Cool off from those summer heat waves with a Carrier Infinity air conditioner. Find out which Carrier Infinity Series unit is best for your home.
Purchasing a Carrier Infinity Series air conditioner (AC) provides you and your family with a high-quality, energy efficient home cooling solution that meets or exceeds government standards. It also puts the innovation and reputation of one of the nation’s pioneers in home cooling systems to work for you and your family.
A tradition of innovation and selection
In 1902, Willis Carrier was an engineer with the Buffalo Forge Company of New York. He and a few of his colleagues invented what would come to be known as the modern residential air conditioning system and he and six of his fellow engineers left to form their own, independent business (Carrier Engineering) in 1915. Since then the company has grown to offer a wide range of commercial and residential heating, air conditioning and refrigeration systems.
Carrier features three separate lines of residential air conditioning systems: the Comfort Series, the Performance Series, and the Infinity Series. This guide offers you an overview of what you can find when you select Carrier’s top line of residential air conditioning options, its Infinity Series. While this series represents the best offerings from Carrier, you and your family will find surprising affordability and excellent value over the life of your system.
Carrier Infinity Series
When you step up to the Infinity Series of residential air conditioning systems available from Carrier, you have five models to choose from: the Infinity 16, the Infinity 17, the Infinity 17 Coastal, the Infinity 19VS and the Infinity 21. As the names suggest, each successive number represents a step up in terms of performance, features, and cost.
Each unit in the Infinity Series carries a unique and distinct Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) rating range. SEER is the industry standard used to measure how much energy a unit uses in order to do its job. The higher the SEER rating, the more efficient and cost-effective the unit will be. The more efficient and cost-effective a unit is, a household will save the more money over the life of the unit. The federal government (and most states) set a minimum SEER rating of 13 for all residential air conditioners sold today. That’s not a problem with any of Carrier’s Infinity units as even the entry-level models register an impressive 16.5 SEER rating.
The differences between models go far beyond SEER ratings however, which makes a comparison all the more easy to perform and important to consider:
The Carrier Infinity 16 is the Infinity Series’ entry-level model. It’s a single-stage air conditioner that still provides plenty of cooling. Its impressive base 16.5 SEER rating ensures that the cost of its continual use isn't too hard on the budget. It has also qualified to carry the ENERGY STAR designation, a voluntary program established by the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to showcase consumer products that deliver high levels of energy efficiency and low levels of carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions.
There are a few other pros and cons that you should be aware of before buying the Infinity 16 model, including:
- The Infinity 16 has been optimized for quiet operation, producing as little as 66 decibels of sound
- The filter includes a filter direr system, affording protection from air contaminants and moisture
- Carrier’s WeatherArmor Ultra protection feature
- Uses Puron refrigerant, a non-ozone depleting alternative to other coolants
- The unit has a 10-year warranty on parts
- The single stage operation means that the unit always operates at maximum regardless of the amount of cooling needed
In some regions, you may also be eligible for up to $850 in tax credits and rebates for having an Infinity 16 unit cooling your home.
The Infinity 17 features a two-stage scroll compressor and delivers a base SEER rating of up to 18. The two-stage compression system delivers higher levels of performance efficiency. The one stage keeps the unit in a mostly low-stage readiness and the second one kicks in when additional cooling is needed from the unit. In this way, there is less on-and-off firing of the unit, something that wears out lesser units more quickly. The second stage feature is also helpful in maintaining steady dehumidification levels due to more consistent and longer running times.
This model also carries the ENERGY STAR designation and in some parts of the country, can deliver up to $1,300 in tax credits and rebates for homeowners.
The Infinity 17 also includes:
- A two-stage function for two levels of cooling
- Sound optimization to get operational noise as low as 67 decibels
- Advanced filter system to remove air contaminants and moisture
- Carrier’s WeatherArmor Ultra protection
- Puron refrigerant
- A 10-year parts warranty
Infinity 17 Coastal
The Infinity 17 Coastal also delivers a SEER rating that ranges from a base of 17.7 and can go as high as 18.5. As the name suggests, there are unique features to this unit improving its performance in moist or sea air climates. It comes with WeatherShield protection, giving it a salt air resistant design. It’s what sets it apart from the other Infinity models, which provides protection from seacoast corrosion. Like its inland brother, it also comes with the ENERGY STAR designation and can return up to $1,300 in tax credits and rebates to families in select parts of the country.
Other points to be considered about the Infinity 17 Coastal model include:
- The two-stage design of the unit allows it to operate at reduced functionality when only short, light bursts of cooling are required to lower the cost of operation
- Sound optimization that has the unit producing as little as 67 decibels during full operation
- Filter system that provides protection from air contaminants and moisture
- 100 percent paint coverage and WeatherArmor Ultra protection against seacoast corrosion
- A 10-year warranty on parts
- A five-year coastal corrosion limited parts warranty
A relatively new addition to the Infinity series, the 19VS is different in a lot of ways. It offers variable-speed compression that can step down in 5 separate stages to as low as 25 percent of its total capacity. That's a huge advantage from a comfort, efficiency and a flexibility perspective. The ability to run in lower speeds most of the time makes it quieter and more adept at removing humidity and keeping temperatures even. It’s one of the quieter units you’ll find on the market today.
Those lower speeds are the sweet spot for the unit's best efficiency levels and for getting the most benefit out of other systems you might have in your house to handle airflow and related functions. Any air purifier will work far more effectively because of more constant airflow through the 19VS system.
It's seldom you will find a central air conditioning unit where you can upgrade your system a component at a time. Most often, the leap to higher efficiency and better comfort via a communicating system for that home you love can mean you have to deal with the cost of a whole system even though only your AC unit called it quits. The Infinity 19VS could change that for you and your local Carrier expert can help you determine if a new 19VS can work with your existing indoor unit so you can upgrade in steps.
Other highlighted features of the Infinity 19VS include:
- Variable 5-stage compressor for ultimate comfort, quiet and flexibility
- Base SEER rating starting at 19
- Compressor sound blanket and Silence System II, generating only 56 decibels of nose (barely a baby’s whisper) when running at full strength
- Puron refrigerant
- 10-year limited parts warranty
The final model available in the Infinity series is the top-of-the line Infinity 21. The 21 earns its namesake by delivering a SEER rating of 21. Not only does this model carry the ENERGY STAR designation, in 2012, it was recognized by ENERGY STAR as the most efficient model in its class. It also received a Best Buy designation from Consumer’s Digest in its annual survey of home improvement products.
Some other features of the Infinity 21 include:
- The unit is also optimized for sound, with a decibel level as low as 65 (we dare your neighbors to complain!)
- The Infinity 21 includes a high-end, two-stage compressor, meaning that it only uses its full cooling capability when an excessive amount of cooling is required of it, saving on the energy cost and extending the life of the unit
- The filter blocks air contaminants and moisture while the Infinity control system allows for precision control over the dehumidification process
- The AC unit is covered with a 10-year parts warranty
For families in certain regions of the country, having an Infinity 21 installed in your home can generate up to $1,300 in annual tax credits and rebates.
Pricing and installation
The air conditioner prices for the Infinity models depend primarily on the SEER level of the model as well as the size of the model. The entry level 16.5 SEER, 2-ton AC unit can be found wholesale for about $2,300, while the 5-ton version of the same model will cost you about $2,800.
If you're looking to install the far more efficient 21 SEER model, you can expect a wholesale price for the 2 ton version of about $2,750, with the 5 ton version costing as much as $3,750.
Costs can rise significantly when including installation, running you anywhere from $3,750 and $8,000 for the 21 SEER versions. It’s important to remember that unless you are a certified HVAC professional, you are going to have to rely on a licensed and certified contractor for installation. Carrier (and every other major air conditioning manufacturer) will not honor warranties if units are improperly installed, installed by an unlicensed or unregistered party, or improperly maintained.
Before you install a Carrier Infinity air conditioner, you should get at least three price estimates from different contractors. Once you have the estimate for the model and size you need to cool your home, you can then hire a contractor to perform the installation, providing you with a comfortably cool residence even during the warmest of months.