Holds a Master’s degree in Engineering and is keen on her own home’s climate. Sometimes we think that Carolina owns every single product she writes about – that’s how profound and insightful her reviews always are.
For 8 years, Richard had been working as an HVAC specialist and AC unit installer since his student years. Now, he’s our main consultant on every technical aspect that may arise during our tests and research.
Last updated: March 20, 2021
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The heat pump is a practical heat transfer equipment. The device uses a thermodynamic device to transfer heat to a cold environment which needs to be heated. The best heat pump will be the one that fits your project perfectly. There is no one-size-fits-all answer to what the best model is. However, it is preferable to choose a recognized brand for your equipment which will provide you with good after-sales service. This will also make it easy to find spare parts for your device if a repair is necessary. Talking about a good brand and technical supports, Daikin fits these well. So, how do you choose the best Daikin heat pump?
To choose a Daikin heat pump for your project, you will need to consider criteria such as the sound level, BTUs, SEER, EER, COP, HSPF, CFM, coverage area, dimensions, and weight. Using this as a guide, we’ve handpicked the best models in our Daikin heat pump reviews. But, first, let’s see an overview of each model in a comparison table.
The DAIKIN FTXB12AXVJU is a reliable mini heat pump unit that will serve you well during the winter season. Its energy efficiency metrics (seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) of 17, British Thermal Unit of 12,000, and heating seasonal performance factor (HSPF) of 8.5) are very much in line the industry’s average specifications.
It comes with a complete installation lot which helps you have an easy DIY experience. The DAIKIN units produce low noise levels when you have to make comparisons among what are offered on the market. The heat pump for the indoor has a noise level of around 42/35/30 decibels, which is quite average. However the unit’s air flow is limited to only around 360/282/232 cubic feet per minute (CFM).
What we liked: One of the best things with the Daikin mini split heat pump is the bumper 10-year warranty. This means you don’t have to sweat when a breakdown occurs. The model is also DIY-friendly; it comes with the complete installation kit. Coupled with the budget-friendly price, it means you don’t have to spend extra money on installation costs.
What could be better: The CFM rating of 360/282/232 could be better. It is lower than the average. The SEER of 17 isn’t that great tool.
The Daikin FTX12NMVJU is another wall-mounted mini-split heat pump. The ductless system comes with a Maxwell 15 feet installation kit for easy DIY projects. The product comes with a 12 year long limited warranty, making it a reliable heating investment for years. The brand offers users covered by the warranty free technical supports, thanks to their in-house experts.
The Daikin model offers a near-lifetime 24/7 comfort; cooling in summer and heating in cold winters. The indoor unit operates at a low speed, making the system maintain decibel ratings of between 45/37/30/26; nearly as quiet as a library. The outdoor unit doesn’t exceed a sound level of 46 decibels.
It can cover an area of around 550 square feet. This makes it applicable in living areas such as the cold or hot bedrooms, garages, attics, etc.
What we liked: The Daikin ductless heat pump comes with a handful of features that make it efficient. These include the Econo-Mode, Program Dry, Auto-Changeover, Photocatalytic Air Purifier Filter, Auto-Restart, Hot Start and Quick Warming functions.
What could be better: Although it comes with an installation kit, it really isn’t easy to set up. A few users say this took up to two days.
The Daikin FTXB09AXVJU is a mini-split heat pump system with inverter technology. The product includes the indoor and outdoor units, a remote controller, wall brackets, and the installation kit.
The Daikin residential heat pump has the lowest noise levels among the heat pumps in this review. The indoor unit has a noise level of 23 decibel during operation. That’s as silent as the sound of a whisper from a few feet away. The outdoor unit doesn’t get noisier than 45 decibels, just like a quiet library.
In terms of functionality, it produces 9000 BTUs, has an SEER of 17, and HSPF rated at 9. It can cover an area up to 250 square feet. These performance ratings and capacities are nowhere near what you expect from a top-level and effective heat pump, but what do you expect for its price.
What we liked: We like how compact and lightweight the Daikin inverter heat pump is. The indoor unit weighs just 20lbs and measures 11 x 35 x 8 inches in dimensions. Also, it is really affordable and provides sufficient heating for a small room.
What could be better: The energy efficiency ratings are low and can only be used in a small to medium-sized room.
The Daikin FTXS09LVJU is a very powerful 2-in-1 thermal solution for the home or offices. It’s a multi-zone and mini-split heating and A/C unit. The product includes two indoor units; one for heating and one for cooling. There’s an outdoor condenser and also two remote controllers. While the AC system has a BTU capacity of 9,000, the heating unit has a BTU capacity of 12,000, with both producing a rated 21,000 BTU.
For heating, the mini-split inverter heat product can produce a heating capacity of between a minimum of 5,000 BTU and maximum of 25,000 BT, with an HSPF rating of 10.7.
The Daikin units are a flexible and multifunction solution for the needed thermal energy at home, producing individual comfort, regardless of the season. The outdoor unit is connectible to up to four indoor units. This significantly reduces costs and space in places where you would ordinarily need to have an outdoor unit for each indoor unit.
What we liked: This is one of the best split systems coming from Daikin. It can cover up to 1,000 square feet. While producing up to 25,000 BTU heating power, it saves cost and space as you can connect a single outdoor unit to multiple indoor units.
What could be better: There’s nothing to criticize. In aspects of build quality, heating power, and space-saving, the product is top-notch.
The Daikin FDXS12LVJU/RXS12LVJU is a ducted heating system. With 12,000 BTU capacity, it is energy efficient and helps you control the climate around you.
The streamlined and slim duct of the FDXS12LVJU is paired with the more compact and quiet RXS12LVJU outdoor unit. The unit has an SEER rating of 15.5 with an EER rating of 9.1. These make it very efficient while it is operating.
For a 12,000 BTU heat pump, the unit is relatively quiet. The indoor unit produces a sound level of 35 decibels maximum or 31 decibels at the minimum. The outdoor unit, however, can reach up to 49 dB. That’s the sound of an average refrigerator.
What we liked: We like the fact that the speed compressor of the Daikin ducted heat pump has an inverter technology. This ensures it is quiet and efficient.
What could be better: The indoor unit is heavier and larger in dimensions than the average. It may not be suitable for small rooms or already-crammed space.
Things to Consider
The Daikin brand has a lot of ways it differentiates from the rest of models on the market with its heat pump. In this section, we’ll tell you all you need to know while choosing a Daikin heat pump.
Daikin as a brand
The multinational firm was founded in Japan. Headquartered in Osaka, it quickly covered an international sector. Today, it is recognized as one of the big names in Asia, Europe, and America for the production of heat pumps. The products it makes are benchmarks in terms of environmental preservation. The company is currently claiming full self-production of all its components. These are subject to regular certifications. The prices are a bit high but justified by the quality. Daikin is the benchmark for air/air heat pumps. It is renowned for its amazing free after-sales technical supports, which cover repair, servicing, and replacement.
Features to consider when choosing a Daikin heat pump
Here are a few things to watch out for while choose a Daikin heat pump.
Making a comparison of the best heat pumps involves shedding light on the different models and innovative technologies used by these machines. We’ve identified the following types of heat pumps.
The air-to-air heat pump
The air-to-air heat pump does not produce domestic hot water, but it is nevertheless the most common model. To function, it draws its energy from the outside air and releases it by propelling heat inside. The equipment is used for individual apartment heating.
Easy to install
Reversible (also works in air conditioning)
Can be noisy
The air-water heat pump
This pump is one of the most installed systems. Compatible with an existing installation, it stands out for its ease of use. The air-to-water pump works like a boiler, drawing energy from the air in order to transform it to heat water.
Integrates into an existing installation
Requires little refrigerant gas
Can cool and produce domestic hot water
Can be noisy
Often requires additional backup heater
The ground-to-water and ground-to-ground heat pump
This equipment is recommended under very cold temperatures. It involves a little complicated installation. There must also be sufficient garden area for the deployment of the device’s sensors.
Excellent heating performance
Ideal for cooling a home and producing domestic hot water
Compatible with underfloor heating and low temperature radiators
Requires a large installation space and specific technology
Requires a large amount of refrigerant to start up
The water-water heat pump
Ideal in very cold regions, the water-to-water heat pump is today the most expensive system on the market. Its installation requires procedures and authorization from the local authority. This system requires a great deal of know-how on the part of the installer for the installation of its sensors in groundwater.
Very good performance
Autonomous operation without the need for additional heating
Requires little refrigerant gas
Involves a heavy investment
Requires two boreholes and a nearby water table or point
Monoblock or split system?
There is also the question of whether to use a monoblock or a split unit. Some say that split units, where the heat transfer from the refrigerant gas takes place inside the building while the manifold stays outside, are more efficient than monoblocks. But there are some site specific issues to be considered. So, the option – and indeed each machine – must be taken on its own merits.
Monoblocks are generally well suited to Irish and British climates; their use would only be a problem in areas with prolonged freezing conditions. However, you have to confirm from the manufacturer whether it is recommended to use antifreeze. Even then, as long as the pipes inside and outside the device are well insulated, they can be used. In addition to being slightly cheaper, monoblocks are easier to install. Unlike splits, they do not need specialized refrigeration technicians to perform the piping work.
Most cases of using split units seem to depend on the layout of the house and, in the case of a renovation, replacing the entire heating system. Placing it in the center of the house is considered best practice to minimize heat loss.
A split system air/water heat pump is made up of two units. The indoor unit is connected to the heat exchanger, compressor mounted outdoors through the refrigerant.
BTUs, SEER, COP and HSPF
First, all heat pump buyers will first have to determine their heating and cooling needs. This will then determine the efficiency ratings they would need in a heat pump.
The British Thermal Unit (BTU) is a unit of measurement used around the world. It represents the power of your heat pump, that is to say the area it will heat or cool during operation.
Typically, wall-mounted heat pumps like the DAIKIN FTX12NMVJU will turn out between 9,000 and 18,000 BTUs per hour. All of the devices in our top 5 models have a BTU of 9,000 to 21,000. To find out the requirements for your home, ask a professional to suggest the necessary BTUs according to the dimensions of your rooms.
The HSPF represents the energy efficiency that an appliance has when it heats up. Choosing a model with the right HSPF indication can help you to save money. The higher the HSPF, the less electricity your heat pump will consume during the cold season.
Since energy saving is the major issue for consumers who turn to a wall-mounted heat pump, base a good part of your final decision on HSPF. Combine this factor with the price of the device, the cost of installation, and the length of the warranty. Then you are probably making a good choice.
All wall-mounted heat pumps in our review have an HSPF between 9 and 12.
The SEER represents the energy efficiency of the appliance (in air conditioning mode). To be able to sell or buy in some countries like Canada, heat pumps must display a minimum SEER coefficient of 11. In US, the minimum is 13.
However, it is recommended that you choose your device with at least a SEER of 14.5 to benefit from all subsidies. Energy Star only accepts heat pumps with a rating of 14 or higher.
A new standard called cold climate air source heat pumps (ccASHP) now exists to qualify the most efficient (air source) heat pumps. These heat pumps, in order to meet the criteria, must present at least 10 in HSPF index and 1.75 and more for their COP (coefficient of performance), this at 5°F temperature.
Most of the Daikin models in this review meet this standard, as well as other identical devices belonging to the same manufacturer.
Knowing the area you need to heat before buying a heat pump will guide you in the coverage area aspect. Expressed in square feet, a coverage area of 500 sq. ft. is enough for heating a master bedroom. However, there are other models which have the efficiency to heat a 1,000 sq. ft. area. An example of this is the Daikin FDXS12LVJU/RXS12LVJU.
The heat pump consumes little energy. For 1 kWh of electricity consumed, it generally releases 10,000 to 13,000 BTU of heat. However, it is not possible to give a reliable average knowing that each dwelling has its particularities.
The power consumption of your heat pump depends on several things:
The type of heat pump (air/air or air/water)
The COP (coefficient of performance) of the equipment.
The insulation of the house.
The surface to be heated.
The climatic conditions of your region.
For example, in a very old house that is poorly insulated, the electricity consumption can be quite high. We recommend, in this case, insulating your home upstream. Just as a home located in a very cold region can see its energy consumption increase rapidly. It is therefore preferable to seek the advice of a professional to get a precise idea of the energy savings that can be achieved in your case.
Heat pumps can vary in size depending on the model and your needs. However, on an average, we have models that measure 22 inches in height, 32 inches width, and 12 inches of depth. If you have limited space, choose a compact model like the Daikin FTX12NMVJU with a dimension of 11 x 35 x 8 inches. If you need to heat a large space but don’t have the space for two outdoor units, instead of getting two separate split heat pumps, choose the Daikin FTXS09LVJU.
Note that if the water heat pump is the wrong size, the house can be cold if it is too small. It can also create a shorter life cycle for the heating system (switching on and off too quickly).
The weight of a product determines how compact or how easy it is during installation, renovation and transfer. The weight can influence the shipping fee you pay, so it’s better to choose a moderate weight, without sacrificing the functionality and efficiency. 18-20lbs is a good weight range for an indoor unit, as you can find with the Daikin FTXB09AXVJU. Outdoor units are usually heavier and can range between 40-80lbs.
First, ask yourself: will the noise of a heat pump drive me crazy? If yes, then you have to choose models with the lowest noise possible. Imagine the heat pump, refrigerator, and maybe the power equipment all buzzing to your ears at once. So, low noise levels are a requirement in all residential appliances.
Several years ago, heat pumps were big devices that poured out their decibels in all directions. However, it has changed a lot. With consumers and municipalities constantly demanding reduced noise from heat pumps, manufacturers are hiring researchers.
An existing heat pump (if properly installed) makes about the same noise as a refrigerator.
A quiet indoor unit like that of the Daikin FTXB09AXVJU can produce noise levels as low as 23 decibels. This in comparison is like a whisper sound.
The average price of a conventional Daikin heat pump is under 2,000, without installation. The cost will depend on the type of heat pump you choose (heating only or heating and hot water). It will vary depending on the features you are looking for and the design.
How do I install and maintain a Daikin heat pump?
The installation of the Daikin heat pump is relatively easy, thanks to the included installation kit. While heat pumps are easy to install, that doesn’t mean you can skip the “maintenance” box. On the contrary! Indeed, to ensure the proper functioning of your heat pump, regular maintenance is essential. Otherwise, the performance and life of your pump may take a hit.
Firstly, proper maintenance of a heat pump is essential to maintain high efficiency. In addition, regular maintenance has a positive impact on the service life of the heat pump. Unexpected breakdowns are avoided, which minimizes the risk of suddenly ending up without heating or air conditioning. In addition, if possible problems should arise, you are less likely to have to pay high repair costs.
A heat pump certainly needs regular maintenance, but this is less demanding than in the case of a gas boiler or an oil boiler. This is because these energy sources require combustion to produce heat. It is this combustion that generates the most common breakdowns, with the additional costs that this implies.
On the other hand, a heat pump installation does not require any combustion to produce heat. This is one of the main reasons why a heat pump requires much less maintenance than another type of central heating. It is also what allows the life of a heat pump to far surpass that of traditional central heating.
To ensure the proper maintenance of a heat pump, most people sign a maintenance contract. A contract of this type provides for an annual or semi-annual check by the installer, who will check whether certain elements of the heat pump need to be adjusted or replaced.
You can also opt for a system monitoring module from the company that installed the system. With this module, the company receives an SMS as soon as a problem occurs in your heat pump. The company can then, via the management system, control the pump and make any adjustments. So you don’t even have to move a finger!
The warranty of a Daikin heat pump varied from model to model. Daikin offers 10-12 years of limited warranty which includes free in-house technical supports. For example, the Daikin FTXB12AXVJU offers 10 years of warranty; the Daikin FTXS09LVJU comes with 12 years.
It is necessary to take into account the heating needs of the home and carry out a study of the heat losses of the dwelling. An undersized or oversized heat pump causes efficiency cycles that are too long or too short, which impact electricity consumption.
Inverter technology offers you optimal comfort all year round by automatically adapting your heating system to your real needs. Daikin products which feature this technology include the Daikin FDXS12LVJU/RXS12LVJU and Daikin FTXS09LVJU.
So, which is the best Daikin heat pump? To help you decide, we’ve narrowed down the review to just 3. These include the Editor’s Choice, the Best Value, and the Budget Pick.
Our Editor’s Choice and the overall best model is the DAIKIN FTXB12AXVJU. This is a reliable mini heat pump unit with 10 years of warranty. It has good energy efficiency metrics (SEER of 17, BTU of 12,000, and HSPF of 8.5).
The runner-up and the winner of our Best Value nomination is the DAIKIN FTX12NMVJU. This is another wall-mounted mini-split heat pump. The ductless system comes with a Maxwell 15 feet installation kit for easy DIY projects.
Choose our Budget Pick, the Daikin FTXB09AXVJU, if you want the best Daikin heat pump that comes at a low price. It is a mini-split heat pump system with an inverter technology. The product includes the indoor and outdoor units, a remote controller, wall brackets, and the installation kit.