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Lennox XPG20 SunSource Solar Assisted Air Conditioner Review

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Lennox XPG20 Solar Air Conditioner Review

With all the talk about Cap & Trade and Green Energy going on in Washington, one of the more common terms you will soon become familiar with, is Solar Air Conditioning, or Solar Cooling! Lennox, being the innovative manufacturing company it is, decided to get in front of the Green Energy movement and build the first ever Residential Solar Air Assisted Air Conditioner, the SunSource XPG20. This post looks at the pros and cons of the XPG20, as well as the ideal homeowner whom it may benefit.

How Does The Lennox XPG20 Solar Air Conditioner Work?

The first and most important point to make about the SunSource system, is that it is not 100% solar powered. The XPG20 System simply takes the concept of solar energy to a smaller scale, focusing the suns energy to assist the power needed to power one segment of your overall power needs, the heating and cooling system.

From the Lennox XPG20 Product info Flyer:

Patent Pending solar assist technology uses a combination of solar energy and electricity to reduce peak demand on home electric usage.

The combination of the two-stage scroll compressor, combined with the 170 Watt DC Solar Assist Panel results in up-to 8% drop in electricity usage results in one of the most energy efficient home HVAC units you will find on the market today, without going to GeoThermal.

As compared to the same unit with no solar assist, the SunSource unit achieves a higher SEER of 20.00 (compared to 18.2) and EER of 13.7 (12.7 without solar assist)

Keep in mind you are going to need a roof area of your home in constant direct sunlight to gain the true benefits of any solar product.

Lennox XPG20 SunSource Product Specifics

Quiet Operation

SilentComfort fan grille—uses patent-pending, vortex-suppression technology to reduce sound of airflow exiting the unit, providing a quieter environment outside your home
Fully insulated compressor compartment—uses innovative vibration-isolating mounts to muffle operating sound

Home Comfort

Two-stage scroll compressor— runs at low speed most of the time, which means it's less expensive to operate and proivdes more consistent comfort
Designed to work with the Humiditrol whole-home dehumidification system*

Energy Efficiency

Efficiency ratings of up to 18.20** SEER and 9.70** HSPF—can save you hundreds of dollars a year, compared to a standard heat pump
Single solar panel—provides freely available renewable energy to offset the electric usage of the heating and cooling system
ENERGY STAR® qualified—meets or exceeds EPA guidelines for energy efficiency
This product qualifies for a tax credit under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.***

Environmentally Responsible

The industry's first solar-assisted central heat pump— uses a combination of solar energy and electricity to reduce home electric usage
Chlorine-free R410A refrigerant—provides exceptional comfort without exacting a costly environmental toll

Reliable Performance

Quality you can trust— constructed of heavy-gauge, pre-painted steel and tested in the most extreme environments to ensure maximum durability
Lennox® System Operations Monitor—first onboard cooling system diagnostics in the industry—continuously monitors system performance and assures reliable operation and fast troubleshooting
10-Year Limited Warranty on compressor and all remaining covered components, excludes solar panel

Information taken from the Lennox XPG Sunsource Product Page

Cost of a Lennox XPG20 SunSource System

At this point, it truly starts to get very tricky! With only an 8% reduction in energy usage, you may want to consider the upfront costs versus the overall savings. With the extra Solar panel and wiring requirements, installation of the SunSource system is going to be considerably higher than a standard installation.

The XPG unit itself is going to run you in the range of $7500-$12,000 (depending on availability, contractor premiums, and where you live) for a 3-ton system, installed. Once you add in the extra costs of the solar assist panel and the added need for the install of those items, you can easily spend an extra $2500-$5000 on the total job.

If You have gotten quotes, please provide further information below. If you want to find a Lennox Approved Contractor to get a price quote, head to the Lennox Dealer locator and search today.

32 Comments »

  • rob said:

    Yet another company charging a ridiculous price for us to go green. Upwards of $15,000 for the unit plus install and maybe more….crazy. Just like Hallowell Internationals heat pump that has proved out to be nothing short of a disaster. How would any consumer ever get that money back, and their claim to be hundreds of dollars cheaper to run then your average heat pump….again a trumped up claim that will prove to be false. Lennox stick to building over priced furnaces. Yours truly from the bent over consumer……….

  • Jessica Bailey said:

    hopefully, we would be shifting more and more towards green energy in the future.-,:

  • Mr. Chim said:

    Quote: $10,000 w/ solar parts, but w/out solar installation (DIY homeowner).

  • Thom Arceneaux said:

    If your electric bill is $200 per month and lets say the A/C portion is 50% of that, then your spending approximately $100 per month on A/C. If this system saves you 8%, then you’re saving $8.00 per month or approximately $100 per year. If the premium is the low range of the estimate of $2500 for installation of this new system, it will take you 25 years to recoup your investment. Not a very good ROI if you ask me. Of course, we hope that some people buy these things early in their development so it will pay for the R&D and maybe it will get cheaper in the future.

    Nice job Lennox for coming up with a novel concept. Good luck.

  • Mike said:

    Wow…too much. Would take decades to recover the cost through utility bill savings.

  • Philippine Lotto Result ` said:

    i think government funding should be diverted on the research of Green Energy and renewable power sources-;;

  • Egg Donor : said:

    green energy is of course very important that is why we have to concentrate on using hydrogen and alternative energy sources~’-

  • Dan said:

    This is really marketing foolishness. Lennnox calls this the “Lennox Sunsource Home Energy System”… what greenwashing! a single 170 watt panel providing a pittance of the total operating load of the system is nothing more than a marketing ploy, and a very poor deal for the buyer.

    This is akin to an article I saw about a “Solar Powered Yacht” which had (2) 190 watt solar panels on its roof which powered a few accessories while the main engines were (2) 1500 HP Diesels!! (Thats 2,250,000 Watts @745 Watts=1hp!!!)

    If Lennox wanted to actually try to be innovative they could have developed a small modular solar powered Absorption heat pump based system….

  • Mary Farinella said:

    Happy with my Trane XV 95 2 Stage Gas Furnace. Very unhappy with the customer service received from contractor, Home Comfort Experts of South Bend, IN. my new furnace was installed in November 2009, have had problems with their customer service for the last year.

    1. The installation included a new cold air return which was not installed. Installed a new one my due to whistling noise when blower was running. Asked for a for a refunded with invoice for for new grill, received refund check after one year.

    2. Installation included duct cleaning before new furnace was turned on, duct cleaning was done next day after furnace was installed and running.

    3.Have a slab home, hole was left in the ceiling where coils and tubing extend into attic to connect with central air. This was brought to my attention from AEP on services call. They did come out and repair 6 months after installation.

    4.First year service check included free filters, was given 1 filter, furnace requires 2.

  • AZACDOC said:

    Let’s not forget to factor in repairs over the 10 year part warranty. Particulary if a compressor dies, which is not uncommon in the 2 speeds at all.

    We have always said simple is better. We’re contractors and run into odd units of many types. Our competitors struggle to repair these things and it costs the owners a lot to get them repaired.

    More often than not, the inexperienced techs cause bigger problems than were there to begin with. And occasionally, unworthy of repairing because of the incredibly high repair parts cost and incredibly low availability of the parts.

    When it’s cooking @ 110 deg here, people don’t want to wait.

  • Mike said:

    I got a quote last fall on a Lennox XP17 4 ton solar system (with 16 solar panels instead of 1 like above). It would run me about 40K for a full install. That included new ducts (mine were falling apart) and everything inside. Any extra power would be dumped into the power grid, and my calculations showed I would actually earn $$ from my utility company during fall and spring when I usually do not run heat or A/C. (Oh, and I live in Texas, so lots of sun)

    There were a few rebates I would be available for. First, an income tax credit of 30% (no limit for green tech) for the entire system install. Also, I could get up to 7500 from my electric provider because they could take credit for my solar power generation. In all, the system would cost me about 19K once I recieved the rebates and discounts.

    While doing more research, I found that the electric company rebate already paid out its max for the year, so I decided to buy the new A/C (which I really needed) and get the solar panels later (income tax rebate for green expires 2016).

  • Neil said:

    Lennox is just trying to keep ahead in the market.
    Can’t fault them for that.

    —BUT—
    If the primary motivation for the consumer is reducing greenhouse gasses to slow global warming then I’m afraid there’s some very bad news.

    http://www.greatglobalwarmingswindle.co.uk/

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YtevF4B4RtQ

    Yours truly from a former “we must do something before it’s too late” global warming believer.

  • yan said:

    On the french canadian side……….

    L’information sera prise et considèré pour mon projet de maisons ultra-performante Y3 est la compagnie.
    Habitant la couronne laurentienne et étant tech dans ce domaine depuis plus de 20 ans .
    Je crois que de s’assurer que le compresseur fonctionne à basse-vitesse et d’avoir plus de panneau et une bonne réserve de batteries , peut selon moi réduire les coûts de chauffage à quelques dollars.
    Les maisons seront hyper-isolées et solaires passives couplées à des dalles d’absortions , réservoirs isolés . Sans compter l’eau de pluie.
    Toute ma maison sera alimentée avec un éclairage de type DEL.
    La coupe de bois alimentera un foyer Epa ultra-performant pour nos froides soirées hivernales.
    Mon premier premier projet est en construction à Ste-anne-des-lacs sur la rue des Cardinaux.

  • Bmore Green LLC said:

    I install solar Bmore Green Why mot use a 245w panel? This is a joke right? 8% it is not worth that it would be cheaper to just get a 2kW solar system and save all around on your electric. You would save way more for 12k and the tax credits would end up cheaper then this an or get a Solar Hotwater system then you will save at least the price to heat your water and floors and save much more . Then the AC would really matter.

  • JOHHNY WALKER said:

    LENNOX SHOULD BE IN THE VACUUM BUSINESS THEY SUCK BIG TIME On a cold cloudy day or night what is more practicial Solar or Geo- thermal ? a no brainer answer If a consumer needs to update the HVAC system to a top notch level Solar does not fit the plan Lennox engineers were asleep at the wheel on this one

  • Paulaner said:

    Hello,

    First, we need to once again look at the fact that the system is 30% less with current tax credits. This would also include the 30% discount on the air conditioner (where normally air conditioners don’t qualify for the 30% tax credit). Next, Lennox system generally saves 40-50% of that $100 mentioned above (not 8%).

    Regarding the guy that pasted those links – supposedly debunking climate change, the world-wide scientific consensus is that the climate is warming, and fossil fuels and other human activities are to blame. Another point is that if you believe what “climate gate” has to say, then you were already one of those people in the extreme minority viewpoint that anthropomorphic climate change isn’t a scientific fact. In other words, a climate change denier would say, “see climate gate proves the science is bunk”; yet somehow the gigantic volume of nearly universally agreed up evidence is ignored. Sociologist call this phenomenon “extreme information bias.”

  • Sergio Ortega said:

    Just Paint/ Seal your Roof White or get light color shingles and you get Aprox 20% cooling by reflecting the suns energy for a few hundred dollars. if you want a more profesional fix much cheaper than a 15k a/c go wit metal roof. This is why in arizona the roof of most homes are white.

  • don anglin said:

    i checked for 3 estimates for lennox and sears was on the phone with a
    kenmore before i turned loose of the return key. (almost) i keep reading and found that the ROI was crap and as i’m not good for 25 more years, it won’t pay me to upgrade…as i’m already retired the
    so called “tax credits” are no good to me either.. O well, move on
    to another teaser commercial to suck me into a deal that isn’t…

  • JoAnn said:

    Paulaner,Our ancient ancestors had a widely held belief that the earth was flat. Just because something is widely believed, doesn’t make it true. You may have as much extreme information bias as the guy whose post you were commenting on.

  • paul said:

    much cheaper DIY solar…. http://www.sunelec.com

    get a 7kw system after tax credit for around $8,000 and call it a day.

  • JUAN SOLANO said:

    WANT TO KNOW PRICE OF YOUR PRODUCT TO BE DISTRIBUTOR IN MY COUNTRY HONDURAS

  • FrankyD. said:

    I bought Lennox 17 SEER A/C/Gas Furnace last year to replace a 30-year old lennox system. Total cost installed was 6k. I saw 40% savings in electric bill and new furnace used much less natural gas to heat (didn’t calculate % but it was significant). I also got 1,500 tax credit. It was well worth it plus did much better job heating and cooling the home.

    I recently bought new home and want new Lennox again and thinking about solar ready 21 SEER. The question is how much more savings will you get by making such a unit solar assited and how much MORE will adding the solar system cost? Does it just reduce power consumed by the A/C unit by the new lennox unit by 8%? What about when the panels are dumping the power back into the grid while the system is off? What are those estimated savings? Also, does the entire system get the 30% tax credit or just the SunSource solar portion. This would make a huge difference in cost. Solarvoltaic systems qualify for 30% but qualifying A/C furnaces I think only get $500 tax credit this year. Also, does the system have a grid tie in inverter? Saw SunSource demo on youtube and it says that while system off you are putting the power back into the grid. In order to tie in where I am (Texas U.S.A.), I have to meet ONCOR’s specifications which are fairly stringent. For example, there must be a shut-off switch installed exactly like they say. This sort of costly installation requirements are not mentioned anywhere. My utility delivery service ONCOR also have incentive program where they will pay you $2.00 per watt for solar systems installed. But will have to be at least 1kw system, two 90 watt panels wont qualify.

    So there are a lot of variables that are at play. I am hopeful that I will be able to use tax credits and incintives to make it economically feasible to get new 21 SEER Lennox plus SunSource System that will pay for itself within 5-10 years.

    Also on the climate change issue; no doubt we are experiencing climate change. However, the Earth always is experiencing climate changes (ice ages, etc…) The question is are the current climate changes (droughts, floods, stronger storms, etc…) caused by increased levels of man-made CO2? I think it is important to look at the overall plan of those who pushes the idea of “global warming” on the world with the same ferverent agression as a prosecutor during the Spanish Inquisition. “What,.. you don’t belive in global warming!!?? You must be a terrorist!!” Fact: the leading “global warming” scientists were exposed for fabricating the data upon which their green religious cult is based. Fact: These scientists have always been funded by the globalist kingpins who are hell bent on absolute control over humanity. Hmmm…let’s make the entire world pay “carbon taxes” to a private central bank….lets say that CO2 is a “toxic pollutant”, so even the air you breath can be taxed. So I don’t buy anything that is being pushed on me by globalist eugenicists who want to control humanity. They tell me I should use less, I should learn to live with a lower standard of living, while these blood sucking vampires fly around on their multimillion dollar private jets, float around on thier huge yaughts worth hudreds of millions, and have dozens of palaces each all over the world. Their carbon footprints are the largest of any other humans, yet they want to tax you on your “carbon footprint” and have you pay those taxes to them through their privately owned shares of international banks. Wake up people!

    You want to do something good for the environment? How about lets do something to keep all that plastic out of our oceans? How about we prevent those monsters at ConAgri and Monsanto from destroying mother nature through genetically engineered crops? Notice all the bees dying in the U.S.? Did you know that these crops produce their own herbicides/pesticides? Did you know that in just a few generations in rats that eat this stuff it causes sterility? Did you know that you are eating it too?

    How’s that for a post about an air conditioner?

  • doggone said:

    Wow…..

    I have tested at 100F not the SEER 82F those low cost 9.8 EER Window AC units you see on sale at Target and Kmart for 8,000 BTU $100.

    Now read this very slowly it will blow you mind not your wallet!

    I use a simple evaporative method ( not a water spray) to precool the air intake to both the condenser coils and evaporato coils.

    I lower the cooled air discharge to the room to about 45F even on a 98F 10%RH Arizona day

    So on a hot 98F day I lower the air intake to about 68F for both the condenser and the evaporator.

    This 8,000 BTu ( rated ) unit draw just 660 watts since the air is lowered to 45F not the typical 55F I guess we ADDED 1,000 TO 1,500 MORE but COOLIONG.

    AY 8,000 BTU WE GET A 12.3 EERr AT 9500 btu WE GET A eer OF 14.6

    TO PUT AMOTHER WAY 2 WINDOW AC UNITS BOTH 9.8 RATED EER TESTED SIDe BY SIDE

    8,000 BTU UNIT WITH NO PRECOOLLING DRAWS 840 watts

    10,000 BTU UNIT WITH PRECOOLING DRAWS 860 wATTS AND RECALL WE ARE REALLY GETTING ANOTHER 1,000 btu OR SO AS THE 10,000 btu UNIT DISHARGFES 42F AIR.

    I can provide for spot or zone cooling just to the rooms you are in on just 1,000 to 1,200 watts .

    We use 4 to 5 units located throughout a home and we remote mount the AC unit outside of the windows so from the inside you can not see or hear the AC units.

    The best part is those fools at THE Department of Energy never cared to learn more.

    I plan to sell plans on Ebay.

    For way under $1,000 you can provide 3 to 5 tons of Cooling at close to a 17 SEER. It should be easy to run thsi on solar since at any one time you just cool the zone you are in no more whole home cooling.

  • Tim said:

    Just had one installed. I live in a sunny dry area country with lots of heat. Was running $600 a month for 6 months for an all electric 1700 sqft home. We rarely run heat/ac for the other 6 months with about 42% reduction in solar output between summer and winter. I have access to scientific equipment to measure environmental properties. I will be publishing results in about a year. If everything advertised is correct, my electric savings will pay off the unit in 7 years, possibly less.

  • Shannon said:

    My home came with a LENNOX furnace.. It has one of those “cut to fit” filters, a filthy dirty experience, I hate going near that thing. That is Lennox Technology. I was told the reason you see ole Mr Lennox grinnig at you on the tv commercials is because he is laughing at you for buying that junk.
    The time is not right for solar assist though some brave souls are attempting to put in solar for house electric.. a bit costly. 8% savings is not much and YOU MUST KEEP IN MIND, as I was told, Air con or Heat Pumps are manufactured to last 10 to 15 years before they should be replaced. If this is so, there is no payback for this system… You grinning again Mr Lennox?? You will actually be in the hole. They don’t talk much about the solar part but as one person said if he can connect to the house power, anything that can get the electric bill down ( ComEd just raised the cost of electricity by 19% ) is good and if you can eliminate the Power provider, even better… We need to get a move on because they arent waisting any time raising the cost of power to the consumer….
    The solar part of this system, though small, I like, esp if I can add more panels, the AC equip part, I don’t like the name brand or the laughing boy in the commercials…..

  • Gwest said:

    I found this review and was truly hoping to see much better news about this product. I’ve been seeing the advertisements for about year or so now and am very disappointed to know that it still isn’t completely solar powered…and extremely expensive!

    I really gravitate to alternative forms of energy and greener ways of doing things, and have plans to upgrade my house with solar. I was so happy to see this product and thought the technology behind it was much farther along than for it to still have to be dependent on electricity.

    I’ll never look at another ad by Lennox featuring this product the same way and, unless they lower the price and come up with some great incentives, I will tell everyone I know how ridiculous it would be to even think about buying one when you really run the numbers on it. Just doesn’t make sense!

  • Eddie said:

    Just keep the hvac unit you have and buy a few solar panels with a micro grid tie inverter. It will basically accomplish the same thing at roughly 1/10 the cost. That’s what I did and it works great!

  • Jayson said:

    I question the premise that all these calculations are based on. Namely, the article says the Sun Source unit gets you an 8% drop in electric usage. Is that with one solar panel? What if you have two solar panels, does that double it to 16%? What if I have 5 solar panels? Surely more panels will increase my rate of return. So how many panels do I need to have this unit pay for itself in 10 years? Lennox, why don’t you come out with those stats?

    Another thing that doesn’t make sense. It says 8%, but then talks about excess electricity that’s produced and not used getting dumped back into the electrical grid. So wouldn’t that be 100%? Isn’t that saying that this system is powering all the electricity you need in your house and not only that, you’ve got extra, so we’re giving it back to the utility company?

    What am I missing here, folks?

  • Stephen said:

    Your best bet is to install a REAL solar PV array on a trackable mounting and tie it to the grid. The solar will benefit the bottom line year-round, regardless of AC usage. Buy an efficient AC unit and keep the solar stuff separate. With tax credits and rebates, decreasing solar panel prices and the ability to roll the cost of a solar PV system into equity or new home loans, solar is becoming a more viable choice. The cost can be kept down by not including a battery bank, which can be expensive and require regular maintenance. Just go with the PV panels (and associated electroncs) and you’re good to go. You can even start small and gradually expand.
    The AC unit is just another household appliance (albeit an energy hog) that is part of your total home electrical consumption. Think about power consumption when choosing an AC unit and NOT power generation.

  • Barry said:

    I had Lennox’s top line 5 ton A/C system installed last year along with a new furnace and ducting through Costco. The whole thing cost me $16K. I wanted the solar ready unit because the concept of running the A/C on solar intrigued me. So 2 months ago I asked the Lennox dealer that installed the system to give me a quote on the solar installation. The quote was for $42,000. Either they misplaced the decimal point or they think I am crazy. I have a tile roof on my house and the contractor wanted to rip off the tiles and then hot mop the roof. Needless to say I am not that crazy. I think that solar is the biggest waste of money that there is. Can you imagine what the payback time would be. Maybe a lifetime.

  • feed in tariff washington state said:

    The solar energy is free and could also free you from monthly electric bills too.
    If you also install solar panels, you could have the best economic option right after the initial cost for
    the set-up. The cheaper option is solar heating panels which just heat
    water.

  • Gustov said:

    Best bang for my buck was to mist the condenser coil with filtered tap water when it was operational. All plumbed from my city water supply. Used an amp meter to determine the best rate of water flow at high outisde temperatures. Integrated a PLC to shut off the water on cooler days. Have not had any scaling problems due to filtration. Hard to argue with the old but simple swamp cooler technology.

    Retired ME

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