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  1. #1

    Should I buy a Trane system?

    Let me start off by stating I am no dummy when it comes to home maintenance or projects. I do my homework as best I can when I don't know something and know when to leave it to the professionals when needed. I have lived in our home 10 years and re-wired the entire house, re-plumbed the entire house, insulated all the walls and attics (before there was none), and we finally finished putting in all new windows and doors in the last few years. I am very handy. However when it comes to these furnace and AC systems... I am lost!

    I AM NOT DOING A FURNACE AND AC INSTALL MYSELF... I AM LETTING A CONTRACTOR DO IT!!! I just would appreciate some guidance and assistance on what I am getting/looking for.

    Our Home was built in 1946. As noted it is now well insulated and that alone has saved us a ton of money on our gas and electric usage and bills. Our furnace and AC were installed in 1998 and the brand is "Airquest". There is not much info online that I can find, I am assuming they are a lower level budget brand furnace and AC. We have not had a single problem with either unit at all. I have never had them serviced or had an inspection or maintenance done to them. The only thing I have done is replace the filter every few months and monthly in the winter months. My only complaint is that they are LOUD!!! The furnace sounds like a jet engine when the ignitor fires up. The blower itself is what I would expect it to be. The AC unit is right outside our bedroom and is loud as well. I cannot even hear my neighbors AC unit when it runs until I get within a few feet of it. Our AC unit you can hear most anywhere outside and is annoying enough to not even want to sit on our deck for long periods of time. But it does perform.

    Then there is the roof snow melt and ice-dam issue. When I re-roofed my house 5 years ago I made sure to ventilate our attic spaces. The snow melt and ice-dams we had in the winter went away after the re-roof project... except where the chimney is. Around the chimney the snow melts quickly and we have ice-dams only on the side of the house the chimney is on. I am assuming that since our furnace is the old school type that vents into the chimney it is putting a lot of heat into the chimney and causing the attic space around the chimney to stay warmer and heat that part of the roof causing that snow to melt and form the ice-dams on the eves below it.

    In my area I saw an advertisement from a reputable heating and cooling company that is a Trane dealer that stated there is a deal for 0% 36 month financing on Trane equipment. The noise on our furnace and AC unit has been loud enough as well as the snow melt thing that I have been wanting to replace at least the furnace once we could afford it. This deal with Trane is a deal that is definitely affordable and I don't mind financing at 0%

    Here is the quote I got for the Trane systems: (I removed the prices since they are not relevant to the topic).

    Option #1
     Trane XR95, 95% efficient furnace, 60,000 btu’s
     Trane cased aluminum indoor coil
     Trane XR13, 13 seer air conditioner, 2 -ton
     10 year parts warranty, limited lifetime heat exchanger

    Option #2
     Trane XV95, 97% efficient 2-stage furnace with high efficiency variable speed blower
     60,000 / 40,000 btu’s
     Trane cased aluminum indoor coil
     Trane XR15, 15 seer air conditioner, 2 -ton
     10 year parts warranty, limited lifetime heat exchanger

    Option #3
     Trane XV95, 97% efficient 2-stage furnace with high efficiency variable speed blower
     60,000 / 40,000 btu’s
     Trane cased aluminum indoor coil
     Trane XL15I, 15 seer, air conditioner, 2 -ton
     Deluxe air conditioner, weatherguard top, scroll compressor, added safety controls
     10 year parts warranty, limited lifetime heat exchanger
     12 year compressor warranty on XL15I

     Aprilaire 600M standard control humidifier

    I am leaning toward option 2 or 3. Same furnace but the AC units are slightly different. It does not appear that there is much difference between the two, but I like that the XL15i has the nice covered top so I would not have to make another top cover for the fall and winter seasons when I don't run the AC.

    I would like someone to explain the whole 2 stage thing to me. I am assuming my existing furnace has a single stage. I think I understand it as it runs on the slower stage first and kicks up higher if needed?

    I would like all opinions on these systems. If there are known wide-spread issues with any of these I would like to know. I did some googling on the furnace alone and it turned up a lot of negative reviews of mother boards going out, other circuitry and other issues within the first couple years of install. I try to take that with a grain of salt because I know the only reviews of items like a furnace online will be negative reviews. But it was hard for me to find a lot of negative comments on a Carrier furnace.

    I work in IT and know that heating and cooling technology has come a long way since my furnace was installed. It worries me a little bit that this furnace has a lot of computerized stuff in it. Should I be?

    I should state that we live in Michigan so Falls, winters and springs are cold, summers can be very hot. The furnace will be in the basement. Our house is a total of 1800 sq. ft. story and a half with one finished living room in the basement.

    Any advice good or bad would be helpful. I would like to make sure I am making a good investment for the next 20 years with a furnace and AC unit.

    Thanks!
    Last edited by joedekock; 10-06-2012 at 09:11 PM. Reason: Additional info

  2. #2
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    Option 3. But get the 600A, it makes life easier.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Anderson, South Carolina, United States
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    Option 3 sounds like the best bet, I would opt for a 10 year labor plan as well so you don't have to pay anything if the "motherboard" or anything else goes awry

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
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    West Monroe, LA
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    Quote Originally Posted by jtrammel View Post
    Option 3 sounds like the best bet, I would opt for a 10 year labor plan as well so you don't have to pay anything if the "motherboard" or anything else goes awry
    I also agree, I would choose option 3. I would also suggest extended warranty for labor. This way you are covered on any repair that might come up!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN, USA
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    If money is no object, #3 obviously. BUT, remember that in a smaller size and especially in your cooler climate, you'll never pay back on that 15i economically. The 15s are .5 to 1 point more efficient than #1 and that won't add up to much electrical savings. And don't expect a scroll compressor, the WebCATS, the parts program, says recip in the 2.5 ton size. My cousin just built a house in suburban Detroit and with my guidance got a XV95 and XR13. The dealer was pushing the 16i. After looking at the ROI, my MBA cousin didn't think it a wise move.

    The 2 stage, which should be coupled with a good 2 stage thermostat, has 2 levels of heat. 60% for most of the time and 100% for fast warmup or bitter weather. By changing the heat output based on needs of the house, it will be more comfortable in there. The XV95 has proven very reliable. But yes, factory extended warranty is usually a wise move.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by BaldLoonie View Post
    If money is no object, #3 obviously. BUT, remember that in a smaller size and especially in your cooler climate, you'll never pay back on that 15i economically. The 15s are .5 to 1 point more efficient than #1 and that won't add up to much electrical savings. And don't expect a scroll compressor, the WebCATS, the parts program, says recip in the 2.5 ton size. My cousin just built a house in suburban Detroit and with my guidance got a XV95 and XR13. The dealer was pushing the 16i. After looking at the ROI, my MBA cousin didn't think it a wise move.

    The 2 stage, which should be coupled with a good 2 stage thermostat, has 2 levels of heat. 60% for most of the time and 100% for fast warmup or bitter weather. By changing the heat output based on needs of the house, it will be more comfortable in there. The XV95 has proven very reliable. But yes, factory extended warranty is usually a wise move.
    Thanks all for the great replies! This one in particular is a good one pertaining to the AC unit and if I would actually get my ROI with the unit in #3 vs. a less seer unit. I would think no matter which one i choose the ROI would have to be better than the one I got. I am not sure what seer # the one I currently have is, but considering its 15 years old and a budget brand unit, I would have to assume I would see the ROI on any of them.

    After watching a few videos on youtube with the Furnace I must say I am impressed with how quiet it seems. In the videos the technician was talking in a normal voice while standing 2 feet from the furnace. He never increased his voice once the furnace kicked on. With our furnace once the burners fire up you would definitely have to start talking louder if you were in the same room as the furnace which of course nobody is in that room full time I am just saying this for comparison.

    The other thing is that the XL15i AC unit is TALL!!! That was the once comment all the guys in the videos I watched noted and it definitely looks like it. This alone make steer me more toward the XR15 model. Its not that either of these units are "ugly", but sitting next to our house on the side yard which is visible from the road it may appear sort of "goofy" to see such a tall AC unit.

    Thanks for the clarification on the 2 stage furnace part. That clears is up a lot. Also its a little more comforting knowing the XV95 has been proven "reliable" as you noted.

    If not a Trane, is there something else someone would recommend? We plan on living in this house until we die, so I want to get the best furnace and AC units.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2000
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    Indianapolis, IN, USA
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    According to a website with a operating cost calculator, the 15 SEER over the 14 SEER (XR13) will save you $21 a year. So take how much more the 15 or 15i is over the XR13 and divide by 21. That's how many years at today's rates til you recover your investment and start saving. I doubt it will be within the life of your unit at today's rates. I used 10 cents per kwh for juice as an estimate. In my cousin's case, it would have been 35 years to get back the extra for a 16i.

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    Toledo, Ohio, United States
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    Twilly says that loonie is smarts.
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  9. #9
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    Aug 2010
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    West Monroe, LA
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    Quote Originally Posted by BaldLoonie View Post
    According to a website with a operating cost calculator, the 15 SEER over the 14 SEER (XR13) will save you $21 a year. So take how much more the 15 or 15i is over the XR13 and divide by 21. That's how many years at today's rates til you recover your investment and start saving. I doubt it will be within the life of your unit at today's rates. I used 10 cents per kwh for juice as an estimate. In my cousin's case, it would have been 35 years to get back the extra for a 16i.
    Bald is right as he often is with the ROI. Depending upon on your cost to install either of the options and your usage it will for sure take a while to get your money back.

    If you are really interested in the Trane Spring Fin. Plan for 36 months no interest you will need either the XR 15 or XL15i paired with a variable speed and Trane comfort control (Thermostat).

    I like the looks of both but 4 years ago i chose the XR15 Heat pump with a variable speed air handler for my home. This because at the time it was getting better eff. Numbers then the XL15i. Fast forward today and with the new Hyperion air handler they turn roughly the same numbers.

    You on the other hand have gas system. The XV 95 is a great furnance and can be paired with any outdoor unit from a XB13 (basic unit) to XL20i (top of the line) and anything between. I would suggest you invest in extended warranty for labor.

    Either way if you choose the XR15 or XL 15i is installed properly with the XV 95 will give you a great system selection.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Houston Texas
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    6,308
    Since you asked brand is not nearly as important as the quality of the contractor and the install. What you need to look for is proper sizing (load calculation) proper ductwork (airflow supply and return) evalauation, sealed ductwork, N2 purge while brazing copper lines and proper evacuation techniques. If tese steps are taken then almost any brand will provide a long efficient life.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    NW Louisiana
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    Quote Originally Posted by BaldLoonie View Post
    According to a website with a operating cost calculator, the 15 SEER over the 14 SEER (XR13) will save you $21 a year. So take how much more the 15 or 15i is over the XR13 and divide by 21. That's how many years at today's rates til you recover your investment and start saving. I doubt it will be within the life of your unit at today's rates. I used 10 cents per kwh for juice as an estimate. In my cousin's case, it would have been 35 years to get back the extra for a 16i.
    This is correct. This is why I went with a 15.5 SEER single stage instead of 16-17 SEER 2-stage cooling. Your 2 stage heat is a different animal though, but same theory. You have ICE, you need variable heat output. We have HEAT, we need good cooling. There is a breaking point between price and SEER savings. I think it is around 15 SEER.

    Compressor... Recips are going away, faster than many of you know. Small scrolls are taking their place. I recommend a Scroll, preferably a Copeland Scroll. Brand is not as important. It is proven Scrolls cost less to operate and are QUIET, especially with an 850 RPM condensing unit fan and a X13 evap blower... Or vari-speed.

    CT

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    Keokuk, IA
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    The ECM motor don't make unit quieter indoors. It's better air handler and furnace enclosure design and interior insulation. Motors don't make much noise, the blowers themselves do. To achive the correct CFM, you have ht eturn the same RPM's no matter what is turning it. IT just so happens that VS and X13 motors are only sold in nits with higher quality enclosures. Actually, with restrictire ductwork, VS equipment can be noisier since it will run up ot 1.0" static to achieve the target CFM. PSC blowers often can't even reach that high of static pressure on high speed.

    What will make the biggest impact on noise is proper sizing of the equipment and ductwork. I downsized from 3.5 tons and 80k BTU furnace to 2 tons and 60k BTU's and the difference in nosie is amazing. Totally silent except in high stage heat.

  13. #13
    ***UPDATE***

    Well... I got the Trane XV95 furnace and XL 15i A/C unit installed. I am very happy thus far with the units. I cannot believe the difference in how quiet these units are compared to the no-brand units I had before! I measured both the old Furnace and A/C to be at 80 decibels while running. The new furnace is 68 decibels and the A/C is 70 decibels. A huge difference! My wife has made several comments on how she cannot believe how much quieter the house is through out the day. Of course we have only run the A/C unit in when it was first installed just to hear it run as its not cool enough here in Michigan to run.

    We also opted for the Aprilair automatic humidifier. I think this is probably the biggest difference maker in the "comfort" of the house. We did not have a humidifier before, and you can imagine living in Michigan when the weather turns cool the air is very dry. I am still dialing it in and the technician who installed it said that would probably be the case for the first season. I am trying to get it down to 45% humidity in the house and right now it bounces between 51% and 55%. I am slowly turning it down a little bit every day until its at the 45% which seems to be the recommended consensus for humidity level in a house.

    Anyway... I am glad I went with the Trane. I probably would not have been dissapointed in a Carrier or Bryant either but with 0% financing for 36 months I can leave my money in the bank a little longer and let it work for me.

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