Trane XV18 vs. Lennox XP20 Heat Pump

A Side by Side Comparison of Trane XV18 and Lennox XP20

Don’t let the numbers in the model name fool you. The Trane XV18 and Lennox XP20 Heat Pump Condensers are more of a fair fight than the manufacturers’ numbering system might suggest.

Both are their respective companies “one model down” variable speed heat pump. Trane manufactures the XV20i variable speed heat pump which is their premier unit and a level up in the hierarchy than the XV18. Lennox manufactures the XP25 which is their top-tier unit and a step above the XP20.

Now that we’ve established that this is going to be a clean match and no shots below the belt will be allowed…let’s get ready to rumble!

Which is More Efficient Trane XV18 or Lennox XP20?

I figured I’d start here since it explains the difference in the model names, but I definitely recommend you read on and not predetermine which is the better heat pump based on efficiency alone.

SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating) ranges in each model family based on the capacity (tonnage) of the unit, so the manufacturers all use the words “up to” based on the highest efficiency in the model family. In this case:

  • Lennox XP20 is rated up to 20 SEER


  • Trane XV18 is rated up to 18 SEER

          WINNER: Lennox XP20


Depending on the tonnage required for your application, the Lennox can be as much as 2 SEER higher than its Trane counterpart.

Think about SEER the same way you do miles per gallon – the higher the number the more efficient it runs. The annual savings between an 18 SEER and a 20 SEER is +/- 4%. Not huge but hey, four percent give or take more dollars in your pocket over the course of 15 years or so is nothing to sneeze at.

HSPF (Heating Season Performance Factor) ranges in each model family the same way SEER does. In this case:

  • Lennox XP20 is rated up to 10 HSPF


  • Trane XV18 is rated up to 10 HSPF

          WINNER: Tie


Think about HSPF the winter heating season equivalent of SEER. Not as important to us here in the Phoenix area as it might be to someone in say Flagstaff, AZ but nonetheless this is a product shootout and I know my readers live all over the world – I see the analytics reports.

ROUND 1: Lennox Wins! Albeit by a thin margin.




Which is Quieter Trane XV18 or Lennox XP20?

Let’s talk turkey here for a moment. Both of these units are extremely quiet, but one is a respectable amount quieter. Neither can be accused of disturbing the peace, and my company, Magic Touch Mechanical, has installed many, many of each to many happy end users.

Again, this is a fight so – DING, DING:


  • Lennox XP20 is rated as low as 65dB (decibels)
  • Trane XV18 is rated as low as 54db

          WINNER: Trane XV18


Unfortunately for my many friends at the Lennox Company, and as my friends at the Trane Company already know, the higher number is a negative thing in this case. The lower the decibel rating, the quieter the unit is. Furthermore, 11dB quieter is exponentially quieter.


ROUND 2: Trane Wins! Trane had Lennox against the ropes in this round, but both fighters landed a few good ones so far – it’s anyone’s fight still.



Which Heat Pump has a Better Compressor Trane XV18 or Lennox XP20?


Of the three types of compressors on the market; variable speed, two-stage, and single stage – variable speed is the best technology. I’m not just talking about compressor efficiency, I’m talking about the comfort factor. Both manufactures advertise their compressors as being able to maintain the set temperature to within ½ degree – and neither are stretching the truth, that’s been our experience with both products.

Both of these products have a variable speed compressor and both have the reputation of being reliable compressors. The Lennox unit uses a Copeland Scroll compressor – a time tested champion. The Trane unit uses their own Climatuff Compressor. Trane boasts about their Climatuff Compressor and the sheer amount of abuse it can take and continue running – few service technicians would challenge that, because it’s a fact.

Both being variable speed does not make them equal and there will be a very clear winner in round three, I promise!


  • The Lennox compressor can ramp down and operate at an impressive 35% of its total capacity. It can ramp down its speed in 1% increments, 65 times. In other words, it has 65 speeds. This is how these compressors save energy and provide very little temperature fluctuation – they are constantly changing to perfectly match conditions.

Lennox Summary: 65 Speeds, Capacity Operating Range Between 35% – 100%


  • The Trane compressor can ramp down to an even more impressive 25% of its total capacity. Where it really stands out however is it can ramp down its speed in 0.10% increments, 750 times. In other words, it has a whopping 750 speeds!

Trane Summary: 750 Speeds, Capacity Operating Range Between 25% – 100%


              WINNER: Trane XV18

I own several Lennox heat pumps and several Trane heat pumps between my three properties and think both make great products…but Lennox just got served! The Trane compressor blows away the Lennox in sheer specs when comparing compressors.


ROUND 3: Trane Wins! Lennox came out swinging but Trane landed body blow after body blow and followed up with an uppercut that had Lennox stumbling!




Which Heat Pump has a Better Factory Warranty Trane XV18 or Lennox XP20?

When purchased (and registered*) as a matched complete system (indoor air handler & outdoor condenser) both manufacturers offer a 10-year limited warranty on functional parts, coils and compressor.

But wait, Trane just stepped in with a 1-2 combination and hit Lennox square in the temple by upping the compressor warranty to 12-years on all XV Models!

  • Lennox XP20 Limited Warranty: 10-Years Compressor, Coils, and Parts
  • Trane XV18 Limited Warranty: 12-Years Compressor, 10-Years Coils and Parts

          WINNER: Trane XV18

*If unregistered the factory warranty reverts to 5-years instead of 10 with both Trane and Lennox. At Magic Touch Mechanical, we register the products for all of our customers so there’s no risk of finding out down the road they’re not covered. BUT, we’ve heard many stories of this happening to people because the installing company failed to register the product. Protect yourself and make sure you are working with the right company!


ROUND 4: Trane Wins! Both fighters showed good footwork this round and both landed solid punches but that combo at the end with 2-more year’s compressor warranty from Trane was enough to send Lennox back to their corner in a little worse shape.



Full Disclosure: Magic Touch Mechanical Sells Many Brands Including Both Trane and Lennox


Whenever I write one of these air conditioner comparison articles I like to state for the record that I’m completely unbiased. I like to make that especially clear when it is a shootout between two manufacturers!

So many times, when I read product comparisons written by air conditioning contractors I find they are biased towards the brand they represent. My company sells millions of dollars of both Trane AND Lennox every year and have been for a long time – and I personally own several of both brands. On top of that we represent several other manufacturers including; Goodman, Mitsubishi, First Company, and the occasional Day & Night (mostly for mobile homes).

Frankly I don’t care if my clients choose a Lennox, Trane, or anything else we sell as long as they choose Magic Touch!

If you read any of my other Trane vs. Lennox air conditioner comparisons, you’ll see sometimes Trane takes the win, other times Lennox does, it really boils down to the model. In my article comparing the Lennox XC25 vs. Trane XV20i the opposite brand won then the one I’m about to announce as the winner in this one.

Disclosures out of the way…

I’m calling this fight. Lennox is getting their butt kicked! Lennox’s middleweight variable speed air conditioner may have had the edge in round 1 with the higher SEER rating, but in round 2 and thereafter Trane’s middleweight just kept coming at Lennox with a quieter unit, better compressor technology, and a better warranty.

And for the part you’ve all been waiting for…


What is the Trane XV18 price vs. the Lennox XP20 price?


Interestingly enough this one is too close to call. When comparing four different tonnages there was only about $250 price difference between the two units. Two of them Trane had Lennox beat by about $250 and the other two Lennox had Trane beat by about the same.

So, it really boils down to which size you need for your home to know (the size you need is determined by doing an ACCA Manual J, aka load calculation), but $250 isn’t a large enough amount to change my decision in this case anyway.


TRANE WINS! Trane wins by TKO in the 4th