Furnace Reliability Comparison: Carrier vs. Trane

When sizing up Carrier vs. Trane, you’re comparing two of the top five brands in the industry. Neither are perfect; both are very reliable. Some would say there’s not a dime’s bit of difference between the two. Is that true? Let’s take a look.

Single Stage HVAC Systems: Carrier vs. Trane

The furnace, AC or heat pump comes on at full capacity – it’s only capacity. The upside is affordability. These are the least expensive units in each brand’s (and every brand’s) lineup. They are sometimes referred to as entry level, contractor grade, base level or just plain cheap. However, since Trane and Carrier are two of the most expensive brands, “cheap” is a relative term. These are also the least efficient models in the lineups.

Carrier gives better warranties on most of its lowest-tier products – 10 years on most parts vs. 5 years from Trane. In part, this is a cost decision. Trane can offer the units at a lower cost if it reduces its back-end warranty risk.

However, it does reflect a qualitative difference too, in our opinion. If you’re considering a Carrier Comfort Series vs. Trane XR or XB Series, we’re going to recommend Carrier.

Two-Stage HVAC Systems: Carrier vs. Trane

These models come on at low capacity which is typically 60% to 65% of full capacity depending on the model. The advantages are longer, quieter cycles that balance temperature more evenly and are more efficient, reducing energy use and bills. When you adjust the thermostat to get more heat or AC, they’ll kick up to full capacity to get the job done quickly.

Most two-stage Carrier models are in the Carrier Performance Series. Trane isn’t so exact. The most common two-stage models are the Trane XL, XV and XC. Warranties are generally equal, with 10 years on parts being the norm, longer on furnace heat exchangers. If you want the best warranties in the industry, Goodman, Amana, Ruud, Rheem, Heil and a few others offer better warranties than either Trane or Carrier.

When comparing the Trane vs. Carrier service record, they are both top five depending on the year.

If you are in the market for two-stage heating and AC, we suggest you get multiple estimates for both and base your decision on the prices you get and the experience of the installer. Choosing a qualified contractor with good experience is as important as which brand you select.

Modulating HVAC Systems: Carrier vs. Trane

A modulating gas valve delivers from 40% to 100% of capacity depending on the precise heat required for optimal climate control, and the valve constantly adjusts in increments as small as .5%. On a modulating heat pump, it is the compressor delivering the heat or AC in very precise increments.  Modulating units offer the most comfort, the quietest operation and the best efficiency. They are significantly more costly than two-stage models.

Carrier modulating units are part of the Carrier Infinity Series, though not all Infinity models are modulating. For Trane, modulating units usually have an “m” in the model name.

When considering Carrier vs. Trane reliability, the jury is still out. Modulating units have been on the market since about 2010, and that’s not enough years to have sufficient data on service records.

Carrier beat Trane to the market with modulating units by a couple of years. Does that make them more reliable, since new technology is more prone to error and Carrier has had time to fix issues? We think it does.

For modulating units, the best strategy, in our opinion, is to get multiple estimates and go with the contractor – whether Trane or Carrier – that you believe has the best track record of success. The quality of the installation is a huge, often overlooked, part of the equation that has a big impact on the durability and performance of the system.

All else being equal in terms of cost and contractor experience, we lean slightly toward choosing Carrier over Trane for modulating HVAC systems.

Trane Gas Furnace Ratings

Trane furnaces feature high quality and great dependability. Prices are higher than average, but consumers give Trane high ratings for climate control and reliability.

This Trane gas furnace buying guide introduces to the models in the lineup. It will help you decide which models you want to learn more about. For comparison, see similar pages on furnaces from American Standard, Lennox, Carrier, Goodman, Rheem and Bryant.

Overview of Trane Gas Furnace Models

Trane furnaces aren’t as easy to categorize as those from other brands, but here they are.

Trane XC Gas Furnaces: These top of the line furnaces include communicating technology that coordinates all HVAC components. The result is higher efficiency and greater indoor comfort. The XCm95 (95%) is a modulating gas furnace and the XC80 (80%) is a 2-stage furnace. Both are equipped with variable-speed fans. They offer superior climate control to single-stage furnaces.

Trane XV Gas Furnaces: Variable-speed, 2-stage furnaces are what you get here. These produce outstanding climate control in any home. The XV furnaces are the XV95 (96.7%) and the XV80 (80%).

Trane XL Gas Furnaces: This third-best line is on par with the top of the line models from some brands. It uses a 2-stage gas valve for superior comfort along with a 4-speed fan that enhances the comfort of your home, reducing blasts of cold air at the beginning of a heating cycle. The models are the XL95 (96%) and the XL80 (80%).

Trane XT Gas Furnaces: These single-stage furnaces are offered in 2 models, one of them Energy Star qualified. It gives you the chance to lower your energy bills at a lower price than you’d pay for a 2-stage furnace . The models in the XT Series are the Trane XT95 (95%) and the XT80 (80%).

Trane XR Gas Furnaces: These single-stage furnaces have a 4-speed fan which is more comfortable than a single-speed fan. The models are the Energy Star XR95 (95%) and the XR80 (80%).

Trane XB90 Gas Furnaces: These are value-oriented models that offer pretty good quality and lower prices. They make good sense when lower cost is the priority in your purchase. The 2 single-stage models are the XB90 (90%) and the XB80 (80%).

Pros and Cons of Trane Gas Furnaces

The advantages of the Trane lineup start with options. You’ve got a lot of choice regarding efficiency, performance and price.  Trane has a top-5 service record, especially in its better furnace lines, so you can be confident you’re getting a quality furnace that should last 20 years or more. The XR and XB furnaces offer very competitive pricing in furnaces that show very decent quality. Trane doesn’t make any lines that would be considered sub-par or junk.

There are few negatives to Trane gas furnaces, though the top models are pricey. In fact, the lineup from top to bottom is more expensive than all but a few brands such as Carrier, Lennox and American Standard. The reason for the higher prices is part reputation and part the superior quality and durability Trane provides.


With Trane, you’ve got a lot of options. If you want a high-end modulating furnace for the lowest possible energy use and cost while enjoying outstanding indoor comfort, you have it. For more affordable options, the rest of the line might have what you want.

Our individual gas furnace ratings will have more details on many of these models. Whichever furnace you decide to install, get multiple estimates and choose a qualified contractor that you are confident will do the job correctly. The quality of the installation plays a major role in how well a furnace performs and how long it lasts.

For great options for all budgets, take a closer look at the Trane gas furnaces product lineup.

AAA Rated Furnaces

What are the best gas furnaces currently available?  These 5 are the cream of the crop. If you’re looking for a very efficient, high-quality gas furnace, this list is a great place to start your search.

1. Trane Fully Modulating XC95m Gas Furnace

Trane is one of the highest-rated furnaces for quality and dependability. This furnace adds indoor comfort to the list of reasons to consider Trane’s best gas furnace. The modulating gas valve runs at lower capacity most of the time so that the cycles are longer and gentler. The air is also filtered more frequently. The variable-speed blower matches the performance of the gas valve to balance temperatures so that you won’t notice fluctuations during or between cycles. This is a pricey gas furnace, with costs ranging from $1,900-$3,000.

2. American Standard Platinum ZV Gas Furnace

This top model from AS has a modulating gas valve to go with Energy Star 95% efficiency. The result is a very comfortable home along with lower energy use and bills. American Standard’s service record is a top-5 in the industry too, making this a great long-term furnace choice. Gas furnace prices for this model are $2,100-$2,800.

3. Goodman GMVM96 Modulating Gas Furnace

Goodman specializes in making quality products for less and backing them with very good warranties. This is the brand’s top of the line. It offers precise climate control with a modulating burner that delivers just the right amount of heating required to balance temperatures throughout the home. It runs at capacity as low as 35% producing very quiet, very gentle heat. Here’s proof of the good value these furnaces represent – the cost is $1,600-$2,100 depending on the size you get.

4. Lennox Signature SLP98V Variable-Capacity

This is a remarkable gas furnace, with 98.2% energy efficiency. It’s very popular in the coldest climates and it is a favorite with enthusiasts of eco-friendly heating and cooling. The variable-speed blower enhances your indoor comfort in all seasons. You’ll pay more for this furnace, as you might expect. Depending on capacity, the gas furnace prices are $2,600-$3,500.

5. Luxaire LX TM9M Gas Furnace

Luxaire doesn’t have the reputation or name recognition that the heavyweights like Trane and Lennox do. But that doesn’t stop the company from turning out highly-rated products. This furnace is efficient at 97%. The modulating gas valve also makes it very comfortable. You’ll enjoy better climate control with the variable-speed blower whether it is heating or working with a central air conditioner to cool your home and remove humidity. Prices for this model are $2,400-$3,000.

When you replace an older gas furnace with one of these, you’ll first notice much better climate control. They will even out temperatures throughout your home, helping to eliminate hot and cold spots (which could be a ductwork issue too).

The second thing you’ll notices is heating bills that are much lower. If the furnace you’re replacing is 15-25 years old, it’s probably 65%-85% efficient, so do the math and see how much you’ll save!

See our gas furnace ratings for more details on many of these models. They’re a great way to compare models head to head.

Trane Two-Stage XV95 Gas Furnace Rating

The Trane Two-Stage XV95 furnace is part of the second-best line from this highly respected manufacturer.  It offers good performance and Energy Star efficiency. It costs less than the Trane communicating gas furnaces but due to the high quality of the construction and Trane’s reputation for dependability, it does cost more than some comparably-equipped models.

The 2-stage heating combines with the variable-speed motor of the Trane XV95 to create a very comfortable home.  You’ll experience little temperature fluctuation along with balanced heating throughout your home.  The 96.7% efficiency will help control energy costs in even the coldest climate – though in a mild climate, a comparable Trane 80% efficient furnace might be a more cost-effective choice.  This Trane Two-Stage XV95 gas furnace rating review provides you with the information you need to evaluate this model for your own home.  You may also want to compare it with other gas furnace ratings articles on this site.

Energy Efficiency Rating: (5/5)

This is Trane’s most efficient furnace at 96.7 AFUE and easily qualifies as an Energy Star product.  It will reduce heating costs by as much as 40% when replacing an older gas furnace.  The high efficiency is an ideal choice for the coolest climates and for homeowners committed to reducing energy use and greenhouse gas emissions.  The Trane XV95 2-stage gas furnace price might mean it isn’t the most cost-effective choice for you if you live in a mild or warm climate.

Performance Features Rating: (4/5)

The XV95 from Trane will help you create a very comfortable home.  In addition, it is produced with some of the best-quality parts in the industry.  This is a 2-stage furnace that offers quieter, more balanced heating throughout your home.  It features a variable-speed blower that enhances all aspects of indoor comfort. The dual heat exchangers are crafted from quality aluminized steel and offer outstanding heat transfer. This furnace works with the Comfort-R mode on air conditioners to provide low continuous fan that removes more humidity during summer weather. Models are available from 60,000 to 100,000 Btu. The heat exchangers are covered by a lifetime limited warranty and the parts are covered by a 10-year limited warranty.

User Rating: (5/5)

Users give this furnace high marks because Trane has the best service record in the HVAC industry and this model is highly dependable.  With regular maintenance and minor repairs when needed, the Trane two-stage XV95 should last 20+ years in most homes, slightly less where it gets very heavy use.

Overall Rating: (4.5/5)

This is one of the top-rated gas furnaces on the market that does not have a modulating burner or communicating technology – 2 options which cost significantly more.  If you want high performance and high efficiency in a long-term heating solution, the Trane XV95 gas furnace should be on your short list of furnaces to consider.

What are the Differences in Trane Gas Furnaces?

Trane makes 6 different lines of gas furnaces with a total of 12 models.  They range from high-efficiency communicating models that are quite expensive to affordable models with very basic functionality.  The lineup reflects consumer demand for different levels of performance and efficiency.  What are the differences in Trane gas furnaces?  This Trane gas furnace guide provides an overview of each line and its key features.

Trane XC Gas Furnaces

This is Trane’s line of communicating furnaces.  The ComfortLink II technology coordinates split-system components to offer maximum efficiency and performance.  They also offer the TAM (telephone access module) that allows you to remotely program the system for maximum energy savings when you leave home and a comfortable house when you return. The Trane XC95m offers modulated heat that is more precise in controlling indoor comfort. It is 95% efficient.  The Trane XC80 is 80% efficient.  Both of the Trane XC gas furnaces are equipped with a variable-speed blower that produces balanced temperatures and better air filtration.  The Comfort-R mode runs the fan on constant low to improve humidity reduction while cooling with a central air conditioner.  These furnaces are backed by a lifetime heat exchanger warranty and a 10-year parts warranty.

Trane XV Gas Furnaces

There are 3 models in this series.  They feature 2-stage heat along with variable-speed fans but don’t have communicating technology.  The Trane XV 95 (95% AFUE) is a popular in cooler climates.  The XV80 and XV80i are 80% efficient furnaces and the XV80i comes equipped with Trane’s Clean Effects advanced air filtration system that provides better indoor air quality than standard filters. These furnaces are also backed by a lifetime heat exchanger warranty and a 10-year parts warranty. Trane XL Two-Stage Gas Furnace

This is an 80% efficient furnace that features 2-stage heating with a 4-speed blower that isn’t quite as comfortable as a variable-speed blower.  This is a high-quality but affordable furnace choice for those who don’t need a high-efficiency model but do enjoy the indoor comfort of staged heat.  The warranty also is not as good as better Trane furnaces.  It covers the heat exchanger for 20 years and all other parts for 5 years.

Trane XT Single-Stage Gas Furnaces

These are affordable furnaces with single-stage heat and single-speed blowers.  The XT90 is 90% efficient and the XT80 is 80% efficient.  Both are equipped with a 20-year heat exchanger warranty and a 5-year parts warranty.

Trane XR Gas Furnaces

The XR95 (95%) and the XR80 (80%) are single-stage furnaces with the added comfort of a multi-speed blower.  They run more quietly and prevent blasts of cool air at the beginning of the heating cycle.  The differences in efficiency give you an affordable choice for differing climate needs. The Trane XR95 comes with a lifetime heat exchanger warranty and 10-year parts warranty; the XR80 has only a 20-year heat exchanger warranty and a 5-year parts warranty. These models do well in consumer-generated gas furnace ratings for value and reliability.

Trane XB Single Stage Gas Furnace

There are 2 models in this series, both with 4-speed blower motors.  The XB90 is 90% efficient and the XB80 is 80% efficient.  Both are backed by a lifetime heat exchanger warranty and a 5-year parts warranty.


As you compare these models, select one with the efficiency and performance you are looking for.  The quality of the components can be partially determined by the length of the warranty and is usually also reflected in the relative price of the models. All Trane furnace series are offered in upflow/horizontal and downflow/horizontal models for installation options.  Here is an overview of the entire Trane gas furnace product lineup. The model number of each also indicates the level of efficiency it provides.

Trane XC Communicating Series: Trane XC95 and Trane XC80

Trane XV 2-Stage Series: Trane VX95, Trane XV80i and Trane XV80.

Trane XL 2-Stage Series: Trane XL80

Trane XT Series Single-Stage: Trane XT90 and Trane XT80.

Trane XR Single-Stage Series: Trane XR95 and Trane XR80.

Trane XB Single-Stage Series: Trane XB90 and Trane XB80.

Trane Two-Stage XL90 Gas Furnace Rating

Trane makes several lines of quality furnaces. The Trane Two-Stage XL90 gas furnace is not the top line, but it is one of their better gas furnaces.  It is efficient and produces a comfortable home environment with a 2-stage burner and a multi-speed blower, the keys to balanced temperatures, effective humidity control and better air filtration. In this Trane Two-Stage XL90 Gas Furnace rating review we take a look at efficiency, features, customer ratings and more, giving you the facts you need to compare this gas furnace with others under consideration.

Energy Efficiency Rating: (4/5)

The Trane XL90 gas furnace offers 92% efficiency and that is about average for the industry.  It’s an Energy Star product.  It will reduce heating costs significantly when it replaces an older gas furnace and is a good choice for new construction homes in moderate to cool climates.  The multi-speed operation of the blower motor will reduce electricity use for additional energy savings.

Performance Features Rating: (4/5)

Trane-gas-furnace-rating-picThe key performance features are the 2-stage burners and the 4-speed blower.  These combine to warm (and cool, if part of an AC split system) gently and quietly.  The furnace runs on low mode to maintain indoor temperature but switches to high when outside temps drop or you call for a boost in heat. For air purification, the Trane Two-Stage XL90 furnace is wired for the highly-respected Trane CleanEffects electronic air cleaner.  The system is programmable for optimized energy savings and indoor comfort.

Other notable features include the multi-port inshot burners that offer consistent reliability, the washable filter with the spring-activated rack and the non-welded one-piece heat exchanger.  The Trane XL90 offers multiple installation options including upflow, downflow and horizontal.

User Ratings: (5/5)

Trane has one of the top service records in the industry.  The XL90 gas furnace is built with quality components and careful craftsmanship.  You can expect to get at least 15 years of service from this furnace, and with regular maintenance and care, 20 years is quite possible.

Overall Rating: (4.5/5)

The Trane XL 90 92% AFUE furnace demonstrates good efficiency and excellent quality. One concern about this furnace is that the limited parts warranty is just 5 years, to go with a limited lifetime heat exchanger warranty.  Many brands and models considered inferior to this one are backed by 10-year parts warranties. Though this furnace has a good repair record, the 5-year warranty doesn’t inspire confidence in all consumers.

In terms of performance, the Trane XL90 gas furnace is a popular choice for those who want good efficiency and indoor climate control without paying top-of-the-line prices.