Note: Before you dive into this brand review, you might want to read our full-detail Heat Pump Buying Guide. It discusses general heat pump issues that many homeowners want to think through before considering what brand and model to buy.
When split system Bosch heat pumps hit the market a couple years ago, contractors and savvy homeowners took notice. Immediately.
The reason? Bosch is a worldwide leader in technological innovation, and has been since Robert Bosch founded the “Workshop for Precision Mechanics and Electrical Engineering” in Stuttgart, Germany in 1886. Today Bosch technological leadership is at work in a range of commercial and residential industries.
In this Bosch heat pump review and price guide, the following topics are addressed in detail.
- Bosch Heat Pump Features
- Bosch Heat Pump Limitations
- Model Analysis and Recommendation
- Bosch Heat Pump Prices by Model
- Bosch Heat Pump Prices by Size
- Contractor’s View
- Who Installs Bosch Heat Pumps?
- How to Get the Best Bosch Heat Pump Prices
Bosch Heat Pump Features
Bosch’s commitment to premium technology is on full display in these residential split system Bosch heat pumps. Here are key features to compare with those from other heat pump brands – we’ve reviewed all the best heat pump brands.
A good place to begin comparing heat pump brands head to head is under the Heat Pump heading at the top of the page.
1. The Bosch inverter heat pump compressor:
Let’s start with the most important feature that sets these units apart from the crowd. And it’s not a Bosch!
Mitsubishi has made inverter driven compressors for decades for its ductless heat pumps. They are among the best in the world – efficient and reliable. That’s why many brands, like Bosch, use the best available parts rather than trying to “re-invent the wheel.”
Bosch refers to them as Inverter Ducted Split Systems, or IDS. The Bosch inverter heat pump is available in IDS 1.0 and IDS 2.0 versions, discussed in more detail here. Bosch also calls them the Bosch BOVA heat pump (1.0 version) and the Bosch BOVA2.0 heat pump.
Both use the Mitsubishi inverter driven compressor. 230V alternating current (AC current) powers the unit. The AC voltage is converted to DC power, or inverted. This allows for modulating aka variable speed operation.
As a result, the inverter-driven compressors operate at any speed between about 25% and 100%. They speed up or slow down when necessary to precision-tune the amount of cooling and heating they deliver. If you enjoy the technical aspects of your equipment, it is discussed at this point in this video from Bosch Heating and Cooling.
2. Standard and Dual Fuel Operation
Most homeowners in moderate to hot climates choose a standard split system – a heat pump and an air handler.
In regions with sub-freezing weather, you have the option of a dual fuel system. It pairs the heat pump with a Bosch gas furnace. In freezing outdoor temperatures, sensors give data to the control board to seamlessly switch to heating with the furnace. When temperatures rise, the system automatically switches back.
Why is this important? Heat pumps are more efficient than furnaces, so energy costs are lower when it runs. However, since heat pumps don’t function well in freezing weather, the furnace takes over to ensure your home has plenty of heat.
3. Paired Split Systems
You can install just a Bosch heat pump if your current air handler is in good condition.
However, if you’re replacing your entire split system for optimal efficiency and climate control, Bosch makes a couple furnace and air handler options for you to consider. Series 1.0 systems use a constant-torque blower, which isn’t variable. This might cause noticeable warm air blasts at the start of an air conditioning cycle. The IDS 2.0 system air handler and furnace have efficient and variable ECM blower motors.
4. All-aluminum Coils
Like the Goodman AlumaFin7, all Bosch indoor coils are made from aluminum tubing and fins. This eliminates corrosion damage and issues caused by dissimilar metals. There’s more information on copper vs aluminum coils in our Coil Guide.
5. A 10-speed ECM Fan
There’s nothing else like this on the market. It’s not hugely important, but is definitely unique.
Most condensing units have a single-speed fan. A few have 2-stage fans to run more quietly as they disperse heat pumped to the outside of the house and released through the outside coil.
The Bosch BOVA2.0 heat pump condensing unit, the outside unit, has a 10-speed fan that roughly matches the speed of the variable-speed compressor. This allows for effective heat dispersion but also the quietest operation possible. In addition, the fan is electrically commutated or ECM, vs. a permanent split capacitor, or PSC motor. An ECM motor is more efficient, so it is less costly to run.
Bosch Heat Pump Limitations
There are two issues that caught our attention – one mechanical and one practical. Let’s take them in that order.
1. There are only two sizes of heat pump condensing unit (the outside unit) – 3 tons/36,000 BTUs and 5 tons/55,000 BTUs. Most brands produce heat pumps in 1.5, 2.0, 2.5, 3.0, 3.5, 4.0 and 5.0 tons.
The concern is that a heat pump should be as closely sized to the heating and AC demands of the home as possible.
- If it is undersized, it won’t do the job and will work too hard, resulting in potential mechanical failure.
- A unit that is too large might create temperature imbalances and will do a poor job dehumidifying the home in summer.
Bosch seeks to offset these potential problems with air handlers/furnaces and indoor coils sized from 2.0 to 5.0 tons.
- Indoor coil capacities/sizes in tons: 2, 2.5, 3.5, 4 and 5
- Blower motors: Geared for 2, 3, 4 and 5 tons
For example, if you need 24,000 BTU/hour of cooling, a Bosch dealer will install the 3-ton unit with potential cooling of 36,000 BTU/hour and pair it with a 2-ton, 24,000 BTU/hour indoor coil. Like other brands, Bosch also uses properly sized blower motors in its air handlers and furnaces. If you’re installing a complete system, then the blower in the air handler or furnace will also be geared to proper airflow for a 24,000 BTU system.
Most brands make both more condensing unit sizes and matched indoor coil sizes. We prefer a both/and approach, but if the dealer knows exactly what they are doing in matching equipment, then indoor climate control and comfort should not be badly diminished.
2. Bosch heat pump warranties are just average. The two units have 10-year general parts warranties, just like Carrier, Trane, Lennox and many others. Goodman, Amana, Heil, Day & Night, Rheem/Ruud and a handful of other brands offer superior warranties.
Model Analysis and Recommendation
The Bosch inverter heat pump is new in the last few years. Bosch might produce a wider range of models if these units sell well. But for now, you’re limited to the IDS 1.0 and IDS 2.0 models. Here’s an overview table before deeper analysis.
Bosch Inverter Ducted Split System 1.0: The original Bosch IDS system has top ratings of 18.5 SEER, 13 EER, 9.5 HSPF. SEER and EER are AC ratings. HSPF is the heating rating. The higher the numbers, the more efficient the unit.
It’s lowest operating sound level is 56 decibels, about average for variable capacity compressors. It is very quiet.
Bosch Inverter Ducted Split System 2.0: The second generation Bosch inverter heat pump has top ratings of 20.5 SEER, 14 EER and 10.5 HSPF.
Cost is higher, but indoor climate control is superior. This is also a 56dB unit at its quietest.
Quick Take-Aways – The Best Model for You
You have three options – IDS 1.0, IDS 2.0 or another brand heat pump that does not have a variable compressor.
The question is whether you want the climate control offered by a variable capacity Bosch inverter heat pump and are willing to pay a little more for it. We price these units below, and you’ll see they cost slightly less than variable capacity units from Lennox, Trane and Carrier. But they still cost a little more than 2-stage units from those brands.
Our recommendations will make sense with the help of this map:
Zones 1 & 2: The Bosch IDS 2.0 with 20.5 SEER cooling is ideal for these zones. It is best to have the most efficient heat pump you can afford. The extra cost compared to a less efficient unit will be recouped in 2-5 years through lower energy bills.
- Best complete system for Zones 1 & 2: Bosch IDS 2.0 + Bosch air handler. The heat pump will do all the heating, so an air handler is sufficient.
Zones 3 & 4: The original Bosch IDS heat pump is a good choice in these zones.
- Best complete system for Zones 3 & 4: If you buy a complete system, pair the IDS 1.0 Bosch inverter heat pump with a Bosch air handler.
Zones 5 & 6: These zones have weather that is mostly moderate and occasionally extreme. You have two good system options from Bosch.
- Best complete system for Zones 5 & 6: The best choices here are either 1). a traditional split system with a gas furnace and an AC or 2). the Bosch inverter heat pump 1.0 coupled with a gas furnace. This is a dual fuel system. The heat pump will do most of the heating, and the furnace will take over in sub-freezing weather.
Zone 7: Winter weather is extreme in this zone. You’ll need a furnace, since the Bosch heat pumps won’t pump enough heat in extreme cold. Whether you want the efficiency of a heat pump for cool weather that isn’t freezing is something to consider. Most homeowners in this Zone choose a gas furnace for heating. Many homes don’t require central AC. A heat pump alone won’t serve you well in this region of the country.
- Best complete system for Zone 7: If you choose a Bosch system, our recommendation is the Bosch IDS 2.0 heat pump paired with the Bosch BGH96 gas furnace. The high-efficiency furnace will save you plenty of money in sub-freezing weather when it does the heating instead of the heat pump.
Bosch Heat Pump Prices by Model
These tables are available for all the brands we’ve reviewed. We keep them updated annually to allow you to compare prices.
In general, Bosch heat pump prices are lower than many competitors. This is because Bosch uses the reliable but affordable Mitsubishi inverter driven compressor.
Here is the Bosch inverter heat pump price by model. The Equipment column includes the Bosch 3-ton heat pump, indoor coil and thermostat. The Installed Cost column includes the equipment including an air handler or furnace installed plus installation supplies.
Model Equipment Price Installed Price BOVA 1.0 $3,950 $9,275 BOVA 2.0 $4,400 $10,350
Bosch Heat Pump Prices by Size
In many of the Heat Pump Brand Reviews on Pick HVAC, we choose an average model to price in all its sizes from 1.5 to 5.0 tons.
Since Bosch only makes two models, we show them both. The lower cost is the BOVA IDS 1.0 Bosch inverter heat pump. The higher number is the Bosch heat pump price for the 2.0 model.
All necessary equipment including the indoor coil, refrigerant line set, air handler or furnace and other supplies are included.
|Heap Pump Size||Approx. Coverage||Equipment||System Installed|
|3.0 ton||1,000 - 1,900 s.f.||$3,950 - $4,400||$9,275 - $10,350|
|5.0 ton||1,900 - 3,200 s.f.||$4,800 - $5,350||$10,750 - $11,200|
When one of our contractor partners has good insight, we’re happy to pass it along.
Magic Touch Mechanical had this to say about the value of the Bosch IDS 1.0 heat pump. “Don’t be fooled by the lower price. We’ve been all up and through this unit and Bosch’s world famous German engineering is easily apparent. The quality of materials would please even the toughest critic – in fact it already has, it pleased us.”
That might be a little bit of hype, but Magic Touch sells Lennox and Trane equipment too. They’re not afraid to say that Bosch offers good value compared to the other brands they sell. That’s something we pay attention to.
Who Installs Bosch Heat Pumps?
Bosch isn’t choosy about who installs its HVAC systems including heat pumps and furnaces. This approach to installation has its pros and cons.
The upside is that the estimates you get will be more competitive when “anyone” can install the equipment vs. when only specially trained installers are allowed to handle the project. For example, American Standard has what it calls Customer Care Dealers that have received specialized American Standard installation training. Their prices are typically higher because they’ve gone through and paid for training, plus they know there is less competition because there are few Customer Care Dealers in most areas. It gives them a competitive advantage in marketing.
Bosch ABCs. An installer can be an Accredited Bosch Contractor, or ABC.
- Is there special training? No.
- Do they have a proven track record of quality workmanship? Not necessarily.
An Accredited Bosch Contractor, or ABC, is one that has signed up with Bosch to get marketing help and other assistance from Bosch in exchange for that contractor “pushing” Bosch products – heat pumps, furnaces, water heaters, thermostats and more. This isn’t always a bad thing, because Bosch products are quite good in quality and performance.
The one perk for the homeowner is that if you use an ABC to install your equipment, the warranty will be 11 years instead of 10. Not a huge benefit.
A better option is to use a free estimating service like our Free Local Quotes. The contractors in the system are pre-screened, licensed and insured. And many of them are certified by NATE, the North American Technician Excellence program that is recognized as the leading certification in the HVAC business. A quick phone call or filling out a brief form is all that’s required to get started.
How to Get the Best Bosch Heat Pump Prices
These tips will help ensure you get a good price plus expert installation.
First, don’t sacrifice quality installation for low cost. If a contractor is cheap, it is likely going to cut costs by cutting corners on installation quality. Or it might have such a bad reputation that it has to “go cheap” to get business.
Secondly, look for rebates from your energy provider. For example, right now most utility companies are offering $150 – $500 or more on the installation of Bosch equipment – or any brand that meets efficiency requirements.
Rebates can be found on Bosch and other brand product pages like this one. Select the Rebate button, and it will show rebates in your area. You might have to type a zip code into the box.
Here are 5 places to find rebates.
Finally, get written estimates from at least 3 installers that know they are competing for the work. It’s a good way to compare costs for brands. Make sure the equipment is comparable in terms of size and efficiency. Then check reviews on the contractors. Reviews are found on Google, the Better Business Bureau and Yelp.
Choose a qualified contractor with a fair price and good reviews for quality workmanship and customer service.
We’ve also prepared a guide for negotiating a fair price with contractors. You might find it useful.
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