Trane XL18i Heat Pump Review

Trane XL18i Heat Pump Review
Roger Bakies
Residential Sales Professional

I have been in the residential/light commercial HVAC business for 30 years. I grew up in a sheet metal fabrication shop and have installed, serviced, sold and helped people choose new systems to best fit their needs and lifestyle. I look forward to helping you pick the best fit for your home!

About This Article

Efficient. Comfortable. Deluxe. The Trane XL18i heat pump offers enhanced comfort at a lower cost.

If you’re looking for a heat pump that can help with humidity issues, uneven temperatures, and high heating and cooling costs, let me introduce you to Trane’s XL18i heat pump.

The Trane XL18i heat pump offers reliable, high-efficiency heating and cooling with increased comfort.

At Fire & Ice, we’ve helped thousands of Central Ohio homeowners customize their HVAC systems to meet their needs. We believe that when you have a better understanding of how your system can address your comfort needs, you can get the most out of your investment.

No matter where you live, we want to make sure you have the best information. That’s where this article comes in.

In this article, we’ll break down the cost, benefits and features of the Trane XL18i heat pump. We’ll also cover when the XL18i may be a good fit (and when it may not).

Overview of the Trane XL18i Heat Pump

The Trane XL18i heat pump provides efficient heating and cooling that can boost comfort all year long. If you have issues with humidity, uneven temperatures, and high heating and cooling costs, the XL18i may be able to help.

But while the XL18i isn’t the most expensive model on the market, it may be outside of some budgets. (More on this later.)

Trane designed the XL18i heat pump to:

  • Efficiently heat and cool your home
  • Boost comfort by reducing temperature spikes, humidity, and hot and cold spots

Features of the Trane XL18i Heat Pump

The Trane XL18i heat pump is a high-efficiency, two-stage heat pump.

To break that down, we need to discuss some of the XL18i’s core features.

Core features of the Trane XL18i heat pump include:

  • Two-stage compressor
  • Patented WeatherGuard Top

Two-Stage Compressor

A heat pump’s compressor controls its heating and cooling output. Compressors can also have multiple output settings, also known as stages.

Compressors can have one of three types of staging:

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

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

Single-stage compressors are tried-and-true technology. In fact, all heat pumps were single-stage until recently.

Multi-stage heat pumps like the XL18i were designed to provide more comfort by addressing comfort concerns.

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

As a two-stage heat pump, the XL18i will run on its lower capacity setting more frequently than it’ll run at full capacity. This also gives the XL18i a longer runtime.

In this case, a longer runtime is a good thing. The longer a multi-stage heat pump can run at a lower capacity, the more evenly it can heat and cool your home. And since it’s running at a lower capacity, a longer runtime won’t increase your energy bills.

The only options that have the potential to offer more efficiency and comfort are heat pumps with variable-speed compressors.

Variable-speed compressors can have hundreds of stages that can range from around 25% to 100% capacity.

This range gives variable-speed heat pumps the potential to address the most comfort concerns, like humidity and uneven temperatures.

WeatherGuard Top

The Trane XL18i heat pump comes standard with Trane’s patented WeatherGuard Top.

The WeatherGuard Top is designed to offer additional protection for your heat pump without restricting airflow.

The WeatherGuard Top does make the XL18i one of Trane’s taller heat pumps, however. Depending on your system, the Trane XL18i heat pump can be as tall as five feet once it’s installed.

If your current heat pump is located under a window less than five feet off the ground, the XL18i could block part of the window. If this is a concern, discuss your options with your HVAC partner.

How Efficient Is the Trane XL18i Heat Pump?

The Trane XL18i heat pump can get up to 18 SEER and 9.5 HSPF.

What do these ratings mean for you?

Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) ratings score the amount of 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 the amount of energy heat pumps use to heat your home. Heat pumps typically range between 7.7 - 11 HSPF.

While SEER and HSPF ratings are scored on different scales, the higher the rating, the more efficient the system.

In fact, Trane estimates that the XL18i can save you as much as 56% of your current heating and cooling costs. (This depends on your current system’s efficiency, though. If your current system is approximately 10 SEER or less, you could see a significant change in your heating and cooling costs with the XL18i.)

There’s also another factor that can affect your heating and cooling costs, though: the temperature when your system switches to backup heat.

Heat pumps can only heat your home until outside temperatures dip below a certain point. For the Trane XL18i, that point is around 30 degrees.

After temperatures drop below 30 degrees, your system relies on your backup heat to keep your family warm.

If you have an all-electric system, your system will switch to your air handler’s heat strips.

Heat strips are similar to the filaments in a toaster. Heating your home with heat strips for long periods of time can drastically increase your heating costs.

If you have a dual fuel system, you may have a gas or propane furnace.

Natural gas can be a cost-effective way to heat your home. But the cost of propane can fluctuate throughout the year. As temperatures drop, you may pay more to heat your home with propane.

If you have high heating and cooling costs with your current system, you may benefit from a system that can heat into lower temperatures, such as a variable-speed model.

What Equipment Can I Pair with the Trane XL18i Heat Pump?

The Trane XL18i heat pump works best with Trane non-communicating air handlers and furnaces with variable-speed blower motors.

Variable-speed blower motors can help address additional comfort concerns by enhancing airflow.

However, to get the full benefits of a variable-speed blower motor, we recommend letting your system’s fan run more frequently. (You can do this by switching your thermostat’s fan setting from “auto” to “on.”)

If you have an all-electric system, you could pair the XL18i with the Trane TEM6 air handler, the Trane GAM5 air handler, or the Trane TAM9 air handler.

If you have a dual fuel system, you could match the XL18i with the Trane S9V2 furnace or the Trane XV80 furnace.

Comparing the Trane XL18i Heat Pump

See how the Trane XL18i Heat Pump stacks up to other comparable units.

Product XV18 25VNA8 XL18i XR17 25HPB6
Brand Trane Carrier Trane Trane Carrier
Efficiency (SEER) up to 18 18 up to 18 up to 17.25 16
Sound Insulated Yes Yes No No Yes
Communicating Yes Yes No No No

How Much Does the Trane XL18i Heat Pump Cost?

The Trane XL18i heat pump typically costs between $7,900 - $10,600, including labor and permit fees.

For comparison, a new heat pump replacement generally costs between $4,900 - $12,500.

And if you have an all-electric system, you’ll also need to replace your air handler with your heat pump. This can add $3,500 - $6,000, depending on the model that best fits your needs.

Multiple factors can affect the general price range of replacement HVAC equipment. But when we talk about the price range for a specific model, there’s one main factor: size.

In this case, size refers to your heat pump’s power.

In order to adequately heat and cool your home, your heat pump must be the right size for your home. If it isn’t it can create comfort concerns.

So how can you make sure your heat pump is the right size? Choose an HVAC professional who follows industry best practices.

Your HVAC partner can ensure your new system is the right size for your home by performing a load calculation.

Load calculations account for factors that your system has to overcome in order to meet your heating and cooling needs, including:

  • Total square footage of your home
  • The size and condition of your windows
  •  The quality of your insulation
  • Whether your home has a slab or a basement

And these are only a few examples. To learn more, check out this article that discusses how your HVAC partner should perform a load calculation more in-depth.

Who’s a Good Fit for the Trane XL18i Heat Pump?

The Trane XL18i heat pump can be a great option if you have issues with humidity, uneven temperatures, and high heating and cooling costs. So if you’re looking for increased comfort without a top-of-the-line price tag, the XL18i may be able to help.

Because of the efficiency and comfort it can offer, the Trane XL18i heat pump can be a great choice if you plan to stay in your home long-term.

And while the XL18i isn’t a top-of-the-line heat pump, it may be outside some budgets.

However, the Trane XL18i may not be the best fit for you if:

  • You don’t have many comfort concerns. The Trane XL18i may still be able to offer more comfort than your current system. But the XL18i was designed to address comfort concerns like humidity, uneven temperatures between floors, hot and cold spots, and high heating and cooling costs. If you don’t currently have these comfort concerns, you may not notice a significant difference with the XL18i.
  • You don’t plan to stay in your home long-term. Plans can change. But if you don’t plan to stay in your home for the next 10 or so years, you may not see a return on your investment. Efficiency is a long game. And if you’re not looking for boosted comfort during that time, the XL18i may not be the right system for you.

Choosing the Right Heat Pump for You

If you’ve made it this far, we hope you love the Trane XL18i as much as we do. (Check out the XL18i’s technical specifications here.) But if you’d like to continue exploring your options, we’d love to meet with you!

Whether you have a list of comfort concerns or you just want a reliable heat pump, you have options. There’s no one-size-fits-all heating and cooling solution.

At Fire & Ice, we take the time to understand your needs and to perform load calculations before we make any recommendations. We believe in educating the homeowners we meet with, not using pushy sales tactics.

If you’d like to schedule your free, no-obligation in-home estimate, enter your zip code below to get started.

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