4||$2250 – 2700||$5450 – 8200||$510 – 625||None|
|NXA4||$2000 – 2500||$5200 – 8000||$510 – 625||None|
*Prices are estimates for the following: 2.5-ton condenser, 1300-1400 cfm air handler plus a programmable thermostat.
**Running costs based on 21 cents/kWh and 2000 hours of cooling per year. Based on 2.5 ton AC unit.
Note – Other exterior factors can also influence the price; Based on national average
Calculating Running Costs
If you want to know how much a system will cost you to run before you install or purchase it, there is a way. Estimated running costs take a lot of different variables and put them into a formula. The result is a close estimation of how much you can expect to pay per month or year.
What you need to keep in mind is that the formula is for estimation. Some things cannot be calculated or estimated reliably for everyone (home size, humidity levels, heat spikes, etc.)
The formula looks like this: (wattage input / 1000 = kW) x cost per kWh x hours per day use x number of days per month/year = Average price.
If we look at the Bureau of Labor and Statistics averages, we learn that central AC systems use 3500 watts, and the average electric cost in kilowatt-hours (kWh) is 13 cents.
We can further assume that during the summer, your system can easily run the system for 4 hours (total running time, not just “on”), and the average summer lasts 90 days. So our new formula will look something like this:
(3500 / 1000) x 0.13 x 4 x 90 = $163.80.
When you plug in your numbers for your chosen system, hours of use and days of use, you will have a good idea of how much you will pay to run the air conditioner.
The Importance Of A Quality HVAC Contractor
When looking for a contractor to install your new system, you want the best. Proper installation is one of the most crucial aspects of your system running correctly, efficiently, and for government rebate programs.
Finding local HVAC contractors in your area can be a challenge. However, utilizing the experts at Networx will have you calling well-qualified technicians quickly.
Networx uses background checks, license and certification checks, customer reviews, and only returns highly qualified professionals in your area. When you need to find three quotes, knowing that all of the quotes will come from only the best in the business is a huge advantage. Fill in the form below to get in touch.
Comfortmaker AC Model Numbers Explained
Comfortmaker, like Tempstar, uses the same nomenclature for their model numbers as Heil. The alpha-numeric model numbers explain the system in more detail, if you know how to read it.
In this case, you will have 4 sections. The first letter for Comfortmaker models will be a C, an N, or an NH. The C will stand for the brand, in this case, Comfortmaker. The N and NH (Non-branded) are standard entry-level models (the value line), with the H in the one model standing for “Horizontal,” which is the slender, stackable model.
The next letter refers to the refrigerant type used. In all cases, this will be R-410a. The 4 stands for R-410a (older models will have a 2 for R-22, which is no longer used). Because all models now use R-410a, the named units will have a V, C, or S, which tells you how the refrigerant is moved. V stands for Variable speed systems, C for two-stage systems, and S for single-stage systems.
Next is the type of unit, where A means air conditioner and H means heat pump. Finally, you will see a number. This is the final digit in the SEER rating where 9 means SEER 19, 7 for SEER 17, etc.
|CVA9||2 – 5||19||56dB||24000 – 60000||5-speed variable|
|CCA7||2 – 5||17||70dB||24000 – 60000||2-stage|
|CSA5||2 – 5||15||74dB||24000 – 60000||Single-stage|
|N4A7||2 – 5||17||71dB||24000 – 60000||2-stage scroll|
|NH4A4||1.5 – 5||14||71dB||18000 – 60000||Single-Stage Scroll|
**based on normal operation
Features of Comfortmaker AC Units
The energy efficiency of appliances and air conditioners is measured in a ratio between the watts required to run the unit and the BTU output of the system. This ratio is known as the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, or SEER.
SEER ratings are clearly labeled using large yellow stickers that will give you the range and expected costs per year to run the system. The higher the SEER rating, the more efficient that model is.
Comfortmaker has ranges from 13 to 19 SEER, with an average of around 15 SEER for the entire line up. Note that you must install a new system with a SEER rating of 16 or higher to qualify for the government rebate (more below).
With advancements in technology and striving for more efficient systems, compressors now have multiple options. Variable speed compressors and inverter compressors are among the most efficient. Since they technically never shut off, they require less power to start and run for less time, producing more output.
Comfortmaker has only one variable speed option. The top model, CVA9, uses a variable speed compressor. The other options are single-stage and dual-stage compressors, which are less efficient but cheaper to install.
Condenser Fan Options
Like compressors, having a variable speed condensing fan will also raise efficiency and increase performance. However, this is less common in budget-friendly air conditioners. Luckily, Comfortmaker does have a few options.
The named unites (C as first letter in the model number) all come with two-speed fans, except the CVA9, which has a variable speed fan. The rest of the models all come with a single-speed fan, which is more common, but it works, even if it doesn’t help make the machine more efficient.
Central HVAC units have the option for heating as well. Comfortmaker uses electric heaters in the air handlers, as well as furnaces and heat pumps. The most common system, though, is the electric heat option in the Ion Control series.
These models communicate with each other through wireless connections to help monitor temperatures and perform better. Standard units also use electric heating but don’t have the wireless communication options.
Noise is measured in decibels (dB). This number tells you how loud or quiet (compared to absolute silence) a machine is. As a standard starting point, a normal conversation in a quiet room is about 45dB.
On the higher end, a hairdryer or city traffic rates about 67 to 69dB. Comfortmaker air conditioners aren’t the quietest on the market. They are also not the loudest, either. With an average of about 70dB, you will know when the system is on and running.
The best model, CVA9, has the lowest decibel rating with 56, but the CS models come in at a much louder 74dB.
Warranty & Why It Is Important
Warranties are an important aspect of buying a new air conditioner. Usually (except for normal wear and tear), if something is going to go wrong with a new installation, it will happen in the first few seasons.
Having a warranty that covers the system is one thing, but you also want to talk to your installer about labor warranties. Many contractors will back up their installation with a warranty that will work alongside the system warranty.
Comfortmaker offers a no-hassle warranty, which means if any major system goes bad (compressor, coils, heat exchanger), then the entire condenser will be replaced. This warranty is 10-years long for top-tier named systems and 5 years for the value systems.
If you also opt for a Comfortmaker furnace, air handler, or heat pump, those warranties range from 1 to 3 years. Unfortunately, they do not cover labor costs, which is where the installation warranty from the contractor would come into play.
Government Tax Breaks Explained
The US government is pushing to have high efficiency items installed as much as possible. To help with this, they offered a tax rebate program dating back to 2017 that issued an IRS tax rebate of up to $300 for new air conditioner systems.
This rebate has been extended through 2021 and is being pushed through to also extend through 2026. The program is also trying to double the rebate amount (up to $600) if the legislation passes.
The current rebate is contingent on a few factors. First, it must be a new system and new install replacing an entire existing system. Upgrading part of an existing system or an install on new construction does not qualify.
You must also be the homeowner and live in the residence (no rentals) to qualify, and the system itself must be at least 16 SEER rated. If you meet all of these requirements, you are eligible for a $300 tax rebate. You simply need to fill out and submit tax form 5695 with your annual taxes.
The Pros & Cons Of Comfortmaker AC Units
Comfortmaker has air conditioners that suit a wide range of homes and homeowners. However, there are bad points as well as good. Let’s look at both sides of the coin, here.
What We Like
- Higher SEER values for comparable models
- Offers options for all budgets
- No-Hassle Warranty on select models
- All models are energy efficient
- Government tax rebate eligible
- Overall lower decibel ratings than other value brands
What We Don’t Like
- Warranty periods aren’t as high as other brands
- Brand dealers/retailers not available in all areas
- Can’t “mix and match” interior and exterior units
- More susceptible to corrosion than some other brands
Comparing With Other Central AC Brands
So how does Comfortmaker stack up against some of the more popular names in the business? In this section, we compare Comfortmaker ACs to the big names Carrier, Trane and Lennox to find out.
Comfortmaker Vs. Trane
Trane air conditioners make their way into a lot of residential homes across the country. However, Trane is best known for its commercial and industrial air conditioners. Because of this, there are fewer “value” options and more focus on the higher-end, higher-priced models.
Trane is also well known for its customer service and long-life running systems. Should anything ever go wrong, the warranties are there to help you out. Compared to Comfortmaker, Trane is a much better system. Their parts are higher quality and more durable.
However, Trane is also among the most expensive in the business, and while you do get a high quality system, some argue the cost is too high for what you actually get. Especially considering you can spend half as much, still have a good SEER rating, and get cold air in your home, which is the entire point.
Comfortmaker Vs. Carrier
Comparing Comfortmaker to Carrier is a little awkward. Since Carrier air conditioners are manufactured right alongside Comfortmaker, it is harder to say which one is better. Many Carrier parts find themselves installed in Comfortmaker systems, so the compressors and coils are pretty much a lock.
However, Carrier systems are better. They are more efficient across the board, are low-maintenance, and work well for a long time. Comfortmaker, like Tempstar, are the budget-friendly models made by the same people.
If you are looking for a brand name and less maintenance Carrier is a solid choice. However, if you don’t mind a different nameplate on your condenser and still get a decent piece of equipment at a fraction of the cost, Comfortmaker is a solid choice as well.
Comfortmaker Vs. Lennox
Lennox air conditioner systems are of very high quality. In fact, it is difficult to find a higher-quality system on the market. Their warranty, though, is only 10 years, which is the same as Comfortmaker named systems.
Lennox knows they make a superior product, though, with only high-end parts and galvanized weatherproof cages. This knowledge is reflected in the price, which is generally much higher than almost every other brand out there.
If you are looking for a Lennox with a budget-friendly price, you probably won’t find one. However, if you do purchase and install a Lennox, you have very little to worry about for at least a decade. Comfortmaker, on the other hand, has decent enough models to get you through that same 10-year period. Just don’t expect to see 22 – 26 SEER ratings as you can with Lennox.
When you are shopping for a new air conditioner system and are trying to stick with a budget, you can find many off-brand systems. Comfortmaker is technically an off-brand solution, but they are off-branded by some of the best names in the industry.
No matter what it says on the nameplate, the working parts are of decent quality, high SEER values, and an industry-average warranty. While Comfortmaker ACs may not be the best, longest-lasting, or quietest systems out there, they do the job well and for an affordable price.
Our Rating: (4.2 / 5)
Last Updated on July 9, 2022