The top rated heat pumps 2012 have one thing in common – they are all at or near the top of their class in quality and performance. Those are the primary criteria used to put this list together. Are they built with quality components? If you install one of them in your home, can you rely on it to give you dependable service for the next 15-20 years? If we could confidently answer “yes” to those questions in regard to a specific heat pump, it was considered for this top rated heat pumps 2012 list.
Heat Pump Efficiency Level
As you go through the list, you’ll see we didn’t use energy efficiency level as the main criteria. Instead, we chose heat pumps from across the efficiency spectrum. We did this because homeowner’s needs are different based on the climate where they live, their budget, and their long-term plans for living in their current home. Generally speaking, the more extreme the temperatures are in your area, the higher the efficiency level should be for the heat pump you choose. You’ll pay more for the heat pump but it will reduce your utility bills and start to pay you back immediately. If you only plan to be in your home 3-5 years, a less efficient model might make more sense than paying more for a higher efficiency heat pump you won’t get your money from.
With those issues in mind, our list covers all the bases. It starts with the most efficient top heat pumps for 2012 and goes down from there. All of these are high-quality models that you should get good value and service from in the years ahead. Note: Heat Pumps must achieve 14.5 SEER to be Energy Star rated models, so all of these heat pumps make the grade.
Top Rated Heat Pumps 2012
1. Maytag PSH4BI iQ Drive 22 SEER 10 HSPF Heat Pump
22 SEER cooling; 10.0 HSPF heating.
This is an extremely efficient, intelligent heat pump that will keep your home very comfortable. The Maytag PSH4BI is a high-end model that features state of the art technology. As you might guess, it’s also quite expensive. The heart of the great efficiency and performance is the modulating compressor that ranges from 40%-100% capacity, delivering just enough heating or cooling to maintain very balanced temperatures. It modulates in 1% increments and adjusts during each cycle.
This is a very quiet heat pump, too, since it runs on lower capacity most of the time. It has a dehumidification mode that removes more humidity during cooling cycles. The iQ controller rivals the Carrier Infinity controller as one of the best on the market. It is enclosed by a durable, attractive stainless steel cabinet to complete the package.
2. Carrier Infinity Series Heat Pump with Greenspeed Intelligence / Carrier Infinity 25VNAO
20.5 SEER cooling; 13.0 HSPF heating.
Carrier takes heating to the next level with this model, sporting the highest HSPF you’ll find on the market. This is a great choice for those who live where both summers and winters produce extreme temperatures. Like the Maytag PSH4BI, this one has a modulating compressor, though Carrier calls it a variable speed compressor. The effect is the same – very precise climate control in all seasons, and even quieter operation.
The Carrier Infinity Series heat pump with Greenspeed Intelligence, also known as the Infinity 25VNAO, is a popular choice with homeowners embracing green technology for their homes.
3. American Standard Platinum ZM Heritage 20 Heat Pump
19 SEER cooling; 9.0 HSPF heating.
This heat pump isn’t as efficient as the first 2, but it’s not as expensive either. It will help reduce heating and cooling costs by 50%, possibly more, when it replaces an older unit. This is a top-quality 2-stage heat pump that actually uses 2 separate compressors. The first maintains comfortable temperatures; the second one kicks in when a boost in heating or air conditioning is required. The American Standard Platinum ZM has one of the best warranties on the market too, demonstrating its top quality.
4. Trane XL16i Heat Pump
18 SEER cooling; 9.2 HSPF heating.
This is part of Trane’s best line, though not it’s most efficient heat pump. We think this one offers the best combination of value and performance.
This is a dual fuel heat pump, as all the Trane XLi models are, and we see that as a real advantage. What it means is that this heat pump can be included in a split system with a gas furnace. Heat pumps cost less to run than furnaces do when temperatures are above about 40 degrees F. Below that level they lose efficiency and effectiveness. A dual fuel heat pump like this is a great choice where winters get very cold. The Trane XL16i is a 2-stage heat pump.
5. Heil Model 9.5 HSPF 17 SEER Heat Pump
17 SEER cooling; 9.5 HSPF heating.
Heil sometimes gets overlooked by brands with more hype, but this is a rock-solid heat pump that offers a good price and very good efficiency. This model also goes by the name Heil QuietComfort DXT+ two-stage heat pump. The names provide the details: Energy-efficient, 2-stage heating and cooling for outstanding climate control in all seasons.
6. Lennox Elite XP16
17 SEER cooling; 8.7 HSPF heating.
We favor dual fuel heat pumps because of their versatility. They give homeowners in cooler climates the chance to enjoy the energy savings and lower utility bills a heat pump produces in all but the coldest temperatures. Before dual fuel heat pumps, gas furnaces were the only option. The Lennox XP16 uses a 2-stage compressor to produce indoor comfort without hot/cold zones in your home.
7. Goodman 16 SEER R-410A Refrigerant — SSZ16 Heat Pump
16 SEER cooling; 9.75 HSPF heating.
This is another dual fuel heat and a very good choice for cooler climates where a very high SEER rating isn’t as important. Goodman is one of the most affordable brands in the industry yet it has a very good warranty. It also uses the top-rated Copeland Ultratech scroll compressor.
8. Bryant Preferred Series model 223A 15 SEER Heat Pump
15.5 SEER cooling; 8.8 HSPF heating.
This dual fuel model an ideal heat pump for northern climates. You don’t pay for SEER you don’t need – 15.5 is a cost-effective choice where summers are not very hot. But you can combine it with a gas furnace to get the most cost-effective heating based on the current temperatures. It’s a single-stage model which isn’t quite as comfortable but is less expensive than a 2-stage model.
9. Ruud model UPQL-AZ Heat Pump
15 SEER cooling; 10.45 HSPF.
The Ruud UPQL-AZ has best in class heating, impressive for a 15 SEER model that is very affordable. This single-stage model is a good choice for mild climates where winters can get quite cold at times. It also uses a Copeland compressor.
10. York model THGF Heat Pump
14.5 SEER cooling; 9.0 HSPF heating.
This is a well-built, reliable single-stage heat pump that is ideal for mild climates without temperature extremes. It is popular along the Pacific Coast and in other mild regions. The low price of the York THGF heat pump also make it a good choice for vacations homes and cabins where low cost is more important than high efficiency because the unit isn’t heavily used.
Which of the top rated heat pumps 2012 is right for you? Keep your budget, needs and lifestyle in mind as you peruse this list. See our HVAC reviews for individual reviews on these heat pumps once you decide which ones you want to learn more about.