Best Heat Pump by Brands, Efficiency & Types in 2022

The best heat pump brands include common names like Trane, American Standard, Carrier, Bryant, Payne, Armstrong Air, Lennox and a few others. Those are the first tier in terms of quality. There is a second tier worth considering when buying a heat pump. It includes well-known brands like Rheem, Heil and Amana.

If that’s what you came for, then there is the short answer. But we hope you’ll stick around to dig into the wealth of information below about the top heat pump brands, heat pump sizing, energy efficiency, cost and more useful heat pump information.

See the Navigation to select topics of interest, or simply read through the next 4000 to 5000 words of great info on the best heat pump brands.

We’re going to cover the specification basis of heat pump, but if you’re in a hurry, you can just jump to the section of the best heat pump brands here:

Heat Pump Types

This page is about the best brands of:

Standard heat pumps, the most common type, are split system heat pumps with a condensing unit outside and an air handler inside.

Dual fuel heat pumps with a condensing unit outside and an oil or gas furnace inside. The majority of the heat pumps from all major brands can be used as dual fuel heat pumps. In reality, even in cold climates, dual fuel heat pumps are not commonly used.

Package unit heat pumps with all the equipment outside in one large cabinet – it might be a heat pump and air handler, which is most common, or a dual fuel package heat pump with a heat pump and furnace.

Cold climate heat pumps are standard split system heat pumps that can work effectively even when outside temperatures are below freezing – the Energy Star acronym for these is ccASHP, for cold climate air source heat pump.

Info Tip? Most cold climate heat pumps for cold weather are mini split heat pumps. Standard split system heat pumps with super-high efficiency can make the list of ccASHPs.

Before discussing the top heat pump brands, here are the details of sizing a heat pump, heat pump energy efficiency and energy cost savings for more efficient heat pumps. 

What Size Heat Pump Do I Need?

Here is a quick-glance table on heat pump size and the cooling and heating square footage each one can be expected.

CapacityBtu SizeCooling Square FootHeating Square Foot
1.5 Ton18,000 Btu900 sq ft600 sq ft
2 Ton24,000 Btu1,200 sq ft800 sq ft
2.5 Ton30,000 Btu1,500 sq ft1,000 sq ft
3 Ton36,000 Btu1,800 sq ft1,200 sq ft
3.5 Ton42,000 Btu2,100 sq ft1,400 sq ft
4 Ton48,000 Btu2,400 sq ft1,600 sq ft
5 Ton60,000 Btu3,000 sq ft2,000 sq ft

Here are a couple of examples showing how to use the chart:

What’s the coverage of a 3 ton heat pump?

1,200 square feet for heating and 1,800 square feet for cooling. Find 3 Ton in the Capacity column. You’ll see that a 3 ton heat pump is the equivalent of 36,000 BTU.

What size heat pump for 2000 square feet house?

Find 2000 sq ft in the Heating Square Foot column, and you’ll see that a 5 ton, 60,000 BTU heat pump will be needed for heating. In the Cooling Square Foot column, 2,000 sq ft falls between the 3 ton and 3.5 ton units.

So, most installers would suggest the 5 ton unit for a cold climate and the 3.5 ton heat pump for a milder climate.

Do you want even more precise heat pump sizing? Check out the Pick HVAC Heat Pump Sizing Calculator!

The Heat Pump Size Calculator considers climate, house size, insulation condition and sun exposure on your home to give the most accurate heat pump sizing for our home.

Heat pump sizing is hugely important when considering your purchase. Perhaps it goes without saying, but bad things happen when your heat pump is:

Too large – You’re wasting energy, and a heat pump that is too big runs on short cycles, which can damage the system and cause early mechanical failure. Plus, in AC mode, a heat pump that’s too big doesn’t dehumidify the air effectively.

Too small – You’ll be chilly on the coldest winter days, because the heat pump won’t keep up. Or it will run its backup 5kW to 20kW heat strip, and those things use a lot more electricity than the heat pump. Your energy costs will rise. And on the hottest and/or most humid days, your house will be uncomfortably warm and sticky.

These issues are easily avoided with proper heat pump sizing – so find the answer to what size heat pump do I need by using the table above or the heat pump size calculator for expert-level accuracy. 

Heat Pump Energy Efficiency

Heat pump efficiency ranges from 13 SEER to 24+ SEER for AC and from about 8.0 HSPF to 13.0 HSPF for heating. That’s quite a range – a 13 SEER unit is just 55% as efficient as a 24+ SEER unit.

Is it worth it to buy a more efficient heat pump? That’s a question we get asked frequently.

Worth it – meaning, will you save energy costs with a more efficient heat pump. Of course, you will!

The real question: But will the savings each month cover the higher cost of the more efficient heat pump – and if so, how long will it take to “pay you back” through lower energy costs? That’s called the “payback period” in the industry.

Did you know? Package unit heat pumps are not as efficient as split system heat pumps. Top SEER for a package heat pump is around 16. The best HSPF ratings are between 8.0 and 8.5.

Package unit heat pumps are also called packaged heat pumps.

Annual Cooling Cost and Savings by SEER

Let’s look at air conditioning SEER first with an explanation of how to use it. Then, we’ll look at Annual Heating Cost and Savings by HSPF.

The Table below has 3 columns.

Column 1: SEER Rating of the heat pump (or air conditioner)

Column 2: Annual Electricity Cost – This column is based on the US average of 1320 cooling hours and the US electric rate average or 13.85 cents per kW hour (kWh).

We’ll suggest some adjustments below based on your climate and electric rates.

Column 3: Cost Savings – compared with the 13 SEER unit.

There’s an Annual Heating Cost and Savings by HSPF Table below showing heat pump cost comparisons between units of common SEER efficiencies. Be sure to see it if you live in a cold climate and heating is a big expense for you throughout the year.

Annual Cooling Cost and Savings by SEER

SEER RatingAnnual Electricity CostCost Saving
(Compare With 13 SEER)
13 SEER$5060%
14 SEER$4707%
15 SEER$43913%
16 SEER$41119%
17 SEER$38724%
18 SEER$36628%
19 SEER$34632%
20 SEER$32935%
21 SEER$31338%
22 SEER$29941%
23 SEER$14343%
24 SEER$13746%
28 SEER$11854%

* Electricity cost is based on 3 Ton Heat Pump Unit, Electric Rate: 13.85 ¢/kWh, Cooling Hours: 1320 hrs/yr.

What are the cost savings of a 16 SEER AC or heat pump?

Answer: Find 16 SEER in the SEER Rating column. You’ll see the annual electricity cost is $411 for an average size heat pump and climate. And you’ll notice that represents a 19% cost savings vs a 13 SEER heat pump. You can do the math, 506 – 411 = 95 to see the annual savings would be $95 with the more efficient unit.

Is it worth it to buy a more efficient heat pump?

In warm climates where the air conditioning runs much of the year, then yes, it makes sense to spend more on a high-efficiency heat pump. We recommend a heat pump of at least 16 SEER, but 18 SEER or even 20 SEER in very hot climates might be worth it.

In mild climates where you don’t use a lot of AC, then no, for air conditioning purposes, it isn’t worth spending more on an efficient heat pump.

However, if you’re using the heat pump for heating too, then consider the recommendations of the heat pump contractor you talk with. In a very cold climate, they will have recommendations for a cold climate heat pump for cold weather - or they might recommend a gas furnace instead. And a dual fuel heat pump is a third option.

Consider getting estimates from 2-4 contractors in your area that understand they are competing for your business. Then compare the estimates to determine the best combination of price and efficiency for your needs.

The bottom line: The more extreme your weather is, the more it makes sense to choose a very efficient heat pump for heating or air conditioning.

Payback Period

Use our Annual Cooling Cost and Saving by SEER Table to figure your annual savings with a higher SEER. Then, divide the higher cost of the more efficient unit by the cost savings.

This will tell you how many years it will take to recoup your higher equipment costs.

Example:

An 18 SEER heat pump costs $900 more than a 14 SEER heat pump. How long is the payback period?

Answer: According to the Table, the 18 SEER heat pump will save you 21% (28% - 7% compared to a 13 SEER unit). In dollars, subtract the Annual Electricity Cost for an 18 SEER unit, which is $366, from the Annual Cost for a 14 SEER unit, which is $470. You’ll save $470-$366, or $104 per year.

Now, divide the $900 higher cost by $104 per year, and you’ll see that the $900 will be paid back in 8.7 years.

Scenario 1: You plan to live in your current home “forever,” or at least 9 years - or you’re a property owner of a rental. Then, it might be worth paying more for a more efficient heat pump.

Scenario 2: You plan to move before that time. From a cost perspective, it doesn’t make sense to spend more for the more efficient heat pump. The only reasons to consider buying the heat pump with the higher SEER is if you’re committed to green AC and heating or you believe the more efficient heat pump will be a selling point when you list your home. 

Annual Heating Cost and Savings by HSPF

This Table works the same way the Annual Cooling Cost and Savings by SEER Table works. The costs are also based on a 3 ton unit with the US average electricity cost. Heating hours are more – 2,166 hours per year.

You can see how much money you can save when upgrading from an 8 HSPF heat pump to a more efficient model.

Tip: To determine your cost savings, subtract the lower cost from the higher cost.

To figure payback time, divide the higher cost of the more efficient heat pump by the annual savings. This will give you the years it takes to make up for the extra cost of the more efficient heat pump.

Annual Heating Cost and Savings by HSPF

HSPF RatingAnnual Electricity CostCost Saving vs 8 HSPF
8 HSPF$1,3500%
9 HSPF$1,20011%
10 HSPF$1,08020%
11 HSPF$98527%
12 HSPF$90033%
13 HSPF$83039%

* Electricity cost is based on 3 Ton Heat Pump Unit, Electric Rate: 13.85 ¢/kWh, Heating Hours: 2166 hrs/yr.

How much does it cost to heat with an 8 HSPF heat pump?

For a 3 ton unit with average electrical rates, it will cost about $1,350 per year.

What’s better – 10 HSPF or 8 HSPF?

The 10 HSPF heat pump is about 20% more efficient and will save you $270 per year less ($1,350 - $1,080).

What’s the payback for a 10 HSPF heat pump?

Compared with an 8 HSPF model, probably 3-5 years in most climates. That’s because the average price of a 3 ton 10 HSPF heat pump is around $1,000 more than an 8 HSPF heat pump. And $1,000 divided by $270 per year is 3.7 years.

SEER Cost Compare Table

Let’s start with the SEER Cost Compare table for air conditioning. The HSPF Cost Compare table found below does the same thing for heating.

Heat Pump SEER Ratings

10 SEER heat pumps are still around, though they are no longer sold. The least efficient currently sold are either 13 SEER or 14 SEER, depending on where you live.

The most efficient are an amazing 24+ SEER, and all major brands – Lennox, Carrier, Trane, Rheem and even Goodman manufacture heat pumps with efficiencies of 20 SEER and higher.

If you’re considering upgrading to a more efficient HVAC system, this table shows the savings for common heat pump SEER comparisons.

SEER Cost Compare

SEER CompareAnnual Electricity Cost SavingsCost Savings
10 SEER vs 14 SEER$9429%
10 SEER vs 16 SEER$12337%
13 SEER vs 14 SEER$187%
13 SEER vs 16 SEER$4719%
14 SEER vs 15 SEER$167%
14 SEER vs 16 SEER$2912%
14 SEER vs 17 SEER$4117%
14 SEER vs 18 SEER$5222%
15 SEER vs 16 SEER$146%
16 SEER vs 17 SEER$126%
16 SEER vs 18 SEER$2311%
10 SEER vs 14 SEER$9429%
10 SEER vs 16 SEER$12337%
13 SEER vs 14 SEER$187%
13 SEER vs 16 SEER$4719%
14 SEER vs 15 SEER$166%
16 SEER vs 20 SEER$4120%

* Based on 3 Ton Heat Pump Unit, Electric Rate: 13.85 ¢/kWh, Cooling Hours: 1320 hrs/yr.

Here are some examples.

Savings with 14 SEER vs 10 SEER?

Answer: Close to $100 per year. Find 10 SEER vs 14 SEER in the left column called SEER Compare. The middle column shows $94 savings per year, which is 29%.

Compare an 18 SEER vs 14 SEER AC/heat pump.

Answer: Locate 14 SEER vs 18 SEER in the left column. The middle column shows a difference of $52 per year.

Which is better – 13 SEER vs 16 SEER?

Answer: The 16 SEER unit is more efficient, so your heating and AC bills will be lower. In a climate with extreme heat or cold, then the most efficient unit makes sense. In a moderate/mild climate, the 13 SEER model should be fine.

Get estimates from several heat pump companies on both heat pump sizes. Then you can compare prices head to head.

Then divide the cost difference by the annual savings found in the Table, and you will know the number of years it will take to recover the higher cost.

Heat Pump HSPF Ratings

Heat pumps in use today range from about 7.7 HSPF to 13.0. An average is about 8.5 HSPF.

This Table has comparisons of heat pumps with different efficient ratings.

HSPF Cost Compare

HSPF CompareAnnual Electricity Cost SavingCost Saving
8 HSPF vs 9 HSPF$15011%
8 HSPF vs 9.5 HSPF$21516%
8.5 HSPF vs 9 HSPF$706%
9 HSPF vs 9.5 HSPF$655%
9 HSPF vs 13 HSPF$37031%
9.5 HSPF vs 10 HSPF$555%
9.5 HSPF vs 13 HSPF$30527%
10 HSPF vs 11 HSPF$1009%
10 HSPF vs 13 HSPF$25023%

* Based on 3 Ton Heat Pump Unit, Electric Rate: 13.85 ¢/kWh, Heating Hours: 2166 hrs/yr.

What are the savings when you compare 8 HSPF vs 9 HSPF?

Answer: Find 8 HSPF vs 9 HSPF in the HSPF Compare column on the left. In the middle column, Annual Electricity Cost Saving, you’ll see the annual savings is $150.

Compare cost of 10 HSPF vs 13 HSPF?

Answer: $250 per year. The 10 HSPF vs 13 HSPF represents the top heating efficiencies from leading brands like Trane (10 HSPF) and Carrier (13 HSPF). The most efficient Lennox heat pump has an HSPF rating of 11.8. 

Best Heat Pump Brands for Efficiency

Carrier and Lennox compete for the highest efficiency heat pumps on the market.

The efficiency ratings listed are the very highest from the brands listed. Each makes other efficient heat pumps; some are nearly as efficient as those listed. For example, Lennox’s second-most efficient heat pump is 23.5 SEER and 10.2 HSPF.

Tier One

Carrier and Bryant: Top SEER is 24; top HSPF is 13.0

Lennox: Top SEER is 24; top HSPF is 11.8

Tier Two

York, Luxaire and Coleman: Top SEER is 21; top HSPF is 10.75

Rheem and Ruud: Top SEER is 21.95; Top HSPF is 11.5

Goodman, Daikin and Amana: Top SEER is 21; Top HSPF is 10

Trane and American Standard: Top SEER is 20; Top HSPF is 10

Armstrong Air and AirEase: Top SEER is 20; Top HSPF is 10

Heil, Arcoaire, Tempstar, Day & Night and others: Top SEER is 19; Top HSPF is 11.0

Why are some brands grouped together?

Because they are identical, made by the same manufacturer.

Trane and American Standard are Ingersoll-Rand brands. Bryant is a Carrier brand. Heil and the others listed with it are International Comfort Product brands.

Daikin, Goodman and Amana are Daikin brands. Armstrong Air and AirEase are Allied Air Enterprises brands. And Rheem and Ruud are Paloma Industry brands.

Single Stage vs Two Stage vs Variable Stage

All the best heat pump brands make models in three performance ratings.

Single stage or 1-stage heat pumps run at full capacity all the time.

Pros: More affordable and best for mild climates.  Manufacturers like Lennox and a few others – but mostly Lennox – make very efficient single stage heat pumps.

Cons: They don’t remove as much humidity during AC cycles, and they create slight temperature swings. In other words, climate control is a weak point. And for most brands, about 16 SEER is the most efficient single-stage model they make.

Two stage or 2-stage heat pumps have a low and high capacity level. Low is usually 65% or 70% of capacity.

Pros: They’re a good blend of efficiency, performance and reasonable cost. They are among the best heat pumps overall and especially for moderate and very warm/quite cold climates.

Cons: They cost more than single-stage units and aren’t as efficient as variable capacity.

Variable-capacity heat pumps aka modulating heat pumps run at a range of capacities from either 25% to 100% or 40% to 100% depending on the brand.

Pros: They deliver the best climate control.

Cons: They are by far the most expensive to buy and to repair when necessary.

The Best Single Stage Heat Pumps

Carrier and Bryant make the best single stage heat pumps. They are manufactured with the same quality parts the brands’ best heat pumps are built with. Both brands back their 1-stage heat pumps with a 10-year parts warranty.

American Standard and Trane single-stage heat pumps are nearly as good – perhaps just as good depending on the specific model.

Lennox single-stage heat pumps, especially in the Merit Series, are a bit cheap and have just a 5-year warranty.

The Best Two Stage Heat pumps

The top brands are Carrier/Bryant, Trane/American Standard, the ICP brands such as Heil and Tempstar, Daikin brands – they have the top warranties among all heat pumps, and Rheem/Ruud.

For these heat pumps, a 10-year parts warranty is the norm. Some, like Daikin brands Goodman and Amana, and ICP brands offer heat pump replacement warranties if the compressor or coil fails. They don’t just replace the part – they replace the entire outdoor unit.

The Best Variable Capacity Heat Pumps

Carrier and Bryant have been making variable capacity heat pumps longer than anyone. The Greenspeed/Evolution technology is proven – and the very best available.

ICP brands are owned by Carrier but slightly different in design. Still, they are built with many of the same high-quality parts.

Armstrong Air and AirEase are worth considering too, as are Rheem/Ruud.

Those are our recommendations for the best heat pump brands at each performance tier.

Pro tip: Think twice before buying a variable capacity heat pump. Why? They are very expensive, and it is doubtful the payback period on the higher cost will be less than 7-10 years when compared with a high-efficiency 2-stage heat pump.

Two other concerns are the higher repair costs on the variable-speed compressor and known issues with some communicating thermostats, the kind typically used to optimize efficiency and performance of variable-capacity systems. At least talk to contractors about these issues prior to making your decision. 

Heat Pump Best Brands

Here are the top rated heat pump brands and a review of what each offers in its heat pump lineup.

The best heat pump brands are:

  • Trane
  • American Standard
  • Carrier
  • Bryant
  • Lennox
  • Armstrong Air
  • AirEase
  • Payne
  • York
  • Luxaire
  • Coleman

These brands make the list because they are the most reliable according to HVAC technicians, and they achieve top rankings from homeowners in customer satisfaction.

All brands make heat pumps in a range of efficiency levels from 13 or 14 to 20 and above, so you’ve got Energy Star options.

Below the full reviews is a list of notable brands that are good, but not among the very top rated.

Best Brands - Top Rated Heat Pump Reviews

Identical brands are reviewed together.

Trane and American Standard

8.5 out of 10

Every independent testing agency including Consumer Reports places American Standard and Trane at the top of their lists.

Why? Because they are reliable, and so they require fewer repairs than other brands.

Heat pumps: Trane and American Standard currently produce 10 heat pump models. The lineup offers 1-stage, 2-stage and variable capacity options.

Efficiency ratings: Efficiency starts at 14 SEER and 8.2 HSPF. The most efficient Trane heat pump is 20 SEER and 10 HSPF – not the most efficient in either category, but very solid in terms of quality and reliable performance.

Warranties: 10-year warranties on all heat pumps.

Cost: The installed price ranges from $6,100 to $13,500.

See our Trane Heat Pumps Review and Prices for comprehensive information. 

Carrier & Bryant

8.5 out of 10

You’ll pay “top dollar” for a Carrier or Bryant heat pump, but in turn, you’ll get a dependable unit that should last 15-20+ years with normal maintenance and minor repairs.

Heat pumps: These top heat pump brands make three tiers of products in basic, better, best style. The differences are more about efficiency and performance (single-stage, 2-stage, modulating) than quality. The quality is premium from top to bottom.

Carrier’s top line is Infinity followed by Performance and Comfort. Learn all the details on our Carrier Heat Pump Reviews and Prices page.

For Bryant, it is Evolution, Preferred and Legacy.

Efficiency ratings: Efficiency ranges from 14 SEER and 8.2 HSPF in “basic” models to an impressive 24 SEER and 13 HSPF in the top of the line. The 13.0 HSPF is the highest heating efficiency in the industry.

Warranties: 10 years on all parts for all units. New! Carrier and Bryant recently added a 10-year unit replacement warranty on the top units. If the compressor fails while under the 10-year warranty, the brands will replace the entire condensing unit.

Cost: Installed cost for Bryant and Carrier heat pumps ranges from around $6,500 to $12,000. Bryant’s prices are a little lower than Carrier’s.

Lennox

8 out of 10

Lennox excels in efficiency. Until Carrier tied it this year for the most efficient heat pump, it was tops. Lennox still makes the most efficient 2-stage and single-stage heat pumps. Every unit is Energy Star certified.

Secondly, Lennox quality has improved in the last decade after quite a few years of living off reputation rather than reliability. We’ve been very critical of Lennox, but they’ve “got their act together” in terms of quality.

Heat pumps: Lennox makes the top line Dave Lennox Signature Series heat pumps followed by Elite and Merit lines.

In our opinion, there’s a drop-off in quality in the Merit line. The lesser warranty is one proof of that.

Efficiency: The most efficient Lennox, the newer SL25XVP, is 24 SEER and 11.8 HSPF. The least efficient models are still Energy Star rated at 16 SEER and 9.8 HSPF.

Warranties: Most units have a 10-year parts warranty with no “unit replacement” option. Many of the Merit Series units have just a 5-year warranty.

Cost: Lennox heat pump price starts at about $5,500 for an installed model and tops $14,000 for a premium Lennox heat pump. Yikes!

Armstrong Air & AirEase

8 out of 10

We sometimes say that these are the “best brands you’ve never heard of.” For many homeowners, that’s true.

Info Tip: Allied Air, the parent company of these brands, is owned by the Lennox Corporation. However, the units are different, though still excellent in quality.

Heat pumps: These top rated brands keep it simple with 5 heat pump models, but there’s still at least one in each performance tier from single stage to variable capacity.

Efficiency: 15 SEER and 8.5 HSPF to 20 SEER/10 HSPF. All models are certified by Energy Star.

Warranties: All units are backed by a 10-year parts warranty. There is no unit replacement warranty.

Cost: Heat pump prices for these brands start at about $5,500 installed. The most expensive are close to $11,000.

Payne

7.5 out of 10

Payne is a smaller brand, but it consistently earns a place on top rated lists for quality and reliable performance.

Info Tip: Payne is owned by Carrier, and its units are nearly identical – but it makes fewer units and doesn’t offer variable capacity models.

Heat pumps: Of the four models, 1 is a 2-stage heat pump and the others are single stage.

Efficiency: 14 SEER and 8.2 HSPF to a high of 17 SEER/9.5 HSPF.

Warranties: 10 years on all parts for all models.

Cost: $4,800 to $8,500 installed.

York, Luxaire and Coleman

7.5 out of 10

These Johnson Controls brands were poorly rated in the recent past due to problems with leaking refrigerant coils.

But the problems have largely been solved, and the consumer ratings and test scores are much higher as a result.

In addition, the revamped lineups from these brands include models with better efficiency too.

Caution: While recent reviews are good, keep in mind that the revamped lineup is new. It doesn’t have the track record of proven results you’ll find with Carrier, Bryant and other best brands.

Heat pumps: There are 6 models covering the basics of performance and efficiency.

Efficiency: 15 SEER and 9.5 HSPF to 21 SEER/10.75 HSPF.

Warranties: 10-year parts warranty

Cost: Installed costs are $5,700 to $11,500.

Notable Brands – Worth Your Consideration

While those listed above are the top rated – the best of the best – these brands can do a very good job.

Pro tip: Whatever brand you select, make sure it is installed by an experienced technician.

Studies show that poor installation can ruin a good brand.

Our recommendation is to request estimates from several prescreened, experienced heat pump contractors.

Talk with each. Review the estimates and look at their Google and Yelp reviews before making a decision. You can get started today by calling 888-894-0154.

OK – here are additional brands that earn 7 out of 10 ratings.

ICP Brands

7 out of 10

Heil is the best known of them, but you’ll also find some of these in your region of the country: Airquest, Tempstar, Arcoaire, Keeprite, Comfortmaker and Day & Night.

ICP brands make a good range of heat pumps in all performance tiers. Efficiency tops out at 19 SEER, which is OK, and an impressive 11 HSPF heating.

In addition, Heil, Day & Night and the others were among the first to offer 10-year Unit Replacement warranties. Heil, for example, says in its warranty: “No Hassle Replacement Limited Warranty: If compressor, coil or heat exchanger [furnaces] fails due to defect during the applicable No Hassle Replacement limited warranty time period, a one-time replacement with a comparable unit will be provided.”

These units are nearly identical to Carrier and Bryant. And they cost quite a bit less.

Rheem and Ruud

7 out of 10

Better quality and higher efficiency are part of the recent Rheem and Ruud lineups. The super-efficient RP20/UP20 with 22 SEER and 11.5 HSPF is a premium heat pump in the variable capacity tier. The brands make single stage and two stage models too.

Goodman, Amana and Daikin

7 out of 10

Daikin entered the North American split system market a decade ago by buying Goodman and acquiring Amana in the process. In the last decade, it has improved the quality of Goodman HVAC equipment.

Goodman and Amana offer the best warranties in the heat pump industry. Top models include a Lifetime compressor warranty and a 10-year unit replacement warranty on the compressor and coil. Even the cheapest models have a 10-year warranty.

Amana backs its top heat pump with a Lifetime Unit Replacement warranty on the compressor and a 10-year general parts warranty. There is none better.

Daikin warranties aren’t quite as good. And Daikin units cost more, but they have to be installed by Amana-certified technicians, which isn’t true with Goodman. This arrangement gives consumers options at various pricing.

For the three brands, efficiency ranges from 15 SEER/9.0 HSPF to 21 SEER/10 HSPF.

The Worst Heat Pump Brands

There are several brands to steer clear of.

Maytag, Frigidaire, Gibson, NuTone and Broan

5 out of 10

These are all Nortek Global brands. They receive the lowest quality ratings and consumer satisfaction reviews in most major surveys including Consumer Reports. We agree with that assessment. The problems with quality begin with the coils used in these units. The coils corrode easily, which results in leaking and loss of refrigerant. 

Secondly, many warranty claims are denied. The brands often claim that poor installation is the cause of the problem – and it certainly could be in some cases. But the result is a much higher warranty claim rate than for other brands. And that points to manufacturing issues.

York, Luxaire, Champion and Coleman

5 out of 10

These Johnson Controls brands are poorly rated also in large part due to leaking refrigerant coils.

Johnson Controls claims that the problems have largely been solved, and that could be true on newer models. Data isn’t in yet. However, consumer ratings are still low because York, Luxaire and Coleman heat pumps that are more than a few years old have coils manufactured with the old design, and it is prone to failure.

Johnson Controls has made changes to its coils, and the upgrade might produce a more reliable, durable heat pump. Time will tell. The new models are more efficient with 21 SEER and 10.75 HSPF the top efficiency.

In addition, the revamped lineups from these brands include models with better efficiency too.

Bosch

6 out of 10

Bosch makes a lot of great equipment, but HVAC equipment is not a priority for this brand. And quality suffers. Stick with brands that give full attention to product development and quality – like those in our Best Heat Pump Brands list.

Off-brands Sold Online

There are quite a few brands sold online that we recommend avoiding. First, most HVAC equipment sold online does not include a warranty – or it is very short. Quality issues are a factor too.

Ameristar by Trane and RunTru by Trane: These are low-quality heat pump brands aimed at the budget market.

EcoTemp: This is an independent brand of cheap, basic performance heat pumps. Efficiency range is 14-16 SEER.

WeatherKing: This is a Canadian brand sold online in the US in partnership with Rheem. Most WeatherKing heat pumps are sold in complete systems with an air handler.

Revolv: This is a low-cost HVAC brand primarily designed for manufactured housing. The quality is decent, but if your home will accommodate one of the best heat pump brands, we recommend you choose one of them.

Heat Pump Prices and Installation Cost By Brands

Get ready for sticker shock!

All HVAC brands have raised prices in the last couple years due to inflation, labor shortages and supply chain issues – the same problems plaguing many manufacturing industries.

Here are current costs for the equipment and for installed heat pump systems. See what is included in the prices below the chart.

Product LineupBrandsAC/Heat Pump Unit CostInstalled Cost
Budget brandsGoodman, Amana, Payne$2,400 - $8,300$4,200 - $11,500
Standard brandsArmstrong Air, AirEase, ICP brands, York, Luxaire, Coleman, Amana, Daikin$3,300 - $10,00$5,500 - $13,500
Premium brandsTrane, American Standard, Lennox, Carrier, Bryant$4,500 - $12,000$6,200 - $14,500

Included:

  • Condensing unit (outdoor unit)
  • Mounting pad or bracket
  • Indoor coil
  • Refrigerant line set
  • Any necessary wiring or drain line
  • Thermostat

FAQ

Who makes the best heat pump system?

Repair data and consumer satisfaction information favor Trane and American Standard (identical brands) and Carrier and Bryant (also identical brands).

What temperature is a heat pump not effective?

Mid-30s F. If you choose a very efficient heat pump considered a cold climate heat pump for cold weather, it might be able to heat effectively to about 15-20 F.

Did you know? Some mini split heat pumps like the Fujitsu Halcyon XLTH are rated to work in temperatures below 0 degrees F!

How do I know if I have a heat pump?

Here are the easiest ways to know if you have a heat pump rather than just an AC (other than reading the manual).

Do you have a furnace or other source of heat like a boiler with baseboard heaters? If not, there’s a good bet that thing outside is a heat pump.

Find the model # on the unit, and search it to find exactly what it is.

Sometimes the model name will give it away. For example, the Lennox XP20 is a heat pump (“P” for pump) and the Lennox XC20 is an air conditioner (“C” for conditioner). Armstrong Air and many other brands use similar clues in the name.  

In winter, if you turn your thermostat to “Heat” mode and crank up the temperature setting, does the outside unit turn on? That’s a heat pump.

The Recommended Way: Call an HVAC technician to come out to inspect your system and educate you about its use and maintenance. There’s a good chance that the HVAC system needs to be cleaned and tuned, a process that will keep it running reliably and efficiently.

How long should a heat pump last?

15-20 years when it is maintained every few years and minor repairs are made. A quality heat pump that is well maintained can last 25 years.

When to use emergency heat on heat pump?

When the main unit isn’t working. For example, if you have the thermostat set to “Heat” and the thermostat setting is above the room’s temperature, and the outside unit isn’t coming on, you have a problem. Use emergency heat until an HVAC technician can diagnose and resolve the issue.

What is an air source heat pump?

The term means that it gathers heat from the outside air when heating and dumps heat into the outside air when air conditioning your home. This is in comparison to a geothermal heat pump that gathers and dumps heat in the ground or in water.

What is a geothermal heat pump?

It is a system with pipes underground that carries fluid. In winter, the fluid in the pipes is warmed by the earth’s consistent 55-60F (or slightly higher in some places) temperature. That’s warmer than the air often is in winter, so it is easier for refrigerant in the system to gather heat from it when it passes through a coil indoors.

In summer, heat from inside the house is transferred into the fluid, and it is more easily “dumped” in the 55-60F earth than in 80F to 110F air outside.

Both these processes make geothermal heat pumps more efficient than air source heat pumps – but they are also much more expensive.

What is a water source heat pump?

It is exactly the same as a geothermal heat pump (see the answer above), except the pipes carrying the liquid are immersed in water. The water is often a pond, which is more cost-effective, but it can be in wells drilled for the purpose.

What is the difference between a heat pump and air conditioner?

Heat pumps can reverse the flow of refrigerant and flip the dynamics of how they work, so that they can both heat and cool. In both cases, they gather heat in one place and release it in another. They don’t “make” heat like a furnace or boiler does.

What is cheaper to run heat pump or gas furnace?

A heat pump is. Unless the heat pump is really old (poor efficiency) and the furnace is 95% or higher efficient, the heat pump will have lower operating costs.

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