Compare Heat Pumps
When you compare heat pumps, its easy to see the advantages and disadvantages of those that are very different. Comparing equipment costs versus ongoing energy costs makes it easy to differentiate them and choose the right one for your situation. When you compare heat pumps that are all very high efficiency, it takes other features to set them apart. There are several heat pumps on the market that could truly be called the best in the industry. In this review, we compare heat pumps that are the top of the line from 3 of the most respected manufacturers in the industry.
The 3 heat pumps are:
We compare and contrast these heat pumps on the most important features including efficiency, compressor types and performance, refrigerant, warranty and price. For greater detail on each heat pump, see their full heat pump reviews here on WebHVAC.com.
All of these heat pumps deliver very high efficiency. Each one will significantly reduce heating and air conditioning costs when the unit replaces a heat pump just 10-12 years old. Here are their ratings. Keep in mind that SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating) measures air conditioning efficiency and HSPF (Heating Seasonal Performance Factor) measures heating efficiency.
Maytag Model M1200: 22 SEER; 10.0 HSPF
Carrier Infinity 25HNA9: 19 SEER; 9.5 HSPF
Trane XL20i: 19 SEER; 9.0 HSPF
These are among the most efficient heat pumps currently available. The level of efficiency is reflected in the higher equipment costs these units carry. We offer price samples below. It is worth noting that a super-high efficiency heat pump may not be cost-effective in moderate climates where neither the air conditioning or heat modes are used heavily. The “payback” period, which is the time it takes for lower energy bills to pay you back for the higher equipments costs, may be 7-10 years in some cases. Each homeowner has to do the math to decide if paying more for the heat pump makes sense, given their energy usage.
Of course, if one of your top priorities is to lower your overall energy consumption in order to lower greenhouse gas emissions, these high efficiency heat pumps are a good choice. When replacing models even 10-12 years old, they will reduce emissions by 50% or more.
This is an interesting comparison. Each of these heat pumps takes a different approach.
Carrier Infinity Series Model 25HNA9: This unit employs a singe 2-stage compressor which is common with quality heat pumps. The 2-stage operation runs at low (roughly 60% capacity) about 70% of the time. This keeps operating noise lower and produces more consistent heating and air conditioning, a key factor in enhancing humidity control and air filtration in all seasons.
Trane XL20i: This unit actually contains 2 compressors, the respected ClimaTuff models. One compressor does most of the work, running by itself about 80% of the time to maintain temperature. When a boost in heating or air conditioning is needed due to a change in the thermostat setting or a sudden temperature change outside, the second compressor comes on to make the change faster than a single compressor could manage. This is convenient for use with a programmable thermostat when you want quick heating or cooling before arriving home, for example.
Maytag Model M1200: This unit contains one of the most advanced compressors on the market, a modulating rotary compressor that can modulate up or down by just a few percentage points. It offers the most precise heating and air conditioning in the industry. It will also give you more exact control of other indoor climate factors like humidity and air quality. This new technology is somewhat unproven in the long-term, but early indications about its durability are encouraging.
Each of these heat pumps uses the new R-410A refrigerant, though Carrier uses the brand name Puron. It does not contain chlorine and has been shown to have no adverse affect on the earth’s ozone layer. This refrigerant is also more efficient than last-generation R22 refrigerant. It does a better job of absorbing and shedding heat as it cycles through the system.
The Maytag M1200 heat pump offers the best warranty of these 3 and it’s one of the top warranties in the industry. The limited warranty covers the compressor and all other parts for 12 years. The Trane XL20i heat pump offers a 12-year limited warranty on the compressor and a 10-year limited parts warranty. The Carrier Infinity 25HNA9 heat pump comes with a 10-year limited compressor and parts warranty. Some heat pump reviews are critical of the Carrier for offering a warranty that is only slightly better than the industry average. Carrier has an excellent track record for durability and some consumers would like to see that reflected in a better warranty.
All of these heat pumps are expensive. Exact pricing will vary for each model by as much as 10% to 25% based on factors that include manufacturer rebates, individual dealer pricing that is affected by local cost of living and competition — or lack of it, and seasonal factors. Equipment costs may be slightly lower in non-peak seasons when manufactures and dealers offer lower prices to motivate sales. These price examples of a 3 ton heat pump for each model should be considered as approximate figures and may not reflect exact pricing in your are.
3 ton Carrier Infinity Series Model 25HNA9 Heat Pump: $3,459
3 ton Maytag Model M1200 — 22 SEER Heat Pump: $3,479
3 ton Trane XL20i Heat Pump: $3,599
All of these top heat pumps use communicating technology to coordinate and monitor system components. This produces the highest possible efficiency and more comfortable indoor climates. Each have advanced air purifiers and humidifiers that can be added as options. All of them offer precise indoor climate control. To maximize performance, each one should be paired with an air handler or gas furnace with a variable-speed blower.
Which one is the best? They all rank high in consumer heat pump reviews and are the best models from their respective manufacturers. If you want extremely high efficiency operation and the performance they offer, it might be best to request written estimates on all of these models for a detailed side by side comparison. You’ll get exact pricing for both the equipment and installation. You will also be able to ask the dealer specific questions you have about the operation or performance of the models. They are all top of the line and built from high-quality components and materials. As you compare them and take your needs and priorities into consideration, no doubt one of them will stand out as the right one for your home. To ensure the best performance and durability possible, have your heat pump installed by a qualified contractor with proven experience and skill. It is vital they these heat pumps be properly installed, tested and tuned to give you the top of the line performance and efficiency they were designed to deliver.
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