Lennox vs Carrier: an air conditioner comparison guide

Temperatures are heating up out there. Are you prepared? Find out about Lennox vs Carrier air conditioners.

It's going to be a tough choice, but which one is it – Lennox vs Carrier? "Summer time" sunglasses by nicadlr on Flickr.If you're looking for a new air conditioner, comparing Lennox vs Carrier is a smart choice. Both companies have been providing high-quality home improvement products for decades. You can find Lennox and Carrier home cooling units in most home improvement retail stores throughout North America. Both product lines offer ease in finding parts and components, as well as service technicians familiar with each.

Before you install an air conditioner, it's a good idea to speak with a contractor in order to get an air conditioner estimate that includes the cost of installation. Reply! can help you locate a contractor in your area who specializes in the design, installation and/or maintenance of residential HVAC systems.

Lennox air conditioners

Shown here is the Dave Lennox Signature Collection XC21 air conditioner.Lennox has been in business since 1895 and got its start with innovations in home heating and furnace design. Since that time it has expanded and today Lennox offers commercial and residential customers one of the largest selections of AC models in the industry. Lennox specializes in creating air conditioners that lower your electricity bill significantly.

All Lennox air conditioners carry the prestigious ENERGY STAR label. ENERGY STAR is a program developed by the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 1992 in support of the Clean Air Act. It’s a voluntary program that (among other things) encourages manufacturers to develop the most energy-efficient products it can in exchange for recognition designated with the ENERGY STAR label. The ENERGY STAR label is only issued to products that significantly reduce energy use and contribute fewer greenhouse gas emissions.

Lennox offers air conditioners that come in a variety of sizes and performance specifications, but they are generally broken down into three distinct lines:

  • The Merit Series
  • The Elite Series
  • The Dave Lennox Signature Series

The primary difference between each series is the efficiency of the units as measured by the industry standard known as Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) rating. SEER measures a unit by the amount of energy it consumes to do its job. The higher the SEER number, the greater the efficiency of the air conditioning unit. In January of 2006, the federal government set new standards requiring all central air conditioning systems to attain a minimum SEER rating of 13. The Lennox lines of AC units go (in ascending order) from SEER ratings starting at 14 for the Merit Series up to SEER ratings of 25 for some of the Signature Series units.

The price you will pay when purchasing a Lennox air conditioner will vary greatly, depending on the size of the unit and the features it contains. Where you live and how complicated the installation is going to be can also have an impact on your air conditioner prices. For that reason, you are not likely going to find any price quotes on an air conditioning manufacturer’s website (that goes for Lennox too.) Lennox does include a “price guide” marker it assigns to models (“$” for inexpensive up to “$$$” for more expensive models.) For a more in-depth look at Lennox pricing, see "Lennox Air Conditioner Prices: An Overview."

Several of the Signature line of air conditioners will work with the Lennox SunSource home solar energy systems. These units take energy efficiency to a new level and pave the way for homeowners to earn additional tax credits and rebates that can help offset the cost of purchasing and installing these units.

Carrier air conditioners

Carrier Infinity 21 Air Conditioner 24ANB1Carrier is a company that (for all practical purposes) is synonymous with air conditioning. The company’s founder (Willis Carrier) invented the first modern air conditioning system in 1902 and founded the company on that invention. Since that time, the company has developed and introduced a wide range of commercial and residential air conditioners, heating systems and refrigeration solutions into the market. The company specializes in creating energy-efficient air conditioning units that provide comfortable temperatures in extremely hot climates and efficient heating units that perform well in extremely cold climates.

Carrier air conditioners (like Lennox systems) come in three distinct product lines:

  • The Comfort Series
  • The Performance Series
  • The Infinity Series

As with the Lennox lines of air conditioners, the Carrier series of models improves incrementally with each ascending line (and with it comes a corresponding increase in prices you’ll pay.)

Carrier’s Comfort Series is for buyers on a budget. These air conditioners will get you in at a lower price point without totally compromising on performance. You can find units in this line with SEER ratings starting at 15. These units are compact, economical and very efficient.

Connect with a contractor! Ask about Lennox vs Carrier air conditioners!

Carrier's Performance Series is a classic mid-range line of air conditioners that are a little larger, a little more durable and a little more expensive. Within this line you can find units with SEER ratings topping 18. They're also designed to outlast most comparably performing air conditioning units on the market.

Carrier’s top-end Infinity series offers all of the bells and whistles you’d expect from a top-of-the line air conditioning unit. SEER ratings of up to 21 can be found in this line and they have units that generate as little as 65 decibels (barely a whisper) of ambient noise when running. This line can also help homeowners qualify for $1,000 to $1,500 in energy efficiency rebates and credits.

Unlike Lennox, not all Carrier air conditioners in these three lines carry the ENERGY STAR label. There are three standard models available in the Comfort line, only one of which carries the ENERGY STAR designation. Half of the units in the Performance series (two total) carry the ENERGY STAR designation while three out of the four in the Infinity Series do.

Carrier (like all other HVAC manufacturers) does not include specific pricing ranges on its website. (See "Carrier Air Conditioner Prices: Pros, Cons, and Quotes" for a deeper look at the brand and pricing options.)

Warranties and air quality info

When comparing Lennox vs Carrier, keep in mind that both companies offer an extensive warranty on any unit you choose. Your Lennox vs Carrier research will reveal that both companies offer warranties of up to five years, and these warranties include parts and labor. You'll also have the option of extending your warranty with both companies.

Both manufacturers produce units designed to improve your indoor air quality by dramatically reducing dust, indoor allergens, pet dander and air pollutants.

You can also search the extensive resources on Reply! to learn more about these and other brands, or ask a contractor. 

First photo credit: nicadlr via Compfight CC. Second photo: Dave Lennox Signature Collection XC21 air conditioner. Third photo: Carrier Infinity 21 air conditioner 24ANB1.

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