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HVAC systems regulate and move warm and cool air throughout homes and commercial buildings. And while a good HVAC system should be barely noticeable, a bad HVAC system makes itself painfully obvious. Like a first date gone wrong, an HVAC system in need of replacement will leave you feeling uncomfortable—like you need to get out of the house as soon as possible. A reputable HVAC company will offer a professional installation, providing you with both comfort and cost savings throughout the year. Still, homeowners may feel lost in the ductwork when it comes to finding the right contractor to get the job done.
When looking for an HVAC company, consider several factors like price, flexibility, reputation, home compatibility, and warranty. Gather several estimates from different companies and compare prices to ensure you’re receiving a fair quote. It’s also important to find a company that can work with your schedule and services your specific needs. We’ve rounded up our list of the best HVAC companies to assist you in your search for a comfy, climate-controlled system for your home.
- Our Top Picks
- American Standard
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Best Overall : Carrier
- Price Range: $3,500 to $7,500 per system
- Warranty: 10 years
Industry leader in residential installations
Excellent energy-efficiency ratings
Replacement parts are easy to find
Short 10-year limited warranty
More costly than similar systems
Carrier is an industry leader in commercial and residential HVAC systems and is known for building some of the quietest, most energy-efficient systems on the market. We gave Carrier the “Best Overall” ranking due to the company’s excellent customer reviews, its well-regarded, energy-efficient systems, the availability of replacement parts, and its well-trained technicians.
Setups use either single-stage, two-stage, or variable-speed Copeland compressors, and feature Puron, the company’s signature R-410A non-ozone refrigerant. The company has a wide range of products, including packaged systems, ductless mini-splits, air handlers, air purifiers, humidifiers, and more. It also provides several thermostats, including a “smart” version that can be controlled from a mobile device.
Carrier units will last you about 10 to 15 years with proper installation and maintenance. If you’re able to maintain the upkeep, you most likely won’t have to use the 10-year limited warranty—Carrier’s warranty only covers functional parts and does not cover labor, Puron refrigerant, or normal wear and tear.
Best on a Budget : Rheem
- Price Range: $2,500 to $5,500 per system
- Warranty: 10 years
Less expensive systems
Good for cooler climates
Great SEER (energy efficiency) ratings
Good Consumer Reports ratings
Some negative customer reviews
Much louder units than competitors'
Repairs can be costly
With nearly 70 years of HVAC experience, Rheem is an affordable alternative to industry leaders like Carrier and Trane. The company's SEER (energy efficiency) ratings are particularly noteworthy—especially for customers who live in colder climates—and that efficiency is on full display when Rheem's eco-friendly products, like the Hybrid Electric Water Heater, are combined with its EcoNet Smart Monitoring System. Additionally, the company has made a commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent and achieve zero waste by the time it turns 100 years old in 2025. Since 2019, RHEEM overall has avoided over 16 million metric tons of carbon emissions, that’s equivalent to taking over 3.5 million cars off the roads.
Some users report Rheem products are not as durable as other brands and can break down with heavy use. Make sure to use a Rheem-certified technician to install Rheem-branded parts, or you may end up spending more on maintenance and repairs in the long run.
Best Warranty : Goodman
- Price Range: $3,250 to $6,000 per system
- Warranty: 10 years
Excellent full-system warranties
Cost-friendly for those on a budget
Extensive range of product options
Not all models have equal energy efficiency
Louder systems than some competitors
Since its acquisition by Daikin in 2012, Goodman has focused on reliability, durability, and affordability. The company uses Copeland parts in its central air conditioners and heat pumps and encloses them in galvanized steel cases that have been spray-salt tested for 500 hours to ensure they can withstand extreme elements. The company’s products are backed by a 10-year, limited parts warranty and either a two- or 10-year unit replacement warranty. Some products also include lifetime compressor and heat exchanger warranties.
For most homeowners, Goodman offers exactly what’s needed—a high-quality, durable system with a good warranty at an affordable price. Goodman units typically cost less than comparable products uninstalled (though some HVAC companies charge more to install Goodman products, according to reviewers).
Best for Minimal Noise : Bryant
- Price Range: $5,000 to $8,000 per system
- Warranty: 5 to 10 years
Very quiet HVAC systems
Good SEER (energy efficiency) ratings
High-quality systems at an affordable price
Only offers five- to 10-year limited warranties
Less tech-forward systems
Bryant Heating & Cooling Systems is owned by Carrier, and its units are manufactured in the same factory as its well-known parent company. Bryant’s systems feature many of the same parts as Carrier but at a lower price tag. The low noise level of certain models (some rate as low as 51 decibels) makes it great for anyone who is especially seeking a quiet home. Additionally, Bryant systems have good SEER ratings, making them a cost-effective option for homeowners.
The company offers a range of models in three different series: Evolution, Preferred, and Legacy. (The Evolution Series contains the company’s highest-performing models.) The cost per model varies depending on the series, with budget-friendly options available in the Legacy series. While Bryant’s five- to 10-year warranty is shorter than other brands, it offers some affordable options on the market.
Best Energy Efficiency : Lennox
- Price Range: $4,250 to $8,250 per system
- Warranty: 5 to 12 years
Large national installation coverage network
Offers excellent energy-efficiency systems
Wide range of products
Recognizable brand name
More costly than similar-sized systems
Much louder than standard units
Customers report high repair costs
Considered one of the most energy-efficient HVAC systems available, Lennox offers homeowners a way to save money on monthly utility bills, while protecting the planet. Its furnace, complete with a heat pump, maximizes energy savings by allowing you to switch from gas to electricity, depending on which is most cost-effective in your area. Lennox’s Precise Comfort Technology and its iComfort smart thermostat, help regulate temperature, ensuring its units run as efficiently as possible.
Lennox offers a basic five-year warranty, which covers the compressor and designated parts, and a 20-year warranty on the heat exchanger. Customers can purchase an extended warranty for an additional 10 years on covered parts. Products in the company’s Signature Series come with the best warranty of the bunch: 10 years on covered parts, 10 years on the compressor, and up to a lifetime on the heat exchanger. Despite the high repair costs and loud operation, Lennox’s reputation as a recognizable brand name, its large national installation coverage network, and its wide range of products set it apart.
Best for Small Homes : Coleman
- Price Range: $2,250 to $4,500 per system
- Warranty: 10 years
Small, sleek HVAC units
Affordable, durable equipment
Systems run quietly
Excellent customer reviews
Prone to leaky coils
Warranty only available with registration
Coleman, a HVAC company known for its affordable options, offers efficient central air conditioning units for as little as $4,000, including installation. The Mini-Split Systems are also a great way to incorporate an efficient system by helping you heat and cool specific zones within your home or the entirety of a small mobile home. The smaller footprint of the mini-split systems, though, won’t compromise the efficiency or power. Some units also come with mobile device control options for easy access and the most precision.
Coleman offers an exceptional warranty on its HVAC products. As long as the equipment is registered within 90 days of installation, homeowners can expect to receive a 10-year limited warranty on parts, and one year of free labor on repairs. Some units come with a lifetime limited warranty on the compressor or heat exchanger, and Coleman’s Complete Assurance limited warranty on other models offers a full replacement, should the heat exchanger fail.
The systems can also connect to smart thermostats, so you can easily control how your home is set. Coleman also offers a money-back guarantee, offering you a full refund if the product doesn’t meet your expectations.
Best for Extreme Climates : American Standard
- Price Range: $4,450 to $9,000 per unit
- Warranty: 5 to 10 years
Great for those who live in harsh climates
Trusted American brand
Money-back guarantee from many dealers
Units are rigorously tested
Extremely high installation costs
Low energy-efficiency ratings
Much louder than competitors’ models
American Standard, a subsidiary of Ingersoll Rand, is known for its high-performing HVAC systems. The company rigorously tests each unit in its SEET (Systems Extreme Environmental Test) lab, which simulates harsh environments to ensure products can withstand the hottest and coldest of temperatures. The first round of tests involves heating defrost with snow in sub-freezing temperatures; the tested heat pump must keep an internal temperature of 105 degrees without any ice buildup. If it passes that, it goes through seven more tests, which are repeated over 16 weeks to ensure its endurance to all outside factors.
While the company’s energy-efficiency ratings remain lower than some of its competitors, the systems do tend to be louder than other brands. For example, its most efficient AC unit has a seasonal energy-efficiency ratio (SEER) rating of 22, while Lennox’s top unit has a rating of 28.
American Standard’s products are generally considered well-built and dependable and require fewer repairs than some of its competitors. When properly maintained, an American Standard system can last as long as 25 years, and many dealers offer a money-back guarantee for customers worried about the upfront investment.
Best for Coastal Areas : Trane
- Price Range: $5,650 to $12,000 per system
- Warranty: 5 to 10 years
All product tiers are energy-efficient
Aluminum coils are resistant to corrosion
Great name recognition
Pricier than competitors
Maintenance and repairs may be expensive
Lower SEER ratings than other brands
Trane is a well-regarded HVAC brand known for its commitment to quality that uses corrosion-resistant aluminum coils in its HVAC units. The company offers three product tiers: XV, XR, and XL, with the XV series featuring Trane’s most energy-efficient models and the latest technology.
Not only do the parts make it a great option for coastal areas prone to significant moisture and salt, but you can rest assured that the entire unit itself is also durable enough to withstand all types of weather and climates. Each product goes through Trane’s rigorous testing through the SEET (Systems Extreme Environmental Test) lab located in Tyler, Texas. The process imitates five years’ worth of heavy use within a span of 16 weeks and many series of tests. Customer testimonials include Trane systems that have survived and still run under flooding conditions—peace of mind for the “just in case” situations that happen on the coasts.
The best HVAC company is Carrier due to its industry-leading residential systems. The company is known for building some of the quietest, most energy-efficient systems on the market. Its excellent customer reviews, well-regarded systems, and the availability of replacement parts and trained technicians, makes Carrier rise above the pack of competing HVAC providers.
Compare the Best HVAC Companies
|Company||Price Range||Warranty||24/7 Customer Support?||Energy Star Certified?|
|$3,500 to $7,500||10 years||Yes||Yes|
Best on a Budget
|$2,500 to $5,500||10 years||Yes||Yes|
|$3,250 to $6,000||10 years||No||Yes|
Best for Minimal Noise
|$5,000 to $8,000||5 to 10 years||No||Yes|
Best Energy Efficiency
|$4,250 to $8,250||5 to 12 years||No||Yes|
Best for Small Homes
|$2,250 to $4,500||10 years||No||Yes|
Best for Extreme Climates
|$4,450 to $9,000||5 to 10 years||No||Yes|
Best for Coastal Areas
|$5,650 to $12,000||5 to 10 years||No||Yes|
How Do You Know If You Need a New HVAC System?
After many years of use, your HVAC system may start to exhibit signs of wear. Look for several signals that may indicate it’s time to replace your system. Here are a few of the most common:
- Your energy bills are consistently high: If your energy bills are higher than usual, and you haven’t made any major changes to your home or lifestyle, it could be a sign your HVAC system is struggling to keep up with your heating and cooling needs. A new, more efficient system may help lower your energy costs.
- Your system is making strange noises: If your HVAC system is making strange noises, like banging, clanking, or squealing, it could be a sign something is wrong. It could also simply indicate a loose belt, but it should be further investigated.
- Your HVAC system is more than 10 years old: The average lifespan of an HVAC system is around 15 years. If your system is older than 10 years, it may be time to give your home a new set of lungs.
- Your home is unevenly heated or cooled: If you notice that certain rooms in your home are either too hot or too cold, it could be a sign that your HVAC system is not distributing air effectively. This could be caused by a variety of issues, such as a blocked duct or a failing fan motor.
- Your system requires frequent repairs: If your HVAC system needs frequent repairs, it could be a sign that it’s time to replace it. The cost of repairs can add up quickly, and it may be more cost-effective in the long run to invest in a new system.
- Your system is not providing enough airflow: If diminished airflow is your issue, your HVAC system may not be working effectively. This could be caused by a variety of issues, such as clogged air filters, dirty coils, or a malfunctioning fan.
- Reduced indoor air quality: If you or your family members are experiencing allergies, asthma, or other respiratory issues, it could be due to poor indoor air quality. HVAC systems can circulate dust, dirt, and other contaminants if they are not functioning properly.
If you're experiencing one or more of these issues, it's best to consult an HVAC professional to determine next steps.
Choosing the Best HVAC Company Near You
Choosing the right HVAC company to install or repair your heating and cooling system can be a daunting task. Many factors, including price, flexibility, reputation, home compatibility, and warranty should be considered.
It’s important to obtain a few estimates from different companies and compare prices to understand what is included in the cost. The cheapest option may not always be the best choice. Also, consider the quality of the products and services offered. A company that offers a lower price may use lower-quality products or provide less-comprehensive services.
Find a company flexible enough to work with your, or your contractor’s, schedule. Also, look for a company that offers emergency services and can schedule appointments outside of regular business hours. This can be especially important if you have a busy schedule or need repairs done quickly.
Check online reviews, ask for recommendations from friends and family, and check with local trade organizations to see if the company you’re considering has a good reputation. A reputable company is more likely to provide quality products and services.
Make sure the company you choose can work with the specific needs of your home. Some companies specialize in residential HVAC systems, while others focus on commercial units. Companies, like Coleman, are known for smaller, sleekly designed HVAC systems that may provide a good fit for small homes. Consider the size and layout of your home and how these factors may affect your specific heating and cooling needs.
Warranty and Guarantees
Warranties give you peace of mind. If something goes wrong with your HVAC system, a company that offers a warranty will stand behind its units. Also, look for a company that guarantees its work and is willing to correct any issue that may arise.
What Type of HVAC System Should You Buy?
Choosing an HVAC system can be difficult, as each type offers its own set of benefits and drawbacks. The best choice for you will depend on your specific needs and preferences, including central air conditioning and/or heat pumps, ductless mini-splits, and state-of-the-art geothermal systems.
- Central Air Conditioning: This common type of HVAC system uses both an indoor air handler and an outdoor condenser unit to cool your home. Central air conditioning is a good choice for homes in warm climates, and it can be integrated with a furnace, or another heating system, to provide both heating and cooling.
- Heat Pumps: A heat pump can both heat and cool your home by moving heat from one place to another. Heat pumps are particularly efficient in mild climates and can be a cost-effective alternative to a traditional furnace and air conditioner.
- Ductless Mini-Splits: A ductless mini-split system consists of an outdoor unit and one or more indoor units. It doesn't require ductwork, making it a good choice for homes without existing ducts or for adding heating and cooling only to specific rooms or areas.
- Geothermal Systems: A geothermal system uses the constant temperature of the earth to heat and cool your home. These systems are highly efficient and can provide significant savings on energy costs, but they can be more expensive to install than other types of HVAC systems.
Your choice of an HVAC system will depend on your budget, your home’s layout, and your climate. Consult with a professional HVAC contractor to determine the best option for your specific needs.
How Much Should You Expect to Spend on a New HVAC System?
The cost of a new HVAC system can vary greatly depending on a number of factors, like the type of system, its size and efficiency, and the cost of labor in your area. In general, a basic, small-to-medium-sized HVAC system will cost between $4,000 and $10,000, while a larger, more energy-efficient system will cost upward of $15,000. Keep in mind that the initial cost of a new HVAC system is only part of the equation. Ongoing energy savings also play a big role in determining the overall cost-effectiveness of the system. The size of your home, the type of HVAC system you need, and any additional features or equipment that you want to include will also affect the cost of installing a new HVAC system. It’s always a good idea to obtain multiple quotes from different contractors to get a sense of the range of costs.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Size HVAC System Should You Get?
The size of your HVAC system depends on the square footage of your home and the climate you live in. It’s important to get a system that is appropriately sized for your square footage in order to ensure energy efficiency and proper heating and cooling. A professional HVAC contractor can help you determine the correct size for your home.
How Often Should You Have Your HVAC System Serviced?
Service your system at least once a year—ideally before the start of the heating or cooling season. This will help ensure that it is running efficiently and safely, and it will prolong the life of the system. It’s also a good idea to schedule a service appointment if you notice any issues with your HVAC system, such as strange noises or poor performance.
How Do You Find Out if Your HVAC System Is Under Warranty?
Check the paperwork that came with your HVAC unit when it was installed. The warranty information should be included in the owner’s manual or on the manufacturer’s website. If you no longer have the paperwork, you can also contact the manufacturer or the contractor who installed the unit for more information.
What Is a SEER Rating?
Seasonal energy efficiency ratio, or SEER, measures an air conditioner or heat pump’s cooling efficiency and is calculated by dividing the cooling output during a typical season by the energy input during the same period. The higher the SEER rating, the more energy efficient the unit is.
How Often Should You Change Your HVAC Filter?
The frequency at which you should change your HVAC filter depends on the type of filter you have, the number of people living in your home, and whether or not you have pets. Check your filter once a month, as a general rule of thumb, and change it when it looks dirty. It’s recommended to change your filter every one to three months or as per the manufacturer’s recommendation.
To compile this list of the best HVAC companies, we reviewed more than a dozen nationwide services and judged each one on the following criteria:
- Range of HVAC products
- Nationwide availability
- Energy efficiency
- Customer service
- Company reputation
We directly compared companies to determine a winner for each category, basing our decisions on services provided, customer reviews, technical data sheets, online tools, and more.
US HVAC Warehouse. “Goodman Air Conditioner Prices and Installation Cost.” URL: https://www.ushvacwarehouse.com/goodman-air-conditioner-prices-and-installation-cost/
American Standard Air. “What is SEER?” URL: https://www.americanstandardair.com/resources/blog/what-is-seer/
PickHvac. “How Long Does an Air Conditioner Last?” URL: https://www.pickhvac.com/central-air-conditioner/lifespan/