A heat pump could be an excellent way to keep your home comfortable through the winter while helping to save you money and reduce your carbon footprint.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, heat pumps are a more efficient alternative to options like air conditioners and furnaces — no matter the specific climate.
Heat pumps work by using electricity to transfer energy. By moving heat from a cool space to a warm space, heat pumps can make warm areas warmer and cool areas cooler. In the winter, that means a heat pump can move heat from the outdoors into your home. In the summer, heat pumps can have a cooling effect by moving heat in the opposite direction.
Because heat pumps transfer heat instead of generating it, they’re considered a more energy-efficient and cost-effective option. Here’s what you should know about the best heat pumps to use in 2022.
How to Pick the Right Heat Pump
There are a number of factors that you should take into account when choosing a heat pump. They include the following:
- Your location
- What it takes to maintain the unit
- The efficiency of your home
- The reputation and quality of a brand
- Energy efficiency ratings
When looking for a heat pump option to purchase for your home, you’ll want to prioritize what matters to you the most: energy-efficiency, pricing, or a brand’s reputation, warranty, and professional installation options.
One of the biggest barriers to buying a heat pump is likely pricing. While a heat pump will save you money over the long term, you’ll need to find one that fits your budget. Once you have a few options, you can select the best from the list based on efficiency, quality, and reliability.
Heat Pump Efficiency
Heat pumps come in various options, including split-ductless heat pumps, geothermal heat pumps, and ducted air-source heat pumps. They are all, however, generally more efficient than other options.
Heat pumps are rated based on two different ratios: the Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) and the Coefficient of Performance (COP). When you’re looking at heat pump efficiency, you’ll want to compare these numbers and see which option is the most efficient for your money.
Other efficiency considerations include whether or not your heat pump will perform at a decent level in the colder months. Some heat pumps are less efficient in low temperatures, but options that can use a gas furnace as a backup heating source are generally less affected by this.
You’ll also find heat pumps with other efficiency-boosting features, such as desuperheater — which leverages waste heat to heat water — and variable-speed motors — which maximizes electrical savings and reduces noise.
Heat Pumps Vs Air Conditioning
Heat pumps and air conditioning systems are more similar than you might think. For example, they both work to cool homes by taking warm air from your home and pushing it outside.
However, this only applies to cool air — when it comes to heating, heat pumps and air conditioners are quite different. Air conditioners don’t supply heat, and are generally mixed with a furnace system that does. Heat pumps, however, can both heat and cool a home.
As mentioned earlier, heat pumps can warm a home by reversing the flow of air. The heat pump will absorb heat from the outside and transfer it to the air inside a home. They can do this even when the outside temperature is cold, but are generally less efficient in the colder months.
Types of Heat Pumps
Now that you know the basics of how heat pumps function, let’s go over some of the best heat pumps to use in 2022. Among heat pump manufacturers, these brands are generally considered the best.
- Features: SilentComfort technology, dual-fuel capabilities when connected to a furnace
- Pricing: About $5,540 per unit
Lennox is one of the most widely known brands in the industry, and it makes a variety of products, including heat pumps. Its innovative heat pumps offer features that make its products some of the most efficient and precise heat pumps on the market.
As with some other heat pump brands, Lennox heat pumps require proper maintenance to run efficiently. That includes cleaning the coils and changing the air filter monthly.
- Features: PlusOne Energy, improved tubing design and modern aesthetics, electronic expansion valve
- Pricing: About $2,230 per unit
Rheem has been producing heating and cooling systems for both residential and commercial settings for years. It offers a range of different heat pump options that include features aimed at efficiency and quietness in use.
Among heat pump manufacturers, Rheem is known for making reliable units. However, as with other heat pumps, you’ll need to ensure that you perform proper maintenance on your unit.
- Features: ComfortLink II communicating ability, WeatherGuard II, rustproof basepan
- Pricing: About $3,250 per unit, $6,200 with installation
Trane is a heat pump manufacturer that makes products aimed at saving consumers money. Back in 2019, Trane was rated the most energy-efficient brand by EnergyStar.
While Trane heat pumps can be pricier than other brands, the company’s products rate very highly because of their efficiency and reliability. It carries an efficiency rating up to 20 SEER.
- Features: Greenspeed intelligence, non-ozone depleting Puron refrigerant, WeatherArmor protection
- Pricing: About $9,940 per unit
If you’re looking for the most environmentally friendly heat pump brand, Carrier is a good choice. The company makes some of the most eco-friendly heat pump and HVAC products currently on the market.
Because of the focus on environmental sustainability, Carrier heat pumps are also durable, energy-efficient, and come with a wide range of features like optimal humidity and temperature control and a specialized compressor for quiet running.
- Features: Energy-efficiency, SmartShift technology, ComfortBridge features
- Pricing: Around $4,000 per unit
Goodman is a well-known brand that has a great reputation among heat pump manufacturers. They’re a mid-range brand that offers energy-efficient and heating and cooling products that are reliable and efficient.
When you purchase a Goodman heat pump, you’ll be required to schedule a professional tune-up for specific products. The company also offers a good warranty on its products.
- Features: Optimized mufflers and valve sizing, PlusOne Energy, EcoNet integration
- Pricing: About $3,150 to $6,940 per unit
If you’re looking for a low-maintenance heat pump, look no further than Ruud. This company makes energy-efficient heat pumps and HVAC products that have a heavy focus on reliability and high-quality components.
Each Ruud heat pump, for example, is built to last up to 10 years with little or no maintenance thanks to extra features like corrosion- and rust-resistant components. You should still regularly inspect your heat pump, however.
- Features: Sensors adjust operating conditions to boost reliability, excellent performance
- Pricing: About $4,540 per unit, $10,500 with installation
Homeowners looking to save money should consider Bryant, a manufacturer known for offering both economical and efficient heating and cooling solutions that can help them save money all year long.
Bryant heat pumps also feature system control intelligence, which allows users to adjust variable speed. The end result of this additional control is a combination of energy savings, comfort, and increased reliability.
- Features: WhisperDrive comfort systems, touch-screen thermostat
- Pricing: About $1,610 per unit
Coleman is an award-winning heat pump manufacturer that creates a range of different heating and cooling solutions. The company’s products are long-lasting and include innovative features. Best of all, they’re affordable.
Customers generally like their Coleman heat pumps for their efficiency, low noise levels, and durability. The company says their advanced manufacturing processes and in-depth testing gives their heat pumps better performance over the long term.
Heat Pump Disadvantages
Although heat pumps are a good alternative to HVAC systems, they still come with a number of disadvantages.
That includes the high cost of purchasing a heat pump, as well as the cost and difficulty of installation. Even the best heat pumps won’t function optimally unless they’re in the right spot. You’ll need to account for local geology, the movement of heat, and other factors. That’s why you should generally opt for professional installation.
Heat pumps also have the aforementioned issues in colder weather, making them less of an ideal option for anyone who doesn’t live in a fairly temperate climate.
There are also questions about how sustainable heat pumps actually are. They can use some questionable fluids and chemicals to operate. Unless you specifically opt for biodegradable and eco-friendly fluid alternatives, the heat pump may be doing harm to the environment.
Heat Pump Alternatives for Clean Energy
If you’re looking for an alternative to a heat pump to get around some of the disadvantages, you can look into options like standard HVAC systems or a PTAC.
On that note, the best option on the market for reducing costs and increasing your environmental sustainability is the innovative Low Carbon PTAC produced by Alternative Sustainability. It’s an excellent and groundbreaking alternative that has many advantages over standard HVAC, PTAC, or heat pump systems.
Low Carbon PTAC
Normal PTAC systems generally use a steam unit that provides heat. The Low Carbon PTAC does not. Instead, it uses a highly efficient electric coil. Because this heating coil is electric, the Low Carbon PTAC can produce heat without steam — meaning no gas is required.
Low Carbon PTACs are also much quieter than either heat pumps or traditional gas-powered PTACs. You won’t hear any humming from the compressor or fans of a heat pump, and you won’t be annoyed by the knocking or ticking sounds of a steam-powered system.
The Low Carbon PTAC is also much more efficient in the colder months, since it provides its own heating apparatus. You won’t have a heat pump struggling to heat your home when it’s chilly outside.
Additionally, the Low Carbon PTAC has built-in UCV sterilization, comes with twice the warranty of any other unit, and allows you to control your heating and cooling with on-board buttons, a wall thermostat, or a smartphone app.
Interested? You can schedule a free consultation with Alternative Sustainability.