What every best Central Air Conditioners has:
- High efficiency.
- Good value.
- A solid warranty.
Modulating compressor improves efficiency, comfort. With a maximum SEER of 22, 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.
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.
Strong reliability record. Trane and sister brand, American Standard, score highly in the ConsumerReports.org 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.
According to the husband and wife team of HVAC contractors that run this site, the Trane XV20i has "the best quality/price ratio given the technological advancements and efficiency behind it." They also like small touches, like an insulated base pan that helps protect the unit and reduce noise levels.
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.
The Trane XV20i makes this list of the most efficient central air conditioners. The editors say "This unit has been on the market for several years, and it has a proven record of reliability to this point."
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.