Best Heat Pumps
If you’re considering purchasing or upgrading your heat pump, you’ll need to know exactly what to look for in terms of features and operating capacity. Finding the best heat pump brand for you and your family can save you money and energy all year long. Use this information as a guide as you shop for the brand and model that best suits your needs.
Once you receive an HVAC quote for a new heat pump that suits your family's comfort needs, QuoteScore from HVAC.com can analyze it to determine if it's a fair deal.
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What Is a Heat Pump?
A heat pump is an all-in-one heating and cooling system. In the summer, it operates similarly to a central air conditioning system by using a refrigerant to pull heat from inside the home and transfer it outside through the system’s compressor.
During the colder months, heat pumps operate in reverse. They use a reversing valve to seamlessly switch from cooling to heating mode. During the winter, heat pumps use refrigerant to extract heat from the outdoors and transfer it indoors. Even when it’s cold outside, there’s enough heat in the outside air to provide adequate heating. Since heat pumps simply move heat in and out of the home depending on the season, they don’t require fossil fuels such as natural gas to create heat. This makes them energy efficient and environmentally friendly.
In the past, heat pumps didn’t operate as efficiently once the temperature dropped below freezing. However, with new technology, heat pumps are incredibly efficient; many upgraded models can still operate efficiently in temperatures below zero.
Homeowners who live in far northern states such as Minnesota, North Dakota, and Alaska often pair their air-source heat pump with a dual-fuel system that consists of a heat pump and gas furnace. The gas furnace takes over when the temperature drops below what the heat pump can efficiently handle.
Different Types of Heat Pumps
Air-source heat pumps are the most common type of heat pump, with an estimated 17 million American homes operating them. However, there are two other heat pump types to consider – geothermal heat pumps and ductless mini-split heat pumps.
Geothermal Heat Pumps
Geothermal heat pumps are the most efficient HVAC systems on the market. Like air-source heat pumps, they operate by moving heat in and out of the home. But instead of exchanging heat with the outside air, geothermal heat pumps, also referred to as ground-source heat pumps, utilize the constant temperature 6 feet underground, where it’s typically 55 degrees on average.
During the warmer months, the geothermal heat pump’s heat exchanger extracts indoor heat and transfers it underground to cool a home. During the colder season, geothermal HVAC systems work in reverse, by taking heat from underground and moving it indoors.
Geothermal heat pump systems use a ground loop, which is a series of pipes buried underground. The ground loop serves as a heat source during the winter months and a heat sink during the warmer months.
Geothermal heat pumps are more expensive than other HVAC systems, costing an average of $13,781, according to Angi. That price is just an average, as factors such as the size of your home and the need for ductwork affect the price. You can recoup the higher costs over time through significantly lower energy bills, as heat pumps are 300-600% efficient on cold winter nights.
Meanwhile, a heat pump water heater, also referred to as an air-to-water heat pump, extracts warmth from the outside to heat water that is then used to heat your home during the colder months. In the summer, the heat from the water is transferred outside to cool a home.
Ductless Mini-Split Heat Pumps
Ductless mini-split heat pumps are also a popular alternative to forced-air heating and cooling systems. As their name suggests, they don’t require the use of ductwork to distribute conditioned air to your home’s living areas.
Ductless mini-splits consist of an outdoor compressor/condenser unit and one or more indoor air handling units that are installed on ceilings or walls across the home. They are connected by a conduit that contains the refrigerant and power lines.
Each indoor unit provides heating and cooling to just the room or area of the house it’s installed in. Ductless systems are most commonly used to provide supplemental heating or cooling to areas that are difficult to keep comfortable such as bonus rooms over garages and sunrooms. They can also be used to convert garages, attics, and basements without ductwork into workable or livable areas. Some homeowners install mini-splits throughout their entire home to create temperature zones, as each unit can be controlled separately with a remote control.
Without the use of ductwork, ductless mini-split heat pumps are highly efficient. Ductwork can lose 20% or more of conditioned air through leaks and poor insulation.
How Long Do Heat Pumps Last?
Air-source heat pumps last about 15 years on average, although some heat pumps can stop working efficiently after 10 years while others run efficiently for 20 years. Some of the most significant factors that affect a heat pump’s longevity include the climate, usage, make and model, and maintenance history. If your heat pump is used as a heating and cooling system, heat pump maintenance should be performed twice a year; once before the heating season and again before the cooling season.
Aside from being incredibly energy efficient, another advantage of geothermal heat pump systems is their longevity. Regular maintenance can help a ground-source heat pump last 20-25 years.
Are Incentives Available for Heat Pumps?
As the federal government looks to promote the use of more eco-friendly HVAC equipment, heat pumps have been pushed to the forefront, causing their popularity to skyrocket. To increase ownership of heat pumps, significant heat pump rebates and heat pump tax credits are available as part of the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022.
As part of the federal program, homeowners are eligible for a 30% tax credit on the purchase and installation of a qualified heat pump, up to a maximum credit of $2,000. But depending on your household income, you could be eligible for even higher savings.
Through the IRA’s heat pump incentive program, called the High-Efficiency Electric Home Rebate Act (HEEHRA), you can receive a rebate of 50% of the cost of a heat pump, up to $8,000, if your household income is 81 to 150% of your area’s median income. If your income is 80% or below your area’s median income, your heat pump will be covered at 100%, up to $8,000.
More details on how to apply for the rebate will be available later in 2023.
If you're considering buying a heat pump, HVAC.com's customer concierge team can connect you with a local HVAC dealer who can identify potential tax credits and rebates for heat pumps and install the system for you.
Best Heat Pumps
How Do You Find the Best Home Heat Pumps?
To determine the best heat pumps in the industry, we looked at several factors and features of each brand to help you make an informed purchasing decision. The primary things to look for when comparing heat pump options are named below. The criteria you should consider include the following:
- Output capacity: Measures how many BTUs the heat pump has the capacity to produce (or how big of a room it can efficiently heat up).
- Physical unit size: Provides exact measurements of the unit listed.
- Efficiency ratings: Measures how efficiently the unit uses energy to heat and cool a home, which is measured in SEER (in cooling mode) and AFUE (in heating mode). Many of the top brands offer high-efficiency heat pumps.
- Average running decibels: Measures how quietly each unit runs.
- Specialized features: Details the specific features of each unit.
- Unit price: The average price for the unit listed.
- Parts/repair cost: Details the average cost of parts and repairs for each unit.
- Maintenance needs: Provides an overview of basic maintenance needs for each unit.
- Availability: Where you can buy the unit listed.
Best Heat Pumps
Goodman is a well-known brand in the HVAC industry and provides great energy-efficient heating and cooling solutions for homes large and small. They also have a strong heat pump rating and a decent warranty program to protect your system in case anything happens.
Goodman heat pumps have a good reputation as a mid-range brand, and while reliable, other top-name brands may be more reliable. Goodman heat pumps require that homeowners schedule a professional tune-up at least once a year. Heat pumps should be maintained by inspecting the fan, indoor coils, outdoor coils, compressor, and refrigerant lines.
- Output capacity:Heating: 23,000 BTU. Cooling: 23,800 BTU
- Physical unit size: 35.75 x 35.75 x 40 inches
- Efficiency ratings: ENERGY STAR certified; up to 18 SEER
- Average running decibels: 75
- Specialized features per unit type:High- and low-pressure switches, expanded ComfortAlert diagnostics built-in, ComfortBridge Technology, two-stage Copeland UltraTech scroll compressor, factory-installed suction line accumulator, SmartShift technology with short-cycle protection.
Carrier is a top brand in the HVAC industry and provides versatile heating and cooling solutions that improve energy consumption and save you money in the long run. The brand is known for its next-level high-efficiency heat pumps.
Carrier heat pumps are some of the most durable, environmentally friendly, and energy efficient in the HVAC industry. Carrier heat pumps come with a range of specialized features, like Greenspeed Intelligence, optimal humidity and temperature control, variable-speed compressor operation for ultimate quiet and comfort, compressor sound blanket, and Silencer System II design. They also feature WeatherArmor Ultra protection, non-ozone depleting Puron refrigerant, and Ideal Defrost heating operation with Infinity control.
- Output capacity:Heating: 25,200 to 37,200. Cooling: 32,800 to 35,200 BTU
- Physical unit size: 50.19 x 36.13 x 39.25 inches
- Efficiency ratings:Up to 20.5 SEER; ENERGY STAR partner
- Average running decibels: 55 dB
Ruud is a respected brand that can provide you with a high-efficient heat pump for reliable heating all winter long. Ruud heat pumps are made with high-quality materials and parts.
Ruud heat pumps are built to last for 10 years or more, and include extra features like rust-resistant screws and a corrosion-resistant base pan. To keep your heat pump in good condition, you should inspect the blower, filters, ducts, and indoor coil for obstructions and dirt. You should also seal any leaks in the ducts, lubricate the motors, inspect the belts for tightness and wear, check the refrigerant, and make sure the thermostat is operating properly.
- Output capacity:60,500 BTUs
- Physical unit size:51.17 x 36.13 x 36.13 inches
- Heat pump ratings for efficiency:Up to 20 SEER and 11 HSPF; ENERGY STAR qualified
- Average running decibels:As low as 59dB
- Specialized features per unit type: PlusOne Energy, PlusOne Expanded Valve Space, PlusOne Triple Service Access, EcoNet, variable speed compressor, electronic expansion valve, improved tubing design, optimized reversing valve sizing, enhanced mufflers, modern cabinet aesthetics, diagnostic service window with a two-fastener opening.
Consult with a heat pump expert who can help you choose the best one for your home.
Trane offers flexible heating and cooling solutions that save you money and energy. This unit offers more than 750 stages of comfort for increased comfort and maximum efficiency.
According to Trane, there are several things you can do to properly maintain your heat pump unit through the years. They include keeping the registers open, cleaning or changing your filters at least once a month (or as needed), removing foliage from around the outdoor unit, elevating your unit about four to eight inches above the ground to allow for appropriate drainage, and cleaning the outdoor coils. You can also check for duct leakage, inspect the heat pump’s condensing unit base-pan drain holes and remove debris. It's also recommended to lubricate the motors and inspect the belts for wear and tightness, and correct the refrigerant charge, among other things.
- Output capacity: 60,000 BTUs
- Physical unit size:54 x 37 x 34 inches
- Efficiency ratings:Rated Most Heat Efficient Heat Pump in 2019 by ENERGY STAR; Up to 20 SEER
- Average running decibels:43 dB
- Specialized features per unit type: ComfortLink II Communicating Capability, Unique Refrigerant Cooled Inverter Drive, Compressor Sound Insulator, Climatuff Variable Speed Compressor, WeatherGuard II Top, all-aluminum Spine Fin coil, DuraTuff Rustproof basepan, Integrated fan system, WeatherGuard fasteners, and simplified two-wire connection.
Rheem manufactures quality heating and cooling products designed for year-round comfort and increased energy efficiency. The brand has been trusted in both residential and commercial settings for years, and offers efficient units with an array of features.
Rheem heat pumps can deliver quiet, efficient heating and cooling. To keep your Rheem heat pump in good working condition, you should check the air filters every month, keep the outdoor coils clean, and inspect the blower, filters, ducts, and indoor coil for obstructions and dirt. You should also lubricate the motors, seal any leaks in the ducts, check the refrigerant, make sure the thermostat is operating properly, and inspect the belts for tightness and wear.
- Output capacity:60,500 BTUs
- Physical unit size:35.75 x 51 x 35.75 inches
- Efficiency ratings:Up to 20 SEER; ENERGY STAR qualified
- Average running decibels: 59 dB
- Specialized features per unit type:PlusOne Energy, PlusOne Expanded Valve Space, PlusOne Triple Service Access, EcoNet Enabled, new composite base pan, the Copeland Scroll Variable Speed Compressor, enhanced mufflers, optimized fan orifice, improved tubing design, modern cabinet aesthetics, equipped with electronic expansion valve, and optimized defrost characteristics.
Lennox is one of the most widely-known brands in the industry and is known for its innovative heating and cooling solutions that provide energy-efficient comfort all season long. The brand provides quiet heating coupled with robust performance.
Lennox offers one of the most precise and energy-efficient heat pumps you can buy. In order to keep your Lennox heat pump running efficiently, you’ll need to properly maintain your system. That means cleaning the coils and blower parts, changing the air filer monthly, keeping the outdoor coils clean, sealing any leaks in the ducts, lubricating the motors, inspecting the belts for tightness and wear, checking the refrigerant, and making sure the thermostat is operating properly.
- Output capacity: 60,500 BTU
- Physical unit size 47 x 39.5 x 35.5 inches
- Efficiency ratings:Up to 23.5 SEER;ENERGY STAR qualified
- Average running decibels: 64 to 74 dB
- Specialized features per unit type:SilentComfort Technology, dual-fuel capability (when paired with a Dave Lennox Signature Collection furnace).
Schedule a free in-home consultation with a heat pump dealer.
Bryant products provide economical and energy-efficient heating and cooling solutions that help you save money all year round. The brand produces heat pumps that give you better control of your indoor climate all throughout the winter and summer months.
Bryant combines system control intelligence with variable-speed operation to provide amazing reliability, as well as energy savings and ultimate comfort. To keep your Bryant heat pump operating efficiently, you should regularly clean or replace your air filter, have your system inspected and cleaned twice a year, and make sure the ceiling fans are set to spin in the right direction. Additionally, keep 80 percent of your home’s vents open, and eliminate debris from around your outdoor unit, according to Bryant.
- Efficiency ratings Up to 20.5 SEER; ENERGY STAR qualified
- Average running decibels: 58 dB
- Specialized features per unit type:Optimal dehumidification capability, electric heating, variable-speed operation with longer, lower life cycles, non-ozone depleting Puron refrigerant, senses operating conditions and adjusts to enhance system reliability, excellent performance with zoned systems, and sheet metal construction with baked-on, complete outer paint coverage for long-lasting durability against outside elements
8. American Standard
American Standard is another top brand that offers energy-efficient heating and cooling solutions for maximum comfort through the harshest winters and the muggiest summers.
American Standard heat pumps are incredibly reliable and made to withstand years of wear and tear. According to American Standard, keeping your heat pump in good condition means cleaning the supply and returning registers in your home, cleaning or changing your filters once a month (or as needed), removing foliage and outdoor debris from around the outdoor unit, and cleaning the outdoor coils whenever they seem dirty. You should also get professional heat pump maintenance every year.
- Efficiency ratings:Up to 20 SEER
- Average running decibels: 54 dB
- Specialized features per unit type: AccuComfort, Duration variable speed compressor, Comfort Control, Compressor sound insulator, all-aluminum Spine Fin coil, Durabase basepan, simplified two-wire connection, heavy-duty steel louvered panels, appliance-grade finish, and SermaGuard rust-resistant screws.
Coleman offers award-winning heating and cooling solutions in both split system and packaged heat pump units for a variety of circumstances.
Coleman claims that their advanced manufacturing processes and product testing give their heat pumps long-term performance.
- Output capacity: 60,000 BTU
- Physical unit size: 46 1/2 x 34 1/2 x 38 1/4 inches
- Efficiency ratings: Up to 20 SEER; ENERGY STAR qualified
- Average running decibels: 54 dB
- Specialized features per unit type:WhisperDrive comfort system, Charge View, Climate Connect, variable speed compressor, touch-screen thermostat with communicating capability, and ability to withstand harsh weather.
York can help you save money and energy by providing a high-efficiency heat pump to raise your comfort level.
York heat pumps include premium warranties that the company claims ensure years of dependability.
- Output capacity:2 to 5 tons
- Physical unit size: 46 1/2 X 35 1/2 X 34 1/2 inches
- Efficiency ratings:Up to 20 SEER; ENERGY STAR qualified
- Average running decibels: 35
- Specialized features per unit type:Variable-capacity compressor, QuietDrive system, Climate Set, Charge Assurance, automotive grade power paint, superior coil protection, environmentally friendly refrigerant, durable finish, and ECM fan motor.
Talk to a heat pump expert for more information.
Amana provides premium heating and cooling products that provide increased energy efficiency at a fraction of the traditional cost. The brand offers quality and performance and has distinguished itself with some of the best warranties in the HVAC industry.
Amana offers reliable and high efficient heat pump systems with quiet operation and advanced features.
- Output capacity: 52,000 BTU
- Physical unit size: 35.5 x 35.5 x 41.25 inches
- Efficiency ratings: Up to 21 SEER; ENERGY STAR efficient
- Average running decibels:About 74 decibels
- Specialized features per unit type: ComfortBridge technology compatible, variable speed compressor, advanced diagnostics, high-efficiency variable speed ECM condenser fan motor, quiet operation, and efficient cooling capacity.
How Much Does HVAC Replacement Cost?
Average Cost: $3,250 – $12,586
Like your home and needs, your HVAC project cost will be unique. Use the calculator to better estimate your investment.
*Estimate is based on current data and does not represent a guaranteed price. For accurate pricing contact a local HVAC dealer.
Frequently asked questions
How do I choose the best heat pump for my home?