Trane vs American Standard, What is the Difference?
American Standard vs Trane. What is the difference between Trane and American Standard?
We hear the same questions time and time again: Is Trane better than American Standard? Is American Standard better than Trane? We get E-mails and calls every day from all over the country from people who are researching this exact question. So, I decided to write a detailed article explaining the distinction between the two brand names.
Trane vs American Standard – We’ve Installed Enough to Know the Difference
A little perspective so you know who’s providing the information herein:
I founded Magic Touch Mechanical in Mesa, AZ over 20-years ago in 1997. Magic Touch, while not huge, is larger than the average HVAC contracting / home service company according to statistics. I share that only to express that we install a lot of new air conditioning units. We’ve installed tens-of-thousands throughout the Greater Phoenix area over the last two decades.
We offer a lot more services than just air conditioning installation. However, our air conditioning & heating system install department has long been the busiest department in our company. In other words, we know these machines inside and out and the differences between them because of our install volume.
Of the units we’ve installed, thousands of them were Trane and American Standard. We’ve installed their air conditioners, heat pumps, furnaces, air handlers, coils and accessories. It’s important to know, we aren’t biased one way or the other as we also install many competing brands. Aside from Trane, we also install Lennox, Goodman, Bosch, Mitsubishi & Fujitsu… to name a few.
American Standard vs Trane – I’ve Seen Them Being Built with Our Own Eyes
I’ve personally visited the manufacturing facilities of almost every major HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) manufacturer on the market. I’ve watched both Trane and American Standard units going down the same assembly line first-hand during several trips to their factory.
Now that you know I’m definitely qualified to answer the question of American Standard vs Trane you’ve been searching for:
American Standard and Trane Are Exactly the Same!
The only exception to that statement is the condensing unit top that comes on a few of the high-efficiency condenser models. Under the Trane name, these models are equipped with the DuraTuff top. Under the American Standard name, the DuraTuff top can be purchased at an additional cost, and field installed. Aside from that difference the rest of the equipment lineup and components are identical.
Trane & American Standard Air Conditioners Manufactured in the Same Plant
You’ll notice I referred to the manufacturing facility of both brand names as one, that was no accident. Both Trane and American Standard are manufactured in the same facility.
Not only are both brands manufactured in the same facility (in Tyler, Texas), they go down the same assembly line. They’re put together by the same people & machines, on the same conveyer belts, right next to each other. Again, I’ve seen it myself multiple times.
What is the Difference Between Trane and American Standard?
Aside from the Duratuff top on a few models we already discussed, what is the difference between Trane & American Standard? This will be a quick read because there are only two differences:
- The paint colors. Although they go through the same paint booths and process.
- The nameplate or sticker. Trane gets an orange nameplate and American Standard gets a blue nameplate.
The parent company of the Trane and American Standard brands is the manufacturing giant Ingersoll Rand. IR acquired the company (formerly The Trane Company) in June 2008 for a reported $10.1 billion. Ingersoll Rand also owns approximately half a dozen other brands including Club Car, a well-known golf cart manufacturer.
Update March, 2020: In April 2019, Ingersoll Rand and Industrial Manufacturer, Gardner Denver announced the two companies would merge under the name Ingersoll Rand and the Trane brand would no longer be part of the Ingersoll Rand family of brands. Under the agreement, Ingersoll Rand separated its Industrial segment and combined with Gardner Denver. Completing the transaction, in March, 2020, the HVAC assets of the current Ingersoll Rand became Trane Technologies.
Does Trane Cost More than American Standard?
American Standard vs Trane: The truth about how much they cost.
Here’s the real deal. Contractors can sell one brand or the other, but not both. In order to protect distribution deals between Ingersoll Rand and their suppliers’ contractors are only supposed to sell one or the other. As a result, there’s a lot of misinformation being spread to the public by contractors and their salespeople especially.
American Standard is Cheaper than Trane – Fact or Fallacy?
Take it from a contractor who’s switched between being a Trane Dealer and an American Standard Dealer over the years: The equipment cost is virtually the same between the two brand names. In fact, they are within a few dollars of each other model by model.
Magic Touch Mechanical was a “Trane Comfort Specialist Dealer” for more than 15-years. We switched and became an “American Standard Comfort Care Dealer” for a few years. Ultimately switching back a few years later, we’re again a Trane Dealer to this day.
Some contractors may charge more for Trane than for American Standard…or visa-versa/ However, this most likely has more to do with that company’s overhead than the price of the equipment.
Full disclosure; Trane charges dealers a “marketing fund” in many areas, which is attached to each piece of equipment purchased. The air conditioning and heating contractor (dealer) naturally needs to add that into their cost of goods sold. Ultimately that cost is passed on to the consumer just like any other product.
It’s important to note; that marketing fee doesn’t necessarily mean the contractor is paying more for Trane than American Standard. Nor does it mean the consumer pays more for that matter. Most HVAC manufacturers and distributors work on a tiered pricing model. The more equipment a contractor purchases, the lower the cost of each individual unit.
What’s the Price Difference Between Trane and American Standard?
We actually pay a little less for Trane than we did for American Standard, although not significantly less, still less. So, if you assume Trane costs more than American Standard, you might be wrong…it depends on where you buy it. In fact, quite frequently we’re told our Trane price was cheaper than our competitors charge for the equivalent American Standard.
Remember, since we’re a larger than the average HVAC Company, we install a lot of air conditioning and heating units. As a result, we have a lot of purchasing power. That purchasing power reflects how much we pay for the equipment and what we can sell it for. On the same note; we have a large vehicle fleet, offices, uniformed technicians, a training facility for our technicians, etc. So, our overhead is higher than a smaller company that operates out of the owner’s home.
Trane Air Conditioners Are All the Buzz in Phoenix, AZ
American Standard is a well-known brand but is most typically associated with plumbing fixtures and products. Your toilet, sink, or faucets may be American Standard.
Ingersoll Rand goes to market with the Trane brand a little differently than they do with American Standard. The only products manufactured under the Trane brand are air conditioning and heating systems & accessories. They spend a significant amount of marketing dollars making sure consumers know it is a premium brand.
While most people can recite Trane’s slogan off the top of their heads – “Nothing Stops a Trane”, nobody really knows American Standard’s slogan…including myself!
Here in the Phoenix market, Trane is sold to contractors factory-direct. American Standard is sold through a 3rdparty distributor. The Trane name seems to hold more weight locally amongst the general public than its sister brand. However, in other parts of the country, the roles are reversed.
Here in the Valley of the Sun, Trane’s marketing efforts have worked out quite well for them. The brand is well revered and many homeowners ask for Trane by name.
Why Two Brand Names If They’re the Same?
Again, the major difference in the brands is the distribution network, which varies throughout the country. In some parts of the country the brands are distributed through wholesalers, in other areas it’s factory direct.
Almost every major HVAC manufacturer sells the same equipment under different brand names. The reason being, they can increase market share while honoring distribution exclusivity contracts with different wholesalers. Other examples include Goodman, Daikin & Amana (same manufacturer), Carrier & Bryant (same manufacturer) and Rheem & Ruud (same manufacturer).
We’ve found the customer service from these networks varies by location. This leads to differences in the contractor’s experience – and ultimately the end users experience with the brand. Magic Touch Mechanical switched from Trane to American Standard and back again in our 23-year history with the brand(s). Really, the only reason was to assure the best experience we could for our clients. In Phoenix, Trane is distributed factory-direct whereas American Standard is distributed through a wholesaler.
After years of selling Trane we found the service we were receiving from the Phoenix Trane Sales Office was diminishing. Long wait times for parts, delivery issues, etc., meant clients with Trane products weren’t getting the service they deserved. So, we switched to the American Standard wholesaler who promised better service.
Ingersoll Rand Makes Leadership Changes in Trane Phoenix Office
When Ingersoll Rand purchased the company, they began making sweeping changes at the Trane Phoenix Sales Office. We ultimately decided to switch back to Trane. Here’s why:
First, I should mention we still do business with the 3rd party distributor who sells American Standard in Phoenix. However, we buy some of the other brands and products they carry.
We service all brands of air conditioning units including American Standard. The more access we have to parts, the faster service we can deliver to our clients. We also purchase lots of installation materials and supplies through that wholesaler. We have a great relationship with that company and their team, I don’t have anything negative to say about them. However, technical support and service “direct” from the manufacturer is often stronger than it is from a 3rd party who also sells other brands. Manufacturers typically have more resources available than 3rd party supply houses. Better dealer support means a better experience for our clients.
Management Changes at Phoenix Trane Air Conditioning
One of the changes Ingersoll Rand made when taking over included installing a new management team in Phoenix. Frankly, poor management led to the issues us contractors like us had with the old Arizona Trane. Already knowing many of these “new” people, I felt confident the customer service would be top-notch once again. The changes to troublesome Trane policies also meant the long wait times for parts was no longer an issue. Let’s face it, people simply can’t wait weeks or even days for working AC in the desert. The manufacturer simply must keep replacement parts in stock locally!
Lastly, more people ask for Trane by name than ask for American Standard. We want to give people the products and options they want…not what we want to sell. It’s all part of our philosophy of offering “Options not Ultimatums”, and the reason we offer many brands. Frankly, if we could offer the unit under both brand names we would, but I understand the reasoning. Third party suppliers and the manufacturers have contracts that allow for exclusivity, which is only fair for the suppliers. They shouldn’t have to compete against the manufacturer more than they already do – Trane vs American Standard.
Choosing Between an American Standard Dealer and a Trane Dealer
This is completely different from market to market, but in Phoenix the difference could be the caliber of dealer. Some brands and suppliers will let anyone with a pulse purchase their equipment, while others are more selective in who becomes an “official dealer” in order to protect “the brand”.
In Phoenix, Trane was once a little more selective about who became a Trane dealer than the 3rd party wholesaler. At that time, the American Standard brand could be purchased by practically any licensed HVAC Contractor. That said, there are a number of great contractors who’ve been selling American Standard in Phoenix for many years. Likewise there are great Trane dealers as well, however more than a few that are, well…not so great. Nowadays, there doesn’t seem to be much selectivity from the manufacturers like there was in the old days, they’re all racing to increase marketshare. In my 35 years in HVAC, the only manufacturer I’ve witnessed maintain high standards about who they let install their product is Lennox – but that’s for another article!
Bottom line: It’s extremely important to research the caliber of the installing HVAC Contractor. Frankly, much more important than the brand you choose! In fact…
Don’t Buy an Air Conditioner Because Of Its Brand Name!
The reason we offer several different brands when proposing a new air conditioning system installation is: We believe in promoting Magic Touch Mechanical, not the manufacturer’s brand. At the end of the day, the relationship is between us and the client not the client and the brand. When there’s an issue we are “on our clients side” not the manufacturers side.
Besides Trane, we also install Lennox, Mitsubishi, Fujitsu, Bosch and a few others. We chose these brands based on quality, reliability, and features. Each have some unique features that may better suit one over the other based on the application.
However, all third-party industry experts say the most important part of the equation for the consumer is the installing company. Choosing the right company and assuring the unit is installed correctly is more important than the brand, model, or efficiency.
Even the best, most reliable, most efficient equipment can be the wrong choice if not installed or commissioned correctly. So, if you’re trying to decide American Standard or Trane, you should be asking yourself, Contractor A vs. Contractor B!
Ask yourself the following when selecting the right AC Company:
- did a more thorough evaluation of my home?
- performed a load calculation?
- inspected my duct work, attic insulation, windows, etc.?
- offered a more detailed “scope of work”?
- has a better reputation with the BBB, Angie’s List, Google, etc.?
Magic Touch Mechanical is the trusted HVAC and home solutions provider for air conditioning services in Phoenix, AZ including Tempe, Scottsdale and Gilbert. Contact us today to learn more about our Trane air conditioning installation services. Better yet, let’s sit down and compare Trane to their competition side-by-side. Then you can decide which brand and model is best for you, your budget, and your expected results!