Highest SEER Rated Heat Pumps of 2017

What heat pump has the highest SEER rating? Are very efficient heat pumps worth the extra cost?

The answers to those questions along with high-efficiency heat pump pros and cons are the focus of this guide as we list the most efficient heat pumps, their quality and a price range for each.

5 Highest SEER Heat Pumps

This year’s list differs slightly, and a point worth noting is the heat pumps across the entire industry are getting more efficient as consumers want efficient, sustainable heating and air conditioning and are willing to pay higher equipment costs for it.

The prices for each are given in a range because residential heat pump models are available in capacities starting at 18,000 or 24,000 BTU and ranging in increments of 6,000 to 12,000 BTU up to 60,000 BTU. The term “tons” is often used instead of or alongside BTUs. Each 12,000 BTU is equivalent to 1 ton of heating and air conditioning.

Note: You’ll see that identical models often have different warranties. The reason isn’t one of quality. Instead, differing warranty coverage allows the companies to position the models at different price points to compete in separate market niches.

23.5 SEER/10.2 HSPF Lennox XP25 Heat Pump

Lennox makes the most efficient heat pump, central air conditioner and gas furnace available in split system HVAC. With its SunSource solar technology, Lennox is an innovative leader in efficiency. This unit will cut heating and air conditioning costs by as much as 60% when replacing an old unit.

  • Lennox XP25 heat pump cost: $3,300-$5,300
  • Quality rating: 4.5/5 stars
  • Warranty: 10 years on all parts

20 SEER/13 HSPF Carrier Infinity 20 25VNAO & Bryant Evolution 280A Heat Pumps

A Maytag/Westinghouse/Tappan heat pump was second last year, but parent company to those brands Nortek Global stopped making it for reasons not disclosed. These twin units from United Technologies brands Carrier and Bryant have the highest heat rating, 13.0 HSPF, in the industry, so they’re an excellent choice in cool climates.

  • Carrier Infinity 20 & Bryant Evolution 280A heat pumps cost: $3,200-$5,000
  • Quality rating: 4.5/5 stars
  • Warranty: 10 years on all parts

21 SEER/10HSPF Amana AVZC20 & Daikin DZ20VC Heat Pumps

Daikin purchased Goodman/Amana in 2012 and has made upgrades in quality and efficiency. These are high-performance, durable twin heat pumps designed for extreme weather. They’re backed, especially the Amana version, by the top warranties in the industry.

  • Amana AVZC20 & Daikin DZ20VC heat pumps cost: $3,100-$5,300
  • Quality rating: 4.5/5 stars
  • Warranty: The Amana heat pump is backed by a lifetime warranty that provides for replacement of the entire condensing unit (outdoor unit) is the compressor fails. All other parts have a 10-year warranty. The Daikin model is backed by 12-year heat pump replacement coverage on the compressor and 12 years on all other parts.

20 SEER/10 HSPF Armstrong Air 4SHP20LX & AirEase 4SHP20LX Heat Pumps

Parent company to these and other brands, Allied Air Enterprises, is itself a part of Lennox Corporation. The company has made a significant investment in upgrading its equipment, and it shows in rising efficiency and quality. These brands were once second-tier brands but are now among the top 10.

  • Armstrong Air 4SHP20LX & AirEase 4SHP20LX heat pumps cost: $2,900-$4,800
  • Quality rating: 4.5/5 stars
  • Warranty: 10 years on all parts

20 SEER/10 HSPF Trane XV20i & American Standard AccuComfort Platinum 20 Heat Pumps

Trane and American Standard, Ingersoll-Rand brands, have always been among the most efficient, though they haven’t kept pace in recent years. The quality is still there, and the efficiency of these heat pumps is still quite good. These are high-quality heat pumps that will last 20 years with normal maintenance and the occasional minor repair. Like all heat pumps, just make sure they’re installed by a qualified contractor with experience.

  • Trane XV20i & American Standard Platinum 20 heat pumps cost: $3,400-$5,200
  • Quality rating: 5/5 stars
  • Warranty: 10 years on all parts

19 SEER/13 HSPF Heil QuietComfort Deluxe 18, Comfortmaker SoftSound Deluxe & Arcoaire DuraComfort Deluxe Heat Pumps

While Carrier and Bryant are better known, these United Technology brands make very good HVAC equipment too, and upgrades have been noticeable in the last generation of products released during the last three years. The 13 HSPF is very impressive using technology borrowed from Carrier/Bryant. These brands have better warranties than their better-known sister brands.

  • Heil QuietComfort Deluxe 18, Comfortmaker SoftSound Deluxe & Arcoaire DuraComfort Deluxe heat pumps cost: $2,700-$4,500
  • Quality rating: 4.5/5 stars
  • Warranty: 10-year No Hassle warranty on the compressor that provides for a complete new condensing unit; 10 years on all other parts.

19 SEER/10 HSPF Maytag PSH1BG iQ Drive & Westinghouse iQ Drive Heat Pumps

Maytag and Westinghouse, despite having shelved their most efficient heat pump for now, still make the list with these units. They’re well-built and quite efficient, a good choice for moderate and cool climates.

  • Maytag PSH1BG iQ Drive & Westinghouse iQ Drive heat pumps cost: $2,800-$4,400
  • Quality rating: 5/5 stars
  • Warranty: Maytag offers a 12-year parts warranty and unit replacement warranty on the compressor. Westinghouse’s warranty is 10 years on parts and compressor/unit replacement.

Pros and Cons of High-efficiency Heat Pumps

Is the higher cost worth the efficiency these units deliver?

Pros of Highly Efficient Heat Pumps:

  • They reduce heating and cooling costs by up to 60% depending on what they replace
  • They are environmentally friendlier than gas furnaces
  • Most have variable-capacity compressors that produce outstanding climate control – balanced temperatures all year and lower humidity in summer

Cons of Highly Efficient Heat Pumps:

  • The cost is higher than less-efficient models
  • The time it takes to recoup the higher cost through lower energy bills might be 12+ years in temperate climates
  • Heat pumps don’t work in freezing temperatures, so in very cold climates, you’ll need a gas furnace instead of a heat pump or in addition to a heat pump (dual fuel)

Installing a High-efficiency Heat Pump

Variable-speed heat pumps like these require precise installation and setup, so don’t leave the work to an inexperienced installer. Get multiple estimates from local installers, and choose one with experience installing variable-capacity heat pumps.

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