Choosing the top ten heat pumps available today is no easy task. The best heat pumps can be approached from several different ways. What we’ve done in this heat pump guide is to select the 10 best heat pumps in terms of quality and long-term performance. These are not the 10 most efficient heat pumps on the market necessarily, though several of them are right near the top.
The reason we don’t go with the 10 most efficient heat pumps is because not every homeowner wants the most efficient model. Why? The more efficient a heat pump is, the more it costs. A 20 SEER/10.0 HSPF heat pump can be 35% more expensive than a 15 SEER/8.2 HSPF heat pump. In a mild climate without hot or cold extremes, it might take 7+ years to recoup the cost difference through lower energy bills.
In very warm climates, choosing a high-efficiency heat pump is the best choice. In cold climates, a better option is an efficient heat pump that is dual fuel compatible. This means it can be used in a split system with a gas furnace. As noted, in mild coastal or mountainous climates, a less efficient heat pump will prove to be the most cost-effective way to go.
So, we present the top ten heat pumps for the quality and performance they deliver. We do list them in order of their SEER so that you can more easily find models that fit your need for efficiency. Here are the ten best heat pumps based on consumer HVAC reviews, our own research, the performance they offer, and the brand’s service record for quality.
1. Maytag model M1200 – 22 SEER Heat Pump: 22 SEER, 10.0 HSPF. This is an innovative heat pump using award-winning technology to lower energy consumption and reduce utility bills. The key to its efficiency is a rotary compressor that delivers between 40% and 100% capacity. It only heats or cools to the level required to keep your home comfortable with precisely balanced temperatures. Also known as the Maytag PSH4BI iQ Drive heat pump. It has a 12-year parts warranty that is one of the best.
2. Dave Lennox Signature Collection XP21 Heat Pump: 19.5 SEER, 9.5 HSPF. Lennox is an industry leader in efficiency and innovation. The Lennox XP21 is a dual fuel model and a great choice for climates with weather extremes in summer and winter.
3. Carrier Infinity Series Model 25HNA9 Heat Pump: 19 SEER, 9.5 HSPF heating. This is another dual fuel model. It will lower your energy use in all seasons while supporting a greener approach to heating and cooling. The Carrier Infinity thermostat is widely regarded as the best there is. Staged heating and cooling is its top performance feature.
4. Trane XL20i Heat Pump: 19 SEER, 9.0 HSPF. Trane has one of the best service records in the industry. This 2-stage heat pump is efficient and will make your home very comfortable. The ATM module allows you to program it using a smart phone. That’s the best way to lower your energy bills – turning the system down while you’re away and contacting it on your way home to bring your house back to the required temperature.
5. Coleman Echelon Series Model HC8B 18 SEER Heat Pump: 18 SEER, 10.0 HSPF. The heating efficiency is outstanding for an 18 SEER model and makes it a cost-conscious and efficient choice for a wider range of climates. Coleman has improved the quality of its HVAC equipment in the last decade and is now very competitive as well as being affordable.
6. Goodman 18 SEER R-410A Refrigerant — DSZC18 Heat Pump: 18 SEER, 9.2 HSPF. Goodman makes a quality product that is also very affordable. This one uses the 2-stage Copeland UltraTech compressor, the highest-quality compressor on the market. In addition, Goodman shows their confidence in this model by offering a lifetime limited warranty on the compressor that provides for the replacement of the condensing unit. That’s unsurpassed in the industry.
7. Heil Model 9.5 HSPF 17 SEER Heat Pump: 17 SEER, 9.5 HSPF. This is Heil’s best heat pump and is stocked with performance features such as 2-stage heating and cooling and advanced humidity control. You’ll also see this model listed as the Heil QuietComfort DXT+ Two-stage heat pump.
8. Rheem model RPRL-JEC Heat Pump: 16 SEER, 9.5 HSPF. This quality heat pump features 2-stage comfort and outstanding reliability. Rheem uses quality components and materials throughout this model.
9. Amana SSZ16 Distinctions Heat Pump: 16 SEER, 9.5 HSPF. This model also uses the Copeland UltraTech compressor and offers 2-stage heating and air conditioning comfort. It’s an affordable, reasonably efficient heat pump of the highest quality. It carries a lifetime unit replacement warranty on the compressor and a 10-year parts warranty.
10. Ruud model UPQL-AZ Heat Pump: 15 SEER, 10.45 HSPF. As you can see, the heating efficiency of 10.45 HSPF is one of the best in the industry. This unit is built for moderate climates with chilly winters. It is equipped with Copeland’s best single-stage compressor which also does very well in HVAC reviews.
These are all Energy Star qualified heat pumps. Each of them also uses environmentally safer R-410A refrigerant or a brand-name version of it. They are energy-efficient and should provide 15-20 years of reliable service, possibly more when installed by a qualified contractor and properly maintained. There are quality models at each efficiency level so that you can find the right balance of equipment cost and operating costs in our top ten heat pumps list.