Quality, efficiency, and value are all important factors when deciding what HVAC is right for you. This overview of the best HVAC systems include air conditioner split systems, heat pump split systems, and packaged systems.
Air Conditioner Split Systems
These systems are the most common type of HVAC system because they are versatile and affordable. We have identified the best AC split systems; a top-of-the-line model, a mid-range, and a budget unit.
1. Dave Lennox Signature Series: Efficiency and comfort are top-notch with this system. The Lennox XC25 has an unbelievable 25 SEER, the best on the market. Gas furnaces start with the modulating SLP98V with 98.2 percent AFUE efficiency and a variable-speed blower.
2. American Standard Gold Series: This is a mid-range unit that offers up to a 17 SEER with comfortable two-stage cooling. The furnace will produce efficiency as high as 95 percent with its variable-speed blower.
3. Goodman Communicating System: The value-oriented DSXC18 has an 18 SEER. Pair it with a modulating furnace like the 96 percent efficient Goodman GMVM96 with a variable-speed blower.
Heat Pump Split Systems
1. Carrier Infinity Series with Greenspeed Technology: Greenspeed technology is modulating technology that creates the most efficient and comfortable heating and cooling. The Carrier Infinity 20 Greenspeed 25VNAO heat pump produces an outstanding 20.5 SEER/13.0 HSPF efficiency. The Infinity 98 Greenspeed 59MN7 gas furnace offers 98.5 percent efficiency with a modulating gas valve and variable-speed blower.
2. Heil DXT+ Heat Pump System: This heat pump is available in 15 SEER and 17 SEER models. Both are two-stage and would work well with a two-stage furnace with variable-speed fans and efficiency levels up to 96 percent.
3. Aire-Flo Heat Pump System: These are single-stage heat pumps that have a 14 SEER. The gas furnaces have efficiency up to 95 percent with single-stage gas valves and multispeed, not variable-speed, blowers.
It is difficult to identify a top-of the line, mid-level, and budget packaged unit because there are so few on the market. Here is the best gas/electric system (gas furnace and air conditioner) and the best heat pump packaged unit.
Top Gas/Electric Packaged Unit: Trane XL16c Packaged Gas/Electric System
This air conditioner offers a 16.6 SEER, quite a feat for a packaged unit. It is made with a two-stage compressor for enhanced indoor comfort. The gas furnace is an 80 percent model, which is about average for packaged units. The furnace has a variable-speed blower. Top Heat Pump Package Unit: Carrier Infinity 15 Packaged Hybrid Heat 48XT-A System This dual-fuel system has a 15.5 SEER heat pump and an 80 percent AFUE gas furnace. The heat pump is used until temperatures go below freezing, at which point the gas furnace takes over. It automatically switches back to the heat pump when temperatures increase. The heat pump and gas furnace are two-stage models.