We considered seasonal energy efficient ratio, or SEER, a major factor in our comparison of the best air conditioner brands. Frigidaire’s central air units have a SEER rating of up to 20. This isn’t the highest SEER rating we saw, but it trumps any units from previous generations. The average SEER rating of Frigidaire's central AC units is 16.3, the third lowest of the brands we researched. This means the units are more affordable than average, but less efficient on the whole.
Frigidaire’s air conditioning systems run a little differently than those of its competitors. Two-stage compressors are helpful because they do not abruptly turn on or off but instead run at high or low speeds. Frigidaire units take it one step further. They use inverter-rotary technology that works continuously to even out the cooling requirements of your home. This makes Frigidaire units very energy efficient because they only use what they need.
The ability to run at many different levels offers benefits beyond energy efficiency – it makes these units excellent at maintaining the right 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 these units, you will not experience that.
On average, Frigidaire units are the loudest air conditioners we looked at, with an average sound output of 72.9 decibels. This is still relatively quiet, but far above the 69.9 decibel rating of the quietest brand in our review, American Standard. That said, Frigidaire's FSA1BG model can be as quiet as 57 decibels, which is quite respectable.
These units stand out in good ways for design elements. They’re built to stand up to the abuse that all outdoor equipment must endure – wind, rain and much more. Their outsides are 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. Frigidaire units are also compact so you do not have to completely rework your landscape to find room.
A 10-year parts warranty is included with these central air conditioning systems. If the compressor fails within those 10 years, Frigidaire will replace the entire unit. We saw lifetime warranties on some air conditioning units, but 10 years is still quite respectable. You need to register your unit with Frigidaire for full warranty coverage or your warranty will be significantly shorter. In fact, Frigidaire is the only company we looked at that doesn't offer at least five years on unregistered compressors, instead giving unregistered customers a disappointing one-year warranty.
Frigidaire central air conditioners have highly energy-efficient features that can help you save on your electric bill. Their design is excellent, and some models offer the potential for high SEER levels when combined with the right components. However, the brand is louder than other brands we reviewed.
Contributing Reviewer: Grant Morgan