Contrary to how they’re marketing, it’s actually not very hard to stop a Trane! In this review of Trane’s quality and their commitment to backing up their products, I’ll share with you why I don’t recommend Trane products.
The house I bought in the past year came with two Trane air conditioning units, which were both just under five years old. Less than a year after owning the home, one of the Trane AC units (the one for our upstairs) quit functioning due to a manufacturing defect as identified by the local Trane dealer.
The warranty for Trane is complicated, and it tends to leave homeowners frustrated and unimpressed. Below I’ll share the details of why I don’t think it’s as hard as they say it is to stop a Trane.
My Trane AC Experience
Have you found yourself with a company’s tagline or motto stuck in your head. One of those mottos I’ve remembered over the years of hearing it on the television and radio is this: “It’s hard to stop a train!” Having some experience with the bold stance that Trane advertises about its products made it come as a surprise when my five-year-old air conditioner broke down this summer.
My wife and I bought a home last fall. The home was just under five years old when we purchased it. It came with two Trane air conditioners, one for the upstairs, and one for the downstairs.
When summertime started heating up a couple months ago, the air conditioner dedicated to the upstairs began to fail. The temperature of the air that it was blowing out continue to warm over the course of a week or so until it was not much (if at all) different from room temperature.
We had hoped that the problem was a simple freon leak that we could have easily fixed, at which point we would refill the freon and be back in business with cool air upstairs. It turned out to be a much bigger problem than we hoped for. The local Trane dealer (A/C Plus in Murfreesboro) told us that the coil on our Trane air conditioner had failed, and that it was a manufacturer defect as opposed to being the result of misuse or some other reason that would put the blame and responsibility on us.
Finding out that our Trane system was failing due to a problem that was Trane’s was the good news. The bad news came when we asked the technician how to go about getting the unit fixed.
Trane’s 10-Year Warranty: The Fine Print
Trane touts a 10-year warranty on their AC systems. However, there are some catches that you should know about.
When we learned that our train AC system had manufacturer defects and that Trane systems have a 10-year warranty, we thought we were covered. Instead, we found out that a couple things about the Trane warranty:
- Trane’s 10-year warranty only applies if you register your AC system within sixty days of having it installed.
- If your Trane system is not registered, the warranty lasts only 5 years from the manufacture date.
- If you buy a home that has a Trane AC system in it, and you are not the original owner, you need to have the warranty registration transferred to from the previous owner, who would have to have registered the Trane system to themselves. There is a $99 fee to transfer a Trane warranty from a registered owner to a new owner.
Buying a Home with a Trane AC System
Our experience with the Trane dealer was enlightening, although it didn’t do much for helping us avoid the $2,500 or so that it will cost to fix our system.
New Home Construction and Warranty Issues
One of the gotchas that can happen to someone who has purchased a new home that has a Trane system installed is that there has to be a handoff between the contractor, who normally purchases the Trane AC, and the new home owner. The Trane dealer told us during his visit to check on our system that in his experience it is common for Trane AC owners to be frustrated after finding out that their expected 10-year warranty is actually only a 5-year warranty because the contractor never registered the Trane system when it was installed (often the contractor doesn’t even know who the new homeowner will be when the home is being built), or they aren’t assertive enough to transfer the warranty to the homeowner once the sale is complete.
As explained above, if the new owner of a new construction home doesn’t file a registration for the Trane AC upon taking possession of the home (or within 60 days, which is the product registration time window designated by Trane), their 10-year warranty goes to 5 years.
What makes things worse, per the local “Trane Comfort Specialist” we dealt with, it is very common to have one of the major elements of their AC systems break down shortly after the default five year warranty. He said that they very often deal with defective Trane systems that are just past the five-year limit, which means that the homeowner is responsible for all repair costs for something that should be the responsibility of train.
That’s what our situation turned out to be. Had the coil of our Trane AC system gone out six months previous to when it did, it still would have been covered. The situation feels like somewhat of a gotcha from Trane, who advertises that their products are hard to stop. In reality, Trane systems are not too hard to stop, and Trane’s marketing is deceptive.
For the reasons I explained above, I don’t recommend buying Trane products.