Trane vs Carrier vs Lennox Air Conditioner Review 2024

Trane is the top AC brand for 2023 followed by Lennox and Carrier close behind – this is according to data compiled from consumers and AC technicians that work on all the brands.

This page includes prices, ratings, warranties, pros and cons, and similarities and differences between the best central AC brands.

Read all the way to the bottom for our Summary of Who is the Best!

Trane vs Carrier vs Lennox Cost

Everyone is concerned about costs right now, and rightly so, since they are up 25% to 35% the last several years. 

Well, these are premium brands with some of the highest costs in the industry.

But they also make entry-level and midrange central air conditioners too.

BrandLow CostAverage CostHigh Cost

See costs in your areaEnter Your Zip Code

See the cost analysis below for more detailed cost information.

What’s included in the cost?

  • Outdoor Unit – The condensing unit, which contains the compressor and condensing coil plus a fan to help cool the coil
  • Indoor Coil – Technically called the evaporator coil, and commonly called the cold coil. Coils come “unhoused” for installation inside a furnace or air handler. Or you can buy one housed in its own cabinet for installation above, below or beside the furnace, based on the specific configuration of your system.
  • Refrigerant lines – This set of two lines cycles refrigerant between the coils, passing through the compressor.
  • A refrigerant charge – Most ACs contain some refrigerant, but often not enough. When the refrigerant lineset is longer than standard, more refrigerant must be added to the system.
  • Pad or Bracket – For a new AC or AC replacement when the old pad or bracket is in poor condition, a new one can be part of the package.
  • Thermostat (optional) – While not always required, many homeowners use this opportunity to update their control, aka thermostat.
  • Installation Labor – This includes removing the old unit, if there is one, installing the new air conditioner, hooking up wiring, running refrigerant lines, adjusting the indoor blower motor speed if needed, setting up remote WiFi monitoring and app for customers who desire it, etc. One Arizona AC company has a 30-point checklist of what they do during installation.

Cost Analysis

Another way to say that Trane, Lennox and Carrier make three tiers of central air conditioners is to say they make single stage (1 stage), two-stage (2 stage) and variable capacity (variable speed, modulating) air conditioners.

Here are the costs for each type of central air conditioner.

Cost factors are AC size and efficiency in addition to the stages of air conditioning.

Single Stage Central Air Conditioners

  • Trane: $4,100 – $6,900. SEER range of 14.5 to 17
  • Lennox: $4,200 – $7,200. SEER range of 13 to 17
  • Carrier: $4,400 – $7,000. SEER range of 13 to 17

Buying tip: If you act in 2023, you might be able to get a better deal on a 13 SEER Carrier central air conditioner. Why? Because 13 SEER models are being phased out due to a rise in minimum efficiency required by the US EPA. Carrier still makes a 13 SEER model, but it won’t be legal to sell them in 2023 and beyond. So, they’ll be “on sale” at some point this year – in fact, our data shows they are already being sold at prices below what we’ve listed here.

New Minimum Standards will be 15 SEER in the South (Southeast to Southwest) and 14 SEER elsewhere. 

Two Stage Air Conditioners

  • Trane: $5,700 – $8,000. Two 18 SEER models.
  • Lennox: $5,800 – $8,100. 16 and 21 SEER models.
  • Carrier: $5,900 – $7,900. Several 17 SEER models.

Why are the prices so similar? Because these brands maintain a close eye on what their competitors are charging, and they keep costs competitive.

Variable Capacity Air Conditioners

  • Trane: $11,200 – $14,000. 18 and 21 SEER options.
  • Lennox: $11,400 – $14,000. 18, 20 and 28 SEER ACs.
  • Carrier: $11,000 – $13,800. 19 and 26 SEER choices.

Efficiency Comparison – Lennox (#1), Carrier (#2) and Trane (#3)

That’s the rankings. Lennox makes the most efficient central air conditioners in the two-stage and variable capacity levels. Carrier’s most efficient model is higher than Trane’s, but Trane has slightly more efficient single stage and two stage ACs.

The most efficient central ACs from each brand easily make the 2023 Energy Star Most Efficient list

All the brands have become more efficient in the last 5 years, but Trane lags behind in maximum efficiency. You can see the total SEER range above, but to consolidate it:

  • Lennox: 13 to 28 SEER
  • Carrier: 14 to 26 SEER
  • Trane: 14.5 to 22 SEER

What is SEER? Why is it Important?

SEER is the seasonal energy efficiency ratio, a measurement of how efficiently the unit turns electricity into air conditioning.

The higher the SEER rating, the less energy the unit uses to cycle refrigerant through the system, capturing heat indoors and transferring it for dispersal through the radiator-style outdoor coil.

SEER is also related to performance – stages of air conditioning we’ve discussed: single stage, two stage and variable capacity. Higher SEER usually means more stages of cooling.

Is a high SEER central AC worth the extra money? It might be, but only in regions with severe heat that lasts from spring into fall. You’ll spend $5,000 to $7,500 more for a variable capacity AC compared to the same size single stage AC. The cost difference between single stage and two stage is around $2,000-$3,500, and you’ll go up another $3,000 to $4,000 potentially on the next jump from two stage to variable capacity.

In hot climates, you can regain the extra cost of a variable capacity or 2 stage unit in 4 to 10 years. In a moderate climate, the recovery period could be 12-15 years. You can use our seer savings calculator to calculate if the higher seer can pay back in your area. 

Lennox, for example, says its most efficient unit, the 28 SEER SL28XCV, saves the “average” homeowner $3,060 in 15 years through lower energy costs when replacing a 10 SEER AC. But we know that unit costs at least $5,000 to $7,000 more than a single stage AC. 

Lennox 10seer vs 28seer

So, is it worth it?

If green cooling and optimal indoor climate control are top priorities for you, perhaps it is. From a cost perspective, it isn’t.

Tip from a Arizona Contractor:

There is more to energy-efficient air conditioning than the SEER rating of the model you choose. Rich Morgan of MTM in Arizona suggests money spent on a super-efficient AC for a home with energy-efficiency problems could be better spent elsewhere.

Morgan says, “If the home isn’t insulated well, has an unacceptable amount of infiltration/exfiltration (air leaks), or is under negative pressure (sucking outside air in) because of ventilation deficiencies; trying to fight those deficiencies with a [super-efficient] AC will not work”.

It’s not just the home’s envelope that works against efficiency. Morgan also suggests that, “Air ducts that have too many branches, excessively long runs, are not the proper size, etc., have a dramatic impact on the efficiency of the equipment. Equally as impactful, leaky air ducts or ducts with high static pressure (restricted airflow), will work against the new air conditioner.”

Other Things Trane, Lennox and Carrier Have in Common

We’ve said they each make three levels of AC.

Additionally, each:

  • Use R410A refrigerant (now the industry standard)
  • Have optional WiFi on most or all models when a smart thermostat is installed
  • Offer premium installation through certified installers who have gone through advanced training and met experience and quality requirements

Quality – Who Makes the Best Central Air Conditioners?

#1 Trane is the highest rated brand for quality, from entry level to midrange to premium central air conditioners.

#2 Carrier is next – and Carrier offers its best warranty on its least expensive units too, so it is willing to stand behind its equipment.

#3 Lennox drops off in quality. Its top line, the Lennox Signature Series, is excellent. The middle group of Elite Series ACs varies from very good units with 10-year warranties to so-so models with 5-year warranties. Be sure to check warranty length when discussing Lennox models with a salesperson or browsing the Lennox website. Lennox’s entry level Merit Series isn’t as good. The units have 5-year warranties.

Ratings Table

SeriesQuality Rating
CARRIEROverall 4.33
TRANEOverall 4.67
LENNOXOverall 4.0


Here is a closer look at warranties from these major HVAC brands.

#1 Carrier and Trane are tied for first spot

#3 Lennox, because its entry level warranties are poor, is last. 

CarrierAll*10 years10 yearsNone
TraneXV, XL12 years10 yearsNone
XR10 years10 yearsNone
LennoxSignature10 years10 yearsNone
Elite10 years5 yearsNone
Merit5 years5 yearsNone

*Carrier coastal models like the Infinity 17 Coastal have a 10-year general parts warranty but are covered for just 5 years against corrosion due to a coastal environment.

Updates to Warranty Chart

Carrier now offers a 10-year Replacement Warranty on Infinity 26, its top AC. If the compressor fails in the first 10 years, Carrier will replace the entire outdoor unit, not just the failed part. This is something that other brands like Heil, Day & Night and Amana have offered for years. Carrier is the first of the “superbrands” to offer unit replacement.

Lennox – Lennox literature can be unclear about warranty length for registered equipment. All brands require the purchaser to register their warranty online or by mail in either 60 days or 90 days depending on the brand. If you don’t register it, the warranty is automatically shorter. Only California residents are exempt by state law from the risk of having the warranty length cut for failure to register.

Often the installer will register the warranty for you or give you clear instructions on how to easily get it done.

Ok, Lennox makes claims, for example, on its Merit Series that it is backed with a 5-year warranty on all parts (compressor, etc.), but that it “might be eligible for an extended 10-year warranty with registration.” It is unclear whether you will get the 10-year coverage automatically for registering or whether there are other stipulations such as extra cost. The bottom line is – get clear warranty information on any unit you’re considering before you purchase it.  

Repairs – Cost and Speed

Whether the warranty is still in effect or not, you might want to repair it rather than replace the entire unit. So, how easily can you get repair parts for these brands? And how costly are the repairs?

#1 Carrier

Carrier parts are readily available and affordable. Pros report few problems, if any, finding OEM and universal parts for Carrier AC repairs. 

If you’re concerned about delays or cost if a repair need happens, choose a Carrier or other Carrier brands like Bryant, Payne, Heil, Tempstar or Day & Night. Yes, Carrier makes all those brands and more.

#2 Trane

Trane equipment also uses some universal repair parts that make repairs quick and reasonably affordable. The brand has a few more “Trane-only” parts, and their availability varies by region of the country. In short, there’s a slightly higher chance with Trane that your repair technician won’t have the part on the truck, and it will take a day or two to get it. But remember that Trane ACs break down less than any other brand according to reliable repair data.

#3 Lennox

Lennox uses mostly Lennox-only parts. And the brand has been trying to solve supply chain issues since 2015. It hasn’t totally succeeded. Here’s a short exchange on a professional board between two technicians:

Tech 1: “As you all know covid has ruined supply chain especially our industry. We are having major issues getting Lennox parts.”

Tech 2: “Lennox typically su*** for parts in good times. Never mind with covid.”

HVAC contractor Timothy Kautz of ASM in California agrees that Lennox is a costlier brand. Kautz writes, “Lennox is More Expensive than Trane – Despite having a horrible logistics chain, Lennox is also more expensive than their competitors for comparable level equipment.” 

That sums up what many pros are saying across North America. And Lennox proprietary parts are more expensive than universal parts used in most other brands.

Smart Features – Thermostat, WiFi and Voice

Everyone likes smart convenience features that allow you to control your thermostat from your phone or by using Alexa or other smart speaker. Here are options for these brands.

#1 Carrier

Carrier has invested heavily in smart technology including thermostat. The company even bought a minority share in ecobee and offers the ecobee 3 lite in a couple of unique “Carrier-only” versions. Their ecobee thermostats, “Works seamlessly with third-party smart home platforms such as Apple HomeKit, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Samsung SmartThings and IFTTT.

Carrier Infinity thermostats are WiFi connected and work with Alexa.  

In our opinion, Carrier’s smart thermostats offer the best quality and user experience, though Lennox is just a short step behind.

#2 Lennox

Lennox’s best smart controller, the iComfort Series thermostat, is available in four versions including the WiFi Touchscreen thermostat with daily forecasts shown on the screen. Touch the screen for the 5-day forecast for your location. And choose a favorite photo as your screensaver.

All are WiFi thermostats that work with the Control4 home system plus Google Assistant, iComfort, Apple HomeKit and Alexa/Echo.

WiFi thermostats brands

Here’s one cool feature: “HD Video Screen Savers automatically change to reflect current outdoor weather conditions. Available with iComfort S30 and E30 thermostats.”

#3 Trane

Trane makes 4 smart thermostats, but we only recommend the ComfortLink II XL850. The others don’t get super-good user ratings, and our analysis agrees.

It works with Nexia Smart Home Automation, Google Home and Alexa devices, and can be controlled from anywhere using Android or iOS devices.

We would rank Trane third place of the three in smart thermostats. If you buy a Trane system, consider using a third party control like ecobee or nest or lux.

What about Humidity Control

There is one area in which Trane has a better feature: Summertime humidity control.

Trane ComfortLink thermostats have a humidity setting. The thermostat allows you to adjust the indoor humidity without changing the temperature. Drier air feels cooler and more comfortable. This is a climate control and energy efficiency feature.

Compressors – Quality and Performance

The compressor in the indoor unit is the heart of the system as it cycles refrigerant in a loop indoors to outdoors and back again.

All three brands use a mix of proprietary compressors and those made by third-party parts companies, namely Copeland.

Copeland scroll compressors are considered the finest available and are the compressor of choice for many brands including Rheem, Ruud and Amana/Goodman.

There are more differences in the variable capacity compressors. All made their own versions, and none are considered better than the others. They are all rated very good to excellent.

#1 Carrier

Carrier has used variable capacity compressors the longest of any major AC brand. 

The technology is proven, and that’s why we rank Carrier #1 for variable capacity ACs.

It currently offers two units with variable capacity.

  • Infinity 26 – Model 24VNA6: This unit’s compressor adjusts in 1% increments between 25% and 100% of capacity. SEER is 26.
  • Infinity 19VS – Model 24VNA9: Called variable, the compressor in this AC is 5 stages from 25% to 100%.

Note: Carrier, in some literature, lists the Infinity 24 25VNA4, which is an earlier generation of the 24VNA6 with 24 SEER efficiency. Stocks of it might still be available in your area, if you’re interested. The Carrier AC unit brochure has useful comparison information.

#2 Trane

Trane uses its proprietary Climatuff variable capacity compressor in these units. It is considered one of the best – and is made in partnership with Copeland exclusively for Trane.

Trane is a close second in variable capacity compressor technology.

  • XV20i – This is a true variable compressor delivering 22 SEER efficiency. It adjusts in 1/10 of 1% increments from 25% to 100%, so as Trane says, it has 750 stages.
  • XV18 – Same compressor as the XV20i with 750 stages. Efficiency is 18 SEER.

#3 Lennox

Lennox’s proprietary variable compressors are quite good, though we place them third in comparison. One problem is that there are frequent delays if a repair is needed – and they are very expensive.

  • Signature Series SL28XCV – This is the most efficient central air conditioner available today with 28 SEER.
  • Elite XC20 – Quite efficient at 20 SEER tops. It uses the same compressor as the SL28XCV.
  • Elite EL18XCV – Same compressor; 18 SEER maximum.

Here’s a diagram showing how a Lennox (or any brand) variable compressor runs more evenly, with fewer ups and downs. The result is balanced temperature and better removal of humidity. 

 Lennox  variable compressor diagram

Coils – Who Makes the Best and Why It Matters

If your AC is going to break down or need early repair, the chances are high that it will be because a coil tubing or connections corrodes and leaks refrigerant. This often signals the end of the AC, though coils can be replaced if under warranty.

The point is that a good coil is very important for the durability of an air conditioning system.

How bad can it be? Lennox is one manufacturer that settled a class action lawsuit over bad coils. However, that was in 2015 prior to Lennox switching to their new coil design, which is much improved and does not have chronic leak issues.

York, Maytag and other common brands have suffered poor ratings over bad coils.

The two major types are all-aluminum, which means it has aluminum or aluminum alloy tubing and fins, and coils with copper tubing and aluminum fins.  

aluminum vs copper coils
aluminum vs copper coils

Note the patina, which is OK, but also the start of corrosion on the coil with copper tubing on the right. There is no corrosion on the all-aluminum coil on the left after several years of use.

For more details: you can read our previous guide: Copper VS Aluminum Coils

#1 Lennox

The new Lennox Quantum coil uses a proprietary aluminum alloy that is far superior to the copper material previously used. Aluminum is non-corrosive

Signature Series and Elite Series ACs contain the Quantum coil. Merit Series air conditioners do not. Only the Merit Series XC141 has the Quantum coil.

This is another reason we and other professionals are skeptical about the Merit Series and why Lennox only backs it with a 5-year warranty.

Steer clear of Lennox Merit Series ACs.

#2 Carrier

The Carrier Corporation switched to aluminum alloy coils about a decade ago in Infinity and Performance Series ACs. Dependability is excellent. It’s unclear at this writing what coils are used in the Comfort Series, but we could find nothing to suggest they are inferior coils.

 Carrier aluminum alloy coils

#2 (Tied) Trane

Trane’s famous Spine Fin all-aluminum coil is proven to be more resistant to corrosion than those made with copper and other materials.

The all-aluminum Spine Fin coil uses aluminum tubing welded to aluminum fins. Trane brand American Standard puts it this way, “Spine Fin consists of thousands of tiny fins bonded to continuous aluminum refrigerant tubing. The tiny fins create a greater surface area, helping it to more efficiently transfer more heat from your home.”

all-aluminum Spine Fin coil

But it’s not all rosy with the spine fin design. 

Professional HVAC contractor Steven Lavimoniere says the spine fins are much harder to clean than standard fins, so maintenance takes longer and costs the customer more money. The problem is that the spines are so fragile, you can’t use a brush on them. They must be sprayed with cleaning solution, which must be allowed to sit on the spines for 10-20 minutes before being rinsed away.

Pro technician L Gentz added this comment, “While it may take longer to clean a Trane Spine fin coil, most reputable HVAC companies will not charge extra.”

So, if you have a Trane or American Standard, ask companies if they charge more for maintenance before you schedule them to come out. 

FAQ – What causes coil corrosion? Outdoors, the cause is constant exposure to the weather and airborne pollutants. Indoors, the causes are pollutants that enter the home from outdoors and VOCs found in building materials, paint, cleaners, etc. In coils made with copper tubing and aluminum fins, the different metals touching one another can cause galvanic reaction, which leads to corrosion.

The Problem with All-aluminum Coils

They are difficult to repair. 

Mike Williams, an applications engineer with LRC Coil, “notes that the inability to repair an aluminum tube condensing coil in the field can be a big problem. You could have a leak in an aluminum-tubed coil and the average contractor cannot repair it. They don’t have a welding rig, and welding aluminum, particularly thin aluminum, is tricky. You can hit a brazing torch to a copper tube and you can fix it.”

Generally, replacement is the only option. But corrosion and leaks are less common, so you might not face the issue for 12-15 years, if at all.

Ratings Summary – Who is Better: Trane, Carrier or Lennox? 

Trane vs Lennox vs Carrier

WarrantiesCarrier & TraneLennox
Smart FeaturesCarrierLennoxTrane
CoilsLennoxCarrier & Trane

Giving 3 points for first place, 2 for second and 3 for third, the total scores are:

Carrier: 18, Trane: 14, Lennox: 12

How to Get the Best Trane, Carrier or Lennox Air Conditioner Prices

Firstly, when you looking for the best deals for your AC, keep in mind that installation quality is always the most important thing for residential HVAC project.

  • So never sacrifice contractor quality for lower price.
  • Secondly, remember to look up the latest tax credit and rebates.
  • Thirdly, ask for at least 3 bids before you make the decision. You can click here to get 3 free estimates from your local contractors, and this estimate already takes rebates and tax credit into consideration and filter unqualified contractors automatically.

Lastly, once you chose the right contractor, remember to use the tactics from this guide: Homeowners Tactics When Negotiating with HVAC Dealer to get the final best price.

Written by

Rene has worked 10 years in the HVAC field and now is the Senior Comfort Specialist for PICKHVAC. He holds an HVAC associate degree and EPA & R-410A Certifications.

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31 thoughts on “Trane vs Carrier vs Lennox Air Conditioner Review 2024”

  1. This information was very helpful for me. I am not well versed in the industry. It made me aware that quality installation and pre-testing is very important before installation.

  2. Very informative. I’m in Chicago suburbs have had heat pump with natural gas backup since 1988. One York unit is still the original. It has both a manual setpoint control to switch to gas, which was used when gas prices really went high. I set the setpoint at 20 degrees F. The other is the defrost control. It is not timed to defrost but has a sensor and only is used as needed, unlike my newer unit which defrosts every 8 hours.
    My replacement on the one unit that failed has neither manual setpoint or demand defrost.
    So my question is do any current brands have those features. Thanks Bill

  3. Unfortunately, I can’t seem to read anything about the noise levels from the different machines. We are neighbors to a heat pump owner (Lennox 14HPX). The pump is 5 yards from our windows. The droning noise is so bad that we are planning to move. (Halifax, N.S. has the dumbest noise by-law in Canada, and the city won’t help.)
    So what about the low-frequency noise emitted from pumps?

    • Please ask them to have that noise looked at. The “ruum-ruum” noise is likely due to refrigerant overcharging and can be corrected. Putting isolation pads under the unit may help quiet its natural operating sound considerably.

  4. I wish I would have read this before I got my AC. I went with Lennox because of my sister’s recommendation. It will be four years old…I have had two repairs costing about $1000 in repairs. Sigh…lesson learned.

  5. I worked for a Lennox dealer for 16yrs. Cussed that crap nearly everyday. It didn’t seem like they could make 2 pieces that would work together for starters, then throw in another brand of plenum htr for duel fuel and the nitemare was on. When parts needed to be replaced, you had to nearly disassemble the whole furnace to get at a particular part or screw jammed in behind something. Miserable junk to work on. Finally, quit and went on my own with Trane about 14yrs ago now. For the most part, I couldn’t be happier. The stuff is easy to install, service is a breeze, the tech guys are knowledgable, and like anything out there, if it installed properly will give you many yrs of service. I’ve changed a few motors that were in the 15yr old range. That’s incredible to me in today’s build it cheap world. There’s probably a couple of nit-picky lil things about their equipment or warranty stuff but all in all, I wouldn’t trade the stuff for anything else out there that I’ve worked on. They’re presently phasing out the furnaces for new models so we’ll see how they hold up, and especially the newer cooling equipment with the umpteen sensors and tiny wires to go haywire. I’m crossing my fingers and really wish I could continue with the old but times change with or without me. Also, be prepared for higher install and parts costs with the new high eff stuff. A lot higher thanks to gov minimum eff ratings on motors etc.

    • Thank you for this input. I am in the process of getting estimates to replace my Carrier Heat Pump/AC unit and Carrier Infiniti Furnace. I have received 4 estimates so far for different brands and just today received an estimate for Trane. Your comments help me to make my decision as to what brand. I appreciate your contribution. Thank you!

    • My two Trane straight cool units were installed in 1999 and just now had a capacitor go out in one. I had it fixed and am thinking I will go with Trane again as you can’t complain about 20 years running in Florida!

    • Dean,
      Thanks for your feedback. My condenser & evaporator coil are leaking so I plan to have the unit replaced soon. I’ve been checking out Lennox and Carrier, 5-ton, single stage units. (Carrier 24ABC6 vs. Lennox 14acx-060). Any recommendation on which way to go? Thanks.

    • Thanks so much for your information. My Trane unit is 20 years old and works perfect but I’m afraid is going to quit on me any day.

      • I understand. I have two Trane 2 1/2 ton units) heat pumps; they were installed back in 1994 and they are still going strong. And I live in Phoenix, Arizona so they have been subjected to seering heat all of tht time and still, working great.

        • Same. I live in AZ and have a Trane 5 Ton heat pump unit. It is 30 years old and just died. 30 YEARS OLD and was working great with no problems. With 115 degree summers.

    • I have a Goodman unit that was installed when I had my home built 7 years ago. It is a construction grade unit that now needs to be replaced since the evaporator coil, condenser coil, & Schrader valves are all leaking. I had to have 16 lbs of freon put in this past summer at $100/lb. The Goodman unit only has a 5-year warranty and is a single stage unit. I live in TX where AC is used on the average of 6 months during the year. If you are replacing the furnace & AC, I’d suggest a 2-stage or variable speed unit to give you better performance and lower bills. Before you spend the money, ask yourself how long will you be in your house. Hope this helps.

  6. This site was very well written. I am familiar with HVAC systems and I think it even helped me how to pick a replacement HVAC system.

  7. One contractor we interviewed made a big deal about the Trane system having a cooling loop for the inverter. He said the other brands inverter gets too hot and will shut the unit down until it cools down. I haven’t been able to find much about this on the web. Any thoughts?

  8. Thank you for including information about the home and duct system playing a large roll in efficiency. We try to preach this daily to our clients.

    Your information on the Trane staged systems is outdated. Trane 2 stage units, the XR17 and XR18 use a single compressor with 2 stages. The 2 compressor setup has not been used for quite a few years now.

    While it may take longer to clean a Trane Spinefin coil most reputable HVAC companies will not charge extra. We have a flat rate for a clean and check whether it is a Trane or another brand. As to the dependability…Trane purchased GE air conditioning in 1982 and continued to use the GE designed Spinefin coil so I think it has probably proved its worth by now.

    As for the extended labor warranty on all units. Contractors like us can use independent labor warranty companies that are better than the companies that Trane or Carrier are partnered with. As a consumer, just ask your contractor to tell you about the company they work with.

  9. I live in the desert. I was going to go for a Lennox but am now learning toward a 2-stage Trane. I don’t need humidity control, and would like a Merv 16 filter. I also want smart controls. Is there any way to find out what the PEER ratings are for models that I’m investigating? What’s the best brand/model for the desert?

    • a Merv 16 filter for your A/C is waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too high. It puts massive strain on your blower motor, which decreases the lifespan of your motor. recomendation as an HVAC tech is to use no higher than Merv 8.

      • Yeah, we don’t recommend any MERV 12+ 1-2 inch filter which have a significant impact on static pressure. High static pressure will casue your system fail prematurely and boost your utility bill. If you really care about the indoor air quality, you can change to 4 inch furnace fitler, there are a few options like Honeywell FC200, Lennox air cleanner or Aprilaire filter.

  10. this is the best, most comprehensive review of ‘
    HVACs I have seen anywhere. Thanks so much for writing and posting this. Just replaced an old carrier unit with Lennox XC20 variable speed in LA. Had I read this I may have hesitated and considered a Trane. The unit is incredibly quiet and I have seen electricity bills go down. Contractor was excellent, that makes a big difference and I feel I received a fair price. Now replacing the HVAC on our condo in Palm Springs. Installing a 2 stage Carrier with 16 SEER. Unit is on roof and is packaged so choices are far fewer. I wish they made higher SEER packaged ACs but I haven’t found anything higher than 16 SEER.

    • We just had an XC20 installed yesterday in TX. The contractor sells both Trane and Lennox and says the XC20 is their most popular unit. I should have inquired about the Trane systems also.

  11. Excellent information and very well-written! I ordered two Trane XV-18-5 units (5 tons) with heat pumps on April 29, but it’s now July 1 and the HVAC service company cannot get all the components. So I either wait until Trane gets its act together or switch to a comparable Lennox system, which is about 8% more expensive. Thank you for explaining it clearly.

  12. My Lennox system is 34 years old, and the compressor just failed on Friday night. Live in Washington state and operating in “Aux Heat Mode” so the electric heating coil is burning up my power bill. Need to find a contractor I can trust soon, or Puget Sound Energy is going to eat up any money the new units efficiently may save me this year. Great article.

  13. This HVAC industry seems as sketchy as the oil and natural gas industry.
    it appears that they are doing all that can be done to avoid transparency in their quotes. What happened to line item costs for parts, materials, labor, taxes, rebates (if any), removal and disposal costs, schedules for installation and length of time for installations.
    Where is a national or state registry to verify that installers are in fact certified by the manufacturers they claim to represent in their ads.
    What is the recourse in the event that your purchased unit requires repair and there is a delay in the supply chain for parts? Do they maintain an inventory of typical repair parts etceteras?
    It is my opinion that the HVAC industry needs to clean up its act. They leave most all of the risk with the buyer.


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