When it comes to the quality of HVAC (Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning) units, you, the consumer, should be familiar with the term “SEER Rating,” in case you have not heard it before.
SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating, which is the ratio obtained by dividing the cooling output of an air conditioner over the course of a typical summer by the energy it uses in watt-hours in that same period.
You will see the importance of this rating as we go along.
TL;DR: Trane vs Lennox
Here’s a quick comparison overview to read before going through our detailed guide.
Reliable HVAC systems
Financially strong parent company
Warranties cover manufacturer defects up to 20 years (depending on the product)
Mostly cheaper products than Lennox
Reliable HVAC systems
Large network of independent dealers
Their product boasts the best SEER rating
Better warranties overall
Warranties cover manufacturer defects from as little as one year (depending on the product)
Overall lower SEER ratings than Lennox
Products and spare parts are more expensive
Trane started as a classic American success story and evolved into a global one. It began when its Norwegian immigrant founder, James Trane, started his plumbing business in La Crosse, Wisconsin, in 1885.
Inspired by the cold Wisconsin winters, Mr. Trane fabricated a low-pressure heating system called the Trane Vapor Heating System. With the assistance of his son, Reuben, who had just graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering, the pair commenced with manufacturing activities in 1910 then incorporated as The Trane Company in 1913.
Reuben’s invention of the convector radiator in 1923 established the company’s reputation as an innovator, which Trane has been building on ever since with the motto, “Nothing stops a Trane!”
In 1984 Trane was acquired by American Standard Companies, then in 2008, Ingersoll Rand acquired both Companies. Besides HVAC, they manufacture furnaces, air handlers, heat pumps, packaged systems, thermostats, ductless systems, among other products.
Lennox International was almost totally owned by members of the Norris family, who had controlled the business since 1904. In April 1999, the company announced a public share offering, thereby becoming listed on the stock exchange.
John W. Norris, Jr. is chairman of the board and chief executive officer. Around 110 descendants of Lennox’s founder, D.W. Norris, own shareholding in the corporation.
Lennox International Inc., through its principal subsidiaries—Lennox Industries Inc., Heatcraft Inc., Armstrong Air Conditioning Inc., and Lennox Global Ltd.—produces and markets a broad spectrum of refrigeration equipment and components, residential and commercial heating, and air conditioning.
Lennox Industries is the core business of Lennox International Inc. This branch of Lennox is a leading North American manufacturer and distributor of residential and commercial heating and air conditioning products.
Lennox goods are marketed directly to its network of more than 6,000 independent dealers located throughout the United States and Canada, an exclusive structure in the HVAC industry.
We have added the table below to give you a little more insight into the two companies being reviewed.
All parts are made and assembled in the U.S.A.
Where Are Their Products Made?
All parts are made and assembled in the U.S.A.
Ingersoll Rand manufacture Trane products
Who Manufactures Their Products?
While Lennox manufactures its own products, their variable-capacity compressor is made by LG
Ingersoll Rand, American Standard
Who Owns These Companies?
Public company, so shareholder-owned
How Long Have They Been Around?
Base Limited Warranty can range from 1–20 years
What’s Their Warranty Like?
Can range from 5 years to the lifetime of the appliance
What Trane Does Better Than Lennox
As already mentioned, Trane air conditioners have the motto, “It’s hard to stop a Trane.” Nothing better exemplifies this than the quality of Trane air conditioners, which are built to last for a long time, though so too are Lennox air conditioners.
Trane classifies their residential air conditioner units as XL, XB, and XR. Their SEER ratings can extend from a low of 13 to a high of 20, depending on the products. Trane provides phenomenal quality to its customers for that cost-effective rating.
Having said that, when it comes down to efficiency, Lennox has air conditioning models available that have higher SEER ratings than Trane, but at a greater cost.
To those new to the market of HVAC, it may seem that both competitors’ products are virtually identical, but if you look a lot closer, you will find that there are some critical differences.
What Lennox Does Better Than Trane
Lennox, too, has been around for many years. Over this time, they have developed air conditioners suitable for residential, industrial, and commercial purposes. These appliances have SEER ratings from as low as 13 to as high as 26, which alone tells us that Lennox is a lot more technologically advanced than many of its counterparts.
The preceding naturally elevates Lennox to the “Rolls Royce” of air conditioners, but that comes with a price. Lennox attained the highest rating of 26 for any air conditioner in 2019.
Trane vs Lennox: Similarities
Before deciding which HVAC brand is better, we need to recognize what these two brands have in common. The closeness between the pair has resulted in the popularity of both names. Some of the most apparent similarities include the following:
- Both air conditioner brands have products divided into three levels—to be discussed in more detail later:
- Budget model
- Mid-range model
- High-end model
- The two have introduced some of the better air conditioners that use Wi-Fi and smart controller thermostats.
- The compressors of both produce negligible or shallow sound.
- Most models made by each have been insulated for sound reduction.
- They use an R-410A refrigerant.
- Finishes to air conditioner cabinets are in powder-coated, baked-on enamel for higher corrosion resistance.
Trane Products vs Lennox Products
Both Trane and Lennox have HVAC models that fall among the best and have some of the highest SEER ratings available today, but their features and high ratings come with a price to match.
The two companies also manufacture entry-level and mid-level models just as competitively priced as those of the lesser-known makers. So it’s not the brand name itself that determines the price but, rather, the features and ratings of specific models.
High-End Model: Trane vs Lennox
As implied earlier, Lennox gets the bragging rights here with their XC25 model, which is rated a whopping four SEER points higher than the Trane XV20i. Now it’s time to discuss each in more detail.
The rating of the Trane XV20i is 22 SEER, and its lowest capacity is 30%. According to Trane, it modulates in 0.1% increments and has 700 speeds which provide the most balanced air conditioning.
Is the capacity difference conspicuous? A unit running at 25% capacity is 5–7 decibels quieter than one going at 35%, so you may notice a slight difference if you were close to the outside unit. It probably would not make any difference to noise heard indoors with closed windows.
The variances in cooling precision and balance will only be noticed by those most sensitive to temperature changes, so the homeowner looking for the cheaper option will go for a Trane.
The Lennox XC25 has a 26 SEER rating, ranges from 35% to 100% capacity, and has 65 speeds, which means that it changes capacity in 1% increments. The Lennox variable-capacity compressor is made by LG, using inverter technology. This compressor has an exceptional track record.
Given the superiority of this product in terms of features and SEER rating, the more affluent buyer will probably go for this brand.
Mid-Range Model: Trane vs Lennox
Once again, Lennox beats Trane, but this time by two SEER rating points. In this mid-range section, we will be looking at the Lennox XC20 vs. the Trane XV18.
The Trane XV18 is considered one of the company’s best air conditioners, near the top of its famous product line. It is one of the best-reviewed and best-selling premium split air conditioning units of today.
The XV18 has a SEER rating of up to 18, which is a good number for efficiency. The XV18 is also the quietest air conditioner made by Trane, which indicates the exceptional level of engineering that went into its design.
Those seeking serenity with excellent air quality and temperatures will indeed consider this option.
The XC20 is probably the best model in Lennox’s mid-range series. Thanks to its variable-speed compressor, the XC20 has a SEER 20 rating and boasts some of the most accurate temperature control facilities of any air conditioning system.
The decibel rating of the XC20 is 65, which is 10 decibels higher than its Trane counterpart, and the cost (fully installed) is not that much higher. The buyer more concerned with SEER rating than noise output will probably go for this option.
Budget Model: Trane vs Lennox
We have now reached the budget model section of our discussion. We were going to look at the Trane XR14 vs. the Lennox XC14 but have noted the discontinuation of the latter. We have instead looked at the Lennox XC13.
The XR14 has a SEER 16 rating, 72 decibels of sound intensity, and a single-stage compressor. It is certified as Energy Star, meaning that one of these models is preferred for lower energy costs in warmer climates. It has no communication system.
Being one of Trane’s bottom-of-the-range budget models, this still beats Lennox’s best offering in the same range, so it is considered the better budget model for which to opt.
The Lennox XC13 has a SEER 15.5 rating, 74 decibels, and a single-stage compressor. It runs at total capacity whenever on, which can result in slight temperature imbalances. Being louder than its counterpart, the XC13 is recommended for homeowners that prefer a lower-cost unit to premium climate control.
Having now conducted a pretty extensive review of two of the best names in the HVAC industry, we can confidently say that whichever of Lennox or Trane you decide to go for, you have made a good decision.
Lennox tends to be more expensive, but their SEER ratings are higher, while Trane seems to be consistently good with not many negatives.
People Also Ask
We close with answers to the most frequently asked questions that may not have been addressed earlier in this article. Please bear in mind that, whatever brand you have chosen, regular servicing and maintenance are essential to the lifespan of any product.
Headquartered in Richardson, Texas, Lennox has manufacturing and distribution facilities across North America. They have a network of more than 6,000 independent dealers.
Trane has its headquarters in Dublin, Ireland, and its parent organizations are Ingersoll Rand and American Standard Companies. Trane, too, has a network of independent dealers.
Although many of their products are similar, these are different companies.
Top Lennox air conditioners are highly effective; they have good name awareness and an extensive advertising allowance. This brand also has an impressive reputation for quality.
Lennox also repairs parts such as motors and compressors, which cost more than many other brands because they are harder to find.
Lennox is continually working on advanced technology to deliver the best quality of air—clean, cool, warm, or as desired—to your home while simultaneously saving you money.
With its reputation for reliability, many owners of Lennox products welcome how long their air conditioning units last when well maintained.
The expected lifespan for a Trane unit is 15-20 years; however, many owners elect to replace them after at least 10-15 years to upgrade to a later and better model.
Having air conditioning maintenance performed by a professional regularly will also increase the life expectancy of your unit.
Lennox air conditioners last an average of 10 to 12 years, although many factors, including prior maintenance and the climate you live in, can impact your system’s life span.
If your equipment is getting suspicious, you should consider a replacement based on today’s technology for extra peace of mind.