PROS / An EPA Energy Star certification means this unit can save you money on energy bills.
CONS / Some competitors have longer warranties on their compressors.
VERDICT / This efficient unit is also impressively quiet. It can keep you comfortable for years to come, especially with its specialized aluminum coil, designed to resist corrosion.
The best air conditioner brands continue to innovate in order to stay at the top of the industry. Frigidaire recently introduced the iQ Drive FS4BG, which stands out in our central air conditioning unit reviews the way previous products did. The quiet operation and energy-saving potential earned it our Top Ten Reviews Silver Award.
We considered seasonal energy efficient ratio, or SEER, a major factor in our comparison as it is one of the best ways to tell how good an investment each air conditioner is – the higher the number, the better. The iQ Drive FS4BG's potential SEER of 20 is only the fourth highest in our lineup, but that still beats out many others in our comparison by a decent margin, and it trumps any units from the previous generation by a lot. The EPA's standard for air conditioners built between 1992 and 2005 was only a SEER of 10. Air conditioners built before that were even less efficient.
This Frigidaire air conditioning system runs a little differently than many competitors. Two-stage compressors are helpful because they do not abruptly turn on or off but instead run at high or low speeds, depending on what you need to be comfortable at the time. Frigidaire iQ Drive units take it one step further, though. They use inverter-rotary technology that works continuously to even out the cooling requirements of your home. Instead of short interims where your unit is running at high or low speeds, this product can adjust itself to between 40 percent and 118 percent of capacity, depending on current conditions. This makes Frigidaire iQ Drive units very energy efficient because they only use what they need.
The ability to run at many different levels offers benefits beyond energy efficiency. This ability makes the unit excellent at maintaining a desirable humidity level in your living areas. You can feel the air get sticky with moisture between on and off cycles when you use air conditioners with one or two levels. With this unit, you will not experience that.
This is a very quiet air conditioner. It features sound levels as low as 57 decibels, which makes it one of the quietest central AC units available, even quieter than the top-ranking product. A normal conversation registers about 60 decibels, so you could conceivably talk to a neighbor near this unit, while it is running, and it won't be a discussion about your rattling air conditioner. Other units, especially older ones, produce much more sound.
A composite base pan is also provided, which helps prevent rust and other issues and aids in the low sound output of the device. There is also a compressor sound blanket to damper sound as much as possible near what is potentially the noisiest part of the system. The swept-wing design of the fan blades also helps this unit to operate with minimal noise.
This unit stands out in good ways for design elements. It is built to stand up to the abuse that all outdoor equipment must endure – wind, rain and much more. The outside is finished with a protective polyurethane finish that was proven with a 950-hour salt spray test. This should keep corrosion at a minimum, and that can really matter since most people own their air conditioners for many years. This unit is also compact so you do not have to completely rework your landscape to find room.
Help & Support
A 10-year parts warranty is included with this central air conditioning system. If the compressor fails within those 10 years, Frigidaire’s 10-year Comfort Quality Pledge states that the company will replace the entire unit. We saw lifetime warranties on some air conditioning units, but 10 years is still quite respectable. Frigidaire's online resources for customers are decent, but we found other manufacturers offered a little more. We did get fast responses to our email inquiries.
The Frigidaire iQ Drive FS4BG is a unique air conditioner. It has a low noise output and highly energy-efficient features that can help you save on your electrical bill. The design is excellent and offers the potential for high SEER levels when combined with the right components. The ability to control this unit with a smartphone would make it even more impressive, but the Frigidaire iQ Drive provides powerful results and the high performance we look for in the best air conditioning units.