Payne Air Conditioner Review 2022

Homeowners have a substantial pool of AC units and brands to consider, but it can be overwhelming. There are many brands, features, quality, and performance levels available.  

One top brand is Payne Heating and Cooling. They manufacture some of the most affordable air conditioning systems on the market. 

This detailed review dives deep into the costs, features, and more of Payne AC units to help you determine if they’re the right fit for your home, so keep reading to learn all the details!

Who Makes Payne Air Conditioner   

Payne’s origins date back to 1914. In the following years, it introduced the first forced-air, down-discharge furnace. 

United Technologies Corporation (UTC) manufactures and owns Payne Heating and Cooling products, including their air conditioner lineup. Carrier and Bryant (also owned by UTC) are two of Payne’s well-known sister brands.  

Is Payne A Good AC Unit?

Payne AC units are affordable, durable, and boast decent efficiency ratings. While not overly cheap to install, these units are some of the most inexpensive AC units on the market. 

The Payne air conditioner warranty is ten years, which is standard for the industry. A ten-year warranty is pretty impressive, considering Payne units err on the side of inexpensive, budget models. 

While they aren’t nearly as efficient as some of the best central AC units, with a top SEER rating of just 17, they are likely more efficient than a much older model you might be replacing. 

Payne AC units are a decent choice. However, they can be pretty noisy, especially compared to the industry’s leading brands. The operating sound level ranges from 73 to 76 decibels, depending on the unit. 

Considering the quietest air conditioning units (from Trane and Carrier) on the market operate with sound levels as low as 54 decibels, Payne falls behind in this aspect.

Replacement parts for Payne units are typically widely available and easy to obtain, which is more than some of the top brands can say. 

If you’re wondering where to order Payne air conditioner parts, you can find replacements at your local HVAC dealer or on many websites where AC parts are sold. 

Payne AC Age    

How long should a Payne air conditioner last? Generally, Payne AC units will last around ten years with proper maintenance. If you have a professional install the unit and perform routine maintenance, it is much likelier to last longer. 

How To Tell The Age Of A Payne Air Conditioner

If you have an old Payne air conditioner, determining the age of your Payne HVAC system is simple. Locate the serial number on the data plate. 

Some Payne AC units will have a ten-character serial number with nine numerical digits split by one letter. 

The first four digits indicate the week and year the unit was manufactured. The first and second digits are the week it was manufactured, and the third and fourth digits indicate the manufacturing year.    

Payne vs. Carrier Air Conditioners

Carrier and Payne are sister companies since they are both owned by United Technologies Corporation. Many consider Payne air conditioner units the budget range version of Carrier’s lineup. They are basic, entry-level units that don’t feature any additional frills. Bryant models, another sister brand, offers the mid-tier model range between Carrier and Payne.

Carrier is one of the leading AC unit brands in the industry, and its units reflect this status. Their units feature various bells and whistles to elevate the cooling experience. As such, Carrier units are nearly double the cost of Payne units. 

Payne repairs tend to be slightly more expensive (by about 1%) than Carrier unit repairs. However, considering Payne units are half the price of Carrier units, this is reasonable. 

Here is how Payne’s highest efficiency AC unit (PA16NW) compares to the best efficiency model from Carrier, 24VNA6. 

Brands & ModelsSEEREERSound Level (dBA)Size (ton)CompressorInstalled Price
Payne PA16NW1713732-5 tonTwo-stage$
Carrier 24VNA62616.551NAVariable-speed$$

Payne Air Conditioner Models

Like many other budget-friendly air conditioner unit lineups offered by different brands, Payne only offers six AC units. 

Payne Air Conditioner Model NumbersSEEREERCompressor Size RangeSound Level (dBA)
PA17NA1713Two-stage2-573
PA16NW1712.2Single-stage1.5-573
PA16NA1712Single-stage1.5-576
PA14NC1411Single-stage1.5-575
PA15NC1412.2Single-stage1.5-575
PA13NA1311Single-stageNA74

While many of the HVAC industry’s leading brands divide their air conditioner models into tiers of good, better, and best, Payne does not. Most leading brands have an abundant pool of choices, while Payne’s is pretty limited. 

Their entry-level model features the lowest ratings of 13 SEER and 11 EER. The most efficient model in the lineup has ratings of up to 17 SEER and 12.2 EER. 

Payne’s AC units have single-stage or two-stage compressors. Unfortunately, the company doesn’t offer any variable capacity compressors in their AC units, which are the most energy-efficient options available. 

However, considering the low price, their models are pretty decent. 

Payne Air Conditioner Prices      

Payne air conditioner costs rise in tandem with the efficiency rating. Several of their products are priced the same or in a very similar range.

Their prices are relatively standard for entry-level AC units, with the unit itself costing a few thousand dollars and the installation price tacking on roughly one thousand dollars. 

Payne AC Unit Price By Model

If you have a particular Payne AC model in mind, use the chart below for a general idea of what the unit may cost. 

Payne Air Conditioner Model NumbersSEERProduct OnlyInstalled Price
PA16NW/PA16NA17$3,190$4,240
PA17NA17$3,160$4,190
PA14NC/PA15NC14$2,660$3,580
PA13NA13$2,500$3,380

The prices are based on 3-ton products.

Typically, the AC unit price goes up in tandem with the size. For example, a Payne 5 ton air conditioner price would be higher than the listed cost of the same 3-ton model. 

On the other hand, if you need a smaller air conditioning unit, expect your costs to be less than the listed chart cost. 

Payne AC Unit Price By Size

Payne’s air conditioners are available in sizes ranging from 1.5 tons to 5 tons. The size of the air conditioner you’ll need varies primarily based on the size of your home. 

As a general rule of thumb, you need an AC unit capable of 20 BTU of cooling output per square foot of living space. 

You’ll need to consider other factors, such as high ceilings, large windows, numerous doorways, and the like, which may call for additional cooling power. However, the equation is simple: multiply the square footage of living space in your home by 20, and you’ll find your answer. 

Use the below chart to approximate the AC size you will need based on the square footage of your home. 

Payne AC Unit SizeConvert To BtuRoom Size (Sq Ft)
1.5 ton18,000 BTU900 sq ft
2 ton24,000 BTU1,200 sq ft
2.5 ton30,000 BTU1,500 sq ft
3 ton36,000 BTU1,800 sq ft
3.5 ton42,000 BTU2,100 sq ft
4 ton48,000 BTU2,400 sq ft
5 ton60,000 BTU3,000 sq ft

To find the square footage of each room, multiply the length by the room’s width. Your answer represents the square footage of your room. Your calculations may be a bit complex if you have an irregularly shaped room. 

To convert BTUs to tons, divide your total number by 12,000 (1 ton = 12,000 BTU). This will give you the size, in tons, of AC units you need. 

The chart below depicts Payne’s AC unit pricing by size. Although the chart doesn’t encompass each individual model, it is a great reference tool. 

Payne AC Unit SizeProduct OnlyInstalled Price
1.5 ton$2,050$2,620
2 ton$2,410$3,130
2.5 ton$2,780$3,660
3 ton$3,190$4,240
3.5 ton$3,290$4,380
4 ton$3,370$4,490
5 ton$3,440$4,600

The prices are based on 17 SEER single-stage products.

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