Trane air conditioners are among the most expensive in the industry. They also have one of the best service records for dependability.
In short, if you want a reliable AC that will last 20 years, consider a top Trane model. In the short-run, they’re not considered a great value.
How is Trane's Price Compared to Other Brands
Those of you who read our website regularly already know that Trane is a premium brand in the residential HVAC industry.The average price of premium brands is $1000-$2000 higher than other standard brands.
Trane is a creative brand and insist on using exclusive compressors and coils. That's why it would be a little harder to get Trane's parts, compared to Carrier and Goodman who prefer to use industry standard Copland compressors and copper-aluminum coils.
Compared to Carrier, we got a few complaints that it is a little bit harder to get payouts by the Trane's warranty. Except for that, Trane is a good brand if installed properly.
American Standard is a sister brand of Trane and 90% models of both are identical apart from the logo, paint and marketing. In some cases, American Standard's pricing is little bit lower than Trane.
Trane Air Conditioner Unit Price Table with Installation
Trane expanded its AC lineup just a few years ago to more than a dozen models.
Recently, the company dropped several of them, and now there are 9 Trane central air conditioner models. This is a trend we’ve noticed throughout the industry – consolidating the number of models. It gives consumers fewer choices, though still an adequate number, and cuts costs for the manufacturer.
Each model is available in many sizes.
Here they are with unit cost, installation cost and total cost.
|Model||Top SEER||Performance||Unit Cost Range||Installation||Total Cost Range|
|XV20i||22||Variable||$5,700 - $8,000||$1,500 - $2,900||$7,200 - $10,900|
|XV18||18||Variable||$5,400 - $7,700||$1,500 - $2,900||$6,900 - $10,600|
|XL18i||18||2-stage||$5,100 - $7,400||$1,200 - $2,600||$6,300 - $10,000|
|XR17||18||2-stage||$4,600 - $5,750||$1,200 - $2,600||$5,800 - $8,350|
|XL16i||16.5||Single-stage||$4,500 - $5,600||$1,050 - $2,300||$5,550 - $7,900|
|XR16||17||Single-stage||$4,250 - $5,400||$1,050 - $2,300||$5,300 - $7,700|
|XR16* (1)||17||Single-stage||$4,300 - $5,500||$1,050 - $2,300||$5,350 - $7,800|
|XR14||16||Single-stage||$3,500 - $5,000||$1,050 - $2,300||$4,550 - $7,300|
|XR13||14.5||Single-stage||$3,250 - $4,700||$1,050 - $2,300||$4,300 - $7,000|
Trane Air Conditioner Cost Factors (AC Only)
Central air conditioning consists of:
- The condensing unit – which is the outside unit.
- The indoor coil through which refrigerant circulates. The coil might be installed inside the furnace or air handler or have its own case and be installed directly above or below it.
- The refrigerant line set circulates refrigerant between the condensing unit coil and the indoor unit (evaporator) coil.
These cost factors relate to these components, not to the furnace or to installation.
Condensing Unit Size: Within any model, the XL16i for example, the larger the condensing unit, the higher the price. Depending on the model, the smallest condensing unit is either 18,000 BTU (1.5 tons) or 24,000 BTU. From there, common sizes are 30,000, 36,000, 42,000, 48,000 and 60,000 BTU. If converting to tons, there are 12,000 BTU per ton.
SEER Rating: This is the seasonal energy efficiency rating. It measures average efficiency over the course of an air conditioning season. EER is the energy efficiency rating and measures how efficient an AC is with a consistent outdoor temperature of 95F, indoor temperature of 80 and 50% humidity.
Manufacturers are now listing EER along with SEER for better comparison.
When comparing condensing units of the same size, the more efficient one will typically cost more. There are exceptions. For example, a 16 SEER AC with a two-stage compressor might cost more than a 17 SEER single-stage AC.
Compressor Performance: There are three types of compressors used in Trane air conditioners. See the table above for models with each compressor type.
- Single-stage (100% cooling only)
- Two-stage (65% and 100% cooling)
- Variable capacity (40% to 100% cooling in increments as small as 1/10 of 1%)
Cost rises as performance increases because the compressors get increasingly complex. This means repair costs to replace the compressor will be higher too. You can see from the table that efficiency generally goes up too.
Strictly in terms of energy costs, in hot climates, a high-performance, very efficient air conditioner will pay for itself within 10 years (as long as it doesn’t break).
Indoor Coils: This is a “hidden” cost in the minds of many homeowners. They consider the cost of the condenser unit outside. But the condenser, or AC, requires an indoor coil to absorb heat from indoors so it can be transferred outside and dispersed.
Coils come in varying sizes to match the airflow of the furnace and, of course, the cooling capacity of the condensing unit. The larger the capacity, the more the coil will cost. Plus, the more refrigerant will be required, and that adds to the cost.
Line set: Installers like to locate the condensing unit outside close to the location of the furnace or air handler. The shorter the distance, the shorter and less expensive the line set. And the less refrigerant has to be added. Refrigerant isn’t cheap. Line sets typically cost $115 to $375 per set with an average cost of about $190. Factors are the length and the size, ranging from 1/4" and 3/8” in a set to 1/2" and 3/4" in a set.
Thermostat: The thermostat must be matched to the performance of the air conditioner: single-stage, two-stage or variable capacity. The cheapest single-stage thermostats cost less than $25. The cheapest variable capacity thermostat cost less than $100.
But there are other, more costly, options.
Communicating thermostats are something different. This will take a short explanation. Some two-stage and all variable-capacity Trane air conditioners can be enhanced with communicating technology. Trane calls its version ComfortLink II. Communicating means that the thermostat gets feedback from the AC and furnace and adjusts to optimize air conditioning and heating comfort.
Buyer beware: The ideal result of communicating technology is maximized efficiency and indoor climate comfort. It’s not all rosy.
Communicating systems have two downsides too. First, the thermostat are much more expensive (see the table below). Secondly, communicating systems sometimes stop communicating, which often prevents the system from running. Diagnosis and finding a solution can be difficult.
If a salesperson from Trane or any other brand tries to sell you a communicating system, see our review of the technology before you decide.
Trane AC Installation Cost Factors
Installation costs are somewhat stable, though large, high-performance air conditioners cost a little more to install.
Most installations fall between $1,250 and $2,000, but as you can see from the table, it can be slightly lower or higher.
Here are cost factors for the installation labor cost of a central AC.
Project Difficulty: Factors that raise cost include installation of the condensing unit on a roof and installing the indoor coil in an air handler located in an attic or cramped crawlspace.
Condition of ductwork (repair or replace): It doesn’t make sense to install a new central air conditioner if the home’s ductwork is in poor condition. The Department of Energy says 20% to 30% of cooled and heated air escapes through leaky ducts, and that’s a lot of energy and money to waste. Ductwork repair typically means sealing loose joints and possibly insulating exposed ductwork to make it more energy efficient. Cost of ductwork repair ranges from $1.50 to $3.50 per linear foot depending on its condition.
Replacing ductwork costs about $10.00 to $17.00 per linear foot based on the size and type of ducts used, the layout of the ductwork, how easy it is to access and other factors. If you’ve been told that your ductwork is too old or isn’t the right size for your new system, see our Complete Ductwork Cost and Buying Guide for comprehensive information for being an informed consumer.
These costs are not included in the pricing table above.
Trane Air Conditioner Extras Cost
Trane offers several ways to enhance the performance of your HVAC system. Here are the most popular and what they cost.
|Extra Costs||Installed Cost|
|Zoned Airflow||$1,500 - $3,500 or more|
|CleanEffects Air Cleaner||$1,000 - $1,300|
|Perfict Fit cabinet installed||$400 - $550|
|Perfict Fit Filters||$22 - $50 each|
|FreshEffects ERV Ventilator||$2,200 - $7,750|
|THUMD humidifier||$650 - $1,000|
|Duct Repair / Insulating||$1.50 - $3.50 per foot|
|Duct Replacement||$10.00 - $17.00 per foot|
Trane ComfortLink II Zoning System
Trane zoned heating and air conditioning allows you to control the climate in various parts of your home (zones) independently.、
Motorized dampers are placed in the ductwork to open, close or partially open to allow more or less airflow to those zones. The advantage is to keep the zone or zones comfortable that you’re using and saving energy in the other zones.
The dampers are controlled by the Trane ComfortLink II thermostat, which is assisted by sensors in each zone.
Our Guide to HVAC Zoned Systems is very informative. It explores zoning vs adding a second complete system and other factors you’ll want to consider.
The cost of the equipment and installation for two zones is $1,500 to $2,500. Cost rises to about $3,500 for four zones, with each additional zone adding $200 to $500 each.
Trane CleanEffects Air Cleaner
Trane claims it’s CleanEffects air cleaner removes 99.98% of particles as small as 0.1 micron. To be a true HEPA filter, a filter must remove 99.97% of particles as small as 0.3 microns. So, CleanEffects really does a great job.
CleanEffects is two filters in one. A pre-filter removes large particles like pet fur and dust bunnies. This prevents them from clogging the main filter.
The Collection Cell of the CleanEffects air cleaner is electrostatically charged to attract and trap very small particles. Both filters fit into a cabinet.
The cabinet is installed in the ductwork close to the air handler or furnace. It is wired too.
The cost of the CleanEffects air cleaner is about $1,200 installed. Annual energy use is about $100 in most homes. You have to have the unit cleaned every year by a Trane pro or risk voiding the warranty. Cleaning cost is $100-$225 for most units.
If repairs are required, a new electronic field charger costs $400+ installed and a new set of collection cell filters is $600+ installed.
Our Trane CleanEffects Review and Prices includes complete information and our opinion on whether this advanced, highly effective air cleaner is worth the cost.
Trane Perfect Fit Media Filters
These are traditional media-style air filters that fit into a cabinet. The cabinet can also accommodate the CleanEffects system if you choose to upgrade.
Upfront cost for the cabinet installed with filters is $400 to $550.
Perfect Fit filters come in 1” and 5” thicknesses. Each is available in several widths and heights, just like standard filters. While you can get the filters from a Trane dealer, third-part brands make filters that fit the Perfect Fit cabinets and have the same filtering power.
The 1” filters are rated MERV 8, 11 and 13. The 11 and 13 MERV filters are recommended for people with allergies. Cost is $22 to $30 each based on size and MERV rating.
The 5” filters are rated MERV 8, 11 and 13 too with cost from $35 to $50. The advantage of a thicker filter is that it has more surface space to lasts longer – up to 6 months rather than 3 months.
This is an energy recovery ventilator that continually pulls fresh outside air into your home while exhausting stale air.
An ERV ventilator is a good choice for a warm climate. Heat recovery ventilators are better suited to cold climates. Cost is $2,200 - $7,750.
Trane THUMD Whole House Humidifiers
These units attach to your ductwork and provide humidity to the entire home during the heating season. You wouldn’t run them while air conditioning, obviously, when prefer to remove humidity from the air.
However, since we’re covering add-ons, we’ve included them. There are 3 sizes: THUMD200 for up to 3,000 square feet, THUMD300 for up to 4,000 square feet and THUMD500 for up to 4,200 square feet.
Installed cost is $650 to $1,000 plus replacement filter and electricity costs that push the annual expense over $100.
Energy Efficiency Rebates from Local Utility Companies
Your energy company probably offers an incentive to install an efficient air conditioner. For example, one Illinois energy company offers a $400 rebate to customers installing a 16 SEER AC or heat pump and $600 for an 18 SEER unit. Another offers a $10 rebate for a non-WiFi programmable thermostat and $50 for a WiFi programmable thermostat.
Our Guide to HVAC Tax-Credit vs Rebates tells you where to find rebates and how to qualify for them.
Trane has a Rebates page, but it usually only lists the rebates available from your local energy company.
Occasionally the page will list air conditioners and other equipment that Trane is running special deals on.
Choosing Proper Model Other Than High/Low Priced One
Recommended For Zones
Suggested For Conditions
Move house in next 1-5 years/
Prefer lowest fault rate
Zone 5 & 6
Prefer lower fault rate & repair fee
Prefer lower fault rate & repair fee
Live in humid area/need better quietness
Live in humid area/need better quietness
Live in humid area/need better quietness
Live in humid area/need best quietness
Live in humid area/need best quietness/
Humid air is harder to cool, so if high humidity is common in your area, then getting a more efficient (high SEER model) AC Units will reduce energy costs and make your home more comfortable.
The longer you intend to live in your current home, using an efficient air conditioner will be more cost-effective because its higher cost will be recouped when spread over more years.
Here are questions we hear a lot, and they’re worth answering.
Q: Why are Trane air conditioners expensive?
A: Trane and identical sister-brand American Standard are more expensive than most other brands, sometimes more than 75% more costly.
There are four reasons for the higher cost.
- Quality parts. Trane uses the best parts available, especially in its top tier of air conditioners.
- Certified installers. Trane requires local dealers to meet rigorous installation certifications to ensure they know what they’re doing. That means better installation in many cases, and installation is hugely important to the performance and durability of an AC.
- Marketing budget. Trane spends more on advertising and marketing, and that raises cost.
- Brand recognition and snob appeal. Quality is excellent. Don’t miss that. However, part of the higher cost is that Trane can get away with it because of name recognition. Some consumers, regardless of what else they know about Trane, feel, “It’s a Trane, so it must be great.”
Q: How can I save money on a Trane HVAC System?
A: Definitely take advantage of rebate offers from your local energy company. In most cases, the Trane installer will take care of the paperwork for you.
Secondly, we highly recommend getting estimates from at least 3 installers that know they are competing for your business.
Q: Finance options?
A: Trane offers financing, currently through Wells Fargo.
The financing options from Trane/Wells Fargo change, but recently homeowners were offered 72 months of 0% financing on qualified purchases.
Your local lender might have financing options too. Loans are available from online lenders too.
Q: How long does a New Trane Air Conditioner Last?
A: 15-25 years based on:
Quality of the original unit – Trane makes units that could be considered basic, better and best.
How well it is maintained – Having the HVAC system cleaned and tuned every year or two will help avoid repairs – or catch a small repair before it becomes a major repair.