Best Priced Central Air Conditioner Systems 2012

Today’s consumers are looking for value in their purchases and so the best priced central air conditioner systems 2012 is a popular topic.  What makes a good value?  It’s a combination of quality and reasonable pricing.  Low-cost junk isn’t a good value so we steer clear of poor-quality systems.  And we also avoid high-quality systems that are overpriced.  In some cases, like Maytag M1200 Series iQ Drive central air conditioning system, with outstanding 24.5 SEER, the technology is new and still too expensive to make it a good value for most homeowners.

There are many central air conditioner systems that offer good value.  Because consumers have different needs for efficiency, we break down our list into 3 levels:

Standard Efficiency: 13 SEER to 15 SEER

Mid-Efficiency: 16 SEER to 18 SEER

Very High Efficiency: 19 SEER and above

Best Priced Standard Efficiency Central Air Conditioner Systems

These systems are best suited for cooler climates where the cooling season is limited to the hotter parts of the summer.  With 13-15 SEER efficiency, they don’t make efficient use of the electricity.  But their lower equipment costs offset that fact.  These are also a good choice for applications where they aren’t used “full time”  such as in cottages, cabins, workshops, etc.  Here are the best priced central air conditioner systems in this category.

1. York Affinity Series Model CZE 15 SEER central air conditioner: The Affinity Line is York’s best and this one comes at a very reasonable price.  The 15 SEER efficiency will keep energy costs under control in mild and cool climates.  The 2-stage operation offers gentler cooling and balanced temperatures throughout the home.  When paired with a variable-speed blower, this will also do a better job reducing humidity in your home.  The 10-year parts warranty is better than most models in this range. This is a premium air conditioner at a very good price.

2. Trane High Efficiency XR13 central air conditioner: This is a 14 SEER, single-stage model that offers basic operation at a very good price.  Trane has a good service record too.  You can find less expensive 14 SEER air conditioners, but few with this quality.  The Trane Climatuff compressor is one of the best in the industry. It also comes with a very good 10-year parts warranty.

Best Priced Mid-Efficiency Central Air Conditioner Systems

This is where the competition is the stiffest in the HVAC world, since a 16-18 SEER AC works well in most climates.  We include 3 systems here for that reason.  All the top brands make very good models in this range.  Here are the best of the best.

1. Dave Lennox Elite Series XC16 central air conditioner: The Elite Series is Lennox’s second best line and offers better value than the Dave Lennox Signature Series.  This one delivers 17.2 SEER efficiency along with outstanding indoor comfort.  It is equipped with a 2-stage scroll compressor that runs low most of the time.  Longer, lower cycles produce more precise control of all aspects of indoor comfort including temperature and humidity level.

2. Carrier Performance Series Model 24APA7 central air conditioner: While the Carrier Infinity Series is often higher rated than the performance series, many consumers think it is overpriced.  For less money, you get performance that is nearly equal to the Infinity products when you choose this Performance Series AC.  It offers 18 SEER efficiency which should lower cooling costs by up to 40% when it replaces on older air conditioner.  The 2-stage compressor is standard equipment.

3. Heil QuietComfort Model Number DXT+ central air conditioner: This is Heil’s top of the line and it offers excellent value because of its competitive pricing.  In terms of indoor comfort, it has a 2-stage scroll compressor made by Copeland, the highest-rated compressor brand in the HVAC industry.  This model offers 18 SEER efficiency.

Best Priced High Efficiency Central Air Conditioner Systems

When you reach this level of efficiency, you’re discussing top of the line models.  They tend to be expensive but the value comes in their ability to dramatically reduce cooling costs.  Many of these models will replace older units in the 8-10 SEER range and that means they will cut energy use and costs by 50% or more.  They are best suited for use in warm climates and are also popular with homeowners embracing green technology for their homes.  Here are the best priced systems in this range.

1. Goodman 18 SEER R-410A Refrigerant – Model DSXC18 central air conditioner: Top to bottom, Goodman offers the best values in the industry.  Their quality has been suspect in the past but that has changed.  Their new models have a good service record and are backed by some of the best warranties in the business.  This is an 18 SEER model that uses the highly-rated Copeland UltraTech scroll compressor backed by a lifetime warranty.

2. American Standard Platinum ZM Allegiance 20 central air conditioner: This unit has 20 SEER efficiency and is built to last with outstanding components.  It is equipped with 2 separate compressors, using one to maintain indoor comfort and employing the second when a boost in cooling is required.  The AccuLink communicating controls coordinate the operation of the  compressors with the system’s blower motor to deliver a very comfortable indoor climate.


All of the models listed here combine good performance, durability and excellent central air conditioner prices.  Determine the level of efficiency you need for your home and start with that category as you look for the right model for your needs.  You can’t go wrong with any of these best priced central air conditioner systems 2012.

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