Trane XL1200 -- Average life expectancy?
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  1. #1

    Trane XL1200 -- Average life expectancy?

    I have a 1996 Trane XL1200 (I believe a 2.5 ton) air conditioner. Doing some long-term budgeting here and was wondering what in your experience is the average life expectancy of a Trane XL1200. The previous homeowner had it serviced and checked out a couple of times.

    Thanks for any advice and replies.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    SW Wisconsin
    Posts
    4,774
    Life expectancy depends on a lot of factors: the quality of the install, proper airflow regular maintenance, etc.

    I've witnessed compressors lasting over 40 years in a very hot relatively low humidity climate... there will be other lower cost component repairs or replacements.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Raleigh NC
    Posts
    23
    I have a 2001 XL1200. One repair - this spring, a capacitor.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    6,829
    The XL1200 have been around for a while now. The used to be at the higher end of efficiency back when the minimum legal installation was 10-SEER. That said, and painting with a very broad brush, I would begin to question the wisdom of investing in a large repair bill on a unit that is more than 10-years of age. Consider that many manufacturers are currently allowing 10-years of internal parts warranties on their equipment and therefore, anything that fails in less than 10-years is a premature failure. After that, they expect failures.

    An XL1200 is now 1-SEER below the minimum efficiency rating allowed for new installations. So again, I'd plan on 15+ years but would think twice or three times before investing any significant money in the system once it reaches 10-years. That's JMO and of course, you're free to do as you choose. Just trying to give some reasonable perspective.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Citrus County, Florida
    Posts
    1,473
    Just worked on one yesterday...27 years old. Run cap and a 5 2 1 kit, 4ton system. Took 1 1/2 lbs R22. They don't have $$$ to replace right now. Start cap blown apart and bad potential relay.
    Doug

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Galveston Texas
    Posts
    530
    It depends on alot of factors. Installation, upkeep, environment are the major ones. Average life expectancy of a condenser in my environment is only an average of 10yrs, and if it's on the west side of the island it's actually less. and that's strictly based on the environment of where I live.

  7. #7
    I have a 3.5 Ton XL1200 1997 model and it is still going strong. I had two repairs in the last few years. One was a starting capacitor and the other was a replacement fan motor on the condenser from failed bearings. I am budgeting for a replacement as well, but I hope to get another 4 years or so out of this unit. That will get my son through college. Anyone touting theoretical savings from SEER rating is full of doggy doo doo. I have run the numbers with real world run hours and measured amp draw from friends HE units in this area and even using a 25% reduction in Amp draw in my area it is a maximum savings of $132 / cooling season in MD. Bottom line is there is no payback to go more efficient so you should use reliability and common sense on when it makes sense to replace. I won't be putting any new compressor in or anything like that, but will make any reasonable repairs for the next 4-5 years before I look for an excuse to upgrade.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Arlington TX
    Posts
    17
    I just replaced a XL1200 in March. The unit was around 12-13 yrs old and it was operative, but a large part was leaking freon and 3 different estimates came with about the same repair bill...$1,500.

    One of the local Trane dealers was running a special, plus Trane had rebates, etc. I decided to go with the top unit. So far, electric bills appear to be lower and the biggest change is that the two compressor unit is very quite and the level of comfort it delivers is almost like night and day!

  9. #9
    Thanks for the info hughh. I would be interested in how much savings are you seeing as I would like to replace mine with a two stage unit with VS fan as well. What SEER unit did you get? I have heard that the 19 units are mostly smoke and mirrors and the 16 SEER units perform about the same, but it is always nice to hear from somebody who has owned your old unit and the newer choices.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Arlington TX
    Posts
    17
    Quote Originally Posted by cherokee180c View Post
    Thanks for the info hughh. I would be interested in how much savings are you seeing as I would like to replace mine with a two stage unit with VS fan as well. What SEER unit did you get? I have heard that the 19 units are mostly smoke and mirrors and the 16 SEER units perform about the same, but it is always nice to hear from somebody who has owned your old unit and the newer choices.
    I don't keep strict vigilance on the electric bill. But we can see that since we got the unit, we haven't had any month over $100. It's been over 100 for almost 2 weeks now and even at night, lowest is the 80's. This month I am sure will surpass and it may even get over the $200 mark. With the old 12 SEER unit we used to pay close to $400 every July/August, without failing.

    I understand that the 4 ton unit I got is good for around 17 SEER (or close, can't remember). The 3 ton if I remember right, was good for around 19 SEER.

    My next door neighbor's unit was a 7 SEER and after they got over $500 bill for August last year, they ditch it and got a different, well known brand. I think theirs is 14 SEER and they are much happier now.

  11. #11
    Do you know your new model number? Those numbers are pretty impressive.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Arlington TX
    Posts
    17
    Quote Originally Posted by cherokee180c View Post
    Do you know your new model number? Those numbers are pretty impressive.
    I just checked my invoice and it is the xli21L.

    The level of comfort this unit provides is so much higher than our previous XL12 (I think it was).

    I just checked in my thermostat (950). It indicates that for the last month, the unit ran an average of 67% of the time. Last week it ran 75% of the time and so far this week, 77% of the time.

  13. #13
    I think that model is a 20SEER model, but I might be wrong. Too bad you don't know the actual amp draw when on single stage as my 1200XL pulls 4kW. I know the dual stage units pull much less but run way more. It is just a math exercise at that point to determine if you actually will save any money or just get get the increased comfort.

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