Oct 17, 2023
- Top Brands
- Brand Comparison
- What to Look For
- How Do They Work?
- Should You Get One?
- Our Recommendation
- How We Chose
Wall-mounted air conditioners, sometimes called ductless mini-splits or in-wall air conditioners, are useful when you can’t operate an in-home cooling system through an air conditioning unit and ductwork. We researched the best air conditioner brands, comparing them on cost, energy efficiency rating, and more. See which wall-mounted air conditioners made our list of recommendations below.
Top Wall-Mounted Air Conditioner Brands
We recommend these brands based on our research:
- Best Overall AC Units: Carrier
- Most Energy Efficient: Lennox
- Most Protection: Trane
- Best Selection: Amana
- Best for Extreme Climates: American Standard
Get quotes from wall-mounted air conditioner brands near you.
Compare Top Air Conditioner Brands
Here is a quick look at how each brand compares:
|Brand||Superlative||Our Rating (Out of 5)||SEER Rating||Price Range|
Best Overall AC Units
Up to 42.5
Most Energy Efficient
Up to 28
Up to 28
Up to 25
Best for Extreme Climates
Up to 22
- Our rating: 5 out of 5
- Price range: $3,000 to $15,000
- SEER rating: Up to 42.5
What we like: Carrier has a long history of innovation. It’s known for producing AC units that are extremely energy efficient and quiet. The brand partners with ENERGY STAR to meet strict efficiency requirements, and its products have a seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) rating between 18 and 42.5. Thanks to its use of variable speed compressors, some of Carrier’s AC units have sound levels as low as 29 decibels (dB).
Recommended model: We suggest the Infinity Highwall Indoor unit. It’s ENERGY STAR-certified with low noise levels. It also comes with smart integration to control the temperature from your device anywhere with Wi-Fi. You get a 10-year limited parts warranty when you register your unit.
➕ Is an ENERGY STAR partner and has high SEER ratings
➕ Is known for low-noise units
➕ Has a large inventory of well-rated products
➖ Is more expensive than many competitors
➖ Has a relatively short warranty that only covers certain parts
➖ Requires a consultation to get an estimate
- Our rating: 5 out of 5
- Price range: $3,100 to $10,000
- SEER rating: Up to 28
What we like: Lennox is another ENERGY STAR partner committed to making high-efficiency air conditioners. Some units use advanced technology that alters how they cool based on the surrounding climate, giving you better energy efficiency and a lower utility bill by minimizing temperature swings.
Recommended model: We recommend Lennox’s MPB Mini-Split unit. It has a SEER rating of up to 24.5 and a low sound score of 24 dB. It comes with a 5-year limited warranty on covered components and a 7-year limited warranty on the compressor. It’s also eligible for a 12-year extended warranty if you register it.
➕ Is an ENERGY STAR partner with solid SEER ratings
➕ Is more cost-effective than some brands on our list
➕ Is available at home improvement retailers such as The Home Depot
➖ Has many customer reviews pointing to frequently needing repairs
➖ Includes high repair fees since the brand uses proprietary parts
➖ Varies warranty options greatly by product
- Our rating: 4.9 out of 5
- Price range: $3,500 to $15,600
- SEER rating: Up to 28
What we like: Trane offers more comprehensive warranties than many competitors. Buyers get a 12-year compressor and a 10-year parts and labor warranty. Trane also prioritizes advanced technologies, such as smart thermostats and a mobile app that lets you control your home’s temperature and humidity from anywhere.
Recommended model: We like Trane’s Single-Zone Pump for floor mounting. It sits lower on your wall, more out of sight. It includes anti-allergen filters that are washable and reusable, and you have plenty of control options for air direction, fan speed, and temperature. Its SEER score is up to 28.2.
➕ Allows you to control the unit using a mobile app
➕ Offers a more comprehensive warranty than many competitors
➕ Provides reusable air filters with its units
➖ Charges premium prices for many products
➖ Is known to require ongoing maintenance according to some customer reviews
➖ Requires a particular thermostat for certain units to work properly
- Our rating: 4.8 out of 5
- Price range: $3,600 to $11,000
- SEER rating: Up to 25
What we like: Amana has a vast inventory of air conditioning units. It’s part of Goodman, the world’s largest heating, ventilation, and air conditioning manufacturer. Amana also sells high-quality air purifiers, humidifiers, and dehumidifiers through its sister company CleanComfort. The company provides customers with two-way communication technology to allow your system to use data to automatically adjust to the minimum amount of energy needed to keep your home at a comfortable temperature based on your routine, lowering your electricity bills.
Recommended model: The Amana PBC123 Through-the-Wall unit is a good choice if you’re into tech and convenience. It uses an electronic touchpad with a remote control and switches to configure the check-filter light, temperature capabilities, and fan auto cycle.
➕ Includes a limited lifetime replacement warranty on more high-end units
➕ Includes noise-reduction features on many units
➕ Offers a wide range of units to choose from with smart-home integrations
➖ Comes with lengthy time lines to fix if technology malfunctions on certain units
➖ Includes features that can require a tech savviness some customers aren’t comfortable with
➖ Has lower product performance ratings among customers than some other brands
- Our rating: 4.8 out of 5
- Price range: $3,500 to $10,900
- SEER rating: Up to 22
What we like: You probably recognize the American Standard name since the company has been in business for nearly 100 years. It’s competitively priced and has a vast network of certified dealers who understand and can advise you on the right unit for your region’s climate. Units come with 10-year limited warranties, and many incorporate smart-home technology.
Recommended model: We like the NAXWPH High-Efficiency system for its energy savings. It has a SEER rating of up to 33.1 and has washable, anti-allergen air filters and smart-home capabilities.
➕ Includes smart-home integrations
➕ Is well-priced for its features
➕ Uses a network of certified dealers
➖ Customers report its products are louder than some other brands
➖ Isn’t as energy efficient as other brands on our list
➖ Provides compressor coverage only for high-end units
What to Look for in an Air Conditioner Brand
Homeowners should research air conditioner brands thoroughly before making a decision. Wall-mounted AC units are just as important to purchase smartly as central air systems, given that they cost several thousands of dollars and need to provide the cooling power you’re looking for. Below are a few things to consider when deciding on an air conditioner company.
You want responsive, friendly, helpful, and prompt customer service. Look at how many contact options a company offers on its website. See if both phone and email options are available and if there’s an online request form. Check if there’s a mobile app with a live chat feature. We also recommend reading customer reviews for each brand. See if customers complain of difficulty contacting customer support or if requests take a long time to resolve.
Energy efficiency is one of the biggest factors to look for because it will directly impact your electricity bills. There are two things to look for: SEER rating and ENERGY STAR rating.
An air conditioner’s SEER rating represents the ratio of its cooling output over a typical cooling season divided by the energy it uses in watt-hours. You’ll often see an “up to” condition where the SEER rating is listed. This condition is listed here to indicate that your home’s setup, such as insulation and windows, affects how well the unit can perform, not just the unit’s capabilities. The number means it can perform that well if your home provides optimal efficiency conditions. Any SEER rating above 14 for northern states and 15 for southern states is considered good. The average rating is 16, and anything above 20 is exceptional.
We suggest you look for a unit with ENERGY STAR certification. This means it meets federally mandated guidelines for energy efficiency set by the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy. ENERGY STAR requires all certified central air conditioners and heat pumps to have a SEER rating of at least 15.
A noisy unit can be disruptive if you work from home, have young children, or are sensitive to noise. Most brands include a noise score in decibels for each unit on their site. The Purdue University Chemistry Department provides this noise scale to help identify the noise level of each dB rating:
- 20 dB: Sounds like a whisper or rustling leaves
- 30 dB: Sounds like a quiet rural area
- 40 dB: Sounds like an outdoor bird call
- 50 dB: Sounds like a quiet conversation
- 60 dB: Sounds like a restaurant or office conversation
- 70 dB: Sounds like running a vacuum cleaner
- 80 dB: Sounds like running a garbage disposal or food blender
Smart-home or intelligent cooling features often cost more but can pay off because they provide better temperature control and lower your utility bills. You can control the features through a mobile app, voice commands, or remote control. They allow you to change temperature and humidity levels or set and adjust levels automatically based on your preferred settings. Some even have sleep-mode settings that automatically change your home’s temperature for more comfortable sleeping.
Because you’re making a big investment, you want a solid warranty to back it up if a component malfunctions. We recommend reviewing warranty coverage details on the manufacturer’s website before purchasing. Some AC warranties only cover certain parts, some include labor, and some are for longer time lines than others. We suggest looking for a minimum 10-year warranty that includes parts and workmanship.
How Does a Wall-Mounted Air Conditioner Work?
Wall-mounted air conditioners are sleek, subtle, and use advanced technology. Most designs are rectangular and work by blowing air over coolant coils while expelling warm air outside. They can fit in a framed hole on an exterior wall with a specially designed containment wall sleeve for an airtight seal.
Should You Get a Wall-Mounted Air Conditioner?
Getting a wall-mounted air conditioner or ductless mini-split air conditioner can be easier and more cost-effective than installing central air in some cases. It can be helpful if you have a guest house, studio, shed, or outdoor workshop. Most homeowners today don’t prefer the look and noise of wall or window AC, so we suggest avoiding it in your main home if you plan to resell.
Our top pick for wall-mounted AC units is Carrier. Though the brand is more expensive than others, it’s our all-around choice due to its high energy efficiency, low noise, and positive customer reviews. Lennox is our runner-up. The company’s products are exceptionally energy efficient at a more affordable price.
We recommend carefully reading customer reviews and warranty details before deciding on a unit. We also suggest getting price estimates from at least three brands.
Air Conditioner Brands FAQ
Are wall-mounted AC units worth it?
Wall-mounted AC units are worth it if you have a one-room guest house, detached studio or shed you want to keep cool without the hassle and investment of installing central air.
What is the disadvantage of a wall-mounted air conditioner?
The main disadvantage of a wall-mounted air conditioner is that it only provides cooling for a single room or area. You can also experience drafts if the technician doesn’t install the unit properly and with a tight seal.
Is a wall-mount AC better than a portable AC?
Portable air conditioners are quick to set up and run but have a limited cooling capacity compared to wall-mounted ACs.
How much does it cost to install a wall-mounted air conditioner?
The national average to install a wall-mounted air conditioner is $6,563. Installation in smaller homes with only one unit can cost closer to $2,000, while larger homes with multiple units can cost up to $28,000. The average rate of an HVAC installer is $18.93 to $35.23 per hour.*
*Figures are from Fixr.com.
How We Chose the Top HVAC Brands
We researched dozens of HVAC brands to determine which ones offer the best air conditioners, heat pumps, furnaces, and other heating, ventilation, and air conditioning products. We then crafted a rating system based on each brand’s mid-tier and high-end product offerings.
We analyzed each company’s product specifications, SEER ratings, AFUE ratings, and their best available sound rating. We also ensured that each brand offers ENERGY STAR-certified products. In addition, we closely analyzed each company’s warranties to ensure their product and labor guarantees match or exceed industry standards.
Finally, we assessed the manufacturer’s years of experience and customer reputation on popular review sites such as the Better Business Bureau. We also checked whether the brand fulfills the high-end and luxury needs of Architectural Digest readers, such as smart-home integration options, solar-powered capabilities, and home comfort control products such as air purifiers and humidity control.
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