Which Trane Air Conditioner is Right for You?
Replacing an air conditioner might seem like a daunting decision, but it doesn't have to be. As long as you're aware of what's out there, product-wise, and you insist on a quality installation, you'll be in a good position to purchase the right AC - or, more likely, the right all-season HVAC system - for your home.
At PV, we're an independent Trane dealer. We've worked with Trane products for years, so we've got the inside scoop on what Trane offers, where their products excel, and what it's like to work with (and on) Trane air conditioners and furnaces.
In our experience, clients are pleased with their new Trane HVAC systems. Super pleased.
So, which Trane air conditioner is right for you? It all depends on your home's cooling needs, your requirements for efficiency and comfort, and your budget. Luckily, Trane's got something for everyone.
Before zeroing in on a product, choose your contractor wisely
We've said it before, and we'll say it again (because it's important): Insisting on a quality HVAC installation is just as crucial as selecting quality HVAC equipment.
We don't say that to badmouth other contractors or scare you into choosing anybody other than us. We say it because a poor HVAC installation can have a long-lasting negative impact on comfort, efficiency, and the lifespan of your equipment. Trane produces exceptional AC and heating systems, so it would be a shame if your contractor didn't install them properly.
But poor installations still happen all the time. To avoid them, select a contractor who:
- Performs a Manual J load calculation: This exercise is the only way to ensure your HVAC equipment is the right size. Many contractors choose equipment sizes based on rules of thumb, wishful thinking, or whatever your current system is. Basically, a contractor should take measurements and perform calculations to determine the heating and cooling loads of your home. That way, they can suggest a certain size AC and furnace combination and know it's the right size.
- Analyzes your ductwork: Leaky ducts and airflow constrictions can prevent new equipment from working properly. Select a contractor who analyzes your ductwork and identifies these sorts of problems before installing a new system.
- Tests for static pressure: Static pressure is like the blood pressure of your HVAC system. If it's too high, the system might break down sooner than expected. Static pressure tests actually go hand in hand with ductwork analysis because a lot of static pressure issues can be solved by improving your ductwork.
- Approaches HVAC with a "whole house" outlook: Trane products provide great air quality and comfort, but problems like air leaks, missing insulation, and moldy crawlspaces can limit equipment performance. Your HVAC contractor should understand this - they should show you the best ways to achieve comfort, whether that means selling you new equipment or not.
Only after performing those pre-installation tasks (and fixing any problems), should your contractor perform an AC installation. All connections between your equipment and ducts should be sealed; all drain lines should be clean and operational, and the refrigerant charge should be spot on.
Then, after the installation, the company should return to your home for a quality control audit. Post-installation audits are important because you need some time to assess whether the new AC is keeping you comfortable. Sometimes, modifications are required.
Insisting on a quality installation? Good. Now onto Trane AC options!
Let's start with the most efficient, comfort-optimized Trane air conditioners: The variable speed XV20i TruComfort™ and XV18 TruComfort™ outdoor units.
First, some specs. The XV20i offers cooling efficiency up to 22 SEER. It also comes equipped with Trane's Climatuff™ compressor, a compressor sound insulator, and all the Trane advantages that others don't offer, like the ultra durable Spine Fin™ coil. The XV18 is remarkably similar. It offers most of the same features and provides a cooling efficiency up to 18 SEER.
If you're like most of your clients replacing systems that are ten or more years old, your current system is probably just 10 to 13 SEER. Possibly less. You might actually double your efficiency by going with the XV20i or XV18!
However, in our view, the most important feature of these units is the variable speed compressor. Unlike standard, "on/off" compressors, a variable speed unit:
- Enhances indoor comfort: Variable speed compressors operate at very low speeds most of the time and ramp up to meet significant cooling loads. The result is fewer periods where the AC isn't running at all and better humidity control. Compare that to a standard, on/off AC that operates at full blast every time it runs. It's like having a gas stove that only provides high heat. In reality, standard units are only properly sized for your home for 3% of the entire year!
- Improves indoor air quality (IAQ): Speaking of humidity control, the variable speed compressors in Trane's XV20i and XV18 units remove more moisture than standard ACs, keeping your home dry in addition to keeping it cool. Drier indoor air means fewer opportunities for mold and dust mites to proliferate in your home. These units also filter the air more regularly because they run for longer cycles. In short, you can breathe easier.
- Provides excellent efficiency: Impressive SEER aside, these units are more efficient than standard air conditioners by virtue of the fact that their variable speed compressors don't operate at full speed every time they run. Most of the time, a variable speed compressor will operate at a low speed and consume less energy than a standard AC.
- Operates quietly: These Trane outdoor units are super quiet. At an average of just 55dB, you'll have a hard time noticing when your XV20i or XV18 is running.
While we're on the subject of quiet operation, it's worth noting that we always pair these variable speed ACs with one of Trane's variable speed furnaces, like the XC80. A variable speed furnace, also known as a "variable airflow" furnace, offers a range of fan speeds according to the need for air throughout your home. The result? You might not hear the system even though it's running.
If you're used to that thundering whoosh of air every time your AC kicks on, a variable speed furnace will shift your paradigm.
Improve comfort and efficiency without breaking the bank
Not everybody is ready for the créme de la créme in residential air conditioning, and that's ok. Trane's XR17 two-stage air conditioner is a high performance option if you've got a mid-range budget for new equipment.
Unlike variable speed compressors, the two-stage compressor in the XR17 has - you guessed it - two different operating speeds. Most of the time, it cools your home at the lowest speed. The higher speed is only needed at certain times when the cooling load increases. As a result, it consumes less energy than systems of years past. A SEER of 17 also puts the XR17 at the high end of the spectrum, efficiency-wise.
The bottom line? The XR17 is probably far more efficient than whatever system you're replacing. Paired with a variable speed furnace like the Trane XC80, you can also enjoy quiet operation and more consistent, even airflow throughout your home.
Even standard Trane air conditioners are a high performance upgrade
Most of the HVAC systems we replace in Atlanta-area homes are ten or more years old. Due to their age, they're often 10 SEER or lower. Nowadays, even a 13 SEER unit doesn't meet minimum efficiency standards!
That being the case, even Trane's standard air conditioners pack an incredible punch in the efficiency department. If you're used to a traditional, on/off AC or just want a new unit that's similar to your old one, Trane's single-stage air conditioners are all 14 SEER or higher - an automatic efficiency upgrade from your old, sub-13 SEER unit.
Products like the Trane XR16 and XR14 single-stage air conditioners might be standard, on/off units, but they can reach a SEER of 17 and 16, respectively. At PV, we can also install these units with a variable speed furnace, like the Trane XC80, so you enjoy relatively quiet operation compared to your old, single-speed furnace fan.
Oh, and the XR16 and XR14 still offer all of the advantages exclusive to Trane air conditioners: the Climatuff™ compressor, Spine Fin™ coil, and a DuraTuff™ base pan that resists corrosion. In other words, you benefit from Trane's durable build quality no matter what unit you select.
5 comfort packages, all with top-notch Trane equipment
At PV, we offer five standard comfort packages featuring the Trane equipment described above. If it's time for a new HVAC system, it's almost a given that one of our five packages offers what you're looking for.
All of our Trane comfort packages include:
- Trane air conditioner, whether variable speed, two-stage, or single-stage
- Trane furnace, whether variable speed or standard
- Digital programmable thermostat, some of which include dehumidification controls and are WiFi enabled for remote adjustments
Even if none of our packages meet your needs, we'll still help you select the best Trane equipment for your home and your budget. With options galore for any type of home, there's definitely a Trane air conditioner that gets you where you need to be.
Now that you know what's available, you're that much closer to selecting the right unit.