Kenmore central air conditioning units have relatively low ratings for performance and reliability, but the company's window AC units garner high marks. The failure of Sears, the company that manufactures Kenmore, to cover labor in warranty coverage for central AC units is a particularly frustrating factor for many reviewers.
As of 2015, the Kenmore 70701 is one of the top three large air conditioners available for less than $300. Featuring 10,000-Btu capacity, this model earned 71 out of Consumer Reports' 100-point scale. The outstanding features include a built-in timer, digital display, energy saving mode, dirty filter warning and a remote control. Directional louver controls and auto-fan speed also set this model apart. This size unit is generally recommended for rooms that cover between 350 and 650 square feet.
Kenmore central air conditioning systems generate significantly more frustration than the brand's window units. According to Furnace Compare, the Kenmore system rates at 40th out of 56 rated central AC brands. Of the reviewers who provided opinions, only 28 percent recommended the brand. One consumer reported two freon leaks during the first eight years of ownership, and another consumer had to replace a coil within six months of purchasing the unit. Several consumers found contradictions within the Sears warranty paperwork. It appears to indicate that any HVAC technician can work on the unit, according to the consumer, but Sears did not honor that provision.