What every best Central Air Conditioners has:
- High efficiency.
- Good value.
- A solid warranty.
Top ratings. With its top SEER rating of 26, the Dave Lennox Signature XC25 is the most energy-efficient central air conditioner in this report and it earns Energy Star Most Efficient status for 2018. It can save 58 percent in energy costs compared to an older system rated at 10 SEER. That's important to keep in mind as you shop for systems as it can offset the initial cost of the XC25, which can cost substantially more than some competing systems. Part of the reason for that price premium is this system's advanced technology. The XC25 uses a modulating compressor that provides just the right amount of cooling capacity, in increments as low as one percent, for precise temperature control and lower humidity.
High efficiency is just the start. Those looking to reduce their energy footprint will find even more to like with the Lennox Signature XC25. The system is compatible with Lennox SunSource solar panel modules that will power your central-air system and can pass on any unused electricity to power other appliances in your home. Attaching a SunSource module to the XC25 qualifies it for solar federal tax credits that are available through 2021, as well as any local government or power company incentives. The system is compatible with Lennox's iComfort technology, including a Wi-Fi thermostat with cloud connectivity so that it can be adjusted remotely via the Internet using a smartphone, tablet or PC. The system also includes self-diagnostics that monitor the health of the XC25 and issue alerts if something is amiss. The XC25 is also quieter than most, with decibel ratings as low as 59.
Solid reliability, but getting parts can be a pain. Lennox finishes a couple of percentage points behind the top spot in Consumer Reports' long-term survey of central air conditioner reliability, though the difference is too small to be considered significant. Lennox is picky about who it allows to install its systems, and that helps keep its reputation strong. However, we spotted some feedback that says if things do go wrong, it can take a while to get replacement parts. The 10-year limited warranty isn't as long or as generous as that of some other central air-conditioner brands (for example, some makers offer lifetime coverage on the compressor) but is about what's considered to be typical in the industry.