Trane vs American Standard Air Conditioner Review | Which is Best?

Trane vs American Standard Air Conditioner Review | Which is Best?

People spend a lot of time worrying about brands, and we get asked a lot about Trane vs American Standard air conditioners.  Although we are licensed to install all major brands for our clients, including Trane and American Standard, it is important to point out that we are not beholden to any of them.  Simply put, this will be an unbiased review.  Those of you who know us, know that we are a small, U.S. Veteran-Owned heating and air conditioning company located in California, and have built our reputation on giving people honest, straight answers to their questions – this will be no different.  In today’s American Standard vs Trane air conditioner review, we will examine these two companies from a few different aspects, including: company reputation, performance and features, reliability, and finally, cost.

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Trane vs American Standard Air Conditioner Review – Company Reputation

Before we delve too deeply into our Trane vs American Standard air conditioner review, it is important to point out one simple fact:

Trane and American Standard are the same air conditioning company.

American Standard acquired the Trane Heating and Air Conditioning company back in 1984, and has since broken up its various divisions in 2007, but kept the Trane air conditioner name.  As such, both Trane and American Standard offer line of nearly identical HVAC products.

So why keep them both?  The answer is complex, but it all boils down to business interests, utilizing different logistics chains and marketing campaigns.  In short, to a large business, there is some benefit to working under multiple names.

However, if you forget everything else from this article (my wife reminds me that everything I write is “forgettable,” but I digress…), remember that there are companies out there that offer comparable quality, at a fraction of the price.  For more on those, try:

Trane vs American Standard air conditioner review - Trane AC

Trane Air Conditioning Units

Trane vs American Standard Air Conditioner Reputation

Both Trane and American Standard have outstanding reputations in the HVAC industry, although their prices (addressed later) tend to compete more with “high-end” companies like Carrier and Lennox, than they do with standard HVAC companies such as Goodman, Day & Night, or Amana.  Within the HVAC industry itself, both Trane and American Standard maintain a reputation for reliability, although a bit overpriced, in our opinion, and Trane is better known to most HVAC contractors for their heavy commercial HVAC products (like hundred-ton chillers for high-rises).

Regardless, despite being two sides of the same coin, for the remainder of this article, Trane and American Standard air conditioners will be addressed as completely separate companies.  Nevertheless, you can expect to see eire similarities between the two – now you know why.

For similar articles, try:

 

American Standard vs Trane air conditioner review - American Standard AC

American Standard Air Conditioning Unit (with a messy lawn)

Trane vs American Standard Air Conditioner Review of Performance and Features

In this section of our Trane vs American Standard air conditioner review, we’ll brush-up on some of the key features and the performance standards of these two brands, starting with Trane.

Trane Air Conditioner Performance and Features

When it comes to efficiency, all air conditioners (including Trane and American Standard) are measured using the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (or, “SEER”) standard of measurement.  Although delving into the details of this method is beyond the scope of this article, you can find more information on it in these two articles:

In the end, air conditioners typically range from around 7 SEER (which is probably the SEER rating of the old air conditioner that you are replacing), to high-SEER models in the 20-SEER range.  Current federal regulations have a requirement that all new air conditioners be at least a minimum of 13 SEER, and California takes it one step further (shocker…), with a minimum requirement of 14 SEER.

Trane air conditioners – things of note:

  • 14.5 – 21 SEER models – Trane offers air conditioners that range from 14.5 SEER in their entry-level models, to 21 SEER in their top-of-the-line model.
  • Another point of note, is that Trane air conditioners, unlike most of the other manufacturers (including American Standard) do not have three distinct product lines, but instead notate all of their units strictly with model numbers (i.e. XR-13, XV18, etc).  Although not-so-user-friendly to you – the consumer – this makes things easier for us as contractors (ha!).

If you’ve read our articles before, then you know that we are not fans of buying air conditioners above 14 or 16 SEER.  The reason for this is, to beat a dead horse, that these high-SEER models are still a bit unproven, in our eyes, and we have had a lot of repair calls on them.  They typically use two-stage compressors or variable-speed technology to gain the extra SEER points, but both of these technologies, although better than they were, can still be a bit hit-and-miss.

Plus, if you ever have to replace one of these compressors – which is not uncommon during the 10 to 15-year lifespan of your air conditioner – you are looking at two to three times the cost for a replacement part, making a couple-hundred-dollar repair call, into one that is over a thousand dollars.  Ouch.  Just something to keep in mind.

Trane Air Conditioner Models

Listing every air conditioner made by Trane would be outside the realm of this article, but we will address a few customer favorites, including:

Model SEER Energy Star
Trane Xv-20i Air Conditioner (Variable-Speed) 21 Y
Trane XV-18 Air Conditioner (Variable-Speed) 18 Y
Trane XR-17 Air Conditioner 18 Y
Trane XR-16 Air Conditioner 17 Y
Trane XR-13 Air Conditioner 14.5 Y

Trane vs American Standard air conditioner review - Trane Warranty

Trane Warranty Information – Click to Enlarge

 

Trane Air Conditioner Warranty Information

Trane air conditioners offer a 5-year limited warranty on all unregistered products, and a 10-year limited warranty if you register your productregister your product.  This covers all components, interior and exterior, including both coils and the compressor.  For more on Trane’s warranty program, see below, or click on the picture:

American Standard Air Conditioner Performance and Features

Unlike Trane, American Standard air conditioners offer three distinct product lines: the Silver Series, Gold Series, and their top-of-the-line, the Platinum Series.  Real original marketing strategy – I guess they copied American Express on that one.

American Standard Air Conditioner Models

  • American Standard Silver Series Air Conditioners – Single-Stage, 13 SEER to 16 SEER models.  This is their basic line, and in our opinion, the one to have.  They are basic, hardy and reliable.
  • American Standard Gold Series Air Conditioner – Multi-Stage Compressor, 17-18 SEER model.  This is their mid-grade line, and they only offer one unit in it, the “Gold 17,” which sounds like a Rebel callsign from Star Wars.  It offers higher-efficiency than the Silver Series, with a multi-stage compressor.
  • American Standard Platinum Series Air Conditioners – Variable-Speed Compressor, 18 & 20 SEER models.  This is their top-of-the-line air conditioner line.  It offers AccuComfort technology, which constantly varies the efficiency of the unit to meet your needs.  A nice feature, but in our not-so-humble opinion, it is unnecessary, and expensive when it needs to be fixed.
Model SEER Energy Star
American Standard Platinum 20 Air Conditioner (Variable-Speed) 21 Y
American Standard Gold 17 Air Conditioner 18 Y
American Standard Silver 16 Air Conditioner 16 Y
American Standard Silver 14 Air Conditioner 14 Y
American Standard Silver 13 Air Conditioner 13 Y

Trane vs American Standard air conditioner review - American Standard warranty

American Standard Warranty Information – Click to Enlarge

 

American Standard Air Conditioner Warranty Program

American Standard offers the following limited warranty if you register within 60-days of purchasing your new air conditioner:

  • 10-year limited warranty on compressor.
  • 10-year limited warranty on coil.
  • 10-year limited warranty on internal functional parts.
  • Click the picture for more information.
Excerpt Page 3 of 12 from the HVAC Design & Consultation Program Report

Click to Enlarge – Excerpt Page 3 of 12 from the HVAC Design & Consultation Program

 

Don’t Overpay for Your New Trane or American Standard AC:

I know that you are all here to do research for your upcoming project; I’m the same way.  Watch this short video on how an online calculator can help save you money, and pay a fair price:

SHOW ME A FAIR AC INSTALLATION PRICE

American Standard vs Trane Air Conditioner Review of Reliability

Look, those of you who have read our articles, know how big of a deal reliability is to us.  That being said, if you steer clear of the high-end models, reliability amongst all major brands is pretty much the same…Trane and American Standard air conditioners are reliable, and will typically fulfill a 10 to 15-year lifespan (according to the NAHB – Life Expectancy of HVAC Components), with minimal repairs.  Usually, you’ll have one major repair call in its lifetime, needed right around the 8 – 10-year mark (usually a compressor, or something of that nature).

That being said, there are a few brands to stay clear of, usually (as with Lennox), it is because of a poor logistics chain or lackluster customer service that makes it difficult to get spare parts for repairs.  Whether it’s Trane or American Standard air conditioners, they are both equally reliable and will last for the typical unit lifespan.

Here’s a related article if you are interested in reading more of our thoughts on the subject (my wife reminded me that she is not interested, so you’re in company if you skip it):

Trane vs American Standard Air Conditioner Review of Cost

Next in our Trane vs American Standard air conditioner review, things will get interesting as we discuss the subject of cost.  Typically, when two different brands are owned by the same company (such as with Carrier, Heil, Day & Night and Bryant all being owned by United Technologies), the parent company differentiates the various brands through marketing and pricing.  With United Technologies, Carrier is their “high-end” product, but they also slap a different case on the outside and sell the same product for half the price under the name of Day & Night (which is why we recommend Day & night products to our clients, instead of Carrier).

However, Trane and American Standard do not do this with their air conditioners.  They instead opt to offer the two brand names for virtually the same price.  Why, you might ask?  Beats the hell out of me…but, there are some advantages to having two separate logistics chains and brand-names.  I guess some Wharton guy crunched the numbers and decided it wasn’t worth it.

Trane vs American Standard Air Conditioner Prices

To list the price of every single unit manufactured by Trane and American Standard would not only be outside the intentions of this article, it would be nearly impossible!  For every unit, there are usually five to seven different sizes, and writing all of that down in a single post would not only cut into beer-time, but it would probably tick-off the search engines.  Instead, we will look at the pricing for a couple of the more popular units, and contrast them with Day & Night air conditioners (of whom we are a fan), to give you an idea of the price difference for Trane and American Standard.

Trane, American Standard, and Day & Night Prices for a 1.5-ton, Base-Model (14 ish SEER) Air Conditioner:

Model Price
American Standard Silver 13 Air Conditioner $1,261.86
Trane XR-13 Air Conditioner $1,267.90
Day & Night Performance 13 Air Conditioner $931.95

As you can see, even with the smallest, lowest-priced units, Trane and American Standard are about 36% more expensive than their competitors.  Although this is only a $300 difference for a small, 1.5-ton unit, imagine if you got a mid-grade, 5-ton unit…the price difference can be upwards of $1,000!  Food for thought…

You might also be interested in:

Look, to beat a dead horse a bit, if you really want to know what a new American Standard or Trane should cost installed, or see what contractors actually pay for this equipment, then this program is here to help:

SHOW ME FAIR INSTALLATION PRICES FOR A NEW AC SYSTEM

Final Thoughts on Our Trane vs American Standard Air Conditioner Review

As I mentioned before, although we are licensed to install Trane and American Standard air conditioners, we also install all major brands, so this is just our honest opinion – our two cents, if you will.  In this Trane vs American Standard air conditioner review, we addressed several major topics that we hope will aid you in your decision, but the two takeaways should be this: first, Trane and American Standard are the same company, and offer the same equipment for similar prices; second, there are other brands out there of comparable quality, for a fraction of the price.  Regardless of whether you choose Trane, American Standard, or another company, we wish you the best of luck in your endeavor, and hope this helps.  For more articles like this one, try ASM’s Air Conditioner Blog.  If you live in Southern California, then you might be in our service area – click below for more information.

SEE IF YOU’RE IN ASM’S SERVICE AREA

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Timothy Kautz
About the author
Timothy Kautz

The University of Virginia - 2005 / The Wharton School of Finance - 2016 / U.S. Naval Aviator 2005-2015. At All Systems Mechanical air conditioning and heating, we believe that the experience our clients have is every bit as important as the products they receive. Simply put, our results speak for themselves, and we'd be happy to help. If you're in the market for a new AC or furnace, make sure that you get a fair price! Try our online calculator; click the tab on the top of this page for more information.