Trane's ComfortLink Smart Thermostat - dummies

Trane’s ComfortLink Smart Thermostat

By Dwight Spivey

Trane is another hardware manufacturer that is offering its own version of a smart thermostat, the ComfortLink II XL950. Trane’s ComfortLink system touts itself as not just a thermostat, but an “energy command center.”

[Credit: Image courtesy of Trane.]
Credit: Image courtesy of Trane.

This is not a slam of the ComfortLink system to say that it does pretty much what the Lennox iComfort does — the difference being (of course) that it’s built primarily for Trane by Trane. If you already have Trane equipment and are pleased with it, it makes sense to stay with a brand you’re familiar with. Having said that, the ComfortLink works with any HVAC brand.

Third-party apps and self-installation blues

As with other devices of its kind, there’s an app for the ComfortLink. However, this app is developed by Nexia, which is a home automation company that develops apps for several other companies. The Nexia Home Intelligence app can handle all sorts of home automation tasks, and controlling your Trane smart thermostat is one of them.

[Credit: Image courtesy of Nexia Home Intelligence.]
Credit: Image courtesy of Nexia Home Intelligence.

It’s a bit off-putting to have one company’s app control another company’s thermostat. If you’re someone who’s used to using Nexia’s app for controlling home automation devices, then this will probably not be a deal breaker for you, but if you aren’t familiar with Nexia, this might be a strong factor when considering the Trane ComfortLink thermostat for your home’s heating and cooling needs.

Trane also wants installation of your ComfortLink system to be performed by a dealer only. The company wants this work for its dealers, but it seems there should be a user-installable option to go along with the dealer-installable one.

ComfortLink zoning

One big plus for the ComfortLink system is the inclusion of zoning. Like Lennox, Trane provides all the hardware for a system, ensuring that everything works together seamlessly.

Zoning allows your Trane HVAC system to direct heating and cooling to ­specific rooms in specific amounts, effectively reducing your energy costs over the long haul. Like the Lennox zoning features, dampers inside your air ducts open and close as much or little as needed, depending on what temps are set for individual zones.