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Trane XV20i Review
Bottom Line

The Trane XV20i is Trane's top-of-the-line central air conditioner, with a SEER of up to 21 and a modulating compressor that saves energy and keeps temperatures within a half degree of the thermostat setting. It's not the most energy efficient central air system you can buy, though it still is efficient enough to earn Energy Star Qualified status. Trane has a strong reputation for reliability, and this unit has a better-than-average warranty on its compressor. The American Standard AccuComfort Variable Speed Platinum 20 is similar, and similarly well-liked.

Pros
  • SEER up to 21
  • Modulating compressor
  • 12-year warranty on compressor
  • Good reliability record
  • Energy Star Qualified
Cons
  • Some other systems are more energy efficient
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Breaking it down

Efficiency

Modulating compressor improves efficiency, comfort. With a maximum SEER of 21, the Trane XV20i is Energy Star Qualified according to the manufacturer. However, the actual efficiency will vary with the installation and components used and some other central air systems are even more efficient. This Trane model uses a modulating compressor, which runs at low capacity the majority of the time, stepping up in one percent increments as cooling demands increase. The result is improved efficiency and improved comfort as this technology keeps temperatures more stable (within a half degree of the thermostat setting) and does a better job of reducing humidity than other systems.

Features

Seamless communications. While Trane's modulating compressor technology, called TruComfort, is the headline feature here, the list of extras does not stop there. The XV20i uses Trane ComfortLink, a communications technology that enables all of the parts of the central air system to automatically work together to provide the best performance and efficiency. It includes a home energy management application that lets you control your system remotely via smartphone and will issue reminders for things like scheduled maintenance. Among the available options is Trane's CleanEffects air cleaner, which can remove up to 99.98 percent of airborne particles from the air, down to .1 micron, eclipsing the HEPA standard of .3 microns.

Maintenance and repair

Strong reliability record. Trane and sister brand, American Standard, score highly in a large survey of owners reporting on whether or not their central air systems required service over the previous five years. The warranty on the Trane XV20i is also better than average: When registered within 60 days of purchase, the compressor is covered for 12 years, and other parts are covered for 10 years. The warranty does not cover labor costs, but users can buy an extended warranty that does.

Our Sources

1. TecHomeBuilder.com

Beyond Cool: 4 New AC Systems Worth Considering, Steve Withrow, April 28, 2015

The Trane XV20i Variable Speed Central Air Conditioner is on this list of air conditioners featuring high-tech systems to maximize performance. Discussion isn't too deep, but the Trane earns praise for it's ability to finely tune it's various components for optimal comfort.

2. ConsumerReports.org

The most reliable central air conditioning systems, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, April 2016

ConsumerReports.org rates the reliability of the most popular central air conditioner brands based on a survey of its members. Trane is one of the manufacturers included in the survey, though specific models are not evaluated.

3. FurnaceCompare.com

Consumer Reviews of CARRIER Central Air Conditioners, Contributors to FurnaceCompare.com, As of June 2016

The Trane XV20i gets better ratings overall at FurnaceCompare.com than most other brands/models we saw, with a handful of reviewers giving it about 4 stars out of 5. Most say that, although it's pricey, they think it will pay for itself over the life of the air conditioner.