Payne Heat Pump Buying Guide

Note: Before you dive into the specific brand review, we highly recommend you to read our elaborate Heat Pump Buying Guide in advance, there are several crucial steps you need to take before you even start to think about the brand.

As a heating and cooling company, Payne has been in existence since the 1930s. Surprisingly, Payne began as a HVAC supplier but later started manufacturing its own heat pumps and other products. Payne mainly focuses on making heat pumps that are of high quality and are available at extremely low costs. Heat pumps made by Payne are among the most affordable in the market.

What’s the Difference? Carrier VS Payne VS Bryant


Carrier, Bryant and Payne are from the same company with 90%+ parts shared. But the price varies largely. Carrier is the high-end brand like Porsche and usually twice more expensive than Payne. Bryant is the middle-end brand like Audi and usually somewhat more costly that Payne. Payne(like Volkswagen) is the bottom line of Carrier and offer the reliable products with lower price.

Depending on the contractor’s feedback, Carrier/Bryant prefer to outsource parts but assemble the unit in America. However, all the Payne product lines are outsourced to Mexico. What’s more, Payne often offers 5 years(although official website shows 10 years) parts warranty which is not as competitive as Carrier/Bryant.

So is the Payne worth the money?

The answer is yes. According to the contractor’s feedbacks, Payne is still reliable if you can find a qualified contractor. Although Payne has a higher repair rate(less than 1% higher than Carrier), but the half pricing of Carrier is still a good deal. Of course, if you don’t care so much about the price and only focus on high-quality unit and service, Carrier is a good option.


Actaully there is not any exclusive feature for Payne given that it is the low-end product of Carrier. We only list 3 worthful and popular features in heat pump industry.

SEER rating
For any heat to work efficiently, it has to have an energy SEER rating of above 13 which is the standard and above. Payne ensures that their heat pumps have a recommendable SEER rating. The higher the number of the SEER, the less amount of energy the heat pump uses to heat the house. Payne manufactures heat pumps of up to 17 SEER. Such high efficiency ensures that the consumer saves on energy bills and gets value for their money. The Payne PH16NA is a heat pump with a SEER rating f 17.
Single and Two-stage operation
Payne heat pumps are available in both double and single stage operation. The main difference between the two Payne models is the comfort level as well as the prices. Double stage operation is the more preferred model between the two due to high performance level. With a double-stage Payne heat pump, the home owner is able to regulate the temperature within which the hat pump operates in. therefore, the user of the heat pump an adjust the temperatures to work on the desired levels. On the other hand, a single stage operation Payne heat pump can only run at a single level. This kind of heat pumps is not common with users who live in extremely cold climate. A single stage operation heat pump always results in a situation whereby the house is too cold.
Noise level
The amount of noise made by a heat pump during its operation is a key reason to consider when deciding on the model of heat pump to buy. Payne has always taken care of this cause by manufacturing units that are extremely quiet. A homeowner therefore does not have to worry about him or his neighbors being disturbed by the heat pump. For instance, the Payne PH16NA model operates at as low as 71 decibel making it among the quietest units. Additionally, PH15NB Payne model operates at 69 decibel, also a silent heat pump.

Model Analysis

ModelSEERSound LevelCompressorWarranty
PH13NB(discontinued in 2016)1369Single-Stage5-Year

Currently, Payne manufactures 3 types of heat pump models. The heat pumps are offered in both double and single stage operations. Given that the pricing for Payne is obviously lower than competitors, we recommend the highest-end model PH16NA this time.

This model of heat pump is energy star rated with a SEER rating of 16 and a HSPF performance of 8.2. Payne backs up this model with an excellent ten-year parts warranty and compressor warranty. PH16NA is the the only two-stage model for Payne and you can check here for more benefits of two stage.

Contractor Feedback

Having been in the market for a long while, Payne should have more efficient heat pumps in terms of SEER and HSPF rating. The main goal of Payne is to capture the high value consumers at the entry level. In an effort to achieve this goal, Payne keeps their prices as low as possible.

-Brain From Washington Air

Payne is the builder’s grade version of Carrier/Bryant. There are no bells and whistles with payne. It is designed to be inexpensive and sold over the counter to anyone with an EPA certification whereas Bryant is sold for the most part to Bryant authorized dealers. Also I think Payne is still using the older base model cabinets from Carrier/Bryant. It is not a good design for longevity.

-Contractor From HVAC Talk Forum

Payne Heat Pump Prices By Model

In order to offer an objective and equal comparison, we set the baseline below:

Each model includes: 3 ton outdoor condenser, 1300-1400 cfm air handler, programmable heat pump thermostat.

System Only
System Installed
PH16NA 16 SEER$2,070$5,050
PH15NB 15 SEER$1,770$4,670
PH14NB 14 SEER$1,570$4,390

Payne Pump Prices By Size

Before installing your heat pump, a HVAC contractor needs to size your system by “Manual J” calculation. This will take into accounts factors like where you live, how much insulation you have, windows types and directions, and everything else. Then you will get a right sized heat pump unit ranging from 1.5-ton to 5-ton.

Each Unit includes: Payne 15 SEER 3-ton outdoor condenser, 1200-1400 cfm air handler, programmable heat pump thermostat.

Heat Pump Size
Home Size
System Only
System Installed
1.5 ton600-1000 sf$1,120
2 ton1001-1300 sf$1,280
2.5 ton1301-1600 sf$1,370
3 ton1601-1900 sf$1,600
3.5 ton1901-2200 sf$1,790$4,790
4 ton2201-2600 sf$1,920$5,070
5 ton2601-3200 sf$2,320$5,550

How to Get the Best Payne Heat Pump Prices?

  • Firstly, keep in mind that installation quality is always the most important thing for heat pump project. So never sacrifice contractor quality for lower price.
  • Secondly, remember to look up the latest tax credit and rebates.
  • Thirdly, ask for at least 3 bids before you make the decision. You can click here to get 3 free estimates for you local contractor, and this estimate already take rebates and tax credit into consideration and filter unqualified contractors automatically.

At last, once you chose the right contractor, remember to use the tactics from this guide: homeowners tactics when negotiating with HVAC dealer to get the final best price.

Feel free to ask any question by leaving a comment, we will answer any question with actionable tips.

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