Home Depot Or Lowe's: Which Has Better Deals On Air Conditioners?

Air conditioning units are one of the best and arguably most popular convenient home amenities. According to Payless Power, the United States uses the most central air in the world, with 84% of all households having a unit. That's more than the combined total of other countries' air conditioning use.

With these appliances being so essential, they should be regularly maintained and, when necessary, replaced. Petro says while AC units should last an average of 10 to 15 years, consider replacing them when your utility bill spikes, they stop working as efficiently, and/or your unit — and subsequently your home — are always dusty.

Getting a new air conditioner and having it installed may seem like a pricey and time-consuming chore, but it's worth it in the long run. New units are almost always energy efficient, which helps to lower your bills and reduce the overall environmental impact. To mitigate the upfront cost, though, you should know where to shop for the best deals.

Home Depot air conditioners

Beginning with Home Depot, its absolute cheapest central air unit is actually a ductless model. The MRCOOL option runs for $1,060 and has a 4.7-star rating, with 94% of consumers recommending it. Ductless air conditioners can be just as effective in smaller spaces as traditional units. According to MSP Plumbing Heating Air, both ductless and traditional units work by removing hot air and moisture from home spaces, although the former only disperses cool air in one room. This unit, which can cool a 1,500-square-foot room, is also compatible with smart homes and can be installed without professional assistance.

When it comes to traditional AC units, though, Home Depot has plenty of inventory, but very few have reviews. However, the listing for the Winchester model, which costs $3,805, does feature a couple of testimonials. Both reviewers left 5-star ratings and recommend the product. The Winchester is a 14 SEER unit, which just meets the minimum score to be considered energy efficient (via Hiller). This particular model weighs 3 tons, so make sure you buy a unit that is sized correctly to the square footage of your home.

Lowe's air conditioners

Lowe's also features a large assortment of AC units, but their listings contain more reviews and overall customer feedback compared to Home Depot. Beginning with ductless units, the retailer also sells MRCOOL mini split units. The model most comparable in terms of BTU, voltage, and square footage is significantly more expensive, though, costing $2,888. It has a 4.6-star rating, with 95% of consumers recommending the product. Additionally, Lowe's sells a cheaper MRCOOL unit for $982, but it only covers 500 square feet.

As for traditional central air units, the top-rated and cheapest option is also from MRCOOL and costs $2,870. It features eight reviews, all of which contain 5-star ratings and recommend the product. Like the Winchester model, this is also a 14 SEER unit, but only has a 22,600 BTU rating, as compared to the former which has 36,000 BTUs. According to Consumer Reports, you should have 20 BTU per square foot in your home, so this 2-ton option may be suitable for a smaller home.

When comparing central air conditioning units at Home Depot and Lowe's, the former certainly has cheaper options and better deals, especially when comparing value and rating. Home Depot may have fewer reviews than Lowe's, but it offers the better deal in terms of price and value.