Trane VS American Standard Air Conditioner Review

Trane is one of the most recognized brands in the heating and air conditioning industry.

American Standard has a reputation as a premium brand, one of America’s oldest manufacturer of household products including plumbing fixtures.

Both brands are owned by Ingersoll Rand, a large multinational corporation that owns companies in a wide range of industries.

Above Average Quality and Cost

These brands are known for quality and prices that are both above average. You pay a bit more, but get an air conditioner that should run longer without mechanical issues compared with most other brands.

When it comes to cost, you can expect American Standard and Trane estimates to be within 3% to 5% of one another, with the American Standard AC often priced higher.

Is the higher cost a sign of better quality? Longer warranty? What justifies the higher cost, even if its slight?

Does common ownership mean their central air conditioners are identical?

The short answer to these questions is:

Trane makes 7 air conditioners that are identical in all but name to the 7 American Standard models. Additionally, Trane makes 2 models that American Standard does not make.

The table below shows the list of brands, their efficiency, performance and features. We explore details for the ACs below.

Trane, American Standard and Ingersoll Rand

For history buffs, here’s a bit of the story of how these brands became “sisters” in the I-R family.

1875: American Standard has roots back to two innovative companies that merged in the early 20th C. The history is detailed on Wikipedia. In 1967, the company shortened its merged name to American Standard.

1885: James Trane, an immigrant from Norway, founded Trane in 1885 to produce steam-driven home heating equipment. Always a pioneering company, Trane produced its first air conditioning system in 1931, well ahead of the curve.

1982: Trane acquired General Electric’s HVAC division and slapped the Trane name on everything it made.

1984: Trane was suddenly a hot commodity, and in 1984, American Standard bought the brand. In the next couple decades, Trane became the household name it is today.

2007: American Standard Companies divided into three divisions. The HVAC division was renamed Trane. So, American Standard bought Trane and then became Trane.

Later in 2007, Ingersoll Rand bought Trane, acquiring the Trane and American Standard brand names. It has continued to produce equipment under both names.

Trane and American Standard Air Conditioners

As noted, there are seven identical ACs made by the brands, plus two more from Trane.

Identical Air Conditioners

This table allows you to compare the product lines at a glance.

American StandardTraneSEERPerformanceWarranty
AccuComfort Platinum 20XV20i TruComfortUp to 22Variable12/10 years
AccuComfort Platinum 18XV18 TruComfortUp to 18Variable12/10 years
Gold 17XL18iUp to 182-stage12/10 years
XL16iUp to 162-stage12/10 years
XR17Up to 182-stage10 years
Silver 16XR16Up to 17Single-stage10 years
Silver 16 Low ProfileXR16 Low ProfileUp to 17Single-stage10 years
Silver 14XR14Up to 16Single-stage10 years
Silver 13XR13Up to 14.5Single-stage10 years

Note: The first warranty number is the warranty for the compressor and outdoor coil (condensing coil). The second number is the general parts warranty for other functional parts.

All the data is the same for the 7 identical models.

These models are divided into three performance levels.

Variable:

The American Standard Platinum 20 and Platinum 18 and the Trane XV20i and XV18 have variable-speed compressors. The compressors run at modulating capacity between 40% and 100%. They speed up or slow down to deliver the precise amount of air conditioning to keep your home’s temperature balanced.

If you adjust the thermostat, for example, from 78F to 74F, the compressor will run at a higher capacity for faster cooling. It will slow down as the thermostat is satisfied and the preferred temperature is maintained. Variable-capacity ACs are the most efficient and provide the best indoor climate control.

Two-stage:

The American Standard Gold 17 and the Trane XL18i are two-stage central air conditioners. They maintain even temperatures by running on low speed, which is 65% of capacity. High-speed is used for rapid cooling when the thermostat setting has been lowered.

Single-stage:

The American Standard Silver and Trane XR13 to XR16 models are single-stage air conditioners. They run at full capacity whenever on. They are the most affordable way to cool, though your home might experience temperature swings that are slightly noticeable.

Low profile: The Silver 16 and XR16 Low Profile single stage units have smaller footprints and cabinets. Some brands call ACs like this “compact” models. The Low Profile ACs are designed for installation where space is limited. They are ideal for installation on a patio or under a deck.

Additional Trane Air Conditioners

Trane makes two 2-stage models to offer customers more options for performance and efficiency:

Trane XL16i is part of the “i” series. The difference in these units is that they have variable-speed fans. Note how the fan housing on top that is different than models with a single-speed fan?

There are two advantages to a variable-speed fan that matches its speed to the speed of the compressor – It uses less electricity and is 3-5 decibels quieter when running on low speed.

The extra cost of the i Series models is $85 to $150 when compared with models with single-stage fans.

Trane XR17 is the only two-stage model in the more-affordable XR Series. It’s also very efficient at 18 SEER, a good choice for warm-to-very-warm climates, especially those with high humidity.

Learn More with American Standard and Trane Buying Guides

If you’d like more information about these brands, their ACs and air conditioner cost, our buying guides will help.

Here is the Trane AC Guide and Latest Prices

Here is the American Standard AC Guide and Latest Prices

Trane and American Standard Warranty Coverage

In our efforts to be informative, there’s something we must point out.

Trane claims that its warranties are “top of the line.” That’s not true. Not even close.

The Trane/American Standard warranty is slightly better than those offered by Carrier/Bryant and Lennox, but worse than other leading brands.

Consider these superior warranties:

Amana offers a Lifetime unit replacement warranty on its best three ACs. If the compressor ever fails, Amana will replace the entire air conditioner. Goodman used to offer the warranty. We explain why that has changed in our Amana vs Goodman Review, which is similar to this Trane vs American Standard Review.

Maytag offer 12-year total parts warranties that includes 12-year unit replacement on the compressor. It’s available on select models.

ICP brands Heil, Tempstar and others offer complete unit replacement warranties on compressors and coils. This means if either fails during the replacement period, the entire AC will be replaced, not just the failed part. The replacement warranty is 10 years, 5, 3 or 1 year depending on the AC.

How can these Trane and American Standard get away with offering shorter, inferior warranties?

The answer is that their shorter warranties and higher costs allow them to maximize profits, even if they lose a few sales along the way.

The companies did recently improve one aspect of their warranty. American Standard was the first to offer the 12-year warranty on the compressor. Trane’s was 10 years, and that justified slightly lower cost for Trane.

That practice was nixed in the last few years because consumers demand better warranty coverage. Now, both brands offer 12 years on the compressor and coil. Still, it’s a stretch to call warranties from Trane and American Standard “top of the line.”

Which Brand is Better: Trane vs American Standard ACs

The easy answer to this question that most models are identical, so it doesn’t matter.

But there’s a more complex, important answer: Find the best air conditioner installer for any brand you choose.

There is little debate in the HVAC industry that bad installation is the leading cause of premature air conditioner failure (or heat pump or furnace).

Here are five steps to buying a new central air conditioner. They will answer which brand is better for you, Trane or American Standard:

1). Gather recommendations from friends until you have 5-7 AC companies on your list that install Trane or American Standard.

2). Learn what you can about each company by looking at its website and researching online reviews at Google, Yelp and the Better Business Bureau.

3). Narrow your list to three, and get written estimates from those installers.

4). Interview each individually. Find out about the company’s history and the experience of the technician or crew that will install the AC. Compare their estimates.

5). Select the company you believe will do the best job installing your central AC. Price should be a secondary issue. If you choose a cut-rate installer to save money, and your air conditioner fails in just a few years, you’ll lose all your savings and more.

If the best installer sells American Standard, then that’s the best brand for you. If they sell Trane, then Trane is the right choice.

In a Hurry?

The 5-step process above will take 3-4 weeks.

If you need an AC now or want a more convenient process, our Free Local Quotes service is available.

It offers several advantages:

  • It is quick
  • It is convenient – you fill out one form and receive written estimates from 3 contractors
  • The HVAC companies are pre-screened to ensure they are experienced, licensed and insured
  • There is no cost for using the service, and you’re under no obligation to hire any of the companies that give you an estimate

When you find a qualified installer, a Trane and American Standard air conditioner should give you 20+ years of service. Keep it maintained. Expect minor repairs after 10 to 12 years. At some point, usually after year 15, you’ll need to decide whether making a costly repair is worth the money or you’ll be better off buying a new AC.

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