Carrier vs Goodman AC: Comparison + Which One is Better?

Central AC units are popular with most people as they enable the changing of the home’s temperature with a simple button push. Two of the leading makers and vendors of central air conditioning products are Carrier and Goodman. The main reason why Carrier ACs and Goodman ACs are two of the best brands is that they are highly superior and relatively affordable, respectively.

Carrier vs. Goodman Air Conditioners: Differences

To have a better chance of choosing the best AC brand for the needs of your home or business, you must understand and consider what separates Carrier ACs from Goodman ACs. As the leading air conditioning brands for homeowners, Carrier AC units and Goodman AC units differ in the following ways.

Ownership and Longevity In Business

It is true there may be some people who are not cognizant of the range of air conditioners fabricated by Goodman. The reason is that initially when the company was established around 1954 (originally known as Janitrol), it confined its operations within a region. Its founder, Harold V. Goodman, began his career as an HVAC expert operating within Houston, Texas.

21 years later, Goodman had already established its roots as one of the biggest and most recognizable cooling device manufacturers and heat pumps, now under the ownership of Daikin (the largest manufacturer of ACs in the USA). The business transitioned into the fabrication of ACs due to the need to avoid working with intermediaries as an HVAC contractor. These guys are the workhorse of the AC industry by offering quality middle-of-the-road types of systems. You won’t find anything fancy on Goodman products like you will with Carrier.

On the other hand, Carrier began straightaway as a maker of air conditioners after its creator had designed the first state-of-the-art AC unit around 1902. The business has also managed to penetrate the North American market.

Winner (Longevity): Carrier

The Difference In Pricing

Carrier central air conditioning units tend to be pricey compared with other brands including Goodman. The main reason why Carrier AC systems are not generally affordable is that they are designed to deliver a superior cooling service lasting lots of years.

In contrast, Goodman air conditioning systems are a great alternative for people who do not have plenty of money at their disposal. Goodman ACs are a relatively affordable option for replacing a defective AC system.

Although Goodman ACs are reasonably priced, it does not mean their overall value is compromised. The ACs can deliver the same high level of durability and service associated with Carrier ACs.

Winner (Affordability): Goodman

Different warranty offering

Carrier air conditioning systems seem to have adopted a one size fits all approach regarding warranty provision. For the parts of its cooling device, Carrier offers a 10-year warranty, which may not be that attractive to you as a home or business owner. And there are no warranties for the changing of air conditioning systems.

Even though the business allows you to purchase an extended HVAC warranty, it is best if you avoid it. The best value for your money is to plan for the cleaning, servicing, and maintenance of your HVAC system every couple of years.

Contrarily, Goodman ACs, their compressors come with a lifetime warranty. The offer warranty also covers substituting the whole air conditioning unit if the compressor becomes defective within the first 10 years of purchase.

Other parts of the Goodman AC systems have a warranty of 10 years.

Winner (Warranty): Tie

Compressor Brands Used

Carrier air conditioning units are designed with cutting-edge components. A pricier AC system means you get an exceptional, long-lasting device. Most Carrier ACs use compressors manufactured by Copeland, the recent winner of the AHR Innovation Award 2021.

In contrast, most Goodman ACs often use different universal, top-rated components, including the ones produced by Copeland and Ultratech. The company even manufactures and uses coils that are not highly rated in the market. It is easy for the durability of your unit to be compromised if Goodman uses its coils.

Winner (Compressors): Carrier

Installation costs

The cost of installing some Carrier AC units is in the region of $4,500 to $7,200. Installation can be done by any of the company’s installers, specially trained and experienced in installing Carrier HVAC systems.

On the contrary, to install a Goodman HVAC system, you will only fork out about $3,500 as these systems are a bit easier to install thus reducing the overall time to install.

Winner (Install Price): Goodman

Energy Efficiency Difference

The Carrier AC models have SEER ratings of 13-26 while Goodman ACs have SEER ratings of 13-19. The 26 SEER rating offered by Carrier air conditioners is the highest on offer among AC brands. Having a higher SEER, Carrier ACs offer better energy efficiency levels.

See: 14 SEER vs. 16 SEER

Here is the summary of the differences between Carrier and Goodman AC

Carrier ACsGoodman ACs
Started straight away as a manufacturer of AC unitsFirst began as an HVAC contractor before venturing into manufacturing cooling devices
Are more priceyAre relatively more pocket friendly
A one fits its all cover of 10 yearsProvides a lifetime warranty and a 10-year warranty option
Copeland mainly manufactures its compressors.Mainly uses a  range of compressors manufactured by leading brands
High costs of installationAffordable installation cost
Highly energy efficientModerately energy efficient

Winner (Efficiency): Carrier

Carrier ACs Positives

Some of the main features of Carrier ACs include:

Air handler

  • State-of-the-art diagnostic boards come in handy for solving air handler issues such as the failure of the blower motor and blocked airflow pathway.
  • 10-year limited cover of components.
  • Variable-speed condenser fan motors help regulate the tempo of the fan depending on the system’s load to achieve better energy use.
  • Filters that you can clean.

Condensing units

The main features of condensing components of Carrier ACs include:

  • Capable of delivering low and high-pressure cooling.
  • Offers highly advanced diagnostic solutions for troubleshooting any potentially arising issues.
  • Their design ensures they are long-lasting.
  • Built to deliver a quiet, smooth operation using a noise reduction feature like the Silencer System II.
  • Some models have a SEER rating of 26, the highest in the market.

Other main features of Carrier ACs are the use of aluminum coil and CoolCloud HVAC for phone diagnosis of problems. Aluminum coils are great for reducing the leaking and corrosion of Carrier HVAC units.  

Goodman ACs Positives

In terms of Goodman ACs, some of the main features are:

Air handlers

  • Some air handlers have a humidity regulation mechanism.
  • Their ability to perform is certified by the AHRI

Condensing units

  • The efficiency range of the condensing components of Goodman is up to 19 SEER.
  • Some condensing components have low and high staging of scroll compressors according to the prevailing demands. You can get low or high-pressure cooling.
  •  Have a Louvered coil guard that is Energy Star rated.
  • Built to operate with quiet background noise. That guarantees you will not be subjected to sleep or attention distraction.

How to Choose Between Carrier and Goodman Brands

To choose the right AC between Carrier and Goodman for your living or working space, you should consider their features and pros and cons. Looking at how those two brands compare, one thing is clear; they are not worlds apart regarding performance.

Apart from performance, below are the other reasons for choosing Carrier ACs or Goodman ACs.

Choose Carrier ACs if:

You want to buy arguably the gold standard of integrated AC systems. In particular, the Infinity premium models are a must-buy if you desire an exceptional device for providing the cooling needs of your building for years.

You may also choose Carrier ACs if you like the idea of being able to find an HVAC contractor easily. The majority of the businesses offering installation of HVAC units tend to focus on Carrier ACs. But, since Carrier AC systems last longer than most AC brands, there may not be a need for repair or replacement regularly.

Choose Goodman ACs if:

You are financially constrained. Goodman ACs are one of the most affordable cooling devices on the market and are still highly effective. Even the various components of the Goodman air conditioners are pocket-friendly.

In conclusion, once you have a choice between Carrier ACs and Goodman ACs, you must use the service of a professional installer. An AC unit only performs optimally if the installation is done correctly. You have to find the correct installer for your air conditioning brand. An expert HVAC contractor may also help you choose the suitable cooling device for the particular needs of your home or business and avoid violating the offer warranty.  

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3 thoughts on “Carrier vs Goodman AC: Comparison + Which One is Better?”

  1. Hi Tim:

    I am looking at complete install for new furnace/ac form my home. We are looking at single stage 4 ton units. I did get multiple quotations from reputable companies/installers. They are as follows:
    Carrier System: $13,400 Condenser (24SCA548W003), Evap Coil (CAPMP4821ALA), Gas Furnace (58SB0A11E21-20).
    Trane System: $11,000
    Condenser (4TTR5048N1000), Gas Furnace (S8X1C100M5PSC), Coil (4TXCC007DS3HC).
    Goodman System: $7,880
    Condenser (GSXH504810), Gas Furnace (GM9S800805CN), Coil (CAPT4961C4).

    Looking for advice as there is a significant price difference here.
    Thanks for your help

    • Goodman system are generally less expensive. With your quote being about 40% less than the Carrier I would say that is a good quote. I’ll probably go with a Goodman unit when I need to replace mine in a few years.


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