Lennox AC Review: Is The Initial Cost Worth The Efficiency?

Josh Mitchell

Written By

Josh Mitchell

Expert Reviewed By

Holly Curell

Last Updated On

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Quick Guide - Lennox

My Opinion

If you are looking for the most efficient AC brand with emphasis on reducing cost of running as much as possible and are ready to pay a premium for it, then Lennox is among the top.

4.7

Overall Score


Reliability

4.75

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Performance

5.0

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Energy Efficiency

5.0

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Warranty

4.5

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Value for Money

4.5

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Pros
  • Lennox makes the most efficient split system available right now. 
  • Lennox systems prices range from $6,000 to $14,000, which is near the industry standard. 
  • 9 of its 13 models are Energy Star-certified.
  • Uses variable speed compressors.
  • Quality with highest efficiency.
CONS
  • A Lennox HVAC system needs to be repaired with Lennox replacement parts only.
  • Repair bills tend to be higher.
  • If you’re on a tight budget, you might be better off looking elsewhere.
  • Other brands - such as Goodman - offer better warranties.

I’ll go into much more detail within my Lennox air conditioner reviews, but here’s the short version of what’s to come.

Lennox Central Air Conditioners – Quick Guide!

Best Overall Model

Lennox EL23XCV


The EL23XCV is the premium option in Lennox's Elite Series. It features Quantum Coil technology and uses a variable-speed, inverter-driven compressor to boost efficiency.

It was named one of the most efficient ACs of 2023 by Energy Star. It's on the pricier end of models, but the additional cost pays for itself over time.

Good Value Model

Lennox 16ACX


The Lennox 16ACX is considered a low-end AC in terms of price, but it features a two-stage compressor. This allows it to provide a stable indoor temperature while providing good efficiency.

It boasts an impressive 18.0 SEER/17.2 SEER2 rating. (SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. SEER2 is replacing SEER as the new metric.)

Avoid This Model

Lennox 13ACX


The entry-level Lennox 13ACX is the least efficient of all the Lennox models — 13.0 SEER/12.4 SEER2.

Regulations enacted in 2023 mean that this is no longer available from HVAC contractors. If you search online, you can still find it and install it yourself, but it won’t be covered by a warranty, and parts may be scarce.

If you’re interested in buying a Lennox central air conditioner, you’ve come to the right place.

Spending thousands of dollars on an AC that doesn't suit your home's needs will hurt you in the short run - you'll get less comfort - and higher energy bills than necessary in the long run.

It doesn’t have to happen to you.

My Lennox HVAC review of air conditioners has comparisons and recommendations to help you understand which model may be right for you.

Which of the Lennox models will best suit your needs? Let’s find out.

My Review Of Lennox Air Conditioners

Lennox creates quality products and is a household name across the US as a high-end AC specialist.

Lennox condensing units include its Quantum Coil, a proprietary aluminum alloy exclusive to Lennox. It's designed to weather harsh weather conditions.

This is because the Lennox Quantum coil is a durable aluminum alloy used in the refrigerant tubing and the coils. This lowers the upfront costs without a loss of integrity.[1]

The alloy reduces the possibility of corrosion due to moisture, oxidation, or salt.

Coastal US states take notice! The damage caused by humid, salty air will be diminished.

That gives you fewer repairs to worry about and helps to extend the life of your Lennox.

And because aluminum coils are significantly lighter than copper coils, some Quantum coil units can weigh up to 50 pounds less than the copper versions.

That translates into significant fuel savings and fewer emissions during shipping.

It has some downsides, though: Aluminum coils have a slightly lower heat transfer rate, leading to more difficult repairs. Plus, coils tend to be replaced more often than usual due to leaks or cracks because of the challenge of getting a weld to hold.

Pros And Cons Of Buying A Goodman AC

THE GOOD
  • Lennox makes the most efficient split system available right now. The Signature Series model Lennox SL28XCV can get up to 28 SEER.
  • Lennox systems prices range from $6,000 to $14,000, which is near the industry standard. The cost, combined with the high efficiency and performance, makes Lennox HVAC systems a good value.
  • 9 of its 13 models are Energy Star-certified.
  • A few other brands use variable speed compressors in their top models, but Lennox HVAC systems were among the first.
  • Other brands may be less expensive initially but can't compare to a Lennox HVAC system's efficiency.
THE BAD
  • A Lennox HVAC system needs to be repaired with Lennox replacement parts only. That can cause a delay in repair time.
  • Because Lennox repairs can't be performed using generic parts, the repair bills tend to be higher than some other companies.
  • If you’re on a tight budget, you might be better off looking elsewhere. Even a low SEER-rated Lennox unit will cost you more than comparable brands.
  • Other brands - such as Goodman - offer better warranties.

Lennox Air Conditioner Prices – How Much Do They Cost?

Model

AC Price* (w/out Installation)

Estimated Installation Cost

Estimated Running Cost**

Government Tax Breaks***

Lennox XC25

$3,775

$7,190

~$441

$300

Lennox XC21

$2,875

$4,780

~$525

$300

Lennox SL18XC1

$2,450

$4,275

~$613

$300

Lennox XC20

$2,690

$4,495

~$551

$300

Lennox XC16

$2,175

$3,880

~$649

$300

Lennox EL16XC1

$2,080

$4,525

~$689

$300

Lennox XC13

$1,795

$3,400

~$848

-

Lennox 16ACX

$1,690

$3,295

~$691

$300

Lennox ML14XC1

$1,700

$3,200

~$788

-

Lennox 14ACX

$1,550

$3,159

~$791

-

Lennox 13ACX

$1,475

$3,090

~$852

-

*based on national average
*Prices are estimates for the following: 2.5-ton AC condenser, 1300-1400 cfm air handler plus a programmable thermostat.
**Running costs based on 21 cents/kWh and 2000 hours of cooling per year
***other than 9% Solar Tax Credit
Note – Other exterior factors can also influence the price

The cost range includes wholesale price, contractor's profit, tonnage (usually 1.5 tons - 5 tons), and installation. 

The labor cost doesn't include new ductwork, electrical modifications, masonry and woodwork, and other variables.

I want to note that your local price may vary based on labor rates, tax rates, and the contractor's profit margin.

Lennox occasionally runs promotions on its products, and many of their products qualify for federal and local tax credits. Ask your local HVAC contractor for more information on promotions and rebates. Financing is available through your local Lennox dealer as well.[2]

Pricing By Model (Includes Installation)

Model

Price

Signature SL28XCV

$8,000 - $14,000

Signature XC25

Discontinued

Signature XC21

$7,000 - $11,000

Signature SL18XC1

Discontinued

Elite EL23XCV

$7,500 - $12,000

Elite XC20

$7,500 - $12,000

Elite EL18XCV

$7,000 - $10,000

Elite EL17XC1

$6,500 - $11,000

Elite XC17

Discontinued

Elite EL16XC1

$6,000 - $12,000

Elite XC16

Discontinued

Elite XC14

Discontinued

Elite XC13

$6,000 - $9,500

Merit ML18XC2

$6,500 - $9,000

Merit 16ACX

$6,000 - $9,000

Merit ML17XC1

$5,500 - $9,000

Merit ML14XC1

$5,000 - $8,000

Merit 14ACX

Discontinued

Merit 13ACX

$5,000 - $8,000

ACLAB Note:

I have included discontinued ACs in this list because you can still find some of these online, probably at bargain basement prices. However, you won't find a licensed Lennox dealer to install it. You can install it yourself, but it won't be covered by any warranty.

Cost Variation Across US States

Various factors influence AC costs in each region, including local market dynamics, supply and demand, local regulations, and availability of HVAC contractors.

In the northern parts of the United States, the demand for air conditioners is less due to the shorter cooling season.

Less demand equates to lower prices.

In southern and southwestern regions, the demand is higher. An AC is a necessity there, leading to a competitive market.

Regulations that took place in January 2023 have affected the market. ACs are now required to have a higher minimum SEER.

For instance, in southeast and southwest states, the minimum SEER rating in 2023 has gone from 14 SEER to 15 SEER for AC units with below 45,000 BTU cooling output.

AC units with 45,000 BTU or higher cooling capacity must now have a minimum of 14.5 SEER.

In the rest of the US, the minimum SEER rating in 2023 has increased from 13 SEER to 14 SEER for all AC units.

TL;DR: Depending upon the location and minimum SEER requirement, the costs can vary.

How To Get The Best Price In Your Area

  1. 1
    Prioritize what you want most.
    Get a thorough understanding of your home’s needs. Humidity control? Best efficiency? Best bargain? There isn't a standard HVAC system or standard-size system that works in every home.
  2. 2
    Shop around.
    We recommend getting at least three quotes. They’re free, and you’ll gain insight into the high and low end of Lennox systems.
  3. 3
    Ask the right questions.
    A good HVAC company will take the time to explain everything; if they don't, show them the door. If you don't understand a particular feature or want to know more about what size AC will best cool your home, don't be afraid to ask questions.
  4. 4
    Rebates and tax credits.
    Energy Star, run by the EPA, is an easy rebate to track. Just head to their website to see if a potential purchase would qualify.[3] Manufacturers sometimes offer tax credits. It’s worth checking every avenue to see if you can get a better price.
  5. 5
    Understand and prioritize your wants and needs.
    Is humidity a pressing issue? Is your current system too loud? Is your 3-ton AC unit underperforming, necessitating a change? I strongly recommend performing a Manual J load calculation to tell you the tonnage your new AC should be.[4]

TL;DR: By prioritizing the features you want, shopping around, and asking the right questions you can get the best deals.


Exclusive Features From Lennox

Humiditrol for Humidity Control

Humiditrol is exclusive to Lennox and offers excellent humidity control even on the muggiest days.

Most ACs don’t run on mild-temperature, high-humidity days, meaning excessive moisture stays in your home. Humiditrol removes humidity independent of the cooling process.

This technology helps reduce humid conditions in the home, reducing mold and mildew problems. It can remove up to 150 liters of moisture per day.

(Humiditrol requires a Wi-Fi touchscreen thermostat or CS7500 thermostat 3 and Lennox variable-speed furnace or air handler.)

SilentComfort Technology

In select Lennox models, the SilentComfort™ outdoor fan motor can run at a noise level as low as 59 decibels. (A normal conversation is about 60 dB.)

It does this by operating at a slower speed that still delivers cool comfort.

Aiding the SilentComfort™ technology in noise reduction is a combination of insulation, anti-vibration materials, and a specially-shaped fan blade.

IComfort Smart Thermostat

When connected to advanced Lennox HVAC systems, 

Lennox iComfort thermostats are precise enough to hold your home's temperature to within 0.5 degree of the setting you choose.

It offers reminders for service, as well as filter and humidifier pad replacement.

It also allows you to check, monitor, and adjust the temperature from anywhere using your smartphone, tablet, or other web-enabled device.

You can have the thermostat learn your work/life schedule; it can be programmed to save energy while you are at work and then cool your house just before you come home.

Ultimate Comfort System

Lennox's digital-ready components can be combined with other Lennox-branded products to create the Lennox Ultimate Comfort System.

This is found on the two models comprising the Dave Lennox Signature® Collection.

Temperature swings, where air conditioners turn on and off frequently, can be a thing of the past.

This HVAC system delivers clean, comfortable air while maintaining the homeowner's ideal temperature and humidity level.

Quantum Coil

This coil technology utilizes proprietary aluminum alloy tubes and fins to deliver superior corrosion resistance.

This protects against corrosion caused by outdoor environmental forces such as humid air near sea shores and indoor corrosive agents called Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs).

PermaGuard Cabinets

All models are protected by a PermaGuard™ cabinet for long-lasting protection against rust and corrosion.

The cabinets are built using superior materials and proprietary designs, making units more durable, safer, and easier to install.

TL;DR: Lennox offers several proprietary technologies ranging from smart learning and maintaining comfort to protection against elements and precise humidity control.


Lennox Compressor Options

Like all central air conditioner manufacturers, Lennox has a variety of compressors:

(Sometimes these are referred to as single-stage, two-stage, etc.)

And on their higher-end units, they have a scroll compressor instead of a rotary.

  • Single-speed means that the compressor works at 100% when it's running.
    And when the thermometer is satisfied, it shuts off completely. It is the noisiest, least expensive option.
  • Two-speed compressors are a bit more expensive.
    It has two operating speeds: 100% when you need a lot of cool and a setting around 60% for when you don't need as much. The AC is quieter at this speed.
  • Variable-speed units can run at anywhere between 1% and 100%.
    When hooked up to the right thermostat, it can make tiny adjustments when running. The result is you get an indoor temperature that remains stable no matter how much the outdoor temp fluctuates. It's expensive, but it's really quiet at low speeds, and it saves a bunch of money on your energy bill.
Some Lennox AC units are equipped with scroll compressors, which are more reliable and efficient than reciprocating types.

They have fewer moving parts and less torque variation than the reciprocating compressor. This helps reduce the sound.

TL;DR: Lennox has several compressor options, choose the one that meets your budget and your needs.


Lennox Air Handlers Features

The air handlers consist of an evaporator coil, blower motor, air filter, and the electrical and electronic components required to deliver enhanced indoor comfort.

Like furnaces, air handlers use a motor connected to a fan that moves conditioned air throughout the ductwork.

An air filter is installed on the return side of the HVAC air handler to improve indoor air quality. It also protects the HVAC motor from airborne contaminants.

Lennox offers air handlers with either a variable-speed or single-stage compressor: Variable-speed motors provide the highest level of comfort and energy efficiency you can buy and are among the quietest.

During hot weather, the continuous air circulation from a variable-speed handler helps to lower the humidity level inside your home. The longer it runs, the more indoor humidity it removes.

The more humidity it removes, the more comfort it delivers.

You can even give your AC a break because lower humidity will make it feel cooler. This means you can turn the AC up a few degrees without a loss of comfort.

And for clean, healthy air, you can also add a PureAir™ air purification system, which removes airborne contaminants.

In addition, some Lennox air handlers are compatible with the iComfort® S30 Smart Thermostat, which allows users to monitor the temperature through an internet connection. You can set it to save energy while you’re away.

TL;DR: Lennox offers high quality advanced air handlers with variable speed. 


Lennox Air Conditioners Warranty Options

Lennox offers a basic five-year warranty that covers the compressor and designated parts and a 20-year warranty on the heat exchanger.

  • Merit Series:
    Includes five years of coverage for certain components, 10 years of coverage for the compressor, and a 20-year warranty on heat exchangers.
  • Elite Series:
    Includes five years of coverage for certain components, ten years of coverage for the compressor, and a 20-year or limited lifetime warranty on heat exchangers (for specific models).
  • Dave Lennox Signature Series:
    Includes ten years of coverage for certain components, a ten-year warranty for the compressor, and a 20-year or limited lifetime warranty on heat exchangers (for certain models).
You can purchase an extended warranty for your Lennox product that extends protection for 10 years on covered parts by contacting Lennox customer service.

Extended Limited Warranty (Registration Required)

  • Lennox Merit Series:
    Includes ten years of coverage for the compressor, 20 years for the heat exchanger, and ten years for all other parts with no labor coverage. Alternatively, you can choose seven years of coverage for the compressor, 20 years for the heat exchanger, seven for all other parts, plus three years of coverage for installation labor.
  • Lennox Elite Series:
    Includes ten years of coverage for the compressor, 20 years or lifetime coverage for heat exchangers (condensers), and ten years for all other parts with no labor coverage. You can also opt to take seven-year coverage on all other parts and get three years of coverage for labor.
  • Dave Lennox Signature Series:
    The extended warranty includes 12 years of coverage for compressors, a 20-year or lifetime warranty on heat exchangers, 12 years of coverage for all other parts, and no labor warranty. You can also choose to decrease coverage for the compressor and all other parts to ten years and take a three-year labor warranty.

Note:

Additional labor coverage can be purchased through the Comfort Shield® program, provided by Service Net Warranty, LLC, and is transferable. Lennox Industries is the first and only heating and cooling manufacturer offering the option to obtain three-year labor coverage at no additional cost.

Comfort Shield is designed to provide coverage beyond the standard manufacturer's limited warranty.

  • Transferable to new homeowner if you sell your home
  • No deductibles or cancellation fees
  • Coverage is 100% underwritten and fully insured

TL;DR: Lennox offers basic warranty as well as additional extended warranty that you can opt for. The extended warranty differs from series to series.

Are There Conditions And Restrictions?

Under the basic warranty (no registration required), like many other manufacturers, Lennox does not cover costs for the labor involved in HVAC maintenance and repair.

With Comfort Shield, you can extend labor coverage of 3, 5, 7, 10, or 12 years. Extended accessory coverage for parts and labor is also available.

How Does The Warranty Measure Up To The Competition?

Lennox doesn't have the limited unit replacement warranties other manufacturers have started offering.

Still, Lennox does offer something unique with their Warranty Your Way program, which gives you different ways to apply your registered warranty terms.[5]

Warranty Your Way™ features the opportunity to obtain 3-year labor coverage at no additional cost.

On eligible Merit and Elite products, you now have the opportunity to receive the traditional 5-year parts-only extension or 3-year labor and 2-year parts extension.

For the Dave Lennox Signature Collection, you have the opportunity to receive 3 years of labor coverage or an additional 2 years of parts-only coverage (for a total of 12 years of parts-only).

You can also purchase additional labor coverage through the Comfort Shield Program, provided by Service Net Warranty, LLC, part of AIG, and is transferable.

Note:

Terms, conditions, and exclusions apply. For more information on this warranty, visit Lennox.com/WarrantyYourWay.


Lennox Air Conditioner Model Series Overview

Good: Merit Series

Otherwise known as the Lennox "1 Phase" air conditioners on the Lennox website, this is the budget line, but you can still enjoy low energy bills and even a rebate from the government on certain models.

Units include:
  • ML18XC2: Mid-efficiency, two-speed compressor
  • 16ACX (Available in the northern part of the US only):  Mid-efficiency, single-speed
  • ML17XC1: Standard-efficiency, single-speed
  • ML14XC1 (Available in the northern part of the US only): Standard-efficiency, single-speed compressor
  • 13ACX (Available in the northern part of the US only): Standard-efficiency, single-speed compressor

Better: Elite Series

The Elite series features a quieter, more energy-efficient system when compared to the Merit series.

Units include:
  • EL23XCV: High-efficiency, digitally-enabled, variable-speed compressor
  • XC20: high-efficiency, variable-speed compressor
  • EL18XCV: high-efficiency, variable-speed compressor
  • EL17XC1: high-efficiency, two-speed
  • XC17: high-efficiency, two-speed (discontinued)
  • EL16XC1: high-efficiency, two-speed compressor
  • XC16: mid-efficiency, two-speed compressor (discontinued)
  • EL16XC1: mid-efficiency, single-speed
  • XC14: mid-efficiency, single-speed (discontinued)
  • XC13: mid-efficiency, single-speed

Best: Dave Lennox Signature Collection

This series has two models still in production.

Units include:
  • XC21: high-efficiency, two-speed
  • SL28XCV: high-efficiency, variable-speed
These boast the highest efficiency ratings both for Lennox and the HVAC industry, and are the most technologically advanced.

They also are - no surprise - the priciest Lennox has to offer. If you have the money, though, you will be more than satisfied with taking this route.

(The Signature XC25 and Signature SL18XC1 have been discontinued.)


Lennox Air Conditioner Models Compared

Model

Tonnage

Seer Rating (Efficiency)

Noise Levels*

BTU’s

Compressor

Lennox XC25

5

26

59 dB

24,000-60,000

Two Stage

Lennox XC21

2-5

21

69 dB

24,000-60,000

Two Stage

Lennox SL18XC1

2-5

18.50

65 dB

24,000-60,000

Single Stage

Lennox XC20

2-5

20

65 dB

24,000-60,000

Two Stage

Lennox XC16

2-5

17.20

74 dB

18,000-57,000

Two Stage

Lennox EL16XC1

1.5-5

17

71 dB

18,000-57,000

Single Stage

Lennox XC13

1.5-5

15.50

74 dB

18,000-60,000

Single Stage

Lennox 16ACX

1.5-5

14-17

75 dB

18,000-57,000

Two Stage

Lennox ML14XC1

1.5-5

16

76 dB

18,000-60,000

Single Stage

Lennox 14ACX

1.5-5

16

76 dB

18,000-60,000

Single Stage

Lennox 13ACX

1.5-5

13

76 dB

18,000-60,000

Single Stage

*as low as, based on optimum conditions

13ACX

The entry-level AC from Lennox has the lowest efficiency rating of all the models — 13.0 SEER/12.4 SEER2.

The 13ACX is available in the northern region of North America only, while supplies last. (This is no longer being manufactured due to efficiency standards.)

If you live in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, or Virginia, ask your Lennox Dealer about the ML14XC1 (see below).

Lennox ML14XC1

The ML14XC1 has much better efficiency than the aforementioned 13ACX. We call it the next best thing.

It uses a single-speed compressor and gets increased efficiency from the Quantum Coil.

Unfortunately, the ML14XC1 is also available only in the northern states.

It has a 17.0 SEER, a terrific rating for central air conditioners at this price.
Main Features
  • Efficiency rating: 17.0 SEER/13.4 SEER2
  • Compressor: Single-speed scroll
  • Available sizes: 1.5 to 5 tons
  • Average cost: $5,000 to $8,000
  • Availability: Regional

If you live in the southern states, you can still buy it, but you’d have to install it yourself.

This is a practice I don’t recommend. Not only are ACs complicated, but a DIY install means that the warranty won’t apply.

If you’re spending $5,000-plus on a piece of machinery, a warranty makes good financial and practical sense.

Still, in the north, this product’s low cooling costs combined with an affordable price make this a winner.

Lennox ML17XC1

Main Features
  • Efficiency rating: 17.0 SEER/13.8 SEER2
  • Compressor: Single-speed scroll
  • Available sizes: 2 to 5 tons
  • Expected cost: $5,000 to $8,000
  • Availability: Nationwide

The ML17XC1 features the Quantum Coil and a single-speed scroll compressor, much like the ML14XC1. It has a slightly higher SEER2 rating of 13.8.

Much like the previous models, this AC, when combined with a Lennox air handler, does an outstanding job of removing humidity from your home.

This model is available nationwide. If you're in the south and want a bargain AC that boasts good SEER and SEER2, this model is for you.

I should also point out that this model is Energy Star-certified, which entitles you to a rebate.

Under the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022; federal income tax credits for energy-efficiency home improvements will be available through 2032.

Lennox 16ACX

Main Features
  • Efficiency rating: 18.0 SEER/17.2 SEER2
  • Compressor: Two-speed scroll
  • Available sizes: 2 to 5 tons
  • Average cost: $6,000 to $9,000
  • Availability: Regional

The 16ACX is one of the only low-end AC models in the entire industry that features a two-speed compressor.

This allows your AC to run at two different capacities, which helps maintain a more stable and comfortable interior temperature, and it also leads to improved efficiency.

This means it can run at 100% of its capacity when needed or around 60% of it when only a little cooling will do the job.

This unit is one of two ACs that doesn’t feature the company’s Quantum Coil, but the two-speed scroll compressor still leads to an impressive 18.0 SEER/17.2 SEER2 rating.

Unfortunately, this model is available only in specific regions.

Lennox ML18XC2

Main Features
  • Efficiency rating: 18.0 SEER/17.8 SEER2
  • Compressor: Two-speed scroll
  • Available sizes: 2 to 5 tons
  • Average cost: $6,500 to $9,000
  • Energy Star rated: Yes
  • Availability: Nationwide

The ML18XC2 has Quantum Coil technology and features a two-speed compressor, making it the most efficient low-end model from Lennox.

This model is available nationally. The ML18XC2 provides excellent value for the money, in my opinion, as it's one of the only models we've seen with a two-speed compressor at this price.

Lennox XC13

Main Features
  • Efficiency: 16.0 SEER/15.3 SEER2
  • Compressor: Single-speed scroll
  • Available sizes: 1.5 to 5 tons
  • Average cost: $6,000 - $9,500
  • Availability: Regional

The XC13 is the lowest efficiency model in the Lennox Elite Series, but it still carries an impressive 16.0 SEER/15.3 SEER2 rating.

This unit doesn’t carry Energy Star certification, and it doesn’t include the Lennox Quantum Coil, but it uses a single-speed scroll compressor for increased energy savings and durability, and it uses a direct-drive fan to reduce noise during operation.

Like most other options from Lennox, the XC13 is compatible with the company's humidity-control equipment, which can provide increased comfort in your home.

Lennox EL16XC1

Main Features
  • Efficiency: 17.0 SEER/16.2 SEER2
  • Compressor: Single-speed scroll
  • Available sizes: 1.5 to 5 tons
  • Average cost: $6,000 - $10,000
  • Availability: Regional

The EL16XC1 has a SEER rating of 17.0 and a SEER2 rating of 16.2.

This is in the Elite model class, which means it comes with a 10-Year Limited Warranty on compressors and a 5-Year Limited Warranty on covered components.

It also comes equipped with the company’s Quantum Coil technology.

This model is available only in certain regions.

EL17XC1

Main Features
  • Efficiency rating: 18.6 SEER/17.4 SEER2
  • Compressor: Single-speed scroll
  • Available sizes: 1.5 to 5 tons
  • Average cost: $6,500 - $10,500
  • Availability: Nationwide
The EL17XC1 is compatible with Humiditrol technology from Lennox. Together, they monitor indoor humidity and take steps when it gets too high.

Too much damp air creates a host of problems; not only does your home feel warmer (which might cause you to crank up the AC and run up your electricity bill), but the moisture is super bad for wooden floors, painted surfaces, and even wooden musical instruments.

This unit is available nationwide with no restrictions and is Energy Star certified.

EL18XCV

Main Features
  • Efficiency rating: 18.0 SEER/18.8 SEER2
  • Compressor: Variable-speed scroll
  • Available sizes: 2 to 5 tons
  • Average cost: $7,000 - $10,000
  • Availability: Nationwide
The EL18XCV is the most affordable option from Lennox that includes a variable-speed inverter-driven compressor.

This means the compressor can function at many different speeds, which provides improved efficiency and more precise temperature control in your home.

This unit has a higher SEER2 rating than SEER, which means the model performs better in real-world applications than under the SEER testing protocol.

The unit is Energy Star certified and uses Quantum Coil technology. 

This is also Lennox’s most affordable digital-ready AC, which means it will monitor its own performance and make small changes to boost efficiency automatically.[6]

It can work with Lennox smart thermostats to provide ultimate control over your interior climate. (Yes, Lennox wants you to use their proprietary thermostat because you won't get the same benefits if it's not.)

Lennox XC20

Main Features
  • Efficiency rating: 22.0 SEER/20.2 SEER2
  • Compressor: Variable-speed scroll
  • Available sizes: 2 to 5 tons
  • Average cost: $6,800 - $8,600
  • Availability: Nationwide

The XC20 was named one of the most efficient ACs of 2022 by Energy Star. By combining Quantum Coil technology, Humiditrol capability, and a variable-speed compressor (inverter-driven), the XC 20 reaches an impressive efficiency of up to 22.0 SEER and 20.2 SEER2.

This is one of Lennox's digitally-enabled options. It can provide ultimate remote control over your indoor climate if you pair it with a Lennox smart thermostat featuring iComfort technology and a Wi-Fi connection.

Plus, the unit has quiet operation, averaging around 65 decibels.

EL23XCV

Main Features
  • Efficiency rating: 22.4 SEER2
  • Compressor: Variable-speed scroll
  • Average cost: $7,500 - $12,000
  • Available sizes: 2 to 5 tons
  • Availability: Nationwide

The EL23XCV is the most premium option in Lennox's Elite Series. 

It features the Quantum Coil technology and uses a variable-speed, inverter-driven compressor to boost efficiency.

This is a digital-ready and digitally-enabled AC, so it provides remote connectivity and will make automatic adjustments to its performance.

 It was also named one of the most efficient ACs of 2023 by Energy Star.

Lennox XC21

Main Features
  • Efficiency rating: 21.0 SEER/19.2 SEER
  • Compressor type: Two-speed scroll
  • Available sizes: 2 to 5 tons
  • Average cost: $7,000 - $11,000
  • Energy Star-rated: Yes
  • Availability: Regional

The XC21 is one of the Signature Collection.

This AC unit uses a two-stage compressor, providing better temperature control and efficiency than a single-speed compressor.

It was named one of the most efficient AC units of 2022 by Energy Star.

This unit is compatible with Lennox's Humiditrol technology, and it's digitally enabled. 

It can communicate with a compatible furnace/air handler/thermostat to minimize energy usage and keep the indoor temperature and humidity at an even temperature, no matter the outside one.

It is available only in the northern region of North America while supplies last, because it is being discontinued.

In the north, any XC21 built prior to the end of 2022 can be sold and installed in 2023. (Parts may become scarce, though.)

(In the south, the XC21 was phased out on December 31, 2022, and is not eligible for sale or installation.)

Lennox SL28XCV

Main Features
  • Efficiency rating: 28.0 SEER/25.8 SEER2
  • Compressor: Variable-speed scroll
  • Available sizes: 2 to 5 tons
  • Average cost: $8,000 - $14,000
  • Energy Star-certified: Yes
  • Availability: Nationwide
The SL28XCV is the most expensive model Lennox has to offer. And it’s also its best system.

It uses a variable-capacity compressor, contains Lennox's Quantum Coil technology, is digitally enabled, and works with the Humiditrol system to provide total control over your interior climate.

This provides maximum efficiency, even among comparable models from other manufacturers.

It was named one of the most efficient AC systems of 2022.

When considering a new piece of HVAC, a host of factors come into play, not the least of which is the machine's operating cost.

This is where the SL28XCV shines. If it is operational for 10 years or more, you will appreciate how much lower your energy bill is - so much so that the AC makes up for the upfront costs.

Note:

As of January 1, 2023, air conditioner efficiency ratings have moved from the SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) to the SEER2 system. Lennox lists both ratings for many AC models, only the SEER2 rating for one model and only the SEER rating for three models.


Lennox Installation Explained For Homeowners

Heating and cooling companies will rarely quote a price on equipment without factoring in installation fees. 

That’s why they need to visit your home.

Possible snags:

  • Your electric box may need an upgrade
  • Your home may lack space to run a refrigerant line to the exterior
  • There may not be room indoors for an AC coil
  • The supply and return vents are inadequate
  • If you're installing central air for the first time, your existing ductwork may not be able to handle the airflow of a modern AC
  • Other costs, such as taxes, permits, overtime, etc.

TL;DR: From an entire electrical upgrade to making enough room, Lennox installation, like any Central AC, can be complicated.


How To Find A Reliable HVAC Professional

  • Read online reviews and ask friends for referrals.
  • Use Angi or the Better Business Bureau (BBB)'s websites for recommendations.
  • Search for contractors on the ACCA website to guide the conversations).[7]
  • Compare estimates from at least three different companies.
  • Ask lots of questions about their qualifications and standards. Are they licensed? Bonded? Insured? Do they hire third-party contractors? (If "Yes," keep shopping. Work done by third-party contractors may not be insured, and the installation might not be up to the manufacturer's standards.)

Lennox Installation Tips

Location. Location. Location.

The AC unit needs to be placed in a flat area that has good airflow and is away from bushes and shrubs. Easy access to electricity and ductwork are pluses.

It should also be positioned in a spot that is easy to access for maintenance and repairs.

If you’re wondering whether it’s a good idea to install a new AC system yourself, the answer is, “It depends.”

It can be a straightforward process that you can handle on your own without any issues. In other cases, however, leaving the installation to a professional may be best.

The main advantage to doing it yourself is you save on labor costs. Still, if you don't install the unit correctly, it could void the warranty.

TL;DR: While installation cab be done yourself, it is better to seek professional help if you do not posses the necessary skills.


The Lennox HVAC Brand At A Glance

Lennox was founded in 1895 in Marshalltown, Iowa, by Dave Lennox. Dave builds and markets the industry's first riveted steel furnace.

In 1952, Lennox established operations in Canada and expanded its product line with the introduction of residential central air-conditioning systems.

“Dave Lennox” (actually, an actor named Bill Tracy) appears in his first Lennox advertising campaign in the early 1970s.

Lennox has grown considerably, and now their HVAC brands include: Concord, Ducane, Allied, AirEase, Armstrong Air, Magic-Pak, Advanced Distributor Products (ADP), and Heatcraft.

And with that growth, Lennox has expanded their product line to include:

  1. 1
    Heat pumps (13 models, including three Dave Lennox Signature high-efficiency models)
  2. 2
    Gas furnaces and oil furnaces (15 different models, including a range of high-efficiency units)
  3. 3
    Boilers (six models)
  4. 4
    Garage heaters (three models)
  5. 5
    Air handlers (five different models)
  6. 6
    Thermostats (digital thermostats and zoning systems)
  7. 7
    Indoor air quality systems (air filters and cleaners, humidifiers and dehumidifiers)
  8. 8
    Ductless mini-split systems

TL;DR: Lennox is an old and a reliable brand that manufactures HVAC products ranging from heat pumps and central ACs to thermostats, humidifiers, and ductless mini splits.


Homeowner & Buyer Reviews

My guide should give you an idea of my own opinions of the Lennox brand, but it's also important to share what others are saying about Lennox ACs. 

They are the best in their field. When it comes to keeping cool. They are the guys to go. Product is installed with care. Maintenance is amazing. Never left hanging. If you need cool air they are the guys to call. - Joshua from Pennsylvania[8]
It's only been a week or so. The units work nice and quiet. Hardly know the air is on. The hottest days of 113+F have been upon us, and we are nice and comfortable in our home. - Homeowner from Phoenix, Arizona[9]

Beyond the "good" reviews, I always recommend checking out the negative reviews as well. What you will find, time and again, is that most of the negative reviews stem from poor installation or maintenance, which doesn't really fall on the Lennox brand.

Take this exchange from Reddit, for example.[10] 


How Do Lennox Air Conditioners Compare To Top Competitors?

Category

Bryant

Goodman

Lennox

Amana

American Standard

Efficiency*

21 SEER

18 SEER

26 SEER

22 SEER

21 SEER

Features

Top models contain features such as remote controllability

Top models contain no features such as WiFi.

Top models contain more features such as WiFi, Alexa, etc.

Top models contain more features such as WiFi, Nexia, etc.

Top models contain more technological features such as AccuComfort, Acculink, etc.

Coils

Aluminum Coils

Aluminum (high-end models)

Aluminum (high-end models)

Only post-2014 models have aluminum

Aluminum coils (high-end)

Compressor

2 single-stage compressors

1 two-stage compressor

2 single-stage compressors

1 two-stage compressor

2 single-stage compressors

Running Cost per anum*

~$464

~$700

~$441

~$500

~$464

Warranty – Compressor

5-10 years

Lifetime

10 years

10 – 20 years

10 – 12

Warranty – Parts

5-10 years

Lifetime

10 years

12 years – Lifetime

10 – 12

Customer Service

Only occasional complaints

Customers often complain about poor service

Customers often complain about Lennox repairs. Generic parts don’t work.

Costs more in some remote areas but customers are happy with repair work.

Generic parts usually work, offering more versatility to users and better customer support.

Price (Without Installation)

$1,195-$2,080

$1,190-$1,850

$1,400-$3,800

$1,595-$2,880

$2,800-$4,500

Online Reviews

Overall good reviews with complaints only for the installation process and high prices.

Complaints are mostly themed about maintenance cost.

Lennox users sometimes have complaints about repair work, but only when the unit breaks down, which is not that often.

Trane users have very less complains but sometimes complain about the high maintenance and repair cost.

Users are usually dissatisfied with American Standard air conditioners due to poor durability and frequent breakdowns.

* most efficient model

Lennox Vs Amana

Amana's central air conditioners have it all – efficiency, durability, and a good range of models.

They are a good fit for many homeowners.

Howeverthe units are extremely expensive on both the purchase and maintenance front. It's the #1 complaint from customers: high initial cost.

And Amana air conditioners don’t work with generic parts, which drives up the repair cost.

Lennox is on the more affordable end of things and still boasts a SEER of 28 on its premium unit.

In terms of repair, both companies claim that their exclusive parts are the ones to trust.

If you want the ultimate in efficiency, we prefer the Lennox high-end AC over Amana’s high-end options.

I don't have anything negative to say about Amana besides the initial investment.
It’s a toss-up as to which I would recommend.

TL;DR: Amana compared to Lennox is more expensive to procure and to maintain.

Lennox Vs Carrier

Lennox and Carrier have been in the heating and cooling business for over 100 years, and both have three series featuring good, better, and best products.

Their top-of-the-line products deliver some of the highest energy savings on the market, but you will also pay more for either one of them than you would for a Goodman or another, more economical HVAC brand.

If you shop solely based on energy savings, Lennox comes out on top.

On the other hand, Carrier offers much quieter units with better dehumidification.

Lennox uses proprietary parts, so repairs can be more expensive than repairs for a comparable Carrier unit and might extend repair times as you wait for proper replacements.

Carrier has parts readily available. Therefore, repairs and maintenance can be done quickly and easily.

I would lean toward the brand that has greater energy savings. You'll notice a dip in your electricity bill right off the bat and will continue to enjoy that for years.

TL;DR: Lennox and Carrier are mostly similar in quality and price. Lennox offers better efficiency, whereas Carrier offers better dehumidification and quieter units. Carrier parts are also more easily available.

Lennox Vs Frigidaire

Frigidaire (which offers identical HVAC systems to Maytag) has reduced its product line.

You can now go with their top-of-the-line, or you can settle for a SEER that's no higher than 16.

There are no models in the 17-19 SEER range.

Its most efficient ACs are modulating 20 SEER models; the next most efficient are two-speed and single-speed 16 SEER air conditioners.

The other models leave potential buyers without a mid-range option. The low-end

Frigidaire central air conditioners meet minimum standards for efficiency but aren't energy efficient.

They are adequate for homeowners in cool climates where the AC isn't used heavily.

If you live in a warm climate but don't want to pay the price for an elite model, you will have to choose another brand to find an efficient 2-speed central air conditioner, such as Lennox.

In addition, Frigidaire AC units have lower efficiency than other air conditioners. These lower ratings mean that most models of Frigidaire air conditioners are more affordable, but you may not save as much on your energy bills.

Lennox AC prices are a little higher, but in my opinion, you have a greater variety to choose from, and paying a little extra is worth the investment.

Lennox is strongly recommended.

TL;DR: Frigidaire are cheaper than Lennox, but their efficiency is far lower.

Lennox Vs Rheem

Lennox and Rheem are both reputable brand names known for their reliability, but the product lineup at Lennox features more highly energy-efficient air conditioners.

Rheem’s line of air conditioners are some of the cheapest on the market. You can get a unit installed for about $4,000 - a price no other manufacturer can match.

This manufacturer offers a 10-year limited warranty on its products, great energy savings, and rebates of up to $1,000.

Rheem is also known for its commitment to sustainability.

If you want the greenest company, choose Rheem.

Rheem’s affordability means something has to give. Rheem’s central air conditioners’ SEER ratings are lower than the competition. Lennox can deliver a SEER at 28. Rheem tops out at around 20.

Rheem and Lennox both deliver a good spectrum of products, but Lennox has a better reputation and gets high marks for creating dependable HVAC systems.

My advice is to stick with Lennox for your next AC replacement.

TL;DR: Rheem offers some of the cheapest units in the market at the cost of a lower energy efficiency rating.

Lennox Vs Trane

Both Trane and Lennox are considered among the best air conditioner brands in the HVAC industry.

Trane's units are, on average, as expensive or more costly than Lennox AC units.

In general, Trane focuses on building durable systems, whereas Lennox produces high-efficiency products.

For example, Lennox’s premier air conditioning unit has a SEER rating of 28, while Trane’s comparable model has a SEER rating of 22.

Trane offers a 10-year limited parts warranty and a 12-year compressor warranty to support its quality systems. Most companies offer only a 10-year compressor warranty.

Neither company makes central air conditioning equipment that can be replaced by generic parts. That can result in more expensive repairs.

If durability is your most important criterion, consider investing in a Trane.
If lower energy bills are more important to you, buy a Lennox system.

Category

Lennox

Trane

Efficiency*

26 SEER

22 SEER

Features

Top models contain more features such as WiFi, Alexa, etc.

Top models contain more features such as WiFi, Nexia, etc.

Coils

Aluminum (high-end models)

Only post-2014 models have aluminum

Compressor

2 single-stage compressors

1 two-stage compressor

Running Cost per anum*

~$441

~$500

Warranty – Compressor

10 years

10 years

Warranty – Parts

12 years

10 years

Customer Service

Customers often complain about Lennox repairs. Generic parts don’t work.

Costs more in some areas but customers are happy with repair work.

Price

$1,400-$3,800

$1,400-$3,550

Online Reviews

Lennox users sometimes have complained about repair work, but only when the unit breaks down, which is not that often.

Trane users sometimes complain about high maintenance and repair cost.

* most efficient model

TL;DR: Trane offers some of the most durable and reliable products. However, yet again, Lennox's efficiency tops the chart.


Is Lennox Worth The Price?

I believe that you will find your new Lennox model to be worth the price. 

The company’s emphasis on efficient air conditioners means the company’s premium and mid-range models can save you more money on running costs than comparable ACs from most other HVAC companies.

If you plan on living in your house for the foreseeable future (say, five years or more), you will probably enjoy electric bills that will offset the higher initial investment.

For the average 2.5-ton unit, going from 13 SEER to a 16 will save you about $60 a year on electricity.

Generally, you can expect to pay between $350 and $1,500 for each SEER rating increase.


FAQs

How Long Do Lennox Units Last?

The average lifespan of a Lennox air conditioning system is 10-15 years. Proper installation and routine maintenance will lengthen its lifespan.

If your AC is ten years old or older, consider replacing it instead of opting for an expensive repair.

It’s also worth spending some money each year on annual maintenance. Besides extending the lifespan of your AC, you can also find and fix small problems before they become bigger - and more expensive - ones.

Is Lennox Considered A High-End HVAC Brand?

Yes, Lennox is considered a high-end brand amongst many HVAC professionals. However, this also means that they are one of the more expensive brands.

That doesn't mean their products aren't worth it, but they are not cheap, especially for the high-end models.

Why Are Lennox Air Conditioners So Expensive?

Lennox air conditioners are expensive because Lennox emphasizes energy efficiency in all of their air conditioners. Additional features such as Lennox's sound-reducing technology, its humidity control, and its energy savings features drive the price up.

Can I Deduct a Lennox HVAC System On My Taxes?

You may be able to claim 30% of the HVAC project cost, up to a $600 maximum credit, on your taxes if the AC is Energy Star-qualified equipment with a SEER2 ≥ 16.

The Internal Revenue Service stipulates that making certain energy-efficient updates to homes could qualify homeowners for home energy tax credits.[11]

Do You Have To Replace Your Air Conditioner And Air Handler/Furnace At The Same Time?

You may need to replace your AC and furnace simultaneously. 

If you purchase a new energy-efficient air conditioner but connect it to an older furnace and blower, your system may not perform to its rated efficiency.

This is why HVAC heating and cooling companies sometimes recommend that you replace your entire system at the same time. (You will save on labor fees this way, too.)

It’s also the case that different brands may not play together well. Lennox air conditioner installers want you to use Lennox thermostats and air handlers. Lennox products work great together because that’s what they’re designed to do.

Summary | Is A Lennox AC Right For You?

 4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)


Because the company has three tiers of products, Lennox offers a model to satisfy every budget.

Lennox models are the most efficient available at all levels of quality – basic, better, and best.

Some of the quietest models have average sound ratings of around 59 decibels, which is about the level of a normal conversation.

Your AC can keep you comfortable without deafening you.

High-end Lennox models reach up to a 28 SEER/25.8 SEER2. The highest other air conditioner brands, such as Amana, Bryant, Carrier, and Goodman, achieve is around 24 SEER/22.9 SEER2.

Lennox has developed a reputation for building some of the most energy-efficient air conditioners, heat pumps, and furnaces on the market.

It’s deserved.

References: 

  1. https://www.lennoxpros.com/products/quantum-coil-1801
  2. https://www.lennox.com/buyers-guide/offers-and-savings/financing/
  3. https://www.energystar.gov/products/central_air_conditioners
  4. https://www.energy.gov/eere/buildings/articles/hvac-right-sizing-part-1-calculating-loads
  5. https://www.lennox.com/owners/assistance/warranty/
  6. https://www.lennox.com/dA/f1a6a76487/Lennox%20Elite%20Air%20Conditioner%20Product%20Brochure.pdf
  7. https://www.acca.org/homes
  8. https://www.consumeraffairs.com/homeowners/lennox.html?page=1#sort=recent&filter=5
  9. https://www.lennox.com/buyers-guide/why-buy-lennox/ratings-and-reviews/
  10. https://www.reddit.com/r/hvacadvice/comments/106oh6x/does_lennox_really_have_a_bad_rap_amongst_hvac/
  11. https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/irs-going-green-could-help-taxpayers-qualify-for-expanded-home-energy-tax-credits
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Josh Mitchell

Founder

Josh Mitchell
My name is Josh and I am obsessed with home appliances. From portable AC units to heaters and air purifiers, I enjoy testing, learning and using these devices to improve the air quality inside my family home.

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Midea U Shaped Window Air Conditioner

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