Payne Air Conditioner Review: King For A Day

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Last updated: 
July 10, 2019

Payne air conditioner

Is there anything more insufferable than an air conditioner that suddenly goes on the fritz? The slow realization that you won’t be getting any comfort until you install a new unit is one of the darker features of a hot season.


Type of unit

SEER rating

Refrigerant use

Reviewed models


Packaged or central

10 to 17



Thankfully, knowing the quality of your air conditioner unit’s brand ahead of time can prevent this from happening. Looking for a new central air unit doesn’t have to be a nightmare. If you aren’t too concerned about having the nicest, most deluxe model on the market, you might want to consider a Payne air conditioner.

What Name Value Does A Payne Air Conditioner Carry?

Air conditioning unit

Image Via ​Aireone​​​

When 1950 came around, Payne Heating and Cooling was at the forefront of perimeter and zone heating. They expanded their offerings during this decade when they debuted a line of remote air conditioners.

They continued to advance and expand their line of products and installation. In 1962, they broke new ground when they offered the installation of a horizontal forced-air furnace that could be installed outdoors. On top of this, they could now put in vertical combination heating and cooling units for apartments, schools, and other types of buildings.

Starting in 1955, a merger saw Carrier link up with Affiliated Gas Equipment, who owned three different companies: Bryant Heater Company, Day & Night Heater Company, and Payne Furnace & Supply Company. This new supergroup became known as BDP. During the 1980s, Payne continued to improve its products and expanded their territory into other parts of the country.

How Well Does A Payne Air Conditioner Function?

One of the most well-known features about a Payne air conditioner is its balance of functionality and affordability. Payne doesn’t make anything that you would find at the top of a modern list of air conditioning units. They are no slouch when it comes to manufacturing, as they still work under the same umbrella as Carrier and Bryant.

While those names are all synonymous with each other, you won’t find a lot of the same features in a Payne air unit that you would in the other two, or in competitors’ names. The advantage with Payne is the price.

You won’t argue that the lower cost of the Payne model makes it a strong contender. Payne doesn’t skip out on quality parts, just the extra bells and whistles. The internal parts that make up a Payne A/C unit are nearly identical to anything you can find in a Carrier.

Efficient Units

Thanks to the crafting in a Payne unit, you’ll find that they use electricity and consume energy without jacking up your electric bill. Payne manages to do this with a great trick: they seal the compressor. By doing this, they eliminated almost any possibility of contamination of the compressor, guaranteeing that the entire unit will stay working for a longer period.

Payne units are also sealed off from any problems that might be affected by voltage and active currents. With these hazards out of the equation, you can expect the air conditioner to hold up longer, free of service calls and maintenance or replacement.

Every Payne unit has a permanent split capacitor, and it works as great as it sounds. Thanks to this feature, the amount of energy consumed by the air conditioner is drastically reduced. You’ll notice cooling still taking place in temperatures up to 40 degrees Fahrenheit when the unit is outdoors. If you don’t notice it physically, you certainly will when you open your next electricity statement.

If you’re looking to save some money on your utility bills, Payne should be the first thing on your mind.


When you notice that you can’t hear your air conditioner running, it’s either a concern or a realization that you made the right choice in buying a unit. In the case of Payne, it’s the latter – you’ll almost never hear this unit running while it’s working.


Image Via ​​​​

Payne designed each of their air conditioners to reduce the noise, giving each compressor a coating of high-density foam that nullifies the sound. If you’re working in a location close to the unit, you won’t have to worry about constant interruptions when it kicks in during the hot summer months.

Along with a lack of any noise issues, each air conditioner is designed specifically for sound control, thus reducing the vibration that emanates from each unit. You’ll notice a total lack of any vibrations or jostling any time you approach the unit or walk by it. The unit will continue operating without interrupting your daily routine.

Downflow Conversion

Each Payne air conditioner can be used as a horizontal and downflow application. If you prefer, you can convert from downflow to flat, and this includes the covers for each of the horizontal ducts. Payne includes this to make sure that everyone in your house will be completely comfortable.

Converting gives you the option of how you want to control the airflow without putting in a completely separate unit or making any other modifications.

What Issues Can Cause Problems With A Payne Air Conditioner?

Because of the focus on low cost, Payne is not the number one recommendation by a lot of people when putting in a new air conditioner. One of the first things you will notice about a Payne unit is the lack of a lifetime warranty. Any new air conditioner is typically going to last you as long as your house, but that’s not the case with Payne.

Man repairing air conditioning unit

Image Via ​Stock​​​

Payne offers a 10-year warranty on each of their models, and t his has to be registered to the homeowner within 90 days of the purchase of the unit. If you don’t meet this requirement in time, the warranty is cut in half to 5 years instead.

Along with the lack of a lifetime warranty, the low price means you won’t be finding a lot of the advanced features that come from other brands like Bryant or Carrier. In 2019, you can easily find air conditioners that are controlled wirelessly or may different fan settings. This won’t come with a Payne but keep the price tag in mind when you consider the lack of features.

What Model Of Payne Air Conditioner Should You Buy?

When shopping for a Payne air conditioner, you have several different choices when you look into their different models. Listed below are the best options when you have to make a decision.


The PA13NA is one of the more budget-friendly air conditioners you can find under the Payne family name. If you’re in immediate need of an AC unit in the dead of summer, this won’t completely break your bank account. You’ll get single-stage cooling, a communication system, and a 13 SEER energy efficiency rating. Along with the Energy Star rating, you’ll find this to be one of the most cost-effective air conditioners you can buy.

PA13NA Central Air Conditioner 13

Overall rating: 3.5 out of 5 Stars

Within the PA13NA, you can find special fan blades which are designed to keep the noise from this unit as low as possible. These come paired with a set of noise-absorbing pads that all but eliminated the static you would associate with an air conditioner. A standard quality grill is found inside, and you can swap this out for a higher-density grill if you want the option.

You won’t have to do much maintenance on the PA13NA. It has an excellent paint choice, preventing you from needing to maintain its appearance or worry about any rust during the colder months. The cabinet is protected by a heavy-gauge steel material, which houses the coil and all of the other components inside.

The PA13NA is a great choice if you need something right now and don’t want to spend a lot of time researching your options.


With many of the same features as its PA13NA relative, you might mistake these two as twins. The PA16NA is more reliable and has a higher SEER rating, making it the better choice if you want something to last longer and save you money on your bills.

PA16NA Central Air Conditioner 16

Overall rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

You’ll automatically get a denser grill than you would with the PA13NA as your default choice. Other than this, you’re getting much of the same quality as you would from the PA13NA. Corrosion prevention, noise reduction, and environmental friendliness are all part of the package deal with the PA16NA.

If you have a bit of extra money allocated in your budget, go with the PA16NA. The grill choice is better right off the bat and keeps your home cool without any volume issues. The same safe refrigerant found in all other Payne models, R-410A, is used inside the PA16NA.

PA3Z Packaged Model

For industrial installation, you should consider the PA3Z. You can install this one on the ground or on the roof. The foundation is impossible to rust, and with a 32-inch cabinet design, you can fit this into a small property or even a zero-lot-line. Thanks to the design on the fan blades, even this commercial model can keep the noise below 80 dB.

PA3Z Packaged Model

Overall rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars

With this paint option, you won’t have to worry about seasonal storms ruining the finish on the PA3Z. The design is low-profile and uses a louvered coil enclosure, ensuring that you won’t have any problems from trespassers or ice damage.

When Should You Buy A Payne Air Conditioner?

Here’s where things can get tricky. For whatever reason, Payne doesn’t advertise its prices on their official website, so it’s up to you to find out the cost from each seller.

The best thing you can remember is to buy your air conditioner during non-peak times, if you can help it. While a broken air conditioner is obviously a reason to run out and buy another, you want to be sure that you can keep this purchase relegated to a slow time of year. If you can manage to find one during the winter, this is when bigger retailers will have higher stocks.

Another option is to find a contractor to work with during the fall or spring, before the busy season hits. If you hire someone for the installation, talk to them about getting an off-season rate. Thanks to the milder weather in many parts of the country, the rates for installation are going to be much more negotiable.

You can enjoy the savings in your cool and ventilated home while others struggle to get theirs installed just as the heat wave hits. Talk to a bunch of different contractors to compare rates.

Making Your Decision On A Payne Air Conditioner

Controlling your house’s temperature from your phone seems like a cool feature, but it isn’t necessary to keep it cold. If your number one priority is the actual temperature and now how it gets set, look into a Payne air conditioner. Not only can they keep your property comfortable, they can be installed in commercial and educational buildings.

Black flat screen tv turned off

Image Via Pexels

The consistency of a Payne air conditioner’s performance, thanks to everything from blade design to compressor insulation, means you can purchase one with confidence. Even if you don’t get a lifetime warranty out of it, you can begin to save for a higher model if you decide to swap out your existing choice.

Keep a close eye on your air conditioner and consider buying a Payne if you need one right this second.

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