Air conditioners cool your house. You check the weather report, set your thermostat, and that’s all you need to worry about. Right?
Unfortunately, no, that’s not the end of the story, because these days there are a bunch of options for any homeowners who might be in the market to replace their existing unit.
The average homeowner doesn’t know the differences in technology between one system and the next, so it can all seem somewhat like them unless it’s broken down by an expert.
Nowhere is this more true than in the various speeds available for your air conditioning unit. Fortunately for you, though, you found our review. At Fire & Ice, we specialize in educating homeowners on all their options so they can make the best choice for their budget and comfort needs.
We have installed thousands of air conditioners here in Central Ohio over the years, and we carry the Trane brand of air conditioners because of their ability to provide precise, even temperatures, boost indoor comfort, and save money along the way.
The Trane XR14 is a reliable, straightforward air conditioner that is easy on your budget. It can provide up to 15-20 years of worry-free cool and comfort.
In our review of the Trane XR14 air conditioner, we’ll discuss:
- What are the specifications of the Trane XR14?
- What are the features of the XR14?
- Model Comparison: Trane XR14 versus Trane X13
- Who’s Not a Good Fit For an XR14 AC?
- Who Should Consider an XR14 Air Conditioner?
- And finally, what are the next steps?
We’re going to break things down for you as if we were having a face-to-face discussion in your home. The goal, as it is when we visit prospective customers, is to give you all the facts that you’ll need to make the right decision for you.
Specs of the Trane XR14
SEER: Up to 16
Energy Star rated: Yes
Decibel Level: As low as 70
Compressor Type: Single-Stage
Tonnage: 1.5 to 5
Cooling Capacity: 17,000 to 56,000 BTU
Spine Fin™ outdoor coil
Upgraded fan motor
Full-side louvered panels
Corrosion-resistant Weatherguard™ fasteners
Unique DuraTuff™ non-corrosive base pan
Quick-Sess cabinet with full coil protection
Features of the Trane XR14
The XR14 is one of Trane’s most affordable models. The only model in the line that’s more economical is the XR13. While these two units share many of the same features and specifications, the XR13 has a SEER rating of only 14.75 and doesn’t have Energy Star certification.
Like all Trane air conditioners, the XR14 comes with a Climatuff compressor. This is a compressor developed by Trane to provide increased efficiency, a longer life, and quieter operation. Due to its advanced compressor, the XR14 is superior to other air conditioners that also have a single-stage compressor.
Trane’s spine fin technology has the lowest refrigerant leak rate in the industry, providing reliability and efficiency from your air conditioner for years to come.
Trane has equipped the XR14 with many features that are designed to protect the unit from damage, wear, and corrosion. Some of these include an all-aluminum coil, weather- and corrosion-resistant fasteners, special panels and a specially designed cabinet, and a rust-proof base pan that won’t warp or crack.
It’s a single-stage unit. An air conditioner’s compressor can be one of three types:
A single-stage compressor only has one output: 100% capacity. This means that single-stage air conditioners such as the XR14 can run only at full blast.
Single-stage compressors are tried-and-true technology; most homes have units with the same technology. The Trane XR14 heat pump’s single-stage compressor allows it to reliably heat and cool your home.
Model Comparison: Trane XR14 versus Trane XR13
Compared to the XR14, the XR13 has a lower SEER rating, so it won’t save you as much on energy bills.
A SEER, or Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, rating scores the efficiency of a central air conditioner or heat pump. All air conditioners and heat pumps cool your home to a set temperature regardless of their SEER rating. But higher-SEER systems can get the job done more efficiently, which can save you money.
The XR13 will achieve up to 14.75 SEER. The XR14 goes up to 16 SEER. For each point you go up in SEER rating equals about 5%-7% less energy consumption. (The majority of systems installed before 2006 are 10 SEER or lower.)
Both AC units have high- and low-pressure switches, which protect the unit from damage in case they lose refrigerant. The whole Trane line has these.
The XR14 is similar in noise produced to the XR13. The XR-13 is 71-75 decibels, the XR14 is 72-73 decibels. (For comparison, a vacuum cleaner is about 70 decibels.)
The XR 14 has an Energy Star rating, whereas the XR13 does not. Getting an Energy Star rating means that “a product meets certain federally mandated guidelines regarding energy efficiency. ... Certified products must deliver the features and performance demanded by consumers, in addition to increased energy efficiency.”
Energy Star-certified central air conditioners have higher seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) and energy efficiency ratio (EER) ratings and use 8 percent less energy than conventional new models.
Another thing to consider when considering SEER ratings: The central air conditioner needs a blower motor – which is usually part of the furnace – to blow the cool air through the duct system. If you buy an energy-efficient air conditioner but connect it to an older furnace, your system will not perform to its rated efficiency.
Read more about SEER ratings in this article: What’s a Good SEER Rating and Why Is It Important?
Who’s Not a Good Fit For an XR14 AC?
The cons of a single-stage air conditioner are related to efficiency and long-term costs. Your energy bills will be higher since it’s using 100% of its power, 100% of the time that it’s on. While modern systems tend to run quietly, the start and stop of the air conditioner can also be an annoyance to some.
If you have hot and cold spots in your home, uneven temperatures between floors, or temperature spikes with your current system, the Trane XR14 may not be able to address these issues.
You’d likely benefit more from a variable-speed system such as the Trane XV18, which goes a long way to making the temperature consistent throughout your home.
If you’re planning on being in the home longer than about 5 years, a variable-speed air conditioner is going to be an attractive option. The reason is that the technology pays for itself over time, so the longer you live in your home, the more you’ll enjoy its high-end cooling.
The Trane XR14 AC and Humidity
Is your upstairs much hotter and more humid than the lower levels of your home?
The solution to this problem isn’t always your air conditioner (sometimes it’s ductwork or things such as insulation and windows), but a variable-speed AC can help, and may solve the problem entirely.
If you experience this, the other certainty is this: A single-stage AC won’t solve the problem. It’s probably better than your current system, but it won’t provide you as much comfort upstairs in the summer months as a more expensive unit with a variable-capacity compressor.
Humidity affects the temperature of the room, or more specifically how it feels to us. Seventy degrees in Arizona is not the same as 70 degrees in Florida. When an air conditioner runs, it’s removing humidity from the air as well. This makes the system’s operation more efficient.
Single-stage units are either on or off. 100% or nothing. In milder temperatures, it’s going to turn on and off a lot. It doesn’t get to run as long, so it doesn’t remove as much humidity.
So it should come as no surprise that because a two-stage AC runs for longer than a single-stage (albeit at a lower power level), it’s removing more humidity from your home. Similarly, a variable-speed system will remove even more humidity.
A Single-Stage AC May Have A Shorter Lifespan
Another disadvantage of the single-stage operation is that starting and stopping a piece of equipment stresses it more than leaving it running. It’s like a car. Constantly starting and stopping is going to be a little rougher on it; it won’t last as long, and you’ll spend more energy doing it.
Similarly, any air conditioner that starts and stops frequently is going to be a drag on your energy bills, will put more stress on the unit, and could cause it to have a shorter lifespan.
Who Should Consider an XR14 Air Conditioner?
If you’re looking to replace your AC, you should consider what you have in place now. If your current air conditioner is a single-stage, you’re happy with it, and it provides a good level of comfort, a lateral move is just fine.
Single-stage air conditioners are going to be the cheapest to purchase and have installed. If you’re on a budget, this is a good value. The good news is, a one-stage AC is still going to cool your home adequately, provided it’s sized properly and installed correctly.
The XR14 will probably give you a little more efficiency than your old unit.
The HVAC company that installs your equipment is just as important, if not even more, than the equipment you install. The reason for this is that the quality of your installation can vary wildly. The best piece of HVAC equipment is only as good as how it’s connected to the rest of your system.
And it’s easy to cut corners in ways that will cost you money and comfort, but it’s 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 discern the good from the bad. 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.
By now, you should know a few things: what makes the XR14 unique, and what the next steps are to finding your perfect HVAC system.
The last step is to contact us to schedule your free, no-pressure estimate. You’ll get pricing and a variety of recommendations to match your budget and comfort needs.
Get started below.