XV20i VS XV18 - 3 Reasons why the XV18 is the better buy
XV20 vs XV18 - Why should I buy one over the other?
Fortunately - Trane and American Standard have put out a product that can go toe to toe with Lennox's residential high efficiency systems. 2014 marks the first official year of the new XV lines which are vastly more appealing than their predecessor in the XL line. Previously there were two independent compressors working in conjunction whereas now we have a single compressor with an inverter drive allowing it to have a much greater operating range than the dual compressor format. Not to mention it is more efficient, quieter, and weighs less than the XLs. Though inverter technology has been out for quite some time Manufacturers are finally harnessing it for central air applications which helps both efficiency and comfort.
So you've decided that you like the XV model but you're not sure which XV to go with. XV18 or XV20i? which is the better buy?
3 basic reason why the XV18 is the Better product than the XV20.
1. Efficiency & ROI -
It should be no surprise that the XV20i model is more expensive than the XV18 - Of course it is more expensive. The difference in price ranges from contractor to contractor but likely has an average retail price difference of $2,000. This wouldn't be so bad if the efficiency benefits outweighed the additional cost. Unfortunately this is not the case.
To further emphasize this point it should be emphasized that the efficiency of the XV20i and XV18 is the EXACT SAME IN THE 3 TON MODEL. Therefore you should NEVER BUY an XV20i in the 3 ton. There is no additional benefit other than a different looking cabinet on the condenser. Performance and efficiency would be identical. I don't know about you but I would not pay $2,000 more for a bigger box in my yard.
In the 4 and 5 ton model series the XV20 and XV18 have an average efficiency difference of 1.25 SEER - these energy gains do NOT pay you back over the lifetime of the equipment.
The XV20i cannot be placed in certain spaces because it is limited to the direction it can lay. This is a horizontal coil problem that is prominent in Houston. The XV20 can only lay in one direction. This does not work for every home. I'm confident that Trane will fix this problem down the road but buyer and contractor beware.
The XV20 is Bigger - Most of the high end customers I have prefer to keep their air conditioners hidden and away from line of sight or sound. The XV20i has a bigger footprint than the XV18. On average the difference is about 9 inches when comparing sizes. Sure that may not sound like a lot but when you're comparing to a window or fence height this can make a big difference.
On average the XV18 is the better value buy. Still if your interest is less on your pocket and more focused on "having the best" or saving the rainforest then I would say go spring for the XV20. Still for the XV18 has greater appeal for the average consumer
Give us a Ring if you have more questions about the XV18 and XV20i Model - we'd be happy to assist.