Trane XL18i Air Conditioner Review

Trane XL18i Air Conditioner Review
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

The Trane XL18i features a two-stage compressor, up to 18 SEER rating, Trane’s Weatherguard top, and a host of features that make it ideal for many homes.

What air conditioner should you get when it’s time to replace your existing AC?

That’s the million-dollar question. Or rather, it won’t cost you a million dollars, but it’s still a large investment. So getting the right answer matters!

We install a lot of Trane XL18i air conditioners, because it’s the “right” answer for many of our customers. This article is to help you find out if it’s right for you.

To be clear, this article will also help you decide if it isn’t for you. We want you to have the best fit for your needs, and not every home is built the same.

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Features and Specs of the Trane XL18i Air Conditioner

We’ll talk more about some of the unit’s specifications below, but here’s a high-level overview of the XL18i air conditioner:

Name: Trane XL18i Air Conditioner

Staging: Two-stage compressor

SEER Rating: Up to 18 SEER

Sound: 55 Decibels

Weatherguard Top: Yes

RELATED: Trane XL18i Air Conditioner Product Page

Two-Stage Air Conditioners

Air conditioners come in one of three primary varieties:

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

The differences between them are in the names. Single-stage ACs only have one setting: “On.” The unit is either at 100% capacity or 0%, and there’s no in-between.

Two-stage ACs have one additional setting, usually 70% of the total output capacity of the air conditioner.

Variable-speed ACs can have anywhere from a handful to hundreds of stages!

Why would you want a two-stage air conditioner? We’ll talk more about that in later sections, but in brief, the ability to operate at 70% capacity allows your system to run for longer as it’s cooling the home. This is a good thing, believe it or not! Because it gives the air more time to distribute evenly throughout the home.

So, for example, it will better cool your upstairs rooms, whereas a single-stage unit might result in a lot of hot or cold spots in your home. So if you have trouble sleeping at night because it gets too hot, a two-stage AC can help!

The other benefit of two-stage equipment is that it will dehumidify for longer. One of the most important functions of the air conditioner is to remove moisture, which contributes to cooling your home. If you have trouble with allergies, mold, or general humidity, this can work wonders.

SEER Rating, Cost Savings and Comfort

SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating. If you know what it is, you probably know that higher numbers are better. At up to 18 SEER, the XL18i is one of the more efficient air conditioners on the market. While there are cutting-edge home ACs that go over 20 SEER, most residential ACs top out at 20 SEER rating.

This makes the XL18i somewhere between mid-range and high-end air conditioners, making it a great option to meet a variety of needs without being the most expensive option.

If your current air conditioner is older, any modern system is going to be a large upgrade in terms of cost savings and comfort. But how much can you expect to save?

The graphic below will give you a rough gauge of cost savings. Keep in mind, this is savings on your cooling costs alone, not your entire energy bill. But if you’re overspending on cooling now, it can mean savings of hundreds or even thousands of dollars per year!

savings by SEER rating

Additional Features of the XL18i

I want to point out two features that are attractive to many homeowners.

One, the XL18i is whisper quiet compared to many other options. If your AC is just outside a bedroom window, for example, the noise level can matter.

And two, the XL18i comes with Trane’s Weatherguard Top. This top does two things: it keeps your outdoor unit free from debris that might fall into the fan (like leaves or sticks), and it allows enough breathing room for the fan to function as intended. It can be a much better option than having either an open top or trying to DIY a protection solution.

Who Should Consider an XL18i AC?

Now we get to you. Do you need this, or is it too much (or not enough)? When we talk to people in their homes, we walk them through the process to find the solution. But the considerations below can help you to figure out the answer even before you speak to an HVAC professional.

#1: Is your house humid?

Muggy summer rooms? Allergies? Humidity fogging up your windows? These are all signs of a poor HVAC system and the need for an advanced system that can manage humidity well. Two-stage air conditioners will do a much better job than single-stage units at accomplishing this.

#2: Are there rooms that are much hotter than others?

I mentioned earlier that if you have trouble sleeping at night because your bedroom is too warm, it might be time for an upgrade. This is the sort of thing we look for when recommending air conditioner systems.

#3: Will you be in your home for 5+ years?

The XL18i isn’t a low-end option, so the initial investment is higher than some. If you want to recoup your investment with cost savings on energy bills, you’ll need to use it for several years. If you plan on staying in your home for many years, this can be a great time to make that investment that will save you in the long run.

#4: What’s the biggest factor for you, cost or comfort?

If your answer is “all comfort, I want the best” or “I need the most affordable option,” there may be better options. But if your answer is a bit of both, the XL18i may be right for you.

Who Shouldn’t Consider an XL18i AC?

If each of the considerations above indicates who should want the XL18i, the reverse is true in most cases:

  1. If your home doesn’t have a basement, it may not have issues with humidity.
  2. If your home cools evenly already, a two-stage compressor may not be needed.
  3. If you may be selling the home within the next 5 years, you’re likely better off with a more modest upgrade to your current system.
  4. You have a small area for the outdoor unit. The XL18i is very large and stands over 5 feet tall. Allowing it enough space to function can be a challenge in some yards.

These aren’t the only considerations for homeowners, and only you know your pain points that can be solved by HVAC. Talking through them with a licensed representative can be a great first step in picking your dream system.

Comparing the Trane XL18i Air Conditioner

See how the Trane XL18i Air Conditioner stacks up to other comparable units.

Product 24ANB6 24ACB7 XL18i 24ACC6 XR17
Brand Carrier Carrier Trane Carrier Trane
Efficiency (SEER) 16 17 up to 18 16 up to 18
Sound Insulated Yes No No Yes No
Communicating No No No No No

Cost of the XL18i

The cost of the XL18i ranges between $7,000 - $9,500. This includes labor and any applicable fees.

The size of your home is the biggest determining factor in where your system will fall in that range. The efficiency will be the same, but a 1,500 square foot home needs less power than a 4,000 square foot home, for example, so the price will adjust accordingly.

RELATED: Cost of an Air Conditioner Replacement

Additionally, installing a full system (including furnace) can cut the cost of an air conditioner, by reducing labor costs or qualifying for full-system incentives that won’t be available with an AC-only installation.

Given these variables, that range is a good initial estimate, but to find out exactly how much yours will be, a trained representative will have to take the proper measurements to provide you with those details.

Comparing Cooling Options (and Companies)

Below, I’ve linked some other air conditioner reviews for you to compare, but if I’m being honest, the company that installs your equipment is sometimes more important than what equipment you can install.

The reason for this is that the quality of your installation can vary wildly. And it’s easy to cut corners in ways that will cost you money and comfort, but hard to spot those things if you aren’t an HVAC professional.

To combat this, you should be prepared with questions that help you to qualify the good from the bad and the great from the good. Click the image below to download our HVAC Contractor Checklist, a quick list of questions (and best answers) to help you assess any HVAC company.

HVAC Contractor Checklist

And if you’d rather check out other air conditioners first, we’ve got you covered there too:

Find Your Cool

By now, you should know a few things: what makes the XL18i different, whether or not it might be the right air conditioner for you, and what the next steps are to finding your perfect system.

The last step is to contact us to schedule your free, no-pressure estimate. You’ll get exact pricing and a variety of recommendations to match your budget and comfort needs.

So what are you waiting for?! Get started below!

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