The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Best Commercial Air Conditioner

Sleek modern building with abstract commercial air conditioners on roof

Selecting the best commercial air conditioner for your business, whether it’s a 10 ton ac unit or a portable air conditioner, is a decision that impacts not only comfort but also operational costs and productivity. A well-chosen air conditioner ensures a conducive environment, promoting efficiency among employees and satisfaction among customers. This guide brings together critical insights to help you make an informed choice.


Goodman Air Conditioning and HeatingIn the realm of commercial air conditioning, Goodman stands out as a brand recognized for its cost-effective yet reliable products. This brand offers a wide array of commercial HVAC systems designed to meet the varying needs of businesses, while not compromising on quality and performance.

Goodman’s HVAC systems boast advanced features that contribute to their remarkable energy efficiency, making them an ideal choice for businesses committed to environmentally sustainable practices.

Popular Models and Key Features:

  1. Goodman GPC14H Packaged Air Conditioner: A model that is highly sought after in the commercial sector. It boasts key features such as a high-efficiency scroll compressor and an EEM blower motor which contribute to its robust cooling capacity and low operational noise. This model also includes a fully insulated blower compartment designed to ensure quiet operation, adding to the overall comfort of your workspace.
  2. Goodman GSX16 Air Conditioner: This model incorporates an energy-efficient compressor and a single-speed condenser fan motor for efficient cooling performance. In addition, it has a factory-installed filter drier which protects the system from dirt and moisture, enhancing longevity.


  • Affordable Price Range: If you’re working with a tight budget but still need reliable cooling solutions, Goodman is a solid choice.
  • Decent Performance for the Cost: Despite their affordable pricing, Goodman products still deliver decent cooling performance.


  • Lower Energy Efficiency Compared to Premium Brands: While Goodman air conditioners are generally efficient, they may not reach the high energy-efficiency ratings that some premium brands offer.

Trane HVAC systemsTrane offers a wide range of air conditioning solutions for commercial use. Whether you have a small retail store or a large office building, they have options to meet your needs.

Popular Models and Key Features:

  1. Trane Voyager™: This line of air conditioners is known for its energy efficiency and easy installation. It has a design that makes servicing and maintenance simple, reducing overall costs.
  2. Trane IntelliPak®: If you’re looking for advanced control options, this model is worth considering. It has integrated systems that provide maximum comfort and efficiency. The IntelliPak® units can also be customized to fit the specific requirements of your space.

Trane Precedent®: These air conditioners are designed to be highly efficient and maintain precise temperature control. They come with features like the Trane eDrive™ direct-drive plenum fan, which helps improve performance.


  • Energy Efficiency Innovations: Trane is committed to developing products that lead the market in energy savings. This can help reduce your business’s operating costs in the long run.
  • Wide Range of Product Options: With Trane, you have plenty of choices when it comes to finding an air conditioner that suits your specific needs. Whether you prioritize advanced temperature control or maximizing space efficiency, there’s likely a Trane model for you.


  • Higher Initial Cost: Compared to some other brands, Trane air conditioners may have a higher upfront price. However, many businesses find that the long lifespan and lower operating expenses of these units make up for the initial investment.

Trane’s focus on energy efficiency can lead to significant cost savings over time, but it may come with a higher initial cost. Their wide range of products ensures that you can find a model that fits your specific requirements.

Remember to also think about how well the air conditioner will integrate with your existing setup. Consulting with an experienced HVAC contractor can help you make an informed decision based on your unique needs.

Carrier logoWhen it comes to commercial air conditioner brands that offer efficient cooling solutions at a competitive price point, Carrier stands tall. This brand has positioned itself as a go-to choice for businesses seeking to maintain an optimal indoor environment without breaking the bank.

Popular Models and Key Features:

  1. Carrier 24ACC6 Performance: Known for its up to 16.5 SEER cooling efficiency, this model provides impressive energy savings and comfort control.
  2. Carrier 38MGRQ18B–3: This ductless mini-split system offers flexible installation options and quiet operations, making it ideal for small spaces or specific zones within a larger space.
  3. Carrier WeatherMaster® 48/50ZHC: A rooftop unit featuring high SEER ratings and advanced cooling technologies, it’s designed for economical and eco-friendly operations.


  • Advanced Cooling Technologies: Carrier invests heavily in research and development, resulting in innovative cooling solutions that enhance comfort while reducing energy consumption.
  • Value for Money: While not the cheapest on the market, Carrier delivers reliable performance and long-lasting durability, offering excellent value for your investment.


  • Occasional Customer Service Issues: Some users have reported less-than-satisfactory experiences with Carrier’s customer service. However, these instances seem to be exceptions rather than the rule.

Investing in a Carrier commercial air conditioner could be a smart move if your main concerns are efficient cooling and cost-effectiveness. Their products are designed to provide consistent comfort, even during the most challenging heatwaves. Make sure to compare different models and consider your specific needs before making a decision. The right choice can lead to significant energy savings and improved comfort for employees and customers alike.

Rheem HVAC systems logoRheem is a standout brand in the commercial air conditioner market, known for creating strong and long-lasting units that can handle the demands of commercial use. What sets Rheem apart is their focus on using tough materials in their designs, ensuring that their HVAC systems are not only reliable but also maintain their performance over time.

As a commitment to their customers, Rheem offers top-tier commercial air conditioner repair and maintenance services. They understand the importance of uninterrupted air conditioning in commercial spaces and their expert technicians provide timely and reliable servicing to keep the systems running at peak efficiency.

Popular Models and Key Features:

  1. Rheem RA20: This model is designed with energy-saving features such as a variable-speed compressor and a high-efficiency motor, which not only help in reducing energy consumption but also contribute to its quiet operation.
  2. Rheem Classic® Series RA14: If noise is a concern for you, this model offers a composite base pan for quieter operation. It also comes with smart monitoring capabilities, making it easier to keep track of maintenance needs.
  3. Rheem Prestige® Series RACDZT: For those looking for advanced control options, this two-stage cooling solution is equipped with EcoNet® Smart Monitoring System, providing you with detailed control and diagnostics.


  • Build Quality and Longevity: Rheem’s use of premium materials results in air conditioners that frequently outlast competitors’ models. This durability can save businesses money on replacement costs in the long run.
  • Positive Customer Reviews: Users commend Rheem for providing reliable cooling solutions that deliver consistent performance. This positive feedback from customers further reinforces the brand’s reputation for quality.


  • Limited Availability: Some users might find the range of specialized models more restricted compared to other brands. Depending on your specific requirements, this could potentially limit your options.

When you consider Rheem alongside names like Trane and Carrier, you find a brand synonymous with durability and customer satisfaction. Though each of these commercial air conditioner brands – Trane with its energy-efficient technology, Carrier known for affordable efficiency, and Rheem praised for its build quality – brings unique strengths to the table. When selecting an option from our recommended top brands list, it is essential to weigh these strengths in light of your specific business needs.

Lennox HVAC systems logoWhen it comes to commercial air conditioner brands, it’s hard to ignore the importance of Lennox. This brand is well-known for its energy-efficient and high-performing commercial air conditioners that meet a wide range of business needs. Lennox offers options such as portable rental units in addition to their HVAC systems designed for commercial buildings. The portable rental units provide flexibility and quick deployment for temporary cooling needs, while the robust HVAC systems are ideal for long-term climate control in larger commercial buildings.

Lennox has established itself as a leader in the industry by constantly innovating in technology to achieve significant energy savings.

Popular Models and Key Features:

  1. Lennox Energence® Ultra-High-Efficiency Rooftop Unit: One of their most popular models. This unit stands out with its impressive energy efficiency ratings of up to 21.5 IEER (Integrated Energy Efficiency Ratio) and up to 13.9 EER (Energy Efficiency Ratio); the design of this unit focuses on delivering the highest standard in energy efficiency, which not only helps reduce operating costs but also ensures exceptional comfort for building occupants.
  2. Lennox Strategos™ Rooftop Unit: It was actually the first light commercial rooftop unit in the industry to achieve a part-load efficiency rating over 16 SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio). Even today, it continues to lead in part-load efficiency ratings, offering the potential for significant energy savings.


  • Energy-saving features: Lennox units are equipped with highly efficient components and advanced technology that greatly reduce energy consumption.
  • Advanced temperature control: The ability to finely adjust temperature settings guarantees consistent comfort levels across various spaces in a commercial building.


  • Higher-end pricing tier: While Lennox offers top-quality and feature-rich products, they do come at a higher price compared to some other brands in the market.

It’s worth mentioning that Lennox units are not just about energy efficiency. They also excel in providing advanced temperature control capabilities, thanks to their direct digital control (DDC) feature. This allows precise management of indoor temperature levels, ensuring optimal comfort throughout different areas within a commercial establishment.

York HVAC systems logoYork stands out in the commercial air conditioner market with a steadfast commitment to customer satisfaction and comprehensive warranty terms. As a brand with considerable history, York has developed a suite of AC solutions that cater to various business needs, ensuring that comfort and efficiency go hand in hand.

With a range of 10-ton commercial AC units, York ensures that businesses can find the most suitable options to meet their specific cooling needs. And the best part? It won’t break the bank.

Popular Models and Key Features:

  • York YCWL Water-Cooled Scroll Chiller: This model is designed for tight spaces and offers quiet operation. It comes with advanced controls for superior performance management.
  • York Predator Series Rooftop Units: Known for their ease of installation and service, these units feature high-efficiency designs that help reduce energy costs over time.
  • York Affinity™ Series Split System Air Conditioners: These offer higher energy efficiency and are equipped with QuietDrive™ Comfort System for reduced noise levels, creating a more comfortable environment.


  • Customer Support: York prides itself on providing responsive and helpful customer service, ensuring that clients’ issues are addressed promptly.
  • Warranty Coverage: With some of the most extensive warranties in the industry, York gives customers peace of mind knowing their investment is protected.


  • Product Range: While offering robust solutions for many applications, York’s range can be limited for specific large-scale or highly specialized projects.

By prioritizing customer needs and backing their products with strong support and warranties, York demonstrates a solid understanding of what businesses require from their commercial air conditioning systems. The brand’s dedication to maintaining high standards ensures that you get not just a product but a reliable asset for your workspace.

Daikin HVAC systems logoRenowned as a global leader in air conditioning, Daikin offers an array of commercial HVAC systems, including efficient 10-ton AC units, to address the diverse cooling needs of commercial establishments.. Daikin’s commercial air conditioners not only ensure a comfortable environment but also contribute to cost savings through their energy-efficient technology.

Popular Models and Key Features:

  1. Daikin VRV IV-S, a compact, flexible solution for small commercial spaces, and demonstrates Daikin’s commitment to energy-efficient design without compromising on cooling capacity.
  2. Daikin VRV IV-S: This model features a variable refrigerant volume system that optimizes energy consumption based on the specific cooling needs of your space. Its compact design makes it suitable for small businesses or commercial spaces with limited installation space.
  3. Daikin SkyAir Series: For larger commercial spaces, the SkyAir Series offers powerful cooling with advanced inverter technology that reduces energy consumption. It also incorporates Daikin’s unique ‘Intelligent Eye’ technology which automatically adjusts cooling based on human presence detection.


  • Strong Customer Support: Daikin takes pride in their customer-centric approach. They offer extensive support to their consumers before, during and after purchase.
  • Extensive Warranty Coverage: Daikin provides one of the most comprehensive warranty programs in the industry. This includes coverage for parts, labor and even replacement in certain cases.


  • Limited Product Range for Large-Scale Applications: While Daikin offers an impressive range of products for small to medium-sized businesses, their options for large-scale applications may be somewhat limited compared to other brands.

In this rapidly evolving market of commercial air conditioners, Daikin stands out with its strong customer support and extensive warranty coverage. It’s a brand that continues to impress with its commitment to customer satisfaction and innovative air conditioning solutions. However, like all brands, it is essential to assess if their product range aligns with your specific business needs.

ACiQ HVAC systemsACiQ offers innovative and portable commercial air conditioning solutions, catering to the dynamic requirements of businesses. Noted for its unwavering commitment to customer satisfaction and comprehensive warranty offerings, ACiQ has carved out a niche for itself in the market.

Popular Models and Key Features:

  • ACiQ Premier: Known for its energy-saving capabilities.
  • ACiQ Elite: Offers advanced temperature control technology.


  • Strong Customer Support: ACiQ stands out with its exceptional customer service, always ready to assist with troubleshooting or any other issues.
  • Extensive Warranty Coverage: Their warranty offerings are comprehensive, offering a safety net to customers and ensuring they get the maximum value from their investment.


  • Limited Product Range for Large-Scale Applications: While ACiQ excels in various areas, their product range might not cater to all large-scale applications. This limitation may need consideration if you’re looking for cooling solutions for extensive commercial spaces.

ACiQ reflects a blend of robust customer support and extensive warranty coverage. It remains a viable option among commercial air conditioner brands, especially for businesses valuing customer service and warranty protection.

Key Factors to Consider When Choosing a Commercial Air Conditioner

Energy Efficiency

When choosing a commercial air conditioner, it’s important to prioritize energy efficiency. Not only does this help reduce utility costs, but it also aligns with efforts towards environmental sustainability. Nowadays, businesses are more conscious of their impact on the environment, and opting for an energy-efficient model shows a commitment to eco-friendly practices.

ENERGY STAR® Certification

Look for products that are certified by ENERGY STAR®. These products meet strict energy performance standards set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. They are specifically designed to use less energy, reduce emissions, and save money without compromising on performance.

Understanding Energy Efficiency Ratings

To determine the energy efficiency of an air conditioner, you should be familiar with two important ratings: EER and SEER.

  • EER (Energy Efficiency Ratio)
    • This rating measures the cooling capacity (in BTUs) per hour divided by the power input (in watts) under specific testing conditions.
    • The higher the EER rating, the more efficient the air conditioner.
    • It’s particularly useful for comparing the efficiency of units when outside temperatures are consistently high, such as 95°F.
  • SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio)
    • Reflects the total cooling output during a typical cooling season divided by the total electric energy input during the same period.
    • SEER provides a more accurate representation of how efficiently an air conditioner will operate over an entire season.
    • A higher SEER rating indicates greater efficiency and potential long-term savings on energy costs.

By prioritizing models with high EER and SEER ratings, you can ensure that your investment contributes to lower operational costs and supports long-term financial savings. Keep in mind that while energy-efficient units may have a higher upfront cost, they can lead to significant reductions in utility bills over time.

Choosing an air conditioner with excellent energy performance not only helps save money but also showcases your business’s commitment to environmental responsibility—a valuable aspect for both your reputation and compliance with evolving regulations on energy usage.

Durability and Build Quality

When selecting commercial AC units, the durability of the equipment is a pivotal consideration. A commercial air conditioner must endure the rigors of round-the-clock use, often in challenging environmental conditions. The build quality of an AC unit directly impacts its lifespan and reliability, which are essential for businesses aiming to avoid frequent repair costs and downtime.

Key Components for Durability

  1. Copper Coils: Copper is known for its excellent thermal conductivity, which means it effectively transfers heat. It’s also resistant to corrosion, which is crucial in maintaining the system’s efficiency over time.
  2. Galvanized Steel Cabinets: The external housing of your air conditioner needs to be tough. Galvanized steel provides robust protection against weather elements and mechanical damage, ensuring that the internal components remain secure.

Evaluating Durability Factors

When you evaluate different commercial AC units, assess these factors closely:

  1. The presence of high-quality materials in construction
  2. The reputation of the brand for building durable products
  3. Warranty offerings that indicate the manufacturer’s confidence in their product’s longevity

Balancing energy efficiency with durability and cost can lead you to make a wise investment that will satisfy your cooling needs while offering substantial energy savings. Prioritize models that are built to last and backed by solid warranties, as this can offer peace of mind and signal quality manufacturing practices. This focus on build quality translates into long-term performance and customer satisfaction without compromising on energy efficiency.

Cooling Capacity and Zone Control

Selecting the correct cooling capacity for your commercial air conditioner is essential to ensure optimal energy efficiency and comfort. A unit with too high a tonnage can lead to increased energy costs and discomfort due to the frequent cycling on and off of the system, while an underpowered unit may struggle to maintain a comfortable temperature during peak heat periods.

Factors to Consider for Cooling Capacity

The cooling capacity should be determined by considering factors such as:

  • Size of the space
  • Number of occupants
  • Amount of heat-generating equipment present
  • Insulation

The size and capacity of a commercial air conditioner, such as a 10-ton AC unit or a portable commercial air conditioner, play a pivotal role in ensuring adequate cooling for large commercial spaces, addressing specific cooling requirements based on the area and usage. A 10-ton unit is specifically designed to handle the cooling needs of large commercial spaces, providing high-capacity cooling to maintain comfortable indoor temperatures. On the other hand, portable commercial air conditioners offer flexibility by allowing cooling to be directed precisely where it’s needed.

Brand Reputation and Product Support

Evaluating the reputation of a brand and its support services is as critical as considering factors such as energy efficiency, durability, cost, and warranty while choosing commercial AC units.

Reputable brands tend to manufacture reliable, high-performing commercial HVAC equipment. Their products often deliver better energy efficiency and durability, providing long-term performance, energy savings, and overall value for money.

To assess a brand’s reputation:

  1. Customer Reviews: Look for consistent patterns in customer feedback. Positive reviews about product performance, after-sales service, and overall customer satisfaction can indicate a trustworthy brand.
  2. Industry Experience: Brands with many years of industry experience often produce higher-quality products due to their extensive knowledge and understanding of HVAC systems.
  3. Awards and Recognition: Awards from industry organizations or business bureaus can serve as a testament to a brand’s commitment to quality and innovation.

Remember that purchasing an air conditioner is a significant investment. Make sure you also evaluate the post-purchase support provided by the brand. Good customer support ensures that you can get help when you need it most – be it technical difficulties or queries related to maintenance.

Your choice of commercial air conditioning unit will significantly impact your workspace environment and operating costs. So take time to research thoroughly before making this critical business decision.

Cost Considerations and Warranty Coverage

When choosing a commercial air conditioner, it’s not just the upfront cost you need to consider, but also long-term savings potential through energy efficiency and maintenance requirements. It might be tempting to opt for the cheapest unit available, but remember – an energy-inefficient air conditioner could end up costing you more in the long run due to higher utility bills.

Key factors when considering cost:

  • Energy Efficiency: Look for an air conditioner with a high SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) rating. The higher the SEER rating, the more energy-efficient the air conditioner is, which can translate into significant savings on your electricity bills.
  • Durability: An air conditioner that requires frequent repairs can quickly become a financial burden. That’s why it’s important to choose a unit known for its durability and longevity.
  • Maintenance Requirements: Regular servicing can extend the life of your air conditioner and keep it running at peak efficiency. However, these services come at a cost, so factor this into your budget.

When it comes to warranty coverage, you’ll want something comprehensive that covers both parts and labor for a reasonable duration. A good warranty provides peace of mind by protecting your investment against unexpected failures or malfunctions.

Remember to always read the fine print of any warranty agreement to understand what is and isn’t covered. For instance, some warranties may only cover specific parts or require regular maintenance by certified professionals to remain valid.

By carefully considering these factors, you can ensure long-term performance, energy savings, and overall value for money with the selected commercial air conditioner.


When looking for the best commercial air conditioner units for your business, remember to prioritize energy efficiency and reliability. Don’t just focus on upfront costs; also consider the long-term savings from energy-efficient models.

To avoid expensive commercial air conditioning repair in the future, make sure to schedule regular check-ups with a trusted HVAC contractor. This helps catch small issues before they turn into big problems. It also keeps your system running efficiently, which can lead to significant savings on energy bills.

Remember, a properly functioning commercial air conditioner creates a comfortable environment for your employees and customers. This can have a positive impact on productivity and satisfaction levels – both important for business success.

Choose wisely today for a cooler tomorrow!

Thermostat HQ