The heat pumps with the highest SEER rating are:
- Lennox Signature Series XP25 Heat Pump – 23.5 SEER/10.2 HSPF
- Carrier Infinity 20 Greenspeed 25VNAO – 20.5 SEER/13 HSPF
- Bryant Evolution 280A Heat Pump – 20.5 SEER/13 HSPF
- Daikin DZ20VC Heat Pump – 21 SEER/10 HSPF
- Amana AVZC20 Heat Pump – 21 SEER/10 HSPF
- Rheem Prestige Series: Variable Speed RP20 Heat Pump – 20 SEER/11 HSPF
- Ruud UP20 Heat Pump – 20 SEER/11 HSPF
- Luxaire Acclimate HL20 Heat Pump – 20 SEER/11 HSPF
- Coleman Echelon 20 Heat Pump – 20 SEER/11 HSPF
- York Affinity YZV Heat Pump – 20 SEER/11 HSPF
- Champion Momentum HL20 Heat Pump – 20 SEER/11 HSPF
- Lennox Elite XP20 Heat Pump – 20 SEER/10 HSPF
- Armstrong Air 4SHP20LX Heat Pump – 20 SEER/10 HSPF
- AirEase SHP20LX Heat Pump – 20 SEER/10 HSPF
- Trane XV20i Heat Pump – 20 SEER/10 HSPF
- American Standard Platinum 20 Heat Pump – 20 SEER/10 HSPF
- Trane XV19 Low Profile Heat Pump – 19.5 SEER/12 HSPF
- Tempstar Deluxe 18 Heat Pump – TVH8 19 SEER/11 HSPF
- Heil QuietComfort Deluxe 18 Heat Pump – 19 SEER/11 HSPF
- Arcoaire DuraComfort Deluxe 18 Heat Pump – 19 SEER/11 HSPF
- ComfortMaker SoftSound Deluxe 18 Heat Pump – 19 SEER/11 HSPF
- Day & Night Constant Comfort Deluxe 18 Heat Pump – 19 SEER/11 HSPF
- KeepRite ProComfort Deluxe 18 Heat Pump – 19 SEER/11 HSPF
- Maytag 1200 Series PSH1BG IQ Drive Heat Pump – 19 SEER/10 HSPF
- NuTone FSH1BG PSH1BG IQ Drive Heat Pump – 19 SEER/10 HSPF
- Broan FSH1BG PSH1BG IQ Drive Heat Pump – 19 SEER/10 HSPF
- Frigidaire FSH1BG PSH1BG IQ Drive Heat Pump – 19 SEER/10 HSPF
There are 27 air source split system heat pumps with a SEER rating of 19 or higher. The HSPF ratings range from 10 to 13.
Our Guide to the Most Energy Efficient Heat Pumps for 2019 is slightly different. It lists one efficient heat pump from the major manufacturers. There are only 9.
For example, in this list, Carrier and Bryant are both United Technology brands. The last four in the list are all Nortek Global brands.
What SEER and HSPF Ratings Mean
SEER is used for air conditioning efficiency. It stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating (or ratio). It measures how efficiently the heat pump uses electricity to capture heat in your home and disperse it outside over the course of a cooling season.
Central air conditioners are now being labeled with their EER rating too. This is the Energy Efficiency Rating – how efficient the system is at a single point in time, measured at 85 degrees F.
HSPF is heating season performance factor, and it’s the heating rating. It measures how efficiently the unit captures heat outside and brings it into your home.
Both ratings are based on an entire season of us. This is because efficiency varies with outside temperatures. Air conditioning efficiency goes down as outside temperatures climb. HSPF goes down as it gets colder outside.
2019 Highest SEER Heat Pumps
The most important component shared by all these models is a variable-capacity compressor.
This graph from Carrier shows how a variable-capacity compressor (also called modulating) saves energy.
Variable-capacity Pros and Cons: Rather than running on/off like a single-stage compressor or low/high/off like a two-stage compressor, variable compressors tend to stay on most of the time when there is a need for heating or air conditioning.
Variable-capacity performance is the most efficient and produces the most balanced temperatures. When in AC mode, it removes the most humidity too.
Lennox Signature Series XP25 & Lennox Elite XP20 Heat Pumps
Lennox consistently makes the most efficient HVAC split system equipment. It’s top heat pump, air conditioner and gas furnace are all the most efficient.
- Good news: You’ll see lower energy costs (up to 65%) when replacing a heat pump that is 15+ years old with the XP25.
- Bad news: Lennox heat pumps are among the most expensive. Reliability is average, and repairs can cost more. Sometimes they take longer too because Lennox uses a higher percentage of proprietary parts, so there can be delays versus getting a universal part.
Carrier Infinity 20 25VNAO & Bryant Evolution 280A Heat Pumps
Bryant is owned by Carrier; Carrier is owned by United Technologies. These are identical units accept for the tags.
- Good news: Carrier was among the first to introduce variable-capacity compressors. They have a track record of dependable durability. Carrier requires that installation be done by a Factory Authorized Dealer. Not just any HVAC installer can install Carrier equipment.
- Bad news: They’re more expensive than average, partly because of the installation requirement mentioned above. It’s a two-edged sword. However, in the long run, proper installation is the most important thing that can happen to your heat pump.
Daikin DZ20VC & Amana AVZC20 Heat Pumps
Not long ago, Amana and its parent company Goodman were known for mediocre quality but excellent warranties.
Daikin Global bought Goodman in 2012. Quality is now much improved, though warranties aren’t quite as good. They’re still among the best, but Daikin did some belt tightening.
- Good news: Highly reliable equipment and good warranties – especially Amana. If the compressor in your Amana heat pump ever fails, Amana will replace the entire heat pump. That warranty is 12 years for Daikin. Warranties are getting better, and these brands have been at the forefront.
- Bad news: This is now premium equipment, so cost is a bit higher.
Rheem Prestige Series: Variable Speed RP20 & Ruud UP20 Heat Pump
These are Paloma Industries brands.
- Good news: Efficiency is excellent, and quality is good. The brands feature competitive prices too. There’s good value in Rheem and Ruud.
- Bad news: These have been among the brands with coil leak issues. In truth, most brands have had some issues with bad coils. Ruud and Rheem have had slightly higher rates of repair.
Luxaire Acclimate HL20, Coleman Echelon 20, York Affinity YZV & Champion Momentum HL20 Heat Pumps
These Johnson Controls brands are identical in all but the cabinet design and name badge.
- Good news: When paired with the proper furnace or air handler, the system can be tuned to your climate. This optimizes efficiency and indoor comfort. Warranties are very good.
- Bad news: Some of the brands are regional, but you should be able to locate a dealer of one of them near you. Start with York, which has the largest dealer network of the four. Johnson Controls is improving quality, but it is not among the top-rated for durability.
Armstrong Air 4SHP20LX & AirEase SHP20LX Heat Pumps
Allied Air is the parent company of these brands, and Allied Air is a Lennox subsidiary. The equipment is different than Lennox’s.
- Good news: Quality equipment at a fair price. More affordable than Lennox, for sure.
- Bad news: Not a huge dealer network. It’s possible these brands aren’t available where you live.
Trane XV20i, Trane XV19 Low Profile & American Standard Platinum 20 Heat Pumps
These are Ingersoll-Rand brands. The Trane XV19 with the low profile is a good fit for installation beneath a deck or other places space is tight.
- Good news: Trane and American Standard have some of the best dependability ratings of any brand.
- Bad news: Trane also has authorized dealers (and has a large marketing budget), so cost can be higher.
Tempstar Deluxe 18, Heil QuietComfort Deluxe 18, Arcoaire DuraComfort Deluxe 18, ComfortMaker SoftSound Deluxe 18, Day & Night Constant Comfort Deluxe 18 & KeepRite ProComfort Deluxe 18 Heat Pumps
These brands are all made by International Comfort Products. ICP is a subsidiary of Carrier/UTC.
- Good news: This equipment is very similar in quality and performance to Carrier equipment, but at a lower cost.
- Bad news: ICP is less picky about who installs the equipment, so be sure to check on the experience of the installer you choose and their record of quality workmanship.
Maytag PSH1BG, NuTone FSH1BG, Broan & Frigidaire FSH1BG iQ Drive Heat Pumps
These are Nortek Global brands.
- Good news: Very good quality and unit-replacement warranties on the compressor.
- Bad news: The dealer network is smaller for each, so you might not have a choice of dealers or brands in your area. There should be a dealer for at least one of the brands in your area.
Our 2019 Central Heat Pump Buying Guide
The heat pumps in this list are the most efficient, best suited to very warm/hot climates and homeowners committed to ecofriendly cooling.
If you’re looking for more in-depth buying guide, our 2019 Heat Pump buyers guide is designed for just that. It contains information on choosing a heat pump with the efficiency and performance right for your home.
There are details on sizing a heat pump and choosing the right efficiency for your climate.