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What Do They Have in Common?
Carrier and Bryant are both renowned names in HVAC, and they are two of the top manufacturers of residential furnaces. But, besides being the top dogs of HVAC, Bryant and Carrier have a complicated, interwoven history.
They often outrank the majority of their competitors, including Lennox, Trane, Rheem, Goodman, Amana, American Standard, Payne, Ruud, and Heil.
In terms of quality and performance of equipment, Carrier is usually considered the “premium” brand, while Bryant is generally thought of as the “budget” brand by most homeowners. Some homeowners might be surprised to learn that Carrier and Bryant furnaces are often exactly the same products with different branding.
Yes, you read that correctly, and even more surprisingly, they are often made in the same factories and production lines.
Because they are essentially one and the same, Carrier and Bryant furnaces do not have many differences. However, there are a few, with the main difference being the external shell and logos that are transfixed to the unit.
Carrier is arguably the most well-respected HVAC manufacturer in the world. They gained that recognition by having some of the highest quality furnaces in the world.
Carrier strives for excellence, and they work to continuously improve their quality by thoroughly analyzing equipment failures to find and fix the root cause of the problem.
Carrier’s quality is so good that there is a very unlikely chance that a new furnace would require any type of significant repair within the first ten years after installation.
At this point, you’re probably thinking to yourself: Yes, Carrier is well-known for its high-quality, but what about Bryant?
Well, Bryant’s quality is on par with Carriers. In fact, the quality is almost exactly the same since they use the same design, components and are made in the same factories!
The only reason we say “almost” is because there are a few Bryant gas furnace models that differ vary slightly from their Carrier equivalents.
Reliability generally goes hand-in-hand with quality. Likely to no one’s surprise, the furnaces from Bryant and Carrier are highly rated as the most reliable HVAC equipment around.
What we mean by reliability is that the furnaces have outstanding performance in even the harshest weather conditions. Meaning, they’ll be able to keep your home warm in brutal, frigid temperatures without breaking down.
Carrier and Bryant furnaces use common industry component parts. Their parts availability is ranked highly amongst their competitors.
When or if a Carrier or Bryant furnace component breaks down, a replacement one is usually in stock nearby.
Whether you live in the remote countryside or a big city, their parts are almost guaranteed to be in stock at an HVAC wholesaler or distributor.
Carrier and Bryant furnaces are some of the most energy-efficient models available on the market.
Furnace energy efficiency is measured by the Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE), which is a measure of the amount of fuel converted to usable heat in terms of a percentage. For example, a furnace with a 92% AFUE converts 92% of the fuel into heat each year.
Both brands have high-efficiency furnaces. The lowest they offer are 80% AFUE systems, with the two highest being a 98.5% AFUE rating with the Carrier Infinity 59MN7 and a 98.3% AFUE on Bryant Evolution 987M. As such, comparable Carrier and Bryant models have the same Energy Star ratings too.
Since Carrier is marketed and considered the “top tier” brand, you might be thinking that Bryant has less performance. However, that is simply not the case. When comparing like-for-like models, Bryant has the exact same level of performance as Carrier furnaces.
Again, the performance harkens back to the shared design. They’re made the same, thus have the same outstanding performance.
But, there is some nuance. Some standard Bryant models have a fixed-speed blower, while the equivalent Carrier models have multi-speed blowers. However, they still have the same AFUE ratings and number of stages.
Carrier and Bryant both provide a wide range of heating capacity options on the furnaces they manufacture. They make units small enough to heat small, modest homes as well as ones big enough to make large homes warm and toasty too.
Their heating capacities range from over 100,000 BTUs down to 30,000 BTU on the low end.
The level of noise does vary by model, but not much between brands. For example, an 80% AFUE unit with a single-stage gas burner and multi-speed fan will generate the same amount of noise whether it is a Carrier-branded or Bryant-branded unit.
The sound levels are about the same across comparable models with Bryant and Carrier branding. However, there are minor differences in noise levels between four models of the Carrier Comfort series and the Bryant Legacy series.
The four Bryant models in question have single-speed blowers, while the four equivalent Carrier models have multi-speed blowers. These differences are outlined in our model comparison table later on in this guide.
Carrier and Bryant have almost exactly the same warranty terms. They provide some of the longest warranty terms of any HVAC manufacturer in the world.
Here is what their warranty terms look like:
|Warranty Criteria||Carrier Warranty Length||Bryant Warranty Length|
|Transferable?||Yes, but reduced terms||Yes, but reduced terms|
|Parts warranty||Ten years||Ten years|
|Primary heat exchanger||Lifetime or 20 years (depending on model)||Lifetime or 20 years (depending on model)|
|Secondary heat exchanger||Lifetime or 20 years (depending on model)||Lifetime or 20 years (depending on model)|
|Red Shield unit replacement (if heat exchanger fails)||N/A||Ten years for select models|
|Registration deadline||90 days||90 days|
Both brands have a warranty registration deadline of 90 days. If you forget to register and 90 days fly by, your warranty terms will be reduced. The parts warranty will drop from 10 years to 5 years, and the lifetime warranty on select models will default to 20 years.
Lastly, you probably spotted that select Bryant models (their Evolution series) have a “Red Shield” 10-year unit replacement warranty in the event of a heat exchanger failure.
Carrier does not have this warranty feature; instead, if a Carrier furnace’s heat exchanger fails, a replacement heat exchanger will be covered under their warranty. In some instances, a total replacement of a Carrier furnace could be covered too.
Ease of Maintenance / Parts Availability
Even with some of the best quality and reliability of furnaces on the market, Carrier’s and Bryant’s furnaces still may break down. Unfortunately, it’s a fact, breakdowns of both brands do occur, no matter how infrequently.
When a furnace breaks down in the middle of winter, parts availability is crucial. Carrier and Bryant share almost every component part, which are very common and conveniently stocked at many local HVAC dealers and distributors.
Additionally, Carrier and Bryant furnaces are designed in such a way that performing maintenance is a fast and straightforward process.
Carrier and Bryant are known as one of the top manufacturers of furnaces for many reasons, and one of those is their outstanding lifespans.
If you own a Carrier or Bryant furnace, you can rest assured that it will last 20 years or more, granted that you have proper and routine maintenance performed on it.
Top 3 Differences Between Bryant vs Carrier Furnaces
Now that we’ve discussed all the similarities between Carrier and Bryant furnaces let’s get into their differences.
Since Bryant and Carrier furnaces use the same components and design, their differences mainly boil down to their branding.
The major difference between Carrier and Bryant furnaces is just superficial – they are units with just a different logo and model code.
For example, the Carrier Comfort 95 gas furnace model 59SC5 is almost identical to the Bryant Legacy Line gas furnace model 915S. The only difference is the paint job and the logo; the Carrier model gets the blue logo and the gray metal exterior, while the Bryant models get their red logo and tan shell.
Carrier is United Technologies Corporation’s leading brand, and as such, they invest a ton of marketing resources and money on the brand to ensure it’s successful.
Bryant, on the other hand, spends little money on ad campaigns and marketing.
Besides having a higher price due to being the leading brand, Carrier’s higher price might be partially due to the brand’s higher marketing expenses.
Number of Models
In terms of the number of natural gas furnaces, both Bryant and Carrier each have 15 models.
Additionally, both brands have “good, better, and best” models. The “good” are the budget or standard models, the “better” are the enhanced/value models (and the most popular), and the “best” are the premium top-of-the-line or flagship furnaces with the best performance and highest pricing.
Here are both manufacturers’ good, better, and best series:
- Good (standard)
- Carrier: Comfort Series
- Bryant: Legacy Line Series
- Better (enhanced)
- Carrier: Performance Series
- Bryant: Preferred Series
- Best (premium)
- Carrier Infinity System
- Bryant: Evolution Series
Many of Carrier’s and Bryant’s equivalent series and models have the exact same specifications, including whether it is a modulating, two, or single stage furnace, the type of blower motor, and the AFUE efficiency ratings.
Here is how they compare:
|Carrier Model||Bryant Model||AFUE||Stages|
|Comfort 59SU5||Legacy 935SA||95%||Single-stage; multi-speed blower|
|Comfort 58SU0||Legacy 830SA||80%||Single-stage; multi-speed blower|
|Comfort 58SC||Legacy 800SA||80%||Single-stage; multi-speed blower (Bryant fixed speed)|
|Comfort 58SB||Legacy 810SA||80%||Single-stage; multi-speed blower (Bryant fixed speed)|
|Comfort 59SC2||Legacy 912S||92.1%||Single-stage; multi-speed blower (Bryant fixed speed)|
|Comfort 59SC5||Legacy 915S||96.5%||Single-stage; multi-speed blower (Bryant fixed speed)|
|Performance 58TP||Preferred 820TA||80%||Two-stage; variable-speed blower|
|Performance 59SP6||Preferred 926S||96.5% / 96.2%||Single-stage, variable-speed blower|
|Performance 58SP||Preferred 820SA||80%||Single-stage, variable-speed blower|
|Performance 59TP6||Preferred 926T||96.5%||Two-stage; variable-speed blower|
|Infinity 59CU5||Evolution 935CA||95%||Single-stage, variable-speed blower|
|Infinity 58TN||Evolution 880TA||80%||Two-stage; variable-speed blower|
|Infinity 58CU0||Evolution 830CA||80%||Single-stage, variable-speed blower|
|Infinity 59TN6||Evolution 986T||96.7%||Two-stage; variable-speed blower|
|Infinity 59MN7||Evolution 987M||98.5% / 98.3%||Modulating; variable-speed blower|
As you can see, there is not much difference between the respective Carrier and Bryant models in the “good” series. The main difference between Bryant and Carrier models is that four Bryant Legacy models (800SA, 810SA, 912S, 915S) have fixed-speed blowers while the comparable Carrier models have multi-speed blowers.
Additionally, there are minor differences between the AFUE ratings, with just two models total varying by a few tenths of percentage in furnace efficiency.
In addition to their line of natural gas furnaces, Carrier and Bryant offer four oil-burning furnaces. Surprisingly, they didn’t even bother coming up with different model numbers for the Carrier and Bryant variants.
The models include the OVL and OVM in Carrier’s Performance series and Bryant’s Preferred series and the models OBL and OBM in Carrier’s Comfort series and Bryant’s Legacy Line Series.
Which is More Cost Effective – Bryant or Carrier?
As we’ve hinted at earlier in this guide, Bryant is typically the lowest cost option of the two. Many well-informed homeowners opt for a Bryant furnace over a Carrier model to save a decent amount of upfront cost while still getting the excellent quality and reliability that Carrier is known for.
In other words, the furnace cost is lower for Bryant models and higher for Carrier models, and in most cases, you’re getting the same exact equipment. If you want to save money, a Bryant unit may be the best furnace for you.
In terms of installation costs and energy costs, these are the same between like-for-like models of the Carrier and Bryant models. The same logic goes for an air conditioning system between Bryant and Carrier.
Choosing The Right Furnace Contractor
The ideal way to choose an HVAC installer is to find one that is reputable, has years of experience, and is affordable.
Selecting an installer with the lowest bid can turn into trouble quickly. Low bidders often cut corners to save money, which could lead to severe issues such as gas leaks.
To get the job done correctly and safely, hire HVAC professionals that are licensed, certified, and insured, like our technicians at Blue National HVAC. If you need help with a new furnace installation or want help reviewing furnace options, give our team a call today!