Just a quick question on Trane compressors and coolant. I notice that the XL19 uses a 2 stage reciprocating compressor and R-22, while the XL16 uses a 2 stage scroll compressor and R-410 (not sure if this is the right name).
It seems a little strange that a higher rated unit would use older compressor technology and R-22. Has Trane just not got around to changing the XL19, or is the XL16 a newer unit? It seems as though all the new higher efficiency models are using scroll compressors and R-410.
What would be your recommendation to a consumer who wanted a high SEER unit and VS? Go with the higher SEER XL19 with a recip compressor and R-22, or go with the XL16 to get the scroll and R-410.
Thanks very much.
The XL19i doesn't have a 2 stage compressor, it has 2 recip compressors. There are several technical reasons they can't use 2 scroll compressors, so they use recips. I wouldn't be suprised at all if there isn't a test unit running in one of the labs in Tyler with 2 scrolls and some fancy pipe work and controls to keep them from recirculating refrigerant through eachother though.
Contrary to popular myth, a good recip comrpressor is just as reliable as a scroll compressor, provided you keep liquid out of the cylinders. Long term liquid flooding of a scroll compressor will cause it to fail too.
FYI, Carrier's 2 stage compressors in the Infinity units is a 2 stage recip.
The XL19i is a continuation of the old XL1800 model, so it was around several years before the XL16i with the 2 stage scroll.
Refrigerant debates aside, the biggest difference you as a homeowner would see between the XL91i and the XL16i is that the 1st stage of the 19i is 50-60% of the 2nd stage capacity and uses 50% of the airflow the 2nd stage uses.
The XL16i 1st stage is 67% of 2nd stage capacity with 80% of the airflow of 2nd stage.
I havn't gotten to monitor the operation of an XL16i system much yet since we only just installed our 3rd one today, but we have many XL1800 and 19i systems out there.
Just looking at the specs, and how the 2 systems operate, the XL19i would have better humidity control and deliver slightly better comfort in milder weather during the cooling season.
The XL16i heat pump would deliver better comfort and efficiency in the heat mode is you are looking at heat pumps. The XL16i outdoor units are also quieter since they incorperate a newer style fan system than the XL19i.
Both systems are very nice, but if you are looking at them purely for the efficiency, you are looking at a 10+ year time frame before the energy savings would pay for the difference in cost over an XL14i or XL15i system with varriable speed indoor unit.
It comes down to comfort, both the 16i and 19i are big comfort upgrades over a single stage system. In my opinion, the 19i is the better comfort option if you have gas heat, or heating performance of the heat pump isn't a big concern.
The 16i is the best if you are going with a heat pump and heating performance and efficiency are big issues.
Trane and other manufacturers will be restructuring thier entire model ranges over the next year due to the raising of the minimum efficiency standard to 13 SEER. Expect to see a lot of current model lines phased out and new lines phased in. Trane phased out the XL13i late last year, and introduced the XL15i this year. I expect an R-410a version of the XL15i will be coming out, and the XL14i phased out soon. Expect changes to the XL16i and XL19i lineup too.
It wouldn't shock me in the least if Trane comes out with another varriable capacity system in the near future. I know I'll be near the front of the line to buy one for my place.
Mark, thanks for the very detailed response. Our electric rates here in CA (11 cents/KWH) pretty much keeps heat pumps out and gas heat in.
What is your opinion on the relative benefits of 2 compressors (XL19) vs. a 2 stage compressor (XL16)?
We have hot, dry summers and mild winters. I'm definitely going with VS for comfort (not so much for humidity control). I'm also leaning towards a zoned system, although few local contractors are experienced with it.
For hot and dry, I would go with the XL16i personally. The actual difference in the cost of operation isn't that big, and in a dry climate, the lower latent capacity of the 1st stage of the 16i isn't an issue. The XL16i also costs less.
If you are going to zone it, I would go with the 19i because the capacity difference between 1st and 2nd stage is much more friendly to just about any zoning aplication than the 16i is.
When the 16i first came out, Trane didn't even approve it for zoning at all, but has changed thier minds and given it the thumbs up for zoning.
Trane has a great zone system, a little pricy, but it is worth it in my opinion. Not all Trane dealers can sell Trane's zone system, so check with your contractor, or Trane will give you the names of any contractors in your area that can.
While its not near as bad here in the DFW area of Texas as it is down in Houston, we still like to wring as much water out of the air as we can, so I prefere the 19i for cooling comfort in this area.
[Edited by mark beiser on 05-27-2005 at 01:08 AM]
Mark, thanks again. I don't want to get side tracked on unimportant issues, but I had scroll compressors and R-410 as 2 preferred features in the new system. I'll speak with my dealer and ask him about going with the XL16 and see what his opinion is about the relative costs/benefits about both models.
The XL16i uses R-410a and has a scroll compressor, so there you go.
Originally posted by nathan9999
I had scroll compressors and R-410 as 2 preferred features in the new system.
I was just in another 16i seminar and the Trane guy said that the 16i is not recommended for zoning. I drilled him on why it was not recommended for zoning, but he couldn't give me a good reason. He kept saying that it had something to do with airflow. I don't buy it. I can't understand why the 14i (single stage) is okay for zoning, the 19i (two stage) is okay for zoning, but the 16i isn't. I would think that the 16i would be better than a single stage system for zoning. Especially when you use a zone system like the Aprilaire 6404 board that allows you to stage the equipment based on the number of zones calling. Who knows..?