Trane heat pump prices, pros and cons

Trane makes a range of HVAC products, such as AC and heat pump units. Learn more about your Trane heat pump options.

Trane heat pump XL20iTrane makes a range of residential and commercial HVAC products including air conditioning (AC) units and heat pumps. In recent years, a growing number of households have found that the efficiency, ease and convenience of a heat pump perfectly suits their heating and cooling needs. It’s one reason why Trane heat pumps are showing up in more and more homes.

A tradition of innovation

The Trane Company we know today started out as the plumbing shop of James Trane in La Crosse, Wisconsin in 1855. The company formally incorporated in 1913 when son Reuben brought his newly minted mechanical engineering degree with him to help expand the company. In 1923, they made their first major mark by inventing the convector radiator.

American Standard Companies (ASC) acquired Trane in 1984, making Trane the largest of ASC's three businesses. In 2007, ASC separated these three major subsidiaries into separate business lines, allowing each of them to concentrate on its own markets. For Trane, that original invention (the convector radiator) is a central technological component of today’s affordable heat pump.

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Heat pump basics

For those unfamiliar with how a heat pump works, the concept is pretty straightforward. Heat pumps basically circulate air from one space to another. In the case of serving the heating and cooling needs of a home, there are two basic types of heat pumps: geothermal heat pumps and air-source heat pumps.

  • Geothermal heat pumps – can be extremely efficient in the right settings as they use the more-constant temperature fluctuations of the earth as a source of constant air. The ground's temperature is warmer than the air above it during winter and cooler than the air above it in summer. Geothermal heat pumps take advantage of this by exchanging heat with the earth through a ground heat exchanger. Geothermal heat pumps are able to heat, cool, and, if so equipped, supply homes and buildings with hot water. A geothermal heat pump system consists of a heat pump, an air delivery system (ductwork), and a heat exchanger—a system of pipes buried in shallow ground. In the winter, the heat pump removes heat from the heat exchanger and pumps it into the indoor air delivery system. In the summer, the process is reversed, and the heat pump moves heat from the indoor air into the heat exchanger. The heat removed from the indoor air during the summer can also be used to provide a free source of hot water.
  • Air-source heat pumps – require some additional components, including a refrigeration system that consists of a compressor and two coils made of copper tubing (one indoors and one outside.) Aluminum fins to aid in the transfer of heat typically surround this tubing. In the heating mode, liquid refrigerant in the outside coils extracts heat from the air and evaporates into a gas. The indoor coils release heat from the refrigerant as it condenses back into a liquid. A reversing valve, near the compressor, can change the direction of the refrigerant flow for cooling as well as for defrosting the outdoor coils in winter. When outdoor temperatures fall below 40°F, a less-efficient panel of electric resistance coils, similar to those in a toaster, kicks in to provide indoor heating. (This is why air-source heat pumps aren't always very efficient for heating in areas with cold winters and why some units now have gas-fired backup furnaces instead of electric resistance coils, allowing them to operate more efficiently.)

A Trane(ful) of options

When it comes to selecting a heat pump for your home, Trane offers up to twelve seperate units, sold through four (4) lines: XB, XR, XL and XV. Each successuve line is a step up in performance, efficiency, capacity, flexibility and (not surprisingly) cost. Here's a brief summary of each Trane heat pump:

Trane XB13

trane heat pumps3This is a sort of entry-level heat pump offered by Trane, though its more affordable price tag should not be mistaken for lower performance standards. It’s a fairly straightforward single-stage heating and cooling system. It rates very well for efficiency and performance for a unit of its size. Heat pumps typically come with two efficiency ratings – one for heating and one for cooling. The cooling standard is known as the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER), which measures how much energy a unit consumes in order to cool the air in the space and to the temperature desired (or in the case of a heat pump, draw warmer air out of a space and pump the cooler air in.) The heating standard is known as the Heating Season Performance Factor (HSPF) and measures the efficiency of both the compressor and the heating elements in delivering heat to a space. The federal government requires that all cooling systems (including heat pumps) sold new deliver a minimum SEER rating of 13. The most efficient heat pumps rank with an HSPF rating of between 8 and 10. The XB13 hits both targets with a SEER rating of 14.5 and an HSPF that reaches 8.5

The X13 can deliver additional savings as it may help the homeowner qualify for up to $500 in annual energy tax credits and rebates.

Trane XB14 Single-Stage

A slight step-up (in performance and price), this single-stage heat pump delivers a SEER rating reaching 15 and an HSPF rating of 9. It can also help homeowners qualify for up to $500 in energy tax credits and/or rebates, annually.

Trane XR13

This is another Trane heat pump that features the heralded Climatuff compressor and a highly efficient, single-stage system. This fairly modest unit packs some punch delivering a SEER rating reaching 14.5 and an HSPF rating that hits 8.5.

Trane XR15

This electric heat pump model comes in two sizes (a 2.5 ton and a 5-ton variety) and both units really deliver. For just a slight increase in your investment, one of these units will deliver a SEER rating of up to 16 while its HSPF rating tops out at 9.5. You can also use this unit to help qualify for up to $500 in annual energy tax credits and rebates.

Trane XR16

This two-stage heat pump system is truly a workhorse. Its 3-ton capacity delivers a SEER rating of up to 18 and an HSPF rating that routinely hits 9.5. The unit can also help families qualify for up to $500 in annual tax credits and rebates.

Trane XR17

This two-stage, electric heat pump is very comparable to the XR16. It can deliver a SEER rating of up to 18, hits 9.5 on the HSPF rating scale and can help homeowners earn up to $500 in energy-related tax credits and rebates.

Trane XL15i

This is one of the most efficient single-stage heat pump systems on the market. It delivers a SEER rating that tops out at 16.25 while delivering an impressive HSPF rating of 9.7. It does all this while also being perhaps the quietest single-stage heat pump system on the market.

Trane XL16i

You can step-up to this two-stage heating and cooling system. If you do, you’ll enjoy a SEER rating that easily reaches 18 while enjoying an HSPF rating of 9.5. You may also qualify for up to $500 in annual tax credits and rebates.

Trane XL18i

Offers a higher capacity, two-stage system while still holding the line on efficiency. This unit delivers SEER ratings that often top 18 and HSPF ratings of 9.5. Families selecting this unit may also qualify for $500 in annual tax credits and rebates.

Trane XV18

Consistently rated as one of the industry’s most reliable models, it features Trane’s TruComfort technology.  The technology automatically adjusts the controls to maintain constant speeds and temperature setting, thus reducing the need for energy-use swings. The result is a SEER rating of up to 18 and an HSPF rating that hits 10 on a regular basis.

Trane XL20i

traneheat pumps2The XL20i Trane heat pump offers dual-stage heating and cooling that provides comfort throughout the year. This model also has a communication ability that allows you to control it from anywhere in your house when connected to the ComfortLink II system. The XL20i is also highly efficient, with a SEER rating of 19 and HSPF rating routinely reaching 10. This model has two compressors, which is the basis for its efficiency. One compressor is smaller and operates during mild weather, while the larger compressor turns on during very hot weather. The XL20i heat pump runs the fan at a slower speed during startup, which provides greater control over the humidity in your house.

Trane XV20i

Perhaps the top-of-the-line in heat pumps from Trane, this unit is a variable speed, two stage heat pump that includes all of Trane’s leading technologies: the TruComfort technology, the ComfortLink II communication and control systems, and a compressor sound insulator that keeps the unit humming at barely a whisper. It all combines to deliver SEER ratings topping 20 and HSPF ratings hitting a near-perfect 10.

One other item of note about the energy efficiency of Tran heat pumps: all models (including the entry-level units) have earned the ENERGY STAR distinction from the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

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Warranty and pricing info

trane heat pumps4Trane heat pumps come standard with some of the more generous warranties in the industry. Trane offers a limited 10-year warranty on all compressors, a 10-year limited warranty for all outdoor coils, and a 10-year limited warranty for all other internal parts for all heat pumps in the XB series, the XR Series and the XV18. That standard warranty is pumped up a bit for all of the heat pumps in the XL series and for the XV20i, extending the limited warranty on the compressors to 12 instead of 10 years. To validate these warranties, you must register the product within 60 days of purchase and any installation, maintenance or repair work needed on the unit must be conducted by a properly licensed and registered HVAC contractor. (Trane maintains an ongoing list of certified contractors and dealers you can find at its website.)

Your installation estimate for a heat pump must also consider the value of any tax credits that your purchase may earn you.

Zeroing in on an actual price for a Trane heat pump is a bit challenging. The Trane website makes a special point to hedge on giving out any price ranges. Part of the reason is because what you pay will depend on a number of factors, including the size of your heat pump and where you're located in the U.S. You may be able to find wholesaler catalogs or other online sources that will give you a range of prices for any particular model. You may also find some online price comparisons between Trane and other heat pumps. Bear in mind if you do find some actual cost figures, what you pay may also depend heavily on what the contractor you select is going to charge you for installation.

If you have any questions about the above models or other models, an HVAC contractor can answer them. Prior to hiring a contractor, seek out several estimates on both the product and installation. In most instances, it is wise to get at least three competitive bids and cross-check with Trane to be sure the contractors you do solicit bids from are registered/certified to install and/or work on Trane products. Reply! can help as we can help you. Get started now with estimates

Photo Credits: Trane Company

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