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Old 05-08-2007, 12:01 PM   #1
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Trane vs. Armstrong House AC?

I have quotes for Trane and Armstrong AC units for my house. The Tranes start at about 4K-6K. The Armstrong is $5400 with a 10 year parts and labor warranty. Anyone hear of Armstrong, the last guy swore up and down it is better than the Trane? Any advice? These are the two I am looking at.
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Old 05-08-2007, 02:26 PM   #2
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Wow those are really high prices. How big a unit are we talking here? Around here, they are typically under $2,000.00 Cdn, installed for most brands. I'm not familiar with Armstrong, but I know a few AC mechanics, and they all shy away from namebrands such as carrier, lennox, and Trane. The main reason they don't like them is their use of proprietary parts, which typically cost several times the price, for the exact same part from a supplier, but without the Brand part number. I hesitate to use the name generic for these parts (over the counter might be better) , as they are often the identical part, manufactured by the same company. The difference to the repairman is availability, and lower cost. So, it is possible that the installer is honest and believes what he is saying. I just can't believe the price.
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Old 05-08-2007, 04:13 PM   #3
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I agree, but all the quotes are relatively the same. It is a 2.5 ton unit.
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Old 05-09-2007, 09:46 AM   #4
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my bf is an a/c tech and he doesnt like trane at all..... says they are garbage, always breakin. altho i dont know if that helps or not!!
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Old 05-09-2007, 10:58 AM   #5
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Trane vs Armstrong

This is an interesting question and you have received a number of equally interesting responses. Let me see if I can help.

Trane is a top quality brand and with a long history of first rate quality and reliability. This was substantiated in Consumer Reports a few years ago when Trane and their American Standard Brands dominated this category. The Armstrong branded units were rated in the bottom 1/3 of all of the units they tested.

The comment about the bf being an AC tech and Trane being garbage and always needing to be fixed is an interesting one which would lead me to think that the bf in question either worked for one of the bottom tier brands and was not making a truly informed comment on reliability based on experience.

Getting an ac condenser (outside unit) installed for under $2000 would lead me to think that they are either installing questionable equipment (not good quality) or are not installing a matching indoor coil. Recent regulations changed this year to a new minimum efficiency called 13 SEER. I would guess that the older unit that you are replacing is not a 13 SEER or higher unit and this would mean that the coil inside of your house would have to be changed as well as they will not be compatable with each other.

This makes me then think about asking where you live? This will also play a big part on the cost and subsequent value your system will provide you. If you are in a very hot climate then you might want to go above the current minimum SEER rating to help save on your energy bills. Where living in a milder climate then 13 SEER would suit you fine.


Just as a point of reference for you I live in TX and last July after extensive research and receiving 5 different quote, I had a 2 tone Trane XR13 system (mid tier with a new indoor coil) installed in my house. The coil was located in my attic with easy access (affects cost) and as it was a straight replacement there was nothing extra to do. I paid $2700 for the installation.

If you are also thinking about replacing the furnace then I might suggest they you look into a more efficient furnace 90% AFUE plus (in a colder area and 80% in a milder climate. To enhance comfort in your house you might want to ask about a variable speed blower in the furnace and a 2 stage compressor in the ac unit.

If you have any issues with allergies or have pets in your house you might also want to look into a whole house air cleaner since the indoor air is typically several time worse that the air outside of your house.

Just my 2 cents worth. Just make sure that you are happy with the installer and their credentials don't let price drive your decision. I made this mistake a number of times in the past and have learned the hard way to avoid doing that.

Good luck!
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Old 05-09-2007, 11:29 AM   #6
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WELCOME TO AA!!

LOL! That's got to be a first. A person new to this site who's 1st post is a reply to AC units. Thanks for the great advice/experience.
The quote on the 13 SEER was $4900, that includes replacing the heat pump, building the correct stand for the outside unit, since the one there noe is 4 slabs of shale, I think.
I live in Wv and it gets hot in the summer and cold in the winter. I live in the mountains.
I got a quote for a 14 SEER with the variable speed blower was around $6K.
This is a total replacement. My current AC is a Heil and is 10 years old, so everything would need replacing.
The first guy we had out there, she really liked and the Arstrong guy knew the other guy and said he was a great and honest guy. So I think the 1st guy gets our vote. Thanks everyone for your responses.
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Originally Posted by twelda
Trane being garbage and always needing to be fixed is an interesting one which would lead me to think that the bf in question either worked for one of the bottom tier brands and was not making a truly informed comment on reliability based on experience.
I am not doubting anyone on their opinions or experience but the Armstrong guy bashed Trane as well and strongly pushed his product. He was nice, but seemed to be a fast talker. I also gave him the first quote and he said it was a freat price, then went out to do his quote, which was only about $500 more than the trane.
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Old 05-09-2007, 11:36 AM   #7
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FWIW, we used to install Armstrong systems years ago. They were always the cheaper units, the ones that builders would often install in new mid/low priced homes. Not that they are bad or to be avoided, but I would agree with the bottom 1/3 comment.
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Old 05-09-2007, 12:23 PM   #8
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Cool, I'm going with the 14 SEER Trane with the variable speed. Total a little over 6K, so I think I can write off the home imporvement and pay it with my home equity line of credit and then write off the interest on that! Woohooo!
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Old 05-09-2007, 01:03 PM   #9
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My brother is an a/c tech and he says that Trane units are very reliable but expensive to fix if they do break down. He said that Lennox units are evil and like to bite.
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Old 05-09-2007, 02:31 PM   #10
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LOL! The 14 SEER has a 10 year part and labor warranty.
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