Best Heat Pumps: Reviews and Comparisons

Heat pumps are incredibly efficient heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems that can both heat and cool your home. They work by taking heat out of the air in one space and moving it into the air in another space. During warmer months, the heat pump will remove heat from within your home and transfer it outside; in the cooler season, it will take heat from the outdoors and bring it inside.

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What makes the best heat pump?

In this list of the best heat pumps, there are a few important factors we’ll be evaluating. These qualities are some of the top areas of concerns for most customers who are shopping for heat pumps.

  • Type of heat pump: Not all types of heat pumps are created equal. We’ll explain the differences between each type of pump we reviewed.
  • Price: Price is important when purchasing heat pumps. We know you probably have a budget in mind for your heat pump, so we took that into account.
  • Efficiency: Heat pumps aren’t a one-time cost; it also takes money to keep them running. We assessed the efficiency of each system to make sure your energy bills won’t skyrocket. This is measured via SEER rating; the higher the rating, the better.
  • Customer reviews: The best source of information is past customers who have already purchased a heat pump. Their reviews held the highest weight in our evaluation of the best heat pumps.

A note: One limitation of most of these systems is the heat pump temperature limits, which include limited effectiveness when outside temperatures drop below freezing. It’s hard to find heat pumps that work below freezing. The best plan is to have a backup furnace system for colder weather. For more information, refer to the heat pump efficiency outside temperature graph. The important thing to know is that just because you live in a climate that gets cold doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a heat pump. In fact, a heat pump could still save you a significant amount of money on your heating bill. With a correct setup, your supplemental furnace simply won’t kick on until the outside temperature falls below the heat pump effective temperature range.

Best heat pumps

Trane XR15 Heat Pump

Trane is well-known as one of the top heat pump brands, and the XR15 is the manufacturer’s best value model. The unit starting price of $2,850 may seem hefty, but Trane claims that with a SEER rating of 16 this model’s energy efficiency will generate an average of 50% energy savings. Just don’t forget to factor in the cost of installation.

MRCOOL SMART Ductless Mini Split Heat Pump

Priced around $1,368, this MRCOOL ductless heat pump with a 17.5 SEER rating certainly packs a punch. What is a ductless heat pump? It’s a compact unit designed as a single room heat pump, without the need for ducts and vents. Keep in mind that although the low price sticker seems attractive at first glance, you’ll need multiple units to keep the temperature controlled in a large house.

But this MRCOOL unit is more than just a ductless heat pump. It’s also WiFi compatible, smartphone controlled, and works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. Plus, it’s easy to set up on your own without special tools or training – no expensive installation necessary.

PIONEER Mini Split Heat Pump

The PIONEER ductless heat pump is easy to install and runs very quietly, which is hard to achieve with some ductless systems. Starting at around $738 with a SEER rating of 17.5, you can’t argue with the price of this heat pump that comes out as the most affordable on the list.

Trane XV20i Variable Speed Heat Pump

With a SEER rating of up to 20, you’ll understand why this is the second Trane heat pump to make our list. The unit on its own is reported to save an average of 60% on energy. Plus, it’s covered by Trane’s extensive Registered Limited Warranty, which is included with the unit as long as you register it within 60 days of installation.

American Standard AccuComfortTM Platinum 20 Heat Pump

American Standard is another crowd favorite among HVAC professionals, and the AccuComfortTM Platinum 20 is the brand’s top rated heat pump. It’s currently eligible for a $500 rebate due to its energy efficiency with a SEER rating of up to 20. This unit is also backed by American Standard’s limited warranties of up to 12 years, some of the highest in the industry.

These are five of the top heat pumps currently on the market. Some require installation by an HVAC professional, while the ductless heat pumps can either be professionally or DIY installed. If you’re in doubt of what type of heat pump to purchase for your home, don’t be afraid to contact a licensed professional. It’s better to spend money on a seasoned pro than make an expensive mistake that will cost you later.