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Best Heat Pumps: 2014

Updated: May 1, 2014

We have collected thousands of reviews from homeowners and contractors, and we track nearly 250 different series of heat pumps, sold under more than 45 different brand names. Which heat pumps do our reviewers rate most highly?

The list below represents the top-rated heat pumps sold in the US and Canada. The list includes units with very high cooling efficiency and the minimum legal cooling efficiency. (The range is from 13 - 23.5 SEER). The units also vary in heating efficiency from 7.8 - 10.2 HSPF.

Rank Brand and Series Rating Cooling Efficiency
(max SEER)
Heating Efficiency
(max HSPF)
Sound Rating (decibels) Average Pricing
1. Trane XB14 4.2 out of 5 15.5 8.5 76 $6,223 (installed)
Trane's XB14 single-stage heat pump is touted by the manufacturer for providing plenty of efficient output while being economical to run. It features a durable Climatuff compressor and Spine Fin outdoor coil, both encased in galvanized steel louvered panels. With compatible components, the unit can qualify for an Energy Star rating.
2. Coleman Echelon 4 out of 5 18 10 as low as 69 $5,800 (installed)
The Echelon heat pump from Coleman comes in two models, either 16 or 18 SEER. Both feature a "warm-to-touch" component that is intended to prevent cold start-up drafts. A durable compressor and unique fan guard that keeps the noise down further rounds out the series.
3. Trane XL20i 3.4 out of 5 19 9 70 - 76 $11,680 (installed)
Trane says it designed to XL20i with optimum home comfort in mind, both in terms of temperature and humidity thanks to the Comfort-R feature. Its high efficiency is due, in part, to the use of two Climatuff compressors, one of which serves as a back-up for the hottest days. The unit also uses a multi-stage fan motor designed for quiet operation.
4. Rheem Prestige 3.2 out of 5 17 9.5 as low as 71 $7,148 (installed)
Rheem's Prestige series of heat pumps comes either with or without the 2-stage serial communicating control system. Available in single- or two-stage options, these units all feature a durable, isnulated Copeland Scroll compressor; high and low pressure controls; a low profile design; and a steel cabinet with louvers.
5. Trane XR15 3.2 out of 5 16.5 9 75 $8,474 (installed)
The XR15 electric heat pump from Trane features the company's Climatuff compressor and Spine Fin coil to ensure the unit's durability and reach Energy Star qualifications, when installed in certain combinations. The full package is protected by weather-resistant components and louvered panels around all sides.
6. Amana ASZ16 3 out of 5 16 9 72 - 75 $11,000 (installed)
The Amana ASZ16 heat pump was designed with energy savings in mind with features such as the high-efficiency Scroll compressor and copper tubing on the "enhanced" aluminum fin coil. The SmartShift feature keeps the defrost mode quiet, while a sound control top ensures the unit operates as noiselessly as possible.
7. Goodman GSZ13 2.7 out of 5 13 7.8 71 - 76 $897.75
The GSZ13 from Goodman uses the manufacturer's energy-efficient compressor and a proprietary copper tubing/aluminum fin coil combination to create what Goodman says is a more efficient heat pump. The unit also employs SmartShift technology for a less noisy defrost function and a quiet three-bladed fan further muffled by a specially designed louvered top.
8. Amana ASZ13 2.6 out of 5 up to 13 8.5 67 - 75 $1,448.75
With its Scroll compressor and SmartCoil condensing coils, Amana's ASZ13 heat pump is designed for efficient and reliable home comfort. Quiet performance is assured through a specially designed cover that muffles the unit's operation and a foam compressor cover for additional noise protection.
9. Lennox Signature 2.6 out of 5 up to 23.5 10.2 as low as 58 $7,014.75 (installed)
The Lennox Signature collection of heat pumps encompasses three models with a unique range of features. Each model is touted by the manufacturer for highly efficient, very quiet performance and are all Energy Star-qualified and solar power-ready. The top-of-the-line XP25 uses proprietary technology to keep your home at your preferred temperature and humidity level at all times.
10. Bryant Evolution 2.6 out of 5 up to 19 10 as low as 68 $8,371.75 (installed)
Bryant says that its 2-stage Evolution heat pump is no louder than a standard vacuum thanks to the sound deadening characterisitcs of the steel cabinet and integrated fan system. Available in single- and 2-stage models, each of which use the scroll compressor, these units are built for reliability through such features as the rust- and corrosion-resistant Microtube coil and DuraGuard steel cabinet.


Methodology

Consumers and homeowners have submitted thousands of reviews to this site. In addition to reviewing a particular model of equipment, the reviewer also assigns a rating from 1 ("Very Unsatisfied") to 5 ("Very Satisfied"). The following list ranks the top 10 heat pumps from best to worst, based on the average of those consumer satisfaction ratings.

We have only included a series on this list if we have at least 5 reviews of that series, and if the series has not been discontinued. If we only have a few reviews, there is a risk that a single homeowner will skew the average rating too far in one direction or another.

Pricing Information

The pricing information comes from two sources: vendors that sell heat pumps directly, and homeowners that have received quotes to have heat pumps installed.

In general, we prefer to quote prices from vendors. This allows homeowners to understand roughly how much of the quotes they receive from contractors is for equipment and how much is for labor. However, most vendors only reveal prices to contractors.

Our second source of pricing information -- quotes by contractors to homeowners -- can still give homeowners a good sense of average pricing. However, the price range in quotes tends to be larger. Some homes need ductwork installed; others need both a heat pump and an air handler installed; some contractors charge a higher overhead; there are many potential reasons for the variance.

Sound Rating

The sound rating is measured in decibels and provided by the manufacturer. The lower the number of decibels, the quieter the unit. In most cases, the sound rating is presented as a range, or "as low as" a number of decibels. This is because (typically) the more BTUs / hour of output a unit generates, the louder it is. In addition, a heat pump is part of a heating and cooling system, and the unit must be paired with a quiet air handler to perform most quietly.

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