Over the past decade, temperatures have risen around the globe to record highs. That includes the United States, where air conditioners are often taxed during the hot summer season. In certain parts of the country, you can only expect it to get hotter in the years ahead, which means millions of consumers will be looking for a new AC unit.
While there are dozens of excellent brands to choose from, Trane is a name that pops frequently, and one of the brands we are often asked about. In our Trane air conditioner review, we are going to tell you a little more about the company and what you can expect from their product lines, pricing, and overall service.
Trane is one of the older companies in the HVAC world. The company broke into the plumbing industry in 1885 before finding a foothold heating and air in the 1920s. They’ve been going strong ever since, and you can find their products in the backyards of homes around the world along with places like the La Scala Opera House and the Chunnel Tunnel.
The company is currently owned by Ingersoll Rand, another brand consumers know and trust. While we are just going to touch on the company’s air conditioning units this time around, they carry a wide range of heat pumps and furnaces, as well. They also produce all-in-one units to go along with a solid lineup of ductless systems.
Unique Features from Trane
When you’ve been in business for a century, your company is bound to be an innovator. That holds true for Trane, considering they invented the convection radiator, and their new product lines are packed full of innovative features as well.
Tech-savvy consumers will appreciate ComfortLink II, Trane’s smart solution for your home. This high-tech thermostat can monitor your locks and lights along with the temperature zones throughout your home. The company’s Climatuff compressor is also noteworthy considering, and a big selling point on their HVAC systems as well as their refrigerant cooled inverter.
WeatherGuard isn’t as much of a technology as it is an accessory, although it’s standard on certain models like the XV20i. It’s a top that’s designed to protect your unit from the elements which will help you save on maintenance down the road. The company also has an all-aluminum coil that’s geared for the outdoors dubbed Spine Fin, which handles corrosion better than traditional coils.
Trane Central Air Conditioning Systems
|Unit Model||Efficiency Rating||Capacity(Tons)||Sound(dB)||Compressor|
|Trane XV20i||22 SEER||2-5||57-75||Variable-Speed|
|Trane XV18||18 SEER||2-5||57-75||Variable-Speed|
|Trane XR14||16 SEER||1.5-5||72-73||Single-Stage|
|Trane XL18i||18 SEER||2-5||72-74||Two-Stage|
|Trane XL16i||16.5 SEER||1.5-5||69-74||Single-Stage|
|Trane XR17||18 SEER||2-5||72-74||Two-Stage|
|Trane XR16||17 SEER||1.5-5||71-74||Single-Stage|
|Trane XR16 |
|Trane XR13||14.5 SEER||1.5-5||71-75||Single-Stage|
The current lineup of Trane HVAC compressors are broken down into a few categories by stage. You can sort through their catalog by browsing single-stage, 2-stage, and TruComfort systems, which are variable speed. There are also 3 Phase variants of their 2-stage and single-stage units as well.
Trane TruComfort Systems (Variable Speed)
In the TruComfort series, you’ll find the XV20i and the XV18, both of which are variable speed systems. These units share more similarities than differences as they are both available in 2, 3, 4, and 5 tons with the company’s Climatuff inverter compressor and a woven Spine Fin coil. The XV20i is their top-tier residential unit, however, with a rating of 22 SEER.
The XV20i is obviously larger, more expensive, and sports their WeatherGuard II protective top. While the XV18 is still highly efficient, it’s rated at 18 SEER, whereas the XV18 TruComfort is rated at 18 SEER and is sans the extra protection. Both units provide a lot of bang for your buck and will definitely be an upgrade over any old preexisting system in your home.
2-Stage Trane AC systems
Trane’s dual-stage units are the XL18i and the XR17. Climatuff compressors are found in both models along with their unique coil, but the XL18i has a swept fan blade as well. It also has the WeatherGuard II top, although both units are built to withstand Mother Nature with relative ease.
The XL18i and XR17 are available in one-ton increments from 2 to 5 and are Energy Star qualified like the rest of the company’s HVAC systems. Their 3-stage variant is called the XR17, and while it is rated at 18 SEER with the same set of base features, it’s only available in 3, 4, and 5-ton models.
Single Stage Trane AC Systems
When you don’t need a system that runs continually and prefer single-stage units, Trane has the answer for you. Their single-stage XR16 lineup is their most affordable collection of units, along with the smaller XR14 and XR13.
There are currently three types of XL16 systems. The XL16i is their top model in this class and has the same features found on the XL18i. It has a rating of 17 SEER at maximum capacity, the same as the XR16 and XR 16 Low Profile unit. It’s designed for smaller homes that need stable system that won’t take up much space.
The XR 16 Low Profile only has a copper tube and aluminum fin coil, however, so the Spine Fin isn’t an option on this model. The XR 13 and XR14 are basically twins with the same set of features. The SEER rating is what sets them apart, considering the XR14 is 16 SEER, and the XR13 is listed at 14.5 SEER. You can pick up 3-phase variants of those units as well, which are rated at 16.5 and 14.5 SEER, respectively.
What Size Trane AC Unit do I Need?
As we discussed in our central air conditioner size guide, choosing the right size unit for your home is crucial. An undersized system in a large home won’t be enough to keep your family comfortable, while a unit that’s too large is a waste of money and energy.
The first thing to keep in mind is the size of your home. Not the total square footage of the entire home, but only the areas that need cooled or heated. While it’s important to factor in any room that’s considering a “living area” if you start to include areas like a 3-car garage or covered deck in your measurements, they won’t be accurate.
To find the square footage of a room, simply measure the length and width of the room, then multiply those numbers together. Once you have the numbers for every room in your home that needs or has cooling, you’ll have the magic number.
Take the square footage and multiply that by 25 to find an “average” BTU range for your home. A house that’s 1,400 square feet would need a unit rated at around 28,000 BTU’s. You can also use the Trane Size Calculator below to get an estimated size immediately.
How many people are in your home, and how much sun it receives are just a few factors that can alter that number. That means the only real way to get an accurate measurement of your heating in cooling needs is to call in a professional for a Manual J calculation.
Trane Air Conditioner Pricing
|Unit Model||Unit Only Cost||Installed Cost|
|Trane XR16 Low Profile||$2,000||$4,290|
|Note: The cost is based on a 2.5 ton outdoor condenser, with a matching evaporator coils. The cost doesn't include an air handler, heating system, or installation of the ductwork.|
Trane’s residential products fall into the premium end of the pricing spectrum. We’ve seen units from other brands cost more than the XV20i and units in the same class with similar specifications that are slightly less. On average, you can expect to pay around $2,500 to over $3,000 for one of their units with a high SEER rating like the XL18 or XV20i. Single-stage systems like the Trane XR14 can go for around $1,500.
Keep in mind: those numbers don’t take maintenance into account or replacing ductwork in your home. That can cost an additional $1,000 to $2,500 depending on the square footage of your home and the number of vents. Our pricing table will give you a better idea of what to expect from each of Trane’s systems when it comes to the cost of the unit before and after it’s installed.
We also developed a calculator below to have a quick look at your estimated cost of the whole Trane project. You can also get a matched size based your home size.
Trane AC Size & Cost Calculator
Which Trane Model Can Offer Best ROI for Your House?
As you can see, most central air conditioning units have a lot in common. Dropping from a 19 SEER unit to one that’s only 16 SEER can save you a considerable amount of money, but it may not be the best move. If you want to find out which Trane unit offers the best return on investment for your home, there are a number of factors to consider.
You will have to consider the size of the area that needs cooled, where you live, and how many cooling hours your current unit handles each year. Once you have those figures, you can start comparing units using our air conditioner savings calculator below.
Trane AC Models Savings Calculator
Trane Savings Programs & Tax Credits
As you can see, buying a high-end HVAC system for your home isn’t necessarily cheap, depending on the SEER rating you require. Well, the good news is that there are several ways you can save a considerable amount of cash including financing along with special offers and tax credits.
From the company’s official website, you’ll find a section for savings & offers. What’s available to you will vary depending on where you live and whether or not the company is running a special. The Eco Rebates tab will be far more useful when it comes to savings.
Again, it all comes down to location. We noticed a number of discounts for various parts of California, but none for zip codes in other several other states. As for financing, the company currently sets that up through a Wells Fargo Home Projects credit card with a special financing rate.
Tax credits are trickier as they can change each year, expire or fluctuate depending on how the government feels about eco-friendly energy at the moment. Homeowners were able to claim 25C tax credits for HVAC improvements that qualified, but a recent update to the Federal Tax Credit system changed things.
Any equipment installed after January 1, 2018, is no longer eligible unless it involves renewable energy of the geothermal or solar nature. That said, you can still check with your local utility board to see if any type of rebates or incentives are possible in your area.
Trane vs. American Standard
One constant in the world of heating and air is the fact that more than half of the units on the market have similar components inside. In fact, some brands are even owned by the same company. That's the case with both Trane and American Standard, considering both companies are owned by Ingersoll Rand.
As you would expect, that can lead to customer confusion, especially when you take a closer look at the air conditioning systems offered by both companies. In this case, both companies share similar technologies that are patented and can't be found elsewhere. A Split Fin coil is one of those features, but far from the only one.
A smart control system is found on American standard and Trane's flagship units along with variable speed compressors. There are also several minor features as well like rust-resistant screws and powder-coating, but that’s not where the similarities end. American Standard’s air conditioning units all have a counterpart from Trane. There are only minor differences from one series to the next.
Trane currently makes two more units than American Standard with the Trane XL16i and XR17, although all units from both brands have the same warranty. In the end, it comes down to personal preference and availability as pricing between the brands is similar as well.
Trane Air Conditioner Warranties
Whenever you are spending thousands of dollars on a heating and air system in your home, an excellent warranty is always going to be of the utmost importance. Like most manufacturers, Trane’s products have tiered warranty system, so some units are rated to hold up longer than others.
Every residential Trane unit will come with a “base” limited warranty, which covers manufacturer defects for up to 20 years, depending on the model. Once you register your product, it gets upgraded to a registered limited warranty although you’ll only have 60 days from installation to register your product. Both cover parts for a period of time, depending on the model, but neither plan will pay for the labor.
AC units and heat pumps have a registered 10 year warranty on the outdoor coil and other internal functional parts. All XL and XV series units have a 12-year limited warranty on the compressor while the XR series and the XV19 are warrantied for 10 years.
They also offer warranty transfers in case you are buying a home or selling one along with an extended warranty program. The latter comes in 5, 10, and 12-year increments and covers parts and labor. It’s the only way to get labor covered through Trane and may be worth a look, depending on the overall cost of your system.
Maintenance on Trane Systems
If you want to keep your unit functioning in peak condition all season long, maintenance is something that should never be overlooked. In fact, it’s tied into the warranty in many cases, and it’s never a bad idea to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations and keep things on a tight schedule.
With Trane systems, they highly recommend annual maintenance, so you’ll want to make an appointment in the spring or late winter before your unit starts being put into regular use. If you have a heating and air unit, you’ll want to schedule a checkup twice each year. Once in the spring for the AC and once in the fall before it’s time to turn the heat on.
How to find the Installer for your Trane System
Choosing the right air conditioning unit for your home can actually be easier than finding someone to install it. While there are a wealth of professionals out there that will gladly do the job and take your money, a poor installation will be a costly headache you’ll never forget.
Trane recommends that you try to find an installer that carries the Comfort Specialist Certification. That means they are a certified Trane dealer, but one that’s received the highest award from the company for providing top-tier service to their customers through installation and sales.
If you prefer to use your own contractor to install your new unit, we have a tool that will help you find a highly-rated local professional in your area.
Trane claims it’s one of America’s most trusted brands, and it’s hard to dispute that fact considering they’ve been in the HVAC business for close to a century. They also claim their consumers can save up to 64% per year by moving from an 8 SEER unit to a 22 SEER system. While we can’t verify that one, you’ll notice an increase in savings if you replace your old unit with an eco-friendly model from Trane.
The majority of reviews by homeowners were positive as they were pleased with their units, and most problems came from a poor installation. Keep that in mind when searching for a contractor to install your system, and be sure to check out more of our brand reviews if you’re curious how Lennox and others compare against Trane.