An air conditioner is a significant investment and there are many companies and models on the market from which to choose. Carrier and Trane are industry leaders for overall quality, efficiency, reliability, and offering additional features.
AirTech installs and services both Carrier and Trane air conditioners. Here’s a side by side comparison of the two brands that will help you choose the right unit for your home or business
Things To Consider When Buying Carrier & Trane Air Conditioners
Carrier and Trane air conditioners are very similar in design and quality. Here’s how they compare in several key categories.
Both Trane and Carrier manufacture three “tiers” of air conditioning units. Their “basic, mid-range, and top-line” units are very comparable to each other and you can easily find a unit that meets your needs in either company’s product line.
Smart home and WiFi compatible
Carrier has the slight advantage.
Smart home technology is on the rise. Adding smart home features can add overall value and convenience to your home. Air conditioners that are smart-home compatible can connect to smart-thermostats that you control with an app on your smart phone.
The two most popular operating platforms for smart-home technology are Cor and Amazon Alexa. Carrier is compatible with both Alexa and Cor. Trane uses a different app called Nexia, which is not compatible with Amazon Echo.
The only real distinction in this category is that Carrier equips all their models with WiFi connectivity. Only top-line models of Trane air conditioners offer WiFi functions.
Trane uses the “ComfortLink II” smart thermostat while Carrier uses the Infinity and Cor smart thermostats.
Trane high-end models are more efficient.
When comparing mid and basic-level units, Trane and Carrier air conditioners have very similar SEER ratings. However, Trane’s high-end units have higher SEER ratings.
The efficiency of an air conditioning unit is given as a “seasonal energy-efficiency rating,” or SEER number. The higher the SEER number, the lower your energy costs will be. The minimum SEER number for a central air conditioner allowed by the federal government is 14.
All of Carrier’s Infinity series units have a SEER rating around 18. Some of the units in Trane’s TruComfort line have a SEER rating of up to 21.5.
All of Trane’s “TrueComfort” models provide at least 28% energy savings above the federal minimum. Some Trane “TruComfort” models offer between 30% and 40% energy savings above the federal limit.
Carrier’s Infinity models are also energy efficient, offering at least 25% energy savings above the federal minimum requirements.
Potential maintenance requirements
Carrier has a slight advantage.
AC units aren’t particularly prone to maintenance issues. While both Trane and Carrier have excellent reputations for maintenance needs, technicians often report that Carrier is the easiest brand to service and, Carrier parts are widely available and not too expensive.
Parts for a Trane air conditioner might cost a bit more, depending on where you live, especially in small towns and rural areas. Some warehouse companies that sell parts to HVAC contractors only stock Trane certified parts, not generic parts that cost less. In more urban areas you are more likely to be able to get generic parts and save money.
Trane and Carrier compete with each other on price. However, they sell almost all their units through authorized dealers, so it is very difficult to shop prices online. You must get price estimates from local certified dealers.
To ensure you get a good price, choose an HVAC contractor that sells, installs, and services both Trane and Carrier models.
Carrier has a slight advantage.
Both Trane and Carrier require all their authorized dealers to go through extensive installation and service training at their factories. Carrier also requires their technicians to be certified through the North American Technician Excellence certification.
When considering an air conditioner, the quality of the installation is almost as important as the quality of the unit itself. Poorly installed units are more prone to maintenance issues. Carrier has a slightly higher minimum certification requirement for all its certified technicians. However, this difference is usually only marginal if you are working with a quality technician.
No difference in basic and mid-level units.
The short answer is, if you plan to purchase a top-line model, then Trane has a better warranty on their compressors. If you are in the market for a mid-level or basic air conditioner, then there is really no difference between Carrier and Trane warranties.
The warranty coverage might significantly affect your long-term repair costs. All of Carrier’s models come with a 10-year warranty on the compressor and parts. Trane offers a 12-year warranty on the compressor for their high-end models, and a 10-year warranty on the compressors in their mid and basic-level models. All Trane air conditioners are covered by a 10-year warranty on other parts.
Consumer Reports gives both Carrier and Trane a thumbs up.
It is difficult to get the full story from consumer reviews. Most people who leave reviews on the manufacturer’s websites do so within a few months of purchasing a new unit and most are glowing 5-star reviews.
Reviews on third-party or independent websites frequently come from owners whose air conditioner broke, so they are complaining or giving negative feedback. The truth is always somewhere in the middle.
Consumer Reports researched all the facts to give an accurate, balanced report so consumers can make an informed decision. Consumer Reports gave very similar positive reviews to both Trane and Carrier air conditioners.
The bottom line
There really isn’t a clear “winner” in the match-up between Trane and Carrier air conditioning units. Both are well built, quality units that will serve you well for many years.
Now that you know the major similarities and differences between Carrier and Trane air conditioners you are better equipped to make the right decision for your home or business. Contact AirTech for all your HVAC questions and needs.