PROS / This unit offers advanced humidity control capabilities with its multi-stage compressor.
CONS / These air conditioners will seem a little tall compared to similar units, which may affect your landscape.
VERDICT / The American Standard Heating & Air Conditioning Platinum ZV is an ideal choice for many homes thanks to its energy efficiency and quiet operation.
Impressive energy efficiency is just one piece of our comparison of the best central air conditioners, but it is a very important one. The American Standard Heating & Air Conditioning Platinum ZV line of air conditioners has a high SEER, or seasonal energy efficiency ratio, and that can help lower your energy bills now and far into the future.
Many things can affect energy efficiency, but if all of the components are properly installed, an American Standard Platinum ZV central air conditioner can reach up to a 21 SEER, which ties it for third best in our comparison. The impressive efficiency is due to what this manufacturer calls AccuComfort technology, which makes it possible for the compressor to adjust in small increments instead of just being on or off like old-fashioned compressors, or low, high and off in modern compressors. This unit can operate at whatever level is appropriate at the time for your specific indoor climate, even adjusting itself in one-percent increments. This will save you a lot of money. It also allows this air conditioner to be very specific, adjusting to within a half-degree of your thermostat setting. This line of air conditioners qualifies for the EPA's Energy Star designation but not for the elite Energy Star Most Efficient.
Avoiding the peaks and valleys of energy consumption with a variable-speed compressor also leads to vast improvements in humidity control. An American Standard Platinum ZV unit will be on, at least at some level, more often than two-stage competitors, so it is removing moisture from the air more consistently.
You can expect the American Standard Platinum ZV line of air conditioner units to be remarkably quiet, in part because they run continuously rather than blasting on and abruptly shutting off throughout the day. Sound insulation in this unit also helps block the small amount of noise that it does manage to generate. A Durabase pan that your unit sits on resists corrosion and cracks.
The home AC units in this series look a little tall and narrow compared to some, but they are sturdy and crafted in a gray color that will blend nicely into landscapes of many different styles. Panels are constructed of louvered steel and are designed to protect the coil while still promoting airflow. Rust-resistant screws are zinc-coated and designed to prevent corrosion. An appliance-grade finish should also help keep the elements away from important components of this system.
The American Standard website is informative and the models in this line come with a decent warranty – 12 years on the compressor and 10 years on parts. Most of the units in our comparison only offer a 10-year warranty on compressors so the longer warranty is nice.
There are outdoor air conditioners with higher SEER ratings – but not much higher. The American Standard Heating & Air Conditioning Platinum ZV line is incredibly efficient and can save you money on energy bills for many years to come. By avoiding the abrupt on and off shifts, its multi-stage compressor sips energy rather than gulping and helps maintain a comfortable level of humidity as well.