What’s the most popular flavor of ice cream in the country? This is a popular “trick” question, so a lot of you probably know the answer: Vanilla.
Why is this? It’s because vanilla is reliable, it’s good, and it meets the needs of lots and lots of people.
Some people will call something “vanilla” as a negative, but here at Fire & Ice, we think that a solution that works for a large number of people is a great thing.
The Trane XR13 Air Conditioner is really popular for a lot of the same reasons that vanilla ice cream is: it’s reliable, a good cooling solution for many homes, and it meets the comfort needs of many homeowners.
Despite being the most popular flavor, though, vanilla isn’t for everyone. So in this article, we’re going to walk through why so many people like the XR13, but also talk about who it won’t be for.
So if you’re ready for some good ice crea...er, I mean, great information about air conditioner options, read on!
Features and Specs of the Trane XR13 Air Conditioner
Here’s a basic rundown of the specifications of the Trane XR13 AC:
Name: Trane XR13 Air Conditioner
Staging: Single-stage compressor
SEER Rating: Up to 14.5 SEER
Sound: 75 Decibels
Weatherguard Top: No
Single-Stage Air Conditioning
In brief, single-stage means that an air conditioner only has two settings: ON and OFF.
Single-stage air conditioners have been around for decades. Only in recent years have two-stage and multi-stage (or variable-speed) air conditioners become more popular. A two-stage unit will have one additional setting, usually 60% or 70% output. Variable-speed units can have hundreds of settings, generally ranging from 40-100% cooling output. They can be great for specific home environments and cooling problems.
This newer technology doesn’t mean single-stage is obsolete, though. In fact, single-stage units are still reliable workhorses for many homes, providing excellent home cooling.
Compared to an older, inefficient unit that you may have in your home, single-stage AC can also save you a lot of money. This depends on the specifics of your current system, and gets us into discussions about SEER Rating and average cost savings.
SEER Rating, Comfort and Cost Savings
SEER Rating stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. It’s a simple calculation that looks at average energy use over a typical cooling season. Higher SEER Rating means more efficiency.
Typical modern air conditioners range from about 14 SEER to 22 SEER. The XR13 operates at up to 14.5 SEER.
This puts the unit on the lower end of modern systems. However, this doesn’t mean it’s inefficient. The largest gains in cost efficiency are from lower SEER Ratings (often 8-10 for older models) to entry-level modern systems like the XR13.
The chart below shows how much you might expect to save in a typical year on your cooling costs. Keep in mind, your cooling costs are only a portion of your total energy bill. But compared to many older systems, the XR13 can save some homes hundreds of dollars in cooling costs every year.
For a typical new installation, we often see homeowners saving 40-50% off cooling costs. The change is obvious and immediate.
Who Should Consider an XR13 AC?
We’ve talked up the XR13, but it’s important to put it in context. When is this a better option than other air conditioners? When is it a worse option?
There isn't a single answer. But there’s a correct answer for you. When one of our sales representatives visits your home, their job is to help you figure out the best solution.
Side Note: If it ever feels like someone is just trying to push a particular product, it’s a hard sell and probably shouldn’t be trusted. The best sale for an HVAC company should be whatever is the best fit for the customer, because that will create a trusting, long-term relationship. Too many contractors are in it for the quick sale, not the long haul, so stay alert for when someone is willing to tell you when you shouldn’t spend more, which means they probably have your best interests in mind.
So how do you figure out which model is best for you? Ask the right questions:
- Do I plan to sell the home in the next five years? High-end equipment generally only pays for itself after 5-10 years of operation. If you’re not in your forever-home, you may never reap those long-term rewards.
- Do I struggle with high humidity in the home? Two-story homes, or those with damp basements, often get very humid, and this can cause other problems for your comfort and health. In these situations, it’s often beneficial to explore two-stage or variable-speed systems.
- What is my budget? Financing plans exist for larger investments, but sometimes your budget still limits the amount you can spend on a new system. The XR13 is a great solution in these situations, since it can be a big improvement without breaking the bank.
There will be other considerations, but they’ll be particular to your home and family, and their comfort needs. The best way to determine what’s right for you is to walk through these and other considerations with a trusted HVAC partner.
Who Shouldn’t Consider an XR13 AC?
The section above talks about who should be interested in the XR13, but the opposite is true in almost every case.
- Planning to stay in your current home for the long haul? If you can afford the initial cost, a variable-speed system will cost the least across the entire life of the system.
- Homes in dry climates or without basements often don’t have humidity issues in the summer. So the sophisticated technology in two-stage and variable-speed systems isn’t needed.
- If you want the absolute most comfortable system out there, there are better options than the XR13. It’s a big improvement over most older systems, but isn’t quite the same as high-end equipment.
First Impression vs. Lasting Fit
These general rules aren’t always true, though. For example, sometimes I’ll talk with homeowners who think they just want the cheapest option we offer, and that nothing else matters to them. Sometimes this turns out to be true.
Other times, though, after a full discussion about their expected length of stay in the home, financing options (we have 0% for up to 72 months for qualifying systems), and comfort needs (maybe they have bad humidity issues that cause mold problems) it turns out a different system is the right fit for them.
This is why we don’t sell individual products. We custom-design a system that’s right for a home. It’s also why the first system you think will work isn’t always the best one.
Cost of the XR13
The XR13 costs between $4,500 and $5,500. This includes the cost of equipment, labor, and any additional fees.
For comparison, a new air conditioner installation can range between $4,000 and $12,500, placing this on the lower end of the cost spectrum.
What affects that range? A few factors:
- The size of your home
- The quality of the windows, insulation, and other factors of your home
- Modifications are occasionally needed during installation. As long as they’re minor, that remains a good general price range. But large-scale ductwork modification can sometimes push the final total higher.
Choosing the Best Air Conditioner For You
By now, you know a lot about the Trane XR13 Air Conditioner, and also a lot about how to decide if it’s right for you.
That’s not the end of things, however. An air conditioner is important, but it’s only one part of a complete HVAC system. There are additional questions to ask, such as whether or not it makes sense to replace your furnace at the same time, and if humidity-controlling products (like a whole-house dehumidifier) make sense for you.
We hope that this article has made the process a little bit simpler, though. I’d encourage you to keep reading here on our website.
And then, when you’re ready, contact us here on our website or give us a call. We can make every step of the journey just as simple, so that you’re confident you’ve made the best choice for your home and family.
Get started below, and we’re looking forward to speaking with you!