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Bryant Air Conditioner Reviews & Prices 2021

Bryant is one the USA’s most recognizable manufacturers of air conditioners. They’re well established for offering quality units at affordable prices, but choosing the right one for you and your home can be a tricky process. That’s why I’ve compiled this Bryant AC units 2021 review.

I’ve spent almost 12 years working as a specialized Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) authority. After starting out as a licensed electrician, my expertise, professionalism, and eagerness to deliver complete customer comfort and satisfaction led me to set up my own business, thereby working with hundreds of AC models, and passing on what I’ve learned to the next generation of AC experts. 

When it comes to buying your first AC unit, making the right decision can seem overwhelming and downright discouraging. You’ll inevitably be faced with endless features, confusing terms, and apparently meaningless numbers. You may come across vastly varying prices for what can initially look to be the exact same product.

That’s why I’ve compiled this Bryant AC units review. It’s my goal to help you discover what makes your ideal air conditioning unit and find it at the perfect price.

About Bryant- Are Bryant and Carrier the same?

After being founded by Charles Bryant in 1904 as Bryant Heating & Cooling, Bryant led the way in the HVAC industry, specializing in the building of air conditioning systems and other HVAC system components such as the gas furnace and heat pumps. Later, Bryant was one of the pioneers of the centralized air conditioning revolution in the 1960s. They have since gone on to forge a reputation as a comprehensive HVAC brand that makes good quality, affordable air conditioners.

There is an impressive line-up of seventeen Bryant air conditioners across three ranges, from 13 rated Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) to 20.5 SEER. 

One of the most common questions I’m asked is ‘are Bryant actually the same AC units as Carrier?’. It’s a topic that’s come up time and again when discussing Bryant ACs with a client, as well as online forums and advice centers. 

The easy answer to this is yes! The Bryant brand is owned by Carrier Global Corporation and marketed as something of a budget version of the parent company’s products. Sure, Carrier may have superior brand recognition and wider consumer trust (as well as a shiny exterior cabinet and badge), but when comparing like-for-like units across the two companies, the internal equipment specs are the same. 

Considering that Carrier air conditioners come at a premium, often costing hundreds of dollars more than their Bryant counterparts, you’re probably thinking there must be some sort of a catch regarding Bryant air conditioners? Read on and find out!

Bryant Air Conditioner Pros & Unique Features
Budget brand owned by Carrier, one of the US’ most well-known and trusted AC manufacturers
Energy Star© certification that reduces energy bills and carbon footprint
Impressive SEER ratings varying between 13 and 20.5
Reliable and long-lasting for this price range
Environmentally sound refrigerant designed
Bryant Air Conditioner Cons
13 and 14 SEER models are inadequate for anything but the coolest climates
Not as affordable as other leading budget brands
Standard warranties aren’t as appealing as those offered on similar models by rival companies

Bryant AC buying guide

When comparing AC brands for you and your home’s perfect air conditioner, there are some common factors that you should always be on the lookout for, irrespective of the size or price range. Think of the following features as the absolute essentials you should be considering when investing in a new AC unit. Here I’ll help you to understand why these can have a big impact on the model you decide to purchase.

Energy efficiency

In a world where we now have an ever-increasing awareness of our energy consumption and carbon footprint, an AC’s energy-saving features are an important consideration for many. An energy-efficient air conditioning unit also means your seasonal energy bills will be less!

The eco-friendliness and fuel efficiency of an air conditioner is measured by its Seasonal Energy Efficiency (SEER) rating. The SEER is calculated by dividing the number of British Thermal Units (BTUs) of heat the AC unit removes from the air by the energy consumed in watt-hours.  

An energy-efficient air conditioner requires less energy to effectively cool your home by being able to detect when it doesn’t need to run at full capacity and adjust this accordingly. Look out for air conditioner models that are Energy Star© certified, the gold standard of energy efficiency in the US.

However, while an energy-efficient model can certainly save you money in the long term, the more expensive parts mean a bigger initial outlay. If you’re looking to keep this figure as low as possible and don’t mind the higher energy bills in the long run, then it’s understandable that a lower-efficiency air conditioner may be the right solution for you.

Size of your home

Evaluating the size of your home before you begin your air conditioner search is essential. Air conditioners come in many varying sizes, each designed to effectively cool a certain size of the interior. 

An air conditioner that is too small for your home will become overworked, overheated, and eventually, overwhelmed. Your interior space won’t be cooled as you might expect, and the unit itself may suffer from parts failure leading to call-out and repair or replacement costs.

However, an AC unit that’s too big will over-cool your home, resulting in hot and cold spots and uncomfortable living conditions. You’ll also be needlessly wasting money on inflated energy bills.

A quick calculation to get a rough idea of your home’s square footage is to first multiply the length of the room to be cooled by its width- then times this number by 25. So, if the room is 12ft wide and 15ft long, you’ll have 12×15 = 174sq ft, then 174 x 25 = 4350. This final figure represents the number of BTUs you need to effectively cool your home, which you can pass onto your local HVAC contractor.

Once you know your home’s square footage, a more accurate way to discover the required number of BTUs needed to adequately cool your is to complete a Manual J Calculation

This considers factors such as your home’s square footage, the number of residents, the number and size of the property’s windows, how many heat-generating appliances there are inside, and the climate you reside in- especially important to consider in hotter climates where your air conditioner is likely to be given a rigorous workout.

Type of compressor

The compressor is the core component of the air conditioner. Without it, your air conditioning system simply cannot work! It’s responsible for pumping the gas refrigerant (usually the ozone-safe refrigerant Puron®- or R-410A- which has recently replaced traditional freon gas) into the air handler and around the cooling system. This gas quickly changes to a liquid when it is exposed to warm air and this, in turn, cools your home. 

The most common type of compressor installed in most home-use air conditioners is the scroll compressor. Since they have fewer moving parts than the outdated reciprocatory compressors, they run much more smoothly and much quieter. All Bryant units operate at between 51 and 74 decibels, which is roughly between the level your refrigerator runs at, and that of your vacuum cleaner. 

There are also different types of scroll compressors. Single-stage compressors operate at only one speed and one constant high capacity. They are cheaper but will regularly add more to your energy bills. A double-stage compressor improves on this by operating at less capacity, usually around 65%, until more is needed. 

Variable-speed air compressors can operate at capacities anywhere between 25% and 100%, and the most expensive central air conditioners are usually fitted with one of these. It will run at mostly lower speeds, providing your home with steady and even cooling while expending less energy until more is needed. 

Most air conditioner manufacturers will offer a budget, better, and best range: The Bryant AC series’ are Legacy, Preferred, and Evolution series.

Bryant LEGACY™ Single Stage 113A

Bryant LEGACY™ Single Stage 113A image

The most basic of Bryant’s budget Legacy series, the Bryant Single Stage 113A is nonetheless a handy AC unit, offering 13 SEER output and Energy Star© certification. You’re getting an efficient unit for a comparatively low price. 

Bryant impressively includes wireless thermostat technology in their Legacy series, something that many similar competitors don’t with their budget range. While to some, the option to control their AC from anywhere in their home over Wi-Fi may be superfluous, it’s a decent feature to be getting at this price point. 

The Bryant Single Stage 113A is a great option if you’re a buyer on a budget, with the capacity to cool a one-bedroom apartment or the bedroom or living room of a modest-sized family home.

Bryant Preferred™ Two-Stage 127A

Bryant Preferred™ Two-Stage 127A image

As one of the most popular of the mid-range Bryant Preferred series, the 127A two-stage air conditioner has powerful SEER ratings of up to 17. Fitted with a two-stage scroll compressor as standard to ensure the unit doesn’t run at a high capacity when it doesn’t have to, ensuring energy-efficient cooling that keeps your energy bills and indoor temperatures nice and low.

The wireless thermostat is more useful here since, when combined with the two-stage compressor and the unit’s indoor air quality equipment, you’re able to access much better humidity management. A home with a manually managed thermostat and high humidity levels will feel warmer than the actual room temperature. You’ll likely end up setting the thermostat lower, which will needlessly drive up your energy bills.

The 127A also increases durability from the Legacy series’ models. The DuraGuard™ exterior cabinet is made from heavy gauge sheet metal with a specialized louvered coil guard that protects the outdoor unit and its components from the elements.

Available in a variety of sizes, the Preferred 127A will easily cope with cooling multiple rooms in an average-sized two-story home.

Bryant EVOLUTION™ Extreme Variable Speed 186CNV

Bryant EVOLUTION™ Extreme Variable Speed 186CNV image

Bryant’s Evolution series are Bryant’s top-of-the-line air conditioners, and the Bryant Evolution Extreme 186CNV is the most impressive (and expensive) of these. Boasting a quite exceptional SEER rating of 26 and extreme humidity control, it’s one of the most efficient air conditioners I’ve come across! Whatever the size of your properties’ interior, whatever climate you reside in, this air conditioner will keep you and your family cool and comfortable during even those scorching summer months. 

The unit uses a variable-speed compressor to adapt to the needs of the home, optimizing temperature management by operating across longer, lower capacity cycles. With this, your bills don’t have to rise just because the outside temperature has! 

The Evolution™ Connex™ Control Wi-Fi thermostat upgrades the Bryant unit’s standard wireless thermostat, by recognizing when you’re not at home and adjusting the system automatically to maximize efficiency and ensure the highest possible savings. You’re still in full control when you are home, able to manage ventilation and humidity through a simple touch-screen interface.

Bryant themselves justifiably brag that the 186CNV is up to 50% quieter than its nearest competitor. Incredibly, Bryant has managed to get this heavy-duty beast running at a very quiet level of just 51 decibels. This unit would be drowned out by the sound of your refrigerator! That’s perfect when considering your own comfort, as well as installation in a shared outdoor space or nearby neighbors.

Considering the Bryant Evolution 186CNV has essentially the same specs as Carrier’s highly rated 24VNA6 unit, I’d seriously recommend this model if you’re looking for premium central air conditioner units. If the price tag is affordable to you, it’s a well worthwhile investment that will handle the cooling and dehumidification of any sized home.

Bryant AC models

To help you quickly compare Bryant’s models’ SEER ratings, cooling capacity, and compressor type, I’ve put this table together that should provide you with a good overlook of what you can expect from some of the most popular Bryant air conditioners.

Model name SEER rating Cooling Capacity (tons) Cooling Capacity (BTU) Compressor Type Additional features
LEGACY™ Single Stage 113A 13 1.5-5 18,000-60,000 Single-Stage compressor Energy Star© certified, Housewise Wi-Fi thermostat
LEGACY™ Single Stage 116B Up to 16 4.6 56,000 Single-stage compressor Energy Star© certified, Housewise Wi-Fi thermostat
PREFERRED™ Compact 124ANS 14 5 60,000 Scroll compressor DuraGuard™ cabinet, Energy Star© certified
PREFERRED™ 127A Up to 17 2-5 24,000- 60,000 Two-stage scroll compressor Housewise Wi-Fi thermostat, DuraGuard™ cabinet, Energy Star© certified
EVOLUTION™ Two-Stage 180B Up to 19 2- 5 24,000- 60,000 Two-stage scroll compressor Housewise Wi-Fi thermostat, DuraGuard™ cabinet, louvered steel coil guard Energy Star© certified
EVOLUTION™ Extreme 186CNV 26 2- 5 24,000- 60,000 Variable-speed scroll compressor Housewise Wi-Fi thermostat, DuraGuard™ cabinet, louvered steel coil guard, Most Efficient of Energy Star© 2020 award, low operating sound level of 51decibels

Bryant AC prices

Bryant AC product Unit only Installation included
EVOLUTION™ Extreme 180B $4885-7100 $6185-9650
EVOLUTION™ Extreme 186CNV $4975-7225 $6475-10200
PREFERRED™ 127A $4350-6185 $5650-8735
LEGACY™ 113A $3045-3950 $4195-6350

Bryant AC warranty

The exact details of the warranty for your Bryant air conditioner depending on the unit you purchase. Bryant offers a typical 10-year standard parts warranty if your AC unit is registered within 90 days from the date of purchase. Otherwise, this will be dropped to 5-years. 

Importantly, Bryant mentions that different parts may have different warranty periods, separate from their 5- or 10-year standard offerings. Always triple-check the fine print of your warranty to make sure that expensive parts such as the compressor (for which an average replacement can cost up to around $1500 when, not under warranty!) are covered for a period of at least 5-years. This can be even longer if you know that making further outlays in the future to repair or replace parts would be an issue for you.

Labor costs are also not factored into their standard warranty, with Bryant admitting that without their extra protection plan, required labor can cost between $100 and $1000, or more. Be sure to check with your Bryant sales representative before you buy for the exact details and pricing. Most products have a downloadable warranty available on the Bryant website.

Who can install my Bryant AC?

You should always have a registered HVAC contractor carry out the installation of your new AC unit. Without doing so, you may not only void your warranty and have to shell out further repair and replacement costs, but more importantly, you could be putting yourself and anyone else living in your property in an unsafe environment through dysfunctional equipment or damaged electronics. 

Before engaging with your local HVAC professional, check their background and whether they have a certification from a trade organization such as HVAC Excellence or North American Technician Excellence

Having a properly qualified HVAC specialist from a local Bryant dealer install your AC ensures you’re getting the expertise and knowledge required for safe installation. They can also offer a quick and efficient response to any callouts in the future if you need to repair or replace your AC parts.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Bryant AC a good brand?

Bryant offers some great options if you’re looking for a model well-recognized for its dependability and longevity. They’re especially efficient if you live in a cooler climate but have been reported to run into problems after a few years in hotter conditions- somewhat counter-intuitive given the nature of the product! 

Broadly speaking, a Bryant air conditioner will be well manufactured- made with high-quality parts that are the same as those used in the very reputable Carrier models of AC units.

What is the most reliable air conditioner brand?

Based on Consumer Reports’ 2018 and 2020 surveys of 23,997 air conditioner owners, Trane, American Standard, Carrier, Lennox, and Bryant, all achieved the top rating of ‘Excellent’ for customer satisfaction. So, you can safely consider Bryant ACs as one of the most reliable HVAC brands on the US market today.

As I’ve already mentioned, the parts in a Bryant air conditioner are the same as those in its Carrier-stamped counterpart; it’s no surprise that they both make the Top 5 in these results.

How long do Bryant air conditioners last?

Despite proper care and attentive maintenance, even the most high-end ACs will have to be replaced someday. Most Bryant models average out at a lifespan of around 16 years, which is a solid return on your initial investment.

However, it should be considered that this expectancy is an average, and while some units may last for 16 years or more, some may also fall short of this number. Remember to check your warranty before purchase to avoid unwelcome surprises if anything goes wrong down the line.


Even before putting together this Bryant AC review, I’d dealt with the installation and maintenance of several Bryant air conditioners during my career. I’ve always been impressed by the quality of the parts Bryant AC units are built with, and the competitive prices they’re available at.

If you’re looking at buying a Carrier AC, seriously consider one of Bryant’s air conditioners instead. As I’ve previously mentioned, the interior parts and technology used are the same and the minor cosmetic differences between like-for-like air conditioning units simply cannot justify the differences in price, which can often be in the hundreds if not thousands of dollars. 

Bryant’s budget Legacy series’ units are decent performers given their affordable cost, while I’ve been seriously impressed by the quality and efficiency of the premium Evolution Extreme 186CNV. It shows most Bryant AC models offer something for every consumer. Be sure to contact your local Bryant sales representative when buying your new AC unit.