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Trane XL16i Heat Pump Review: Best Bang for Your Buck

Trane XL16i Heat Pump Review: Best Bang for Your Buck
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

Reliable. Efficient. Affordable. The Trane XL16i heat pump is an efficient heating and cooling option that won’t break the bank.

If you’re looking for a reliable, efficient heat pump that fits your budget, take a look at Trane’s XL16i heat pump.

The Trane XL16i heat pump provides straightforward heating and cooling year-round. And its efficiency can make it a great option for homeowners who want to reduce their energy costs.

At Fire & Ice, we’ve helped thousands of Central Ohio homeowners discover HVAC equipment that best meets their needs. And regardless of where you live, that’s what we hope to do with this article.

In this article, we’ll cover the features, benefits and cost of the Trane XL16i heat pump. We’ll also go over when the XL16i may be a good fit for you and your home – and when it may not.

Overview of the Trane XL16i Heat Pump

The Trane XL16i heat pump offers reliable, efficient heating and cooling throughout the year. And with its low upfront cost, it can fit most budgets.

However, the XL16i may not be able to address issues like temperature spikes, hot and cold spots, or uneven temperatures between floors.

Trane designed the XL16i heat pump to:

  • Reliably and efficiently heat and cool your home
  • Provide a durable, budget-friendly option

Features of the Trane XL16i Heat Pump

The Trane XL16i heat pump is a mid-efficiency, single-stage heat pump. And don’t worry if you aren’t sure what all that jargon means. We’ll break it down in this section.

Core features of the Trane XL16i heat pump:

  • Single-stage compressor
  • Patented WeatherGuard Top

Single-Stage Compressor

The compressor regulates your heat pump’s heating and cooling output.

Compressors can also have different output settings, also known as stages.

Heat pumps can have one of three types of compressors:

  1. Single-stage
  2. Two-stage
  3. Variable-speed

Single-stage compressors only have one setting: 100% capacity.

Single-stage compressors are tried-and-true technology. Single-stage heat pumps like the Trane XL16i can reliably heat and cool your home.

But if you have issues with humidity or uneven temperatures, the XL16i may not be able to help. Instead, you’d need a heat pump with multiple stages.

Two-stage compressors have two output settings: 100% and another setting that’s usually around 70% capacity.

Variable-speed compressors can have hundreds of stages.

A heat pump with multiple stages can run longer. And in this case, a longer runtime is a good thing.

A multi-stage heat pump typically runs at a lower capacity a majority of the time. When your heat pump can run longer at a lower setting, you can notice more even temperatures and more comfortable humidity.

An infographic that illustrates the differences between single-stage, two-stage and variable-speed cooling. The single-stage section includes an on/off light switch accompanied by text that reads, "Unit is either on or off, creating wide temperature swings." Next to the light switch is a grid with a sharp peaks and dips in red and blue lines that represent temperature spikes. The two-stage section includes a high/low/off light dimmer accompanied by text that reads, "Unit runs at either low or high speed, using the lower speed 80% of the time." Next to the light dimmer is a grid that features more gradual peaks and dips in red and blue lines that represent more gradual temperature variation. The variable-capacity section features a dial with multiple degrees between "high" and "low" points. Accompanying text reads, "Unit runs at low most of the time, using only the amount of energy needed to meet comfort need." Next to the dial is a grid that features red and blue lines with barely perceptible peaks and dips illustrated in red and blue lines. This represents consistent temperatures with little to no variance.

Patented WeatherGuard Top

The XL16i is one of three Trane heat pumps that includes a patented Trane WeatherGuard Top.

Trane’s WeatherGuard Top helps protect the XL16i heat pump from snow and debris without restricting airflow.

Adequate airflow is essential for your heat pump. Without airflow, your heat pump can’t heat or cool your home. Inadequate airflow can also damage your heat pump.

All Trane heat pumps are equipped with a basepan and drain that can stand up to weather and annual debris buildup. But the WeatherGuard Top can help keep leaves, pine needles and seeds from taking over your heat pump. And the WeatherGuard Top can offer more protection from falling tree limbs and branches.

You can also buy a Trane WeatherGuard Top for your existing system. Installing a new WeatherGuard Top typically costs around $800.

But the WeatherGuard Top isn’t an impenetrable shield for your heat pump. As I mentioned earlier, Trane heat pumps are already designed to withstand the elements. But WeatherGuard Tops can provide a little more protection from damage and debris. And the XL16i’s built-in WeatherGuard Top can be a perk.

The XL16i’s WeatherGuard Top also contributes to its height. With the WeatherGuard Top and pump-ups, the XL16i can be nearly 5 feet tall. This can sometimes be a concern if your current heat pump is located beneath a window.

Even though Trane designs the XL16i to be aesthetically pleasing, we understand that you may not want your new heat pump to block part of your window.

If the height of the XL16i could be an issue, make sure you discuss your options with your HVAC partner.

How Efficient Is the Trane XL16i Heat Pump?

The Trane XL16i heat pump can get up to 17 SEER and 9.6 HSPF.

But what does that mean for you?

Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) ratings describe how much energy heat pumps and air conditioners use to cool your home. Heat pumps commonly range between 14 - 22 SEER.

Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF) ratings describe how much energy heat pumps use to heat your home. Heat pumps typically range between 7.7 - 11 HSPF.

As a rule of thumb, the higher the rating, the more efficient the heat pump.

The XL16i heat pump falls in the mid-efficiency range. And this can make it a good option for homeowners who want an efficient heat pump that won’t cost them an arm and a leg.

In fact, the XL16i can save you up to 54% on heating and cooling costs if your current system is rated 10 SEER or lower.

There’s another factor that can affect the cost of heating and cooling your home, though.

Your heat pump can heat your home until outside temperatures dip below a certain point.

The Trane XL16i can heat your home into temperatures as low as 30 degrees.

As temperatures continue to drop, your backup heat will take over heating instead. And depending on your system (and its fuel source), heating with backup heat can be expensive.

For all-electric systems, your backup heat is your air handler. If you live in a region with colder winters, your air handler is likely outfitted with heat strips.

Heat strips are very similar to the filaments in your toaster. And they can be an expensive way to heat your home.

For dual fuel systems, your backup heat is your furnace.

If you have a natural gas furnace, you may not notice a significant difference in energy costs whether your heat pump or furnace is heating your home. Depending on where you live, natural gas can be one of the most cost-effective ways to heat your home.

But if you have a propane furnace, your energy bills can significantly increase as temperatures drop. During the winter, the cost of propane can increase drastically.

If you live in an area where temperatures stay below 30 degrees, the Trane XL16i heat pump may not be able to reduce your energy bills. To determine whether the XL16i is a good option for you, speak with an HVAC professional in your area.

What Equipment Can I Pair with the Trane XL16i Heat Pump?

The Trane XL16i heat pump is compatible with any non-communicating Trane air handler or furnace.

If you have an all-electric system, you could pair the XL16i with the Trane TEM4 air handler or the Trane GAM5 air handler.

If you have a dual fuel system, you could pair the XL16i with the Trane S8X2 furnace or the Trane S9X1 furnace.

If you have issues with airflow throughout the year, the equipment you pair with the XL16i can help enhance airflow and boost efficiency.

For all-electric systems, that can mean pairing the XL16i with a variable-speed air handler like the Trane TEM6 air handler.

For dual fuel systems, that can mean pairing the XL16i with a variable-speed furnace like the Trane XV80 furnace or the Trane S9V2 furnace.

How Much Does the Trane XL16i Heat Pump Cost?

The Trane XL16i heat pump typically costs between $6,500 - $8,500, including labor and permit fees.

For context, a new replacement heat pump can generally cost between $4,900 - $12,500.

And if you have an all-electric system, you’ll also need to replace your air handler. An air handler replacement can add around $3,500 - $6,000.

Multiple variables affect the general range of a heat pump replacement. But when we talk about the range for a particular model, there’s one main factor: size.

In this case, when we talk about the size of a heat pump, we’re referring to its power.

Your heat pump’s size isn’t an option that you can choose, however. Your heat pump must be the right size to adequately heat and cool your home.

But how can you make sure your heat pump is the right size? By checking that your HVAC partner follows industry best practices.

In order to properly size your heat pump, your HVAC partner must perform a load calculation.

A load calculation accounts for all of the factors that would challenge your heat pump’s ability to adequately heat and cool your home.

Load calculations take a variety of factors into consideration, including:

  • The total square footage of your walls and floors
  • The size and condition of your windows and doors
  • The directions your windows face
  • The height of your ceilings

Unfortunately, some HVAC contractors only base the size of your heat pump on your home’s square footage. That isn’t enough.

For more information, check out this article that breaks down load calculations more in-depth.

Who’s a Good Fit for the Trane XL16i Heat Pump?

Overall, the Trane XL16i heat pump can offer the best bang for your buck if you’re looking for an efficient heat pump with a reasonable upfront cost.

The XL16i is a solid, middle-of-the-road option that can fit most budgets. And whether you plan to stay in your home long-term or short-term, the XL16i will serve you well.

However, the XL16i may not be the best option if:

  • You have comfort concerns, including humidity issues, hot and cold spots, and uneven temperatures between floors.
  • You live in a region where temperatures stay below 30 degrees for long periods of time.
  • Your current heat pump is located under a window that’s less than five feet off the ground.

Choosing the Right Heat Pump for You

If you’ve made it this far, we hope you love the Trane XL16i heat pump as much as we do. (Find technical specifications for the Trane XL16i heat pump here.) But if you’d like to continue exploring your options, we’d love to help!

At Fire & Ice, we take the time to understand your needs and perform extensive load calculations. This helps us make better recommendations that align with what you want from your HVAC system.

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