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Carrier vs Trane Air Conditioners: Which is Better?


If you’re in the market for a central air conditioner, you’ll most likely come across Carrier and Trane. These two brands currently dominate the market when it comes to manufacturing air conditioners.

Their success can be attributed to the quality, efficiency, and reliability their products provide. They also offer similar features and design in most of their models. This makes it hard for many buyers to distinguish between the two brands. 

It also makes them indecisive as it’s not easy to identify which one is better than the other. An air conditioner is a big investment that shouldn’t go wrong. It is important to know which unit to buy to avoid problems that may arise in the future. 

In this article, we’ll provide a Trane vs Carrier review. We’ll go over the features of both brands and make a conclusion as to which one is better. We’ll also cover the advantages that each has over the other. 

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Carrier Description

Carrier manufactures air conditioning units in three tiers. They are divided in what would be considered as “basic, mid-range, and top-of-the-line.” Units sold are comparable and buyers can easily pick an air conditioner according to their needs. 

Some of the basic features available on Carrier air conditioners include Wi-Fi connectivity, compressor sound-reduction, touchscreen thermostats, louvered cabinet vents on mid-range and top models to protect the conditioner from external elements, an R-410A refrigerant (also referred to as Puron by Carrier) and powder-coated AC cabinets that have baked-on enamel for resistance against corrosion. 

Carrier has an advantage over Trane when it comes to smart home technology and providing a quality installation. Units are compatible with both Cor and Alexa, two of the most popular platforms. All models also come with Wi-Fi connectivity. 

Carrier also gains an advantage over Trane when it comes to maintenance. According to technicians, units from Carrier are easy to services and parts are easily available and inexpensive. 

In addition to encouraging all dealers to undertake service and installation training at their factories, Carrier also requires all technicians to get certified by the North American Technician Excellence (NATE), a nonprofit certification organization for refrigeration, air conditioning, heating and ventilating technicians. This means that Carrier has higher minimum requirements for certified technicians.  

Carrier is a great choice for buyers who wish to get a noiseless and efficient solution. People that have bought the best units were impressed with their purchase. 

Strong sides

  1. Great balance of price and quality.
  2. Wide range of air conditioning models available.
  3. A large network of certified technicians. 
  4. Experience less maintenance issues.
  5. Excellent smart technology features.
  6. Efficient and economical cooling

Weak sides

  1. Short warranty period
  2. Installation can only be provided in an extended warranty.
  3. Some models are expensive and complex to install.

Trane Description

Just like Carrier, Trane also manufactures air conditioners in three tiers. Each tier comes with features that are designed to meet every customer’s needs. Also, units come with similar basic features when compared to those of Carrier. 

You get touchscreen thermostats, sound-reduction, down-slated cabinet vents, humidity control, a variable fan, and communication technology that allows parts of the system to share information. 

Trane provides coils in all-aluminum or copper/aluminum variants. All-aluminum coils are available in the most efficient models. The unique feature here is that they use the “spine fin” technology which incorporates tiny spines that resembles bristles on the coil. These improve heat exchanging capabilities and improve efficiency. They also offer better resistance to corrosion.

The price of an air conditioning unit from Trane can range between $2,000 and $4,000. In addition, installation costs could range between $4,800 and $10,000. Costs depend on the central unit picked its size in tons and the SEER rating. 

While Carrier offers Wi-Fi on all models, Trane only provides the feature in its top-of-the-line range. Also, Trane is not compatible with Cor and Alexa. Its smart home technology is based on a different app called Nexia. 

However, Trane makes high-end air conditioning models that are more efficient. Its mid-range and basic units have similar SEER ratings to those of Carrier. Only the high-end units have higher SEER ratings. 

The higher the SEER rating a unit has, the lower the cost of energy will be. The minimum rating acceptable for the central air conditioner is 14. The best Carrier units come with a rating of about 18 while Trane units boast of up to 21.5 ratings. 

All Trane models save energy by up to 28% above the required minimum. Other models can reach up to 30% and 40% in energy savings. Trane also gains an advantage over Carrier in its warranty offers for its top-line range. While there’s no difference between the warranties the two brands offer for basic and mid-range models, Trane offers a 12-year warranty on compressors compared to Carrier’s 10-year warranty. 

Strong sides

  1. Trane units have higher SEER ratings making them more efficient.
  2. Top-of-the-line models come with a better warranty. 
  3. Units are available in different styles and sizes. 
  4. More durable and reliable. 
  5. Suitable for all types of climates.

Weak sides

  1. Parts cost more especially in rural areas and small towns. 
  2. Trane units are not compatible with Amazon Alexa. 
  3. Wi-Fi connectivity is only available on the highest models.

Overview and conclusion

According to the review above, the decision on whether to go with Carrier or Trane depends on your needs. Carrier provides Wi-Fi on all its models, has a higher certification requirement for its technicians and is compatible with the most popular Smart home technologies. 

Trane offers the best warranty for the top-of-the-line models but has no Wi-Fi for lower models. It’s also not compatible with Amazon Alexa. However, it has more efficient units and a better warranty. If efficiency and warranty are more important to you, especially on a higher model, Trane would serve just fine. However, if you want a more flexible and durable option that blends well with your other technologies, Carrier is a great choice. 

2 thoughts on “Carrier vs Trane Air Conditioners: Which is Better?

  1. So, you can’t stop a Trane. HAH! The new Trane went in at the end of July 2020, during heat indexes of 114-118 degrees. Within one week, the coils ruptured, filling my home with a thick cloud of refrigerant and forcing evacuation. Since, it’s been one break down after another for 10 weeks. The HVAC professional (certified in Trane and Carrier), said this is how 3 more (installed the same week as mine) have done, as well. He told me that the supplier’s show room was filled with broken-returned Tranes and parts, so he will no longer install Trane. My Tran is now being replaced with a true Carrier…not a subsidiary offshoot of Carrier. Trane gets ZERO stars!

  2. I really don’t understand where you get that only NATE certified techs can work on Carrier products. Not true. I have worked on several Trane and Carrier (and every other brand of) equipment and I have never been NATE certified. NATE certification is just a certificate. I have known techs who had little experience in the field take and pass the tests. Its a money grab is all it is. Regardless. No brand restricts there equipment to only be serviced or installed by NATE techs. If I went to my Carrier dealer today and told him I wanted to install carrier, he wouldn’t think twice about taking my $500,000 in equipment purchases. Not trying to be negative here, just coming at this from an HVAC business owner’s perspective. (disclosure: I have installed Trane since 2015. So I’m a little biased 🙂 )

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