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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Vero Beach, FL
    Posts
    23

    Trane XL16i vs 20i in South Florida

    Hi Folks,
    Im in the process of deciding what to use to replace an ailing 12 year old builder class Rheem 4ton HP. The home is in South Florida (Vero Beach). My previous experience (in NC) was with a Carrier Infinity Dual Fuel package unit that I absolutely loved. Comfort was far superior to the builder grade Carrier gas pack it replaced. Based on that my first instinct for Vero Beach was to go with another Carrier Infinity (Infinity 19 instead of Greenspeed for cost). However, Indian River County has zero Carrier dealers.. nearest dealer is 50 miles away. IRC seems to be Trane country! This basically leaves me with two choices... XL16i and XL20i.

    XL20i would seem to be very comparable to the Infinity 19... The communicating system should allow for dehumidification on demand and best comfort. XL16i isnt communicating so no DoD. I saw a thread in this forum where a comment was made that the 16i did not do a good job on dehumidification on stage 1 which gives me great concern. My number one concern is comfort. Im going to be in the house for a long time.

    Is the claim that 16i doesnt dehumidify well on stage 1 true?

    From a comfort perspective, what kind of difference should I see between a 16i with 803 stat and a 20i with 900 stat? Significant? (assuming matched systems)

    What should I expect as a rough cost delta (in %) between a 16i and a 20i?

    Im struggling a bit with understanding how each of these systems handle dehumidification. With my Infinity in NC, I didnt see any 'overcooling'... I dont think I ever saw the thermostat indicate temps below setpoint. Is this because of Dehumidification on Demand? Does DoD eliminate overcooling? If so that would seem to be a big point in favor of the 20i.

    One argument I hear against the 20i is that its complexity could have it down for days for parts... That argument was made against all communicating units. (I initially thought a 16i communicating model was available but it seems that it has been discontinued).

    Feedback would be greatly appreciated! Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    67,743
    20i.

    Its first stage 50% capacity will keep the humidity in check far better then any single compressor 2 stage system. Provided it is sized right and installed right.

    Get estimate on both, and then you'll know the price difference. Doesn't matter what anyone here would say, if we're not the one installing it.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    DC Metro Area (MD)
    Posts
    3,368
    As I'm sure you know: for any of these systems to give you true comfort, it needs to be sized and installed/setup properly. Here is my opinion: Both are good 2-stage systems if sized and installed properly, though the XL20i is definitely superior for a couple of reasons. It is true that the latent (humidity removal) capacity of the 16i is not great, and even less so on low stage. However, its performance is really no different than any other comparable 2-stage unloading scroll system when installed/setup correctly. This includes not oversizing the equipment. The system needs to run long cycles in low stage to be effective at dehumidifying. Trane's Comfort-R (and similar ramping profiles of other variable speed systems) helps with humidity removal. Is this a heat pump or air conditioner? The XL16i can do dehumidfication on demand with the TAM7 (or XV80/95), XL950 and a relay panel. Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe you can also do it with a Honeywell IAQ now that the terminal configuration allows for both stages to be controlled separately without taking up the dehumidification terminal.

    All air conditioning systems are going to overcool when dehumidifying. Whether your thermostat displayed this temperature droop is a different story. However with communicating systems and variable speed blowers, with dehumidification on demand more humidity will be removed with less overcooling due to reduced airflow. On the older Comfort Link II thermostat, you told it how much it could overcool by, and I'd imagine it's similar with the newer 950.

    As to why the 20i is better, see BT's comments above. You will get longer runtimes in low stage, more even temperatures, better dehumidification, and a handful of other nice features a communicating system has to offer.

    On the beach, not surprising Trane has the majority of the market share. Seacoast environments take a toll on outdoor condenser coils. Trane's aluminum coils hold up better. Might even ask your dealer about the seacoast protection kit (BAYSEAC001). On the 20i you don't need it -- the plastic shield protecting the copper-aluminum transitions is factory installed.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Vero Beach, FL
    Posts
    23
    Thanks Guys...

    Ryan - Its a Heat Pump. If I understand you correctly, the 20i with dual compressors and a higher split between stages should work even better than my single compressor Infinity dual fuel package unit (due to the higher stage split). Further, the 16i without DoD would perform poorer than the Infinity (all relative to comfort perspective).

    This all seems to point to the 20i as the right path. I would certainly pay 10-15% more for better comfort. Not a lot amortized over 15+ years. However, I still have concern over parts availability. But if its really 'Trane Country' in Indian River County, It would seem that parts should be available especially for Trane's flagship product.

    Another question - How is power company Load Management handled with a communicating unit? i believe that with a 24v system, load management just interrupts the relay pick signal to the outdoor unit... that wouldnt seem to be compatible with a communicating system?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    67,743
    If you want comfort, then opt out of power company load management. If you want load management, then just get any 2 or single stage unit. The idea of 2 tage or modulating A/Cs and heat pumps is long run times. not interupte run times due to load management.
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN, USA
    Posts
    33,907
    Some matches of the 16i on low have a very high sensible heat ratio meaning too much capacity isn't dehumidifying. Also remember that the scroll on low can have capacities nearing 80% of high so there isn't that much difference between low and high like there is with the 20i or modulating equipment.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Vero Beach, FL
    Posts
    23
    Quote Originally Posted by beenthere View Post
    If you want comfort, then opt out of power company load management. If you want load management, then just get any 2 or single stage unit. The idea of 2 tage or modulating A/Cs and heat pumps is long run times. not interupte run times due to load management.
    Hmm... Sounds like the right plan.

    In NC, I dont believe that was an option as power was supplied by the city and management was required. When the Infinity was installed, they did NOT connect it to load management since they didnt know how to deal with a communicating unit.

    Just for my knowledge, how does load management work/connect with a communicating unit (other than 'poorly' lol).

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    67,743
    The Infinity eventually came out with a terminal set to connect to for load management. Some others have no provision for it. So it can't be used, or it tends to lock out the unit.
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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Madison, WI/Cape Coral, FL
    Posts
    6,264
    Quote Originally Posted by dkeener View Post
    Hi Folks,
    XL20i would seem to be very comparable to the Infinity 19... The communicating system should allow for dehumidification on demand and best comfort. XL16i isnt communicating so no DoD. I saw a thread in this forum where a comment was made that the 16i did not do a good job on dehumidification on stage 1 which gives me great concern. My number one concern is comfort. Im going to be in the house for a long time.

    Is the claim that 16i doesnt dehumidify well on stage 1 true?

    From a comfort perspective, what kind of difference should I see between a 16i with 803 stat and a 20i with 900 stat? Significant? (assuming matched systems)

    What should I expect as a rough cost delta (in %) between a 16i and a 20i?

    Im struggling a bit with understanding how each of these systems handle dehumidification. With my Infinity in NC, I didnt see any 'overcooling'... I dont think I ever saw the thermostat indicate temps below setpoint. Is this because of Dehumidification on Demand? Does DoD eliminate overcooling? If so that would seem to be a big point in favor of the 20i.


    Feedback would be greatly appreciated! Thanks.
    Two speed and VS a/cs do a better job of removing moisture during the low cooling loads than single speeds. But they are able to remove moisture without significant cooling loads. During low/no cooling loads, they resort to over-cooling to generate cooling loads. At the end of the cooling cycle, you have a large cooling coil/pan loaded with moisture that slowly evaporates back into the home, rehumidifying it. This repeats the overcooling cycle in an attempt to remove the excess moisture. When the temperture is <3^F than the set point, they are unable to go on. This overcooling causes condensation on ducts and in walls. Any cool wet weather is a problem.
    I have monitored many including the lates scrow vs systems. They are complicated and unable to provide the desired temperature and %RH during low/no cooling loads.
    A better choice is a single speed quality a/c with a whole house dehumidifier. This provides the exact temperature setting while maintaining <50%RH in the home. Also, the a/c can be turned off when the home is unoccupied while the dehumidifier maintains <50%RH at a fraction of the attempt to control %RH with the a/c.
    Units like the Ultra-Aire whole house dehumidifier are simple to install and service compared to the vs a/cs.

    Regards TB
    Bear Rules: Keep our home <50% RH summer, controls mites/mold and very comfortable.
    Provide 60-100 cfm of fresh air when occupied to purge indoor pollutants and keep window dry during cold weather. T-stat setup/setback +8 hrs. saves energy
    Use +Merv 10 air filter. -Don't forget the "Golden Rule"

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    SW FL
    Posts
    6,242
    Quote Originally Posted by dkeener View Post

    Another question - How is power company Load Management handled with a communicating unit?
    I believe that with a 24v system, load management just interrupts the relay pick signal to the outdoor unit...
    that wouldn't seem to be compatible with a communicating system?
    I have never noticed the any disconnect of power in 10 years by FPL.
    I would guess it may be most likely to occur between 2 pm - 6 pm
    when one is at work or just arrivng home.
    I guess I've saved more than $800 now.

    FPL On-Call Savings might be $101 /year.
    You can judge whether it worth it in your situation.

    APPLIANCE
    SEASON __ANNUAL SAVINGS

    Central air conditioner
    April - October __ $63

    Central heater
    November - March __ $20

    Water heater
    All Year _________ $18

    Details:
    https://app.fpl.com/secure/forms/oncallapply.shtml

    Send me an e-mail regrading Indian River County contractors. My address is in my profile.
    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

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Vero Beach, FL
    Posts
    23
    Quote Originally Posted by dan sw fl View Post
    I have never noticed the any disconnect of power in 10 years by FPL.
    I would guess it may be most likely to occur between 2 pm - 6 pm
    when one is at work or just arrivng home.
    I guess I've saved more than $800 now.

    FPL On-Call Savings might be $101 /year.
    You can judge whether it worth it in your situation.

    APPLIANCE
    SEASON __ANNUAL SAVINGS

    Central air conditioner
    April - October __ $63

    Central heater
    November - March __ $20

    Water heater
    All Year _________ $18

    Details:
    https://app.fpl.com/secure/forms/oncallapply.shtml

    Send me an e-mail regrading Indian River County contractors. My address is in my profile.
    Agree, the program is attractive as well as socially responsible. My question was really on 'how' the load management controller worked with a communicating unit. It doesnt seem that simply interrupting the communications link would be the way that would be implemented... The thermostat and AH could interpret that as the outdoor unit 'disappearing' and declare an error.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Vero Beach, FL
    Posts
    23
    Well... I think I am going to expand my thinking to include the Infinity Greenspeed. The dealers are a good distance away but the technology certainly looks interesting. Im far enough inland (6 miles) that I dont think salt air will give me a lot of problem.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    67,743
    Far a way. Wonder how long it will take them to come out if any warranty work is needed.
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