York Vs. Trane: Which Air Conditioner Is Better?

Ryan Womeldorf
by Ryan Womeldorf
Choosing between air conditioner units can be tough due to the wide variety, but York and Trane are two brands that you cannot go wrong with. The main difference comes down to cost with York having cheaper units, whereas Trane is pricier but of better quality. Whether it be price, durability, or ease of use, let’s take a look at the difference between Trane and York air conditioners.

Your air conditioning system is one of the most appliances in your home. Having central air is much more convenient than using a window-mounted unit, too. Instead of keeping a single room cool, it keeps the entirety of your home cool and comfortable.

When it comes down to choosing the right central air system, there is a lot to consider. You may come down to Trane and York for your choices. Trane is generally considered to be the better overall unit, though the costs are substantially higher and replacement parts are not so easily had. York offers a wider array of choices but their low-end units are not of the best quality.

York HVAC: An Overview

These heating and cooling units are distributed by York International Corp. That said, York, Coleman, and Luxaire are all manufactured by Johnson Controls. The three brands are all owned by Johnson Corp., which is a global manufacturer of a wide array of mechanical equipment.


Perhaps one of the biggest selling points of York HVAC systems is that they have an affordable array of prices. Their low-end models are right around $2,000 while their best offerings around $4,000. That means regardless of budget, you can find something that fits your needs from York.

Compared to some of the other competitors on the market, Trane in particular, York offers greater financial flexibility. Central air is one of the most expensive units that you will install in your home and getting the best value becomes of the utmost importance.


There was a time where York’s warranty was nothing noteworthy but times have changed and they are now more competitive with the rest of the market. For instance, their Affinity Series has a lifetime compressor warranty coupled with a 1-year labor warranty.

Given that most air conditioners do not come with labor covered, that is a huge addition to the warranty. York air conditioners are also backed by a comprehensive 10-year parts warranty. You can have a certain measure of peace of mind when buying a York air conditioner.

Energy Management

York has three different levels of compressor that deliver a varying array of efficiency to your home. They have variable compressors which only come on their Affinity YXV series. They make small adjustments to deliver just the right amount of colling to keep your home comfortable. These are also the most efficient types of compressor.

York has two-stage compressors for their Affinity XYT and LX YFK models that run at 65% capacity for the majority of the time. By running at a lower capacity, they use far less energy than constantly running at full capacity.

Finally, York has single-stage compressors. These are featured on the rest of their models and generally tend to be less efficient than the other York models.


The quality and durability of your York air conditioning unit can vary greatly depending on which model that you choose. York’s higher-end models are quite durable and receive solid ratings over long-term use.

When it comes to their lower-end offerings, however, there have been mixed reviews. Noticeable defects and breakdowns have been noted to occur with York low-end models. There are savings to be had in the installation but it may catch up over time.

Comfort Management

York does have efficient comfort management going for it thanks to its largely two-stage offerings. Their variable capacity AC units are also best for providing a comfortable, balanced temperature that runs at lower capacities. The lower capacities mean lower energy usage, saving you on your utility bills along the way.

York’s variable speed blower motors help for more efficient temperature control. They do this by starting at a lower speed upon startup, which blows less uncooled air out of the ductwork, waiting until the air can be properly cooled.

Replacement Parts

If there is a major issue with York air conditioners, it can not only come down to durability but the ease of replacement. York microchannel coils are perhaps the most troublesome of the individual components within York air conditioners.

If they are installed properly, you have nothing to worry about. But an improper installation can make them prone to leaking. The installation just means that they are structurally more frigid than they would be if they were installed correctly.

That said, not all of York’s air conditioners have the microchannel coil. They only use the microchannel design for some of their lines, meaning you can avoid the problem entirely.


Trane was already a big name in the HVAC industry prior to 1982. But that year, they purchased General Electric’s Central Air Conditioning Division. With that purchase, they became one of the most recognizable brands during that time.

Since then, they have been acquired by American Standard and then again when American Standard broke up. Since 2007, they have been under the umbrella of Irish-based Ingersoll Rand.

High SEER Ratings

One of the most important ratings that an HVAC system can get is the SEER rating. That stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. Across all of their different lines, Trane has some of the highest SEER ratings that you will find.

These higher ratings ensure that you are getting a reliable, energy-efficient model. The baseline for SEER ratings is about 13 in terms of a decent unit. Trane ranges from 14 to 25 depending on the model, allowing for quality SEER ratings no matter which of their models are purchased.


Whereas York is just now becoming competitive in terms of their warranties, Trane has been known for them. They have one of the strongest parts warranties in the game, though are rarely needed because of the quality of the materials that they use.

Each Trane residential unit comes with the base warranty which covers parts that may break due to a particular manufacturer defect. Labor, however, is not covered. That limited warranty can run the gamut from 1 year up to 20 depending on the product purchased.


If you can find a major detriment for Trane air conditioners it is the price. When it comes to certain brands, the price tag is high but you are paying for quality. With their high efficiency and SEER ratings, you are getting just that.

Compared to York, Trane air conditioners are much more expensive. They don’t really have a “low-end” model like York does. Those working on a tighter budget probably won’t want to go with a Trane air conditioner due to the elevated costs.


Replacement parts are not necessarily difficult to find but they are difficult to replace without professional intervention. DIY types won’t find it quite so easy to replace these parts on their own, leading to additional labor costs.

Not only that, Trane air conditioners are more difficult to install in apartment buildings or commercial buildings. That can escalate the costs even further when it comes to installation and labor.


In addition to being some of the most durable air conditioners that you can buy, Trane has some of the most efficient as well. They have a series of settings in place that maximize the efficiency of your unit while limiting energy expenditure.

Trane also distributes cooler air in a much more even manner. Where some other units may have hot spots where the air seemingly can’t get to in the same way it does everywhere else, Trane units don’t have that problem. You can expect an even, consistent cooling experience with your Trane air conditioner.

Wide Selection

Despite the price tag on Trane air conditioners, they have a wide of air conditioners to choose from. They have different styles and sizes to choose from so that you can get the right air conditioner for your home.

Even better, their air conditioners are suitable for just about any climate you can imagine. Some air conditioners are more prone to issues depending on the climate. You won’t have to worry about that issue when you go with a Trane air conditioner. Just another of the aspects that makes them not only durable but reliable as well.

York vs. Trane: What’s the Choice?

The choice depends on how much you have to spend. We all operate within one kind of budget or another and some of us simply cannot afford to go with the best option available.

Trane would be the best quality of central air system available. That said, its price tag is substantially higher than York pretty much across the board. If you have the money to spend, it is recommended that you spend a few more bucks to go with quality.

York is a fine manufacturer, but there are some questions about the quality of their low-end units. Sure, you save money on the installation, but it may cost you over the life of your air conditioner in terms of energy use.

It is recommended that you go with the better option (Trane) if you can spare the money. Otherwise, York makes for a fine budget HVAC system that stacks up comparably with other big name brands in its compressor ranges.

Check Out These Other Air Conditioner Brands Comparisons

Ryan Womeldorf
Ryan Womeldorf

Ryan Womeldorf has more than a decade of experience writing. He loves to blog about construction, plumbing, and other home topics. Ryan also loves hockey and a lifelong Buffalo sports fan.

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