Trane S9V2 Furnace Review: A Budget-Conscious High-Efficiency Furnace

Trane S9V2 Furnace Review: A Budget-Conscious High-Efficiency Furnace
Bryan Carnahan
Residential Sales Professional

I am a Residential Sales Professional for Fire & Ice. I meet with hundreds of homeowners a year to assist them in their HVAC comfort needs.

About This Article

Efficient. Comfortable. Reliable. The Trane S9V2 furnace works to keep you comfortable for less.

If you’re looking for a furnace that offers efficiency and comfort without breaking the bank, then I’d like to introduce you to Trane’s S9V2 furnace, a high-efficiency furnace dedicated to your comfort.

At Fire & Ice, the Trane S9V2 furnace is one of our most popular high-efficiency furnaces. Our customers appreciate that the S9V2 offers efficient heating with boosted comfort. Plus, the S9V2 fits many budgets.

In this article, we’ll break down the Trane S9V2 furnace and its features -- and how they benefit you. We’ll also discuss the factors that affect the cost of the S9V2.

Overview of the Trane S9V2 Furnace

The Trane S9V2 furnace combines quality heating with boosted comfort and efficiency. But even with the additional features that allow it to offer more comfort and efficiency, the S9V2 can still be a great option for mid-size budgets.

Trane designed the S9V2 furnace to:

  • Evenly distribute heat throughout your home
  • Create fewer temperature spikes
  • Operate quietly and efficiently

Features of the Trane S9V2 Furnace

These are the components that allow the Trane S9V2 to provide both comfort and efficiency. So let’s break it down.

The Trane S9V2 furnace’s core features:

  • Two-stage gas valve
  • Variable-speed blower motor
  • Smaller, insulated cabinet
  • Secondary heat exchanger

Two-Stage Gas Valve

The Trane S9V2’s two-stage gas valve can help reduce your energy bills without the initial costs of a high-end system.

A furnace’s gas valve controls its heating output.

When we talk about a furnace’s staging, we’re talking about the number of capacity settings it has and, to an extent, its runtime. As a result, staging can affect your furnace’s efficiency and the temperature of your home.

There are three types of furnaces:

  • Single-stage
  • Two-stage
  • Modulating

Single-stage furnaces only operate at one capacity: full-blast.

Your system’s capacity is based on the coldest temperatures in your area. This means that a single-stage furnace always runs like it’s trying to keep you warm on the coldest day of the year. But what about the rest of the year?

This is where multi-stage systems like the S9V2 can add more comfort.

Two-stage furnaces can operate at two capacities: 100% and a lower capacity that’s typically between 60-70%.

On more mild days, a two-stage furnace like the S9V2 can adjust its output. Instead of running at 100% capacity, a two-stage furnace can run on its lower capacity setting. This allows it to run longer and better maintain a set temperature.

In this case, a longer runtime is a good thing. Because a two-stage furnace like the S9V2 can adjust its output, it consumes less fuel. And because it has a longer runtime, the S9V2 can better distribute heat throughout multi-story and split-level homes.

Modulating furnaces also have multiple stages. In fact, a modulating furnace can have over 100 stages and capacity settings that range between 40-100%. This allows modulating furnaces like the Trane XC95M, which has more sophisticated technology than the S9V2, to provide the highest level of comfort.

But since modulating furnaces are top of the line, they do come with a higher initial cost.

Furnaces like the S9V2 can offer you more comfort and efficiency than a single-stage furnace but will cost you less upfront than a modulating furnace.

Variable-Speed Blower Motor

The S9V2’s variable-speed blower motor boosts comfort and efficiency.

Your system’s blower motor (and blower fan) controls air circulation throughout your home.

A variable-speed blower motor gives you even more control over circulation.

Like a modulating gas-valve, a variable-speed blower motor can operate at a range of speeds. And because your air conditioner also relies on your blower motor, this is one of the best HVAC components to upgrade.

When a variable-speed blower runs with your system, it helps better distribute conditioned air throughout your home. When your system doesn’t have to work as hard to cool or heat your home, it suffers less wear and tear. This can improve your system's life expectancy.

But when you set a variable-speed blower to run constantly (or at least more frequently), you get better air circulation. Even when your furnace or air conditioner isn’t running, a variable-speed blower motor can create more even temperatures throughout your home.

Increased air circulation also means that the air in your home passes through your air filtration system more frequently. This means that your filtration system can remove more dust and other particles from the air in your home.

RELATED: Indoor Air Quality: Air Filtration & Air Purifying HVAC Products

I know some homeowners have tried letting their blower fans run more frequently but switched back to “auto” because their systems’ blower fans were so powerful they made them chilly. But because you can adjust a variable-speed blower motor’s output, it’s easier to get the benefits of better air circulation without feeling chilly.

When you turn on a system with a variable-speed blower fan for the first time, there’s generally an immediately noticeable difference.

A variable-speed blower motor can add around $400 to the total cost of a furnace installation. Of course, it’s up to you to decide whether or not a variable-speed blower is worth the cost to you.

Single-Stage | Two-Stage | Variable-Capacity

Insulated Cabinet

The Trane S9V2’s heavy steel, insulated cabinet has two benefits:

  1. It conserves more of the heat it produces.
  2. It reduces the system’s operating sound.

We know that noisy systems don’t annoy everyone. But for some, a quiet system is vital.

If you currently have a single-stage system, the S9V2 can be significantly quieter. The S9V2’s two-stage gas valve and variable-speed blower motor also help decrease its operating sound.

Smaller Cabinet

The S9V2’s small cabinet has advantages and disadvantages.

On one hand, the Trane S9V2’s 34-inch cabinet can be a great solution for homeowners with limited space.

At under three feet tall, the S9V2 is six inches shorter than furnaces like the Trane XV80. The XV80 requires around 7 feet to accommodate the evaporator coil, ductwork and other components as well as the furnace. If you’re tight on space, the S9V2’s smaller cabinet can mean the difference between a tight squeeze and a comfortable fit.

But even though its smaller cabinet can take some pressure off of you, it can add pressure in other ways. Smaller cabinets can restrict airflow within your furnace. This can result in static pressure, or resistance to airflow, within your furnace and ductwork.

Because of its smaller cabinet size, our installers typically have to get creative in order to make sure the system experiences as little static pressure as possible.

In homes without space constraints, our team will place the S9V2 on a platform. This elevates the furnace so conditioned air can better flow between the filtration system and the furnace.

But when space is an issue, our team can use a wraparound component to help improve airflow without competing for space.

Secondary Heat Exchanger

Although all furnaces have one heat exchanger, high-efficiency furnaces like the S9V2 have two.

In general, a heat exchanger plays a significant role in heating your home. A secondary heat exchanger makes your system more efficient at heating your home.

During a basic home heating cycle, a gas furnace’s burners heat its primary heat exchanger. Then the blower motor draws air across the heat exchanger, which heats the air. The blower then pushes the conditioned air throughout your home via your ductwork. Your system exhausts waste gases created this way.

A standard efficiency furnace loses 20% of the heat it produces through waste gases. A high-efficiency furnace conserves more heat with its secondary heat exchanger.

High-efficiency furnaces like the S9V2 process waste gases a second time through their secondary heat exchanger. This means that the S9V2 makes the most of the fuel it consumes.

How Efficient Is the Trane S9V2 Furnace?

The Trane S9V2 furnace is 97% efficient. But what does it mean for a furnace to be 97% efficient?

Manufacturers score a furnace’s efficiency with an Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) rating.

AFUE ratings are based on the percentage of fuel that goes towards actually heating your home.

In other words, the S9V2 furnace uses 97% of the fuel it consumes to heat your home. The other 3% is vented as waste gas.

This means that you can use less fuel to heat your home.

If you spend a ton of money on utilities, you could see a huge difference in your gas bill. Plus, if you’re trying to cut down on your environmental impact, a high-efficiency furnace like the S9V2 can help you meet that goal.

With all of that said, you may wonder why someone wouldn’t get a high-efficiency furnace. After all, why wouldn’t someone want to save money, use more of the fuel they’re already paying for, and do their part to save the environment?

There are a few reasons actually:

  1. If you don’t have a high gas bill with your current system, you may not notice a huge difference with a high-efficiency furnace.
  2. High-efficiency furnaces require a different type of venting than standard efficiency furnaces.

While a standard efficiency furnace only requires one ventilation pipe, high-efficiency furnaces require direct venting. In order to properly vent a high-efficiency furnace, your HVAC contractor may need to run two PVC pipes, each of which is 2-3 inches in diameter. These pipes typically exit through the side of your home.

When we explore high-efficiency furnaces with our customers, this is the first thing we discuss. Some of our customers ultimately decide not to purchase a high-efficiency furnace because they don’t want to cut into their home’s exterior. In some homes, direct venting just isn’t feasible.

If you’re interested in a high-efficiency furnace like the Trane S9V2, your HVAC partner should be able to assess whether a high-efficiency system is a good fit for you and your home.

Which Air Conditioner Can I Pair with the Trane S9V2?

The Trane S9V2 works well with any non-communicating air conditioner.

Communicating air conditioners use sophisticated technology to communicate with your HVAC systems. While a thermostat communicates with any system, communicating air conditioners and furnaces can also send information to your thermostat. (Since communicating systems don’t work best with the S9V2, we won’t explore them here. But if you’re interested in learning more about communicating systems, check out this article on the Trane XC95M, a communicating, modulating furnace.)

You can pair the S9V2 with a non-communicating air conditioner with almost any staging. Because of its variable-speed blower motor, the S9V2 can boost your air conditioner’s performance.

The S9V2’s variable-speed blower motor works year-round to provide you with better air circulation, which improves the distribution of conditioned air throughout your home. This is the case whether you have a single-stage air conditioner or variable speed air conditioner.

RELATED: One-Stage, Two-Stage & Variable-Speed ACs: Differences & Benefits

How Much Does the Trane S9V2 Furnace Cost?

The Trane S9V2 furnace can cost between $4,800 - $6,200, including labor and other installation fees.

For context, a new furnace replacement generally costs between $3,000 - $7,600.

A variety of factors can affect the general range of a replacement furnace. But when we look at specific models, only one factor really affects the final cost of your Trane S9V2 furnace: the power, also referred to as “size,” your furnace needs to adequately heat your home.

The power of your system affects its performance. So the larger your system is, the better it can perform, right? Not quite.

If your system is too powerful or not powerful enough for your home, its performance and life expectancy can suffer.

If your system is too powerful, it’ll struggle not to overshoot the temperature you set your thermostat to. As a result, your system will kick on and off more than it should, which can reduce its life expectancy due to increased wear and tear. This can also lead to more temperature spikes and hot and cold spots.

If your system isn’t powerful enough, it’ll run more frequently as it struggles to heat or cool your home to the set temperature. This is one case where a longer runtime isn’t a good thing. Because your system has to work harder to do its job, it also suffers increased wear and tear that shortens its life expectancy.

We typically expect modern HVAC equipment to last around 15-20 years or longer. But if your system is the wrong size for your home, wear and tear can reduce its lifespan by as much as 5-10 years.

Your HVAC partner can determine the power that your furnace replacement needs by performing a load calculation. This is also called “sizing” your system.

Although many HVAC contractors perform what they call load calculations, these calculations are typically only based on the square footage of your home. This can leave you with an inadequate system.

Load calculations should include not only the total square footage that your system needs to heat or cool but also any factors that can result in heat loss or gain. Some of these factors include the number and size of your windows, the height of your ceilings, and how recently you added insulation.

By including these factors, your HVAC partner can ensure that your system is properly sized to fit your home.

Who’s a Good Fit for the Trane S9V2 Furnace?

If you have high utility bills and you have more comfort concerns during the winter, the Trane S9V2 could be a great investment for you.

The S9V2 can be a great option for multi-story and split-level homes that have hot and cold spots during both the summer and winter. The S9V2 can also work well for single-story homes like ranches if your current system struggles to maintain even temperatures.

If you don’t plan to upgrade your air conditioner as well, the S9V2 can be a good choice if you have more issues with maintaining the temperature in your home during the winter. But the S9V2’s variable-speed blower motor can improve air circulation throughout the year, which can result in more even temperatures throughout your home and better air filtration.

Choosing the Right Furnace for You

If you’ve gotten this far, we hope you love the Trane S9V2 furnace as much as we do (find more specifications on the S9V2 here). But if you’d like to explore other options, we have you covered.

Check out these furnace reviews:

If you’re still trying to figure out which furnace is right for you, check out this article on the top three factors that help determine the best options for you and your home.

If you’d prefer to speak with a sales professional, we’d love to meet with you!

At Fire & Ice, we believe that you deserve a furnace that meets your heating needs and preferences.

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