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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    37

    Help me decide this...

    I'm about to pull the rope on my two systems that I need to replace. I find myself sitting on the edge and having to make a decision--a decision I'm struggling with. I need some input from knowledgeable folks who aren't trying to sell me anything.

    I have two options. Both have 2-stage gas heat (Trane XV95), both have the TCON803 t'stat that allows me to use the dehumidify-on-demand function of the XV95. In fact, both options are identical in every way with only one exception. One has 2-stage cooling (Trane XL16i) and one has single-stage cooling (Trane XR15).

    Both of these options are major investments for us. I know that posting prices here is forbidden, so I won't even think about it--but I'm sure that the pros here have a good idea of the ballpark for two systems like this, and it ain't pretty. The 2-stage option represents an upcharge of 9.4% (hope that's allowed) over single-stage. When looking at the total amount, it's easy to say, "Well, it's only <number> dollars." When considered on its own, that becomes "Hey, that's <number> Dollars! I can do a lot of stuff with that!" At the bottom line, we "can do" either; it's just a matter of a few more payments on the home equity line. My struggle is over whether it's money I ought to spend.

    I frankly have never owned or experienced a 2-stage cooling system, so it's hard for me to grasp the real value of the investment. We live in an area (Central Arkansas) that's hot and humid, but not exactly the steamer that is to our south (I wouldn't have said that a month or two ago, however). I see the theory of 2-stage cooling improving humidity control and, by some reports, lowering electrical cost (though I'm not counting on that). On the other hand, as I understand it the dehumidify feature will also work with single-stage units.

    This would also be easier if I thought that the price difference would impact resale value of the house. I doubt it.

    SO... please help me stop waffling.Is there something about the XL16i that I'm not taking into account? If I go with single-stage, am I going to regret it? Does 2-stage cooling make THAT much difference in comfort? Do I need to quit analyzing this thing to death and buy SOMETHING, already?

    Thanks, y'all.

    D.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Northern VA 38 degrees N by 76 degrees W
    Posts
    5,060
    Stick with the 15

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Anderson, South Carolina, United States
    Posts
    7,046
    You won't see a reasonable ROI for 2 stage vs single stage. Comfort will be improved because of longer run times will equal more humidity control. If the unit is oversized whether 1 stage or 2 stage you will not benefit from humidity control. If duct is not properly sized and sealed you will not benefit either. It's all about sizing, sealing and installation that is where you will get your biggest comfort and efficiency increases, not the eqipment. Hope this doesn't confuse you even more. Best of luck to you

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    DC Metro Area (MD)
    Posts
    3,371
    Quote Originally Posted by dancaselr View Post

    I have two options. Both have 2-stage gas heat (Trane XV95), both have the TCON803 t'stat that allows me to use the dehumidify-on-demand function of the XV95.
    So you're aware, the 803 can't do dehumidify on demand, but it can overcool by up to 3 deg (field selectable) to lower humidity, and you can enable Comfort-R on the furnace for further humidity control.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN, USA
    Posts
    34,176
    What size units proposed? Do you know your local electric rate?
    In many cases except super high electric rates or super hot areas, the XR13 (usually 14 SEER with XV95) may be your best bang for the buck. Savings for the 15 over 14 is always very much. As for the 16i, you're paying a lot for the low stage which is 75-80% of high. My cousin in Detroit was quoted one for a new house. After I pointed out that the unit would be in the scrap yard before the savings paid for it (at today's rates) he was quick to switch to the XR13. Also, can't use dehumdify on demand with the 16i and it isn't always the greatest at latent removal (humidity) as it is.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    37
    Quote Originally Posted by BaldLoonie View Post
    What size units proposed? Do you know your local electric rate?
    In many cases except super high electric rates or super hot areas, the XR13 (usually 14 SEER with XV95) may be your best bang for the buck. Savings for the 15 over 14 is always very much. As for the 16i, you're paying a lot for the low stage which is 75-80% of high. My cousin in Detroit was quoted one for a new house. After I pointed out that the unit would be in the scrap yard before the savings paid for it (at today's rates) he was quick to switch to the XR13. Also, can't use dehumdify on demand with the 16i and it isn't always the greatest at latent removal (humidity) as it is.
    If I go with the XL16i, the downstairs will be 3 tons, upstairs 2 tons. If I go with the XR15, both will be 2 1/2.

    I have no fantasy about the dual-stage paying off in short term. it's a matter of "paying for comfort." I'm just not sure how much I'll pay for comfort and how much will go to smoke and lights.

    D.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    4,665
    Quote Originally Posted by RyanHughes View Post
    So you're aware, the 803 can't do dehumidify on demand, but it can overcool by up to 3 deg (field selectable) to lower humidity, and you can enable Comfort-R on the furnace for further humidity control.
    that is correct to dehumidify on demand you need the iaq thermost but it wont work on the 16 i due to bk is already used for 1st stage cooling
    We really need change now

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    4,665
    if you want comfort go with the 20i
    We really need change now

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    DC Metro Area (MD)
    Posts
    3,371
    Quote Originally Posted by catmanacman View Post
    that is correct to dehumidify on demand you need the iaq thermost but it wont work on the 16 i due to bk is already used for 1st stage cooling
    Trane has changed this with the TAM7 air handler, so Y1 and Y2 are wired directly to the respective terminals and dehumidification on demand can be used. But with the XV95 (like the OP is considering), I believe Y1 still uses BK, so unfortunately this is true. Maybe this will change sometime in the future. I still believe if the OP enables Comfort-R and uses the 803 to overcool a couple degrees, they'll achieve good humidity control.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    37
    Quote Originally Posted by catmanacman View Post
    if you want comfort go with the 20i
    If I had the money for a couple of 20i's and XC95m's, I wouldn't be asking the question.

    D.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    West Monroe, LA
    Posts
    1,535
    My vote would be for the XR 15 based on the options you listed. XR 15 verus XL 16i. You will better off with a proper sized XR 15 then the XL16i.

    The XL 16i is a good system but is not the best for humdity control! If you truely want 2 stage equipment for comfort not ROI, I would also look at the XL20i system.

    If not in your budget then in my opion stick with proper sized XR 15 system with a variable speed air handler/furnace.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    37
    Well, we've decided to stay with the XR15 and spend the money I save on something fun like mastic and duct wrap. And maybe a small lathe for my woodshop.

    Thanks, all.

    D.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    SW FL
    Posts
    6,287
    http://www.entergy-arkansas.com/cont...l_brochure.pdf

    Given a Life Cycle Cost comparison of XR15 versus XL16i,
    At $0.06 / kW, one might expect a so-called payback which might be measured in decades, not years.

    If local utility and various government rebates on XL16i amount to more than half the cost increase over a XR15, one should consider the 2-stage option.
    Designer Dan
    It's Not Rocket Science, But It is SCIENCE with "Some Art". ___ ___ K EEP I T S IMPLE & S INCERE

    Define the Building Envelope and Perform a Detailed Load Calc: It's ALL About Windows and Make-up Air Requirements. Know Your Equipment Capabilities

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