And much more!
So, if you’re looking for answers on the best way to heat your home, keep reading our detailed guide below to get answers to all of your questions!
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What Do They Have in Common?
Trane and Lennox are two industry giants in the world of HVAC equipment manufacturers. They both produce thousands of furnaces, heat pumps, and air conditioners each year and ship to all corners of the globe. Other top furnace brands include Daikin, Goodman, Rheem, Ruud, Carrier, Bryant, and Amana.
Additionally, they each have many models and sizes available to choose from. For those looking for a new Lennox or Trane furnace, it may be tricky navigating through the endless sea of options and differences between these two types of furnaces.
To make navigating the seas of Trane and Lennox furnaces, let’s first discuss the things they have in common.
Both Trane and Lennox are highly reliable brands, and they didn’t become two of the largest residential HVAC equipment manufacturers by making unreliable equipment. Time and time again, Lennox and Trane are ranked as the least likely to break down, highest durability, and the longest equipment lifespans.
Long History in HVAC
Trane and Lennox each have a long history of manufacturing HVAC equipment. Lennox was founded in Iowa by Dave Lennox in the late 19th century. Ezra William Smith and Ernest Bryant invented a furnace concept with Lennox obtained the right of and the rest is history. Lennox has now been manufacturing furnaces and other HVAC equipment for over 125 years.
Trane is not quite as old as Lennox but has a similarly long existence. Although Trane has only been incorporated since 2007, the company has been around since the 1920s. It was initially founded in LaCrosse, Wisconsin, then purchased in 1984 by American Standard, Inc. Then, in 2007, American Standard sold off its other division and reincorporated itself as Trane.
With organizations that have been in business so long, you can trust that they do right by consumers.
Going hand-in-hand with reliability, the quality of Trane and Lennox furnaces is bar-none. Their quality metrics are incredible, meaning it is improbable that you receive a unit that fails during their long warranties. Whether you have a Trane or Lennox furnace, you can be almost certain that it will rarely ever break done, as long as you do proper, routine maintenance.
Electric, Gas, and Propane Models Available
Natural gas furnaces are not your only heating option. Lennox and Trane not only manufacture gas-fired furnaces but electric, oil, and propane ones too.
Wide Selection of Features and Options
Whether you’re in the market for a small or large capacity, Trane and Lennox both have you covered. Additionally, they both have everything from low-efficiency to high-efficiency models.
With that said, they each have plenty of different models and feature variations of each to best suit your specific needs.
Additionally, both brands offer advanced features such as humidity control, variable-speed fans, communicating technology (communicate with the AC unit and thermostat), and smart thermostats with WiFi connectivity on various models within their offering.
The communicating technologies work best if you have the same brand of central air conditioner and furnace connected to the smart thermostat. In other words, using Trane air conditioners with a Trane furnace works best. The same goes for Lennox air conditioners and furnaces.
Single-Stage, Two-Stage, and Variable-Capacity Units
Rounding out a wide selection of options, Lennox and Trane have various heating level options for homeowners. They each manufacture single-stage, two-stage, and variable capacity furnaces:
- Single-stage furnaces – Run less often, run only at full capacity (100%), use more energy, but are lower cost
- Two-stage furnaces – Run more often at their first stage (65-70% of full capacity) and only run at 100% if they need to catch up; they are more energy-efficient and quieter
- Variable-capacity furnace – also known as modulating furnaces, they can throttle their heating output from 35/40-100% of capacity and are the most energy-efficient
As you can see, whatever furnace speed you need, you’ll be able to find it with Lennox or Trane. Since furnaces don’t provide cooling like heat pumps, all three types are usually paired with an air conditioning unit.
Trane and Lennox both manufacture a line of robust furnaces that last at least 15-20 years, if not more. In fact, both manufacturers stand fully behind the average lifespan of their equipment, offering 20 years up to a lifetime warranty on specific facets of the furnace.
We’ll expand on their warranties later on in this guide.
Top 7 Differences Between Trane vs Lennox Furnaces
Now that we’ve reviewed the similarities of Lennox and Trane furnaces, we can introduce the differences between the two. These are all differences that range from small changes to significant.
But, before we get started, let’s introduce the types of Trane and Lennox furnaces we’ll be comparing. We’ll describe their offerings as good, better, and best:
|Brand||Lennox – 13 total models||Trane – 15 total models|
|Good models||Merit||XB80, XR80, XV80, & XC80|
|Better models||Elite||XB90, XR95, XT95, & XL95|
|Best models||Signature||XV95, XC95m, & S9V2|
As you can see, Lennox makes it easy as it has names for each series to distinguish the level of the furnace easily. Trane uses model codes that are less easy to decipher but follow Lennox’s same basic product line logic.
Most models in the “good” category are single-stage units. The “better” category includes mostly two-stage furnaces, while the last category – “best” – consists mainly of variable-capacity units.
Both Trane and Lennox offer a wide range of heating capacities, from 30,000 to 100,000+ BTUs. Whatever your home size, you’ll be able to find a unit with the BTU capacity to heat it.
As we previously mentioned, both brands offer variable-capacity or modulating furnaces. They both work using a modulating gas valve that varies the amount of gas provided to the burner.
Similar to how a dimmer switch for a light adjusts the brightness to any level, a modulating gas valve provides very fine control of heat to get and keep your home perfectly balanced at the temperature setpoint on your thermostat.
Some high-efficiency modulating furnaces are also paired with variable-speed blowers to provide even finer control of the temperature by increasing and decreasing the airflow.
Where Lennox and Trane differ on variable-speed furnaces is capacity increments their models utilize:
|Model||Lennox SLP99V||Trane XC95m|
|Heat source||Natural gas||Natural gas|
|Variable-capacity range||35% to 100%||40% to 100%|
The efficiency ratings of all furnaces are measured with the Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) ratio. It is the amount of heat produced per fuel used and is measured throughout the entire year. Think of AFUE as the SEER rating of furnaces.
Measuring the ratio throughout the entire year is more accurate as it averages the peak efficiencies and the low points too.
AFUE is always represented as a percentage of 0 to 100%, with higher numbers being better. For example, if a high efficiency furnace has an AFUE of 92%, it will turn 92% of the fuel it burns into usable heat.
The minimum AFUE ratio on all furnaces is 78%, as mandated by the United States Department of Energy (US DOE) and managed by the Energy Star program.
Between Trane and Lennox, Lennox has a slightly higher maximum AFUE on their furnaces. The highest AFUE rating on a Lennox furnace is 99% AFUE on their Signature model SLP99V. On the other hand, the highest AFUE ratio achieved by a Trane furnace is 97.3% with their XC95m modulating gas furnace.
Since these are both highly energy efficient furnaces, you’re probably wondering – is the 99% AFUE Lennox furnace that much better than the 97.3% Trane model?
If you’re concerned about your carbon footprint, then obviously, the 99% AFUE furnace should be your choice. At 99% AFUE, it releases slightly less CO2 into the atmosphere than the 97.3% AFUE Trane furnace.
If you’re interested primarily in energy cost savings, choosing the 99% model will lessen your heating bill but not as much as you might think. The difference is only 1.7%, which means if your heating bill were $1,000 for the Lennox furnace, it would only be $1,017 for the Trane furnace. A difference of $17 is likely unnoticeable pocket change in the grand scheme of your yearly budget.
Additionally, the 99% Lennox furnace may sell at a premium to the 97.3% Trane model. Most homeowners interested in a new furnace consider the AFUE, monthly heating cost, and the upfront pricing of the heating system.
In general, the noise difference between Trane and Lennox furnaces is negligible. Comparable models of each brand create just as much noise as each other, which are relatively quiet even for the low-end models.
For example, a single-stage furnace from Lennox and Trane sounds about the same, even when you hold your ear up to the ductwork. The same goes for two-stage units.
For modulating or variable-capacity furnaces, Lennox has a high-end, efficient model that operates as low as 35% capacity, whereas the high-end Trane’s lowest limit is 40%. Running at 35% capacity is a fraction more silent than 40%, but it is such a tiny change that most ears can’t tell the difference.
Maintenance and Parts Availability
As we discussed at the beginning of this article, both brands have industry-leading quality and craftsmanship on the furnaces they manufacture. In fact, the likelihood of requiring a repair on a Trane or Lennox furnace in the first seven years is around 14% to 16%.
When a Lennox or Trane furnace does require a repair, you’ll likely pay a higher price to repair a Trane furnace. Additionally, Trane replacement parts are widely available and stocked at wholesale distributors around the country.
Lennox has fallen short on parts availability in the recent past but has approved its supply chain in recent years. Another problem of theirs is that common repairs of Lennox furnaces often require Lennox brand parts. If the local HVAC wholesalers are out of stock, this type of repair delay could mean all the difference between you heating your home and it turning into an ice cube.
Factory warranties are warranties that come from the manufacture of the furnace, in this case, Trane and Lennox. Extended warranties are available from third parties, cost much extra, and have too many loopholes to deny your claim. Therefore, extended warranties aren’t recommended.
Trane and Lennox diverge on the types of factory warranties they offer on their furnaces. Trane provides the longest warranty terms out of all furnace manufacturers. Here is how they compare:
|Parts Warranty||5-10 years – depending on model||10 years – all models|
|Primary Heat Exchanger||20 years – all models||20 years or lifetime – depending on model|
|Secondary Heat Exchanger||20 years – all models||Lifetime|
|Transferable?||No||Yes (but it costs extra)|
If you purchase a Trane HVAC unit, remember to register it within 60 days. Otherwise, the warranty will be reduced to 20 years on the heat exchangers and five years on parts. Lennox does not require registration, and there are no reduced terms if you forget to register (all you need is proof of purchase- a receipt).
Which is More Cost-Effective: Lennox or Trane?
In general, Trane furnaces are often 3-6% higher in pricing than comparable Lennox models. Both manufacturers release new models each year or two with incremental improvements, which come with price adjustments.
Additionally, depending on your local market, you might find that Lennox is the higher-priced brand in your region.
Choosing The Right HVAC Contractor
The critical component to select the right HVAC contractor to install your HVAC system is their ability to get it properly installed. Therefore, you should never choose the lowest cost bid because they are likely to cut corners which could become catastrophic for your home.
For that reason, you’ll want to seek out HVAC companies that are certified, licensed, and insured. Additionally, you should look for contractors that have a good track record and recommendations. To learn more about our team of seasoned HVAC contractors and how we can expertly install your heating or air conditioning system, give us a call today!