Lennox XC25 vs XC20 – Inverter Unit Comparison

Lennox XC25 Air Conditioner VS. Lennox XC20 Air Conditioner

A Side by Side Comparison of Lennox’s Two Variable Speed Inverter Compressor AC Units

If you’ve read any of my other new AC unit comparisons, you know I typically pit brand against brand; like Trane vs. Carrier, Lennox vs. Trane, etc. but since we HVAC nerds most frequently get asked about the differences in models from the same manufacturer…I thought I’d write a few.

I hope you find them helpful in your hunt for the perfect central air conditioner for your home, and if you’re in the Phoenix, AZ area…you’ll consider Magic Touch Mechanical when thinking about a new AC unit install or replacement. If not, please do me a favor and give our blog a plug with a Google or Facebook review so more people can find it!

I chose the Lennox XC25 and the Lennox XC20 for this comparison because these are their two, inverter compressor (aka variable speed compressor) units in their product lineup. Lennox places two units “between” these two machines in their line up (the XC21 and the SL18XC1), neither of which have a variable speed compressor – the XC21 has a 2-stage compressor, and the SL18 is marketed as “the quietest and most efficient single-stage air conditioner you can buy”.

If you don’t know the difference in compressor types, check out our article describing the differences between the three compressor technologies and what that means to you, the end user.





Dave Lennox Signature Series – this is their premium line and the XC25 is in this group

Elite Series – this is their middle line and the XC20 is in this group

Merit Series – this is the Lennox entry level line

In order to earn a spot in the DLSS lineup, the unit has to be the “best in class” when compared to other manufacturers premium line. Most often it is either the most efficient, or quietest on the market – and in some cases, both. Although that typically means anything in the Elite line has a competitor that is more efficient or quieter, the Elite Series is no slouch amongst air conditioners.

That brings us to our first difference, one is their mid-tier variable speed compressor offering and the XC25 is their top-of-the-line offering. If money is no object, conversation over, the XC25 is the most efficient, and one of the quietest air conditioners on the market today. For the rest of us, money is an object so let’s look further at what separates the two.


Which Air Conditioner Has the Highest Customer Satisfaction Rating? 


According to the ratings given by verified owners of these units, both score a 4.6 out of 5-Stars. My company also surveys our clients and install a few hundred of these units annually in the Phoenix, AZ area. Our independent surveys also show almost a dead heat, with the XC25 scoring a perfect 5.0 and the XC 20 a 4.8.


Which Air Conditioner Is the Most Efficient?

Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating (SEER): WINNER – XC25

The Lennox XC25 is the most energy efficient air conditioner on the market (from any manufacturer) at the time this comparison is being written. Dependent on the tonnage, the XC25 has been AHRI Certified as achieving as high as 26 SEER.

The Lennox XC20 achieves an impressive 20 SEER which is still considered ultra-efficient.

To put things in perspective: 14 SEER is considered the minimum efficiency for new equipment (in the Southwest, in other areas 13 SEER is still acceptable). 16 SEER is considered high-efficiency, 18 SEER extremely-efficient, 20-SEER ultra-efficient…so 26 SEER stops just short of being considered an ATM machine!


Which Air Conditioner Has the Best Compressor?


Both the XC25 and the XC20 utilize the same inverter or variable speed compressor, which also happens to be the best of the three types of compressor technology on the market today. The benefits in both improved comfort and efficiency are numerous and explained in the compressor comparison article I mentioned earlier.


Which Air Conditioner is the Quietest?


Unlike SEER where the higher the number the more efficient, when talking decibels, the lower the number the better or quieter the air conditioner.

The XC25 is rated as low as 59dB, whereas the Lennox XC20 is rated as low as 65dB. By way of comparison, a normal conversation between two people standing about 3’ apart is rated between 60-65dB. Let’s just say both of these machines are super quiet compared to most air conditioners out there today, but the XC25 will leave you wondering if it’s even running…seriously!


Which Air Conditioner Has the Best Warranty?

Manufacturer Parts Warranty: WINNER – XC25 (sort of)

Both the XC25 and the XC20 include a 10-Year Parts Warranty when registered (make sure your unit gets registered – when you purchase a new unit from Magic Touch we register it for you). The big difference here is if you sell the home. The parts warranty is registered to the original purchaser, so if you sell your home, the buyers warranty would revert to 5-years parts with the XC20 but not the case with the XC25 which maintains its 10-year warranty out of the box no matter how many times the house changes hands.


Which Air Conditioner Has the Best Price?

Assuming the same installation conditions for either, and not weighing in manufacturer or utility rebates that may or may not be applicable, the Lennox XC20 is on average $1,500-$1,700 less (including tax) than the Lennox XC25.


Lennox XC25 versus Lennox XC21 – THE BOTTOM LINE:              

Again, if you can afford to spring for another 1,500 +/- dollars, no contest: The Lennox XC25 is the Ferrari of air conditioners. However, sticking with car analogies; the XC20 is a Corvette. Either one you wouldn’t mind people seeing you in!




Check out some of the other criteria in the XC25 – XC20 side by side comparison infographic below.



If you live within a 35-mile radius of Mesa, AZ, and are interested in a free no-obligation quote for a new central air and heating system for your home or business, we’d love to earn your trust. Click or call us today at (480) 855-8789

We look forward to exceeding your expectations!