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: November 28, 2020
House Weather is reader-supported. We may earn a commission through products purchased using links on this page. Learn more about our process here
If winters can be cold in your area, you might need to resort to supplemental heating options. Finding the best heat pump may be the ideal way of keeping your house warm during the cold season. Some units even have a cooling option to ensure they are useful all year-round. Additionally, you might be looking for a model to heat water in the pool.
We reviewed a total of 29 heat pumps available on the market and included 5 of them in this article. Our favorite is the Pioneer 24000 BTU Mini Split, which has impressive heating and cooling ratings. It allows you to pick from multiple options based on the size of the area you are heating, and it doesn’t make a lot of noise. Our team selected four other products that also deliver impressive performance, and it is up to you to get the right model.
It took us over 50 hours to compile this article based on experts’ opinions, customers’ feedback and the information from official websites. While we were writing reviews, we considered crucial heat pump features. Those include the product type, but also the voltage they use, and BTU they deliver in return. Our team analyzed SEER and HSPF ratings, as well as dimensions of the units. Finally, we considered remote control and other additional features, as well as specifics of the warranty. We hope this article contains everything you need to find a heat pump that suits your needs. Start with a product overview table, and continue with detailed reviews of each item. Don’t forget to check out our buying guide and learn everything about the critical features of these products!
Your focus may be on heating your home during the winter, but how about getting an all-in-one solution that can also keep your rooms cool on hot days?
Pioneer have designed an outstanding heat pump system out there, and its versatility and durability will both impress you. First, you can choose from multiple options from 9,000 to 36,000BTU to ensure you can fit areas and rooms of any sizes.
The HPFS rating is ten, which is quite high and ensures that the unit is efficient when heating the area. Thanks to the 17 SEER rating, you can also cool the room, which guarantees you can use this system all year-round.
The air filters are permanent and washable, and it is vital to maintain all components regularly to keep optimal performance and ensure the product lasts as long as possible. The warranty on the compressor is five years.
The installation process is not difficult, especially since this is a ductless unit, and you get everything you need in the set-up kit. However, you will need to set aside an hour or two to complete the installation. Once you get the unit going, you will be amazed by how quiet it is.
What we liked:
Multiple options to suit any area or room size
Suitable to use throughout the entire year
Impressive HSPF and SEER ratings
What could be better:
The installation might take a bit of time and effort
Regular maintenance is vital to keep optimal performance and maximum longevity
Here is another suggestion for all those looking for the best split-system heat pump on the market. MrCool is the company behind this wall-mounted unit, and this is the third generation of its system.
The product has an impressive 19 SEER rating, and it is quite capable when it comes to heating rooms. It is vital to note that the product operates quietly, which is a must for indoor units.
The manufacturer used eco-friendly refrigerant and ensured that the unit is energy-efficient. You can control the system with a smartphone app to ensure everything is set the way you like it. There is a remote control that allows adjusting the settings.
The product is made from durable and long-lasting components that are resistant to corrosion. Unfortunately, it is strange that the manufacturer offers a warranty that has a rather short period. For example, they only guarantee the compressor will work for two years. If you maintain it regularly, then chances are it will last far longer than that.
The installation process is a bit demanding, but the good news is that you will get an installation kit with the package. It is, however, crucial to follow instructions to ensure you installed everything properly.
What we liked:
You can control the product via a specialized smartphone app
Quiet operation, which is important for an indoor unit
Are you looking for a powerful pool heat pump? In that case, Hayward has the perfect product for you. Their unit not only features carefully chosen and the most durable components, but it is also one of the most powerful models on the market.
You can pick between multiple options to suit the size of the area you are heating, and the biggest BTU is 140,000. That makes the product ideal for heating pools. You can enjoy relaxing in the pool even after colder nights, thanks to this heat pump.
The manufacturer used titanium as the main material when constructing the product. Titanium is not only very durable, but handles extreme heat well, and ensures efficient heat transfer. On top of that, you will find body panels resistant to corrosion and rust.
The unit has a digital control panel on the front so that you can set everything to your preference. You will be surprised by how quiet the heat pump is despite its high BTU rating.
Those who are not experienced with this type of product may need to hire a professional to install it. The price tag might be a bit high, but you will get plenty of bang for the buck.
What we liked:
An excellent choice to heat pools
Titanium is an extremely durable material
Efficient performance and quiet operation
Pick between multiple options to suit the pool size you are heating
What could be better:
It may be wise to hire a professional to install it
The crucial thing to mention is that this is a heat pump condenser that you can use in split systems. The condenser was made in the United States, and it seems quite powerful.
The maximum BTU is 36,000, which makes it very useful for larger rooms. The manufacturer used high-quality components, and the device is durable. The generous warranty confirms that because you will receive a 10-year period on parts. However, keep in mind that it will require product registration.
Goodman 3 Ton 14 SEER Heat Pump is made in the United States, and it operates on 208/230V. It has many convenient features, such as quiet defrost. You will also find switches for low and high pressure, depending on your needs.
It is a shame that the product comes without a line set, and you will have to buy one separately. Additionally, you might want to call a professional to handle the installation. Unless you are an expert on heat pump condensers, the best move is to find a reliable local contractor to ensure everything is handled properly. That way, you can rest assured the unit will function flawlessly and serve you for a long time.
What we liked:
A generous warranty offered on the product
Made in the United States
Quiet defrost feature is convenient
High- and low-pressure switches
What could be better:
It comes without a line set
You will probably need a professional to install it
Frigidaire designed a window-mounted unit that is easy to install, even if you’ve never had a heat pump. The product is a complete heating and cooling system, which means that it also acts as an air conditioner.
The device doesn’t take a lot of space, and it is an excellent choice for small rooms. The manufacturer emphasizes that you can heat up to 350 square feet with a single unit. The heat pump has a 7,000BTU capacity, which confirms that this is not the most powerful pump on the market.
However, the manufacturer maximized energy efficiency. The product has the Energy Star certificate, and the “economy” mode can help you to lower the electricity bills. The problem is that this can be a hassle, especially since forgetting to turn off this mode accidentally means limited heating results.
As for additional features, you will find a remote control that allows you to use all functions of the product from afar. Additionally, you can use a 24-hour timer to activate or deactivate the system when necessary.
The unit also acts as a dehumidifier, and if you are looking for a heat pump dryer, keep in mind that this one has maximum dehumidification set at 1.5 pints per hour.
What we liked:
A compact-sized unit that is easy to install
An excellent choice for small rooms
It can save energy all year-round
The unit comes with remote control and a timer
What could be better:
Limited functionality in “economy” mode
It’s not the most powerful heat pump out there
Things to Сonsider
Are you ready to learn more about heat pumps? These products are supplemental heating solutions, but for them to be most effective, you need to pick a unit that suits your needs. In this buying guide, we are focusing on crucial factors related to heat pumps. You will discover all the important features here. We will also tell you how to make the most while using the unit. Finally, we will answer some common questions related to these products.
How to pick the best heat pump
What makes a reliable heat pump? That is what we are trying to answer in this section. We are focusing on the crucial factors of these products. The guide starts with the basics, and you will learn more about heat pump types. We continue with important ratings, such as BTU, SEER, and HSPF, and we will consider other essential features that affect performance and durability. If you are ready to begin your search for the most reliable heat solution out there, let’s start!
Type of the heat pump
You can divide heat pumps depending on various factors. For example, if you are considering what you are heating, we have pumps designed for rooms and indoor areas, and units specialized for pools.
If we are talking about how to mount a product, you can choose between a ductless split-system, as well as window and wall-mounted pumps. The Frigidaire FFRH0822R1 might be the best window heat pump out there.
When choosing heat pumps, you should also consider the size of the space you are heating. A compact-sized unit might be enough for small rooms.
However, if you plan on heating large spaces or pools, you might need big heat pumps. Alternatively, you can consider using multiple pumps and spreading them throughout the area you are heating. That might be a more affordable solution in some cases.
BTU is an abbreviation for British thermal unit. The unit doesn’t belong to the international system of units (SI), but it is widely used to define the potential of a heating unit. A single BTU is needed to heat a pound of water by one Fahrenheit.
The reason why BTU rating is important for heat pumps is that it is directly related to how powerful the unit is. The more BTU a product has, the bigger the surface it can heat, and the higher the temperature it can achieve.
You can heat smaller rooms with units from 5,000-8,000BTU, but the experts recommend going over 10,000BTU for mid-sized areas. Standard units may deliver up to 36,000BTU, just like the Goodman 3 Ton 14 SEER Heat Pump does. If you are heating a pool or a particularly large area, you can go for extremely powerful heat pumps. For example, the Hayward HP21404T HeatPro can deliver up to 140,000BTU.
SEER and HSPF ratings
These two ratings are important because they describe the heat pump’s energy efficiency. Here is an overview of their purpose:
HSPF – this stands short for heating seasonal performance factor, and it describes how efficient a heat pump is in heating. It is a ratio between BTU that the device delivers and electricity used (measured in Watts per hour). Any device with an HSPF rating above eight is considered highly efficient.
SEER – the SEER rating describes the seasonal energy efficiency ratio. You will find this rating in HVAC systems that provide both heating and cooling. It is a ratio between BTU and Watts per hour.
Both of these ratings can be important, especially if you plan to apply for a US tax credit.
We already discussed the power or heat pumps described with BTU rating, but what about their power consumption?
First of all, you should consider different power sources. You will rarely find units that operate at both 110 and 220V. A more frequent combination is 208/230V, and some units operate at 110/115V. Your choice will depend on the installations in your home, so make sure to pick a fitting heat pump.
Apart from power sources, you also want to consider power consumption. It is only normal to try and reduce your utility bills, especially if you have a large home to heat.
You want to find a heat pump with the highest energy efficiency. If a unit has an energy-efficiency certificate, the manufacturer will proudly publish that in the product’s description.
The basic function of a heat pump is to heat a room, area, or pool. However, you may need to adjust the unit so that its performance fits your needs.
The best heat pump system can be controlled to the smallest detail. You will find that you can adjust the desired temperature, fan speed, or activate the energy-saving mode. Additionally, some units allow you to set the timer to activate or deactivate the unit or restart it in case of a failure.
You can control heat pumps in one or more of the following ways:
Remote control – it is the easiest way of controlling a heat pump from afar. Most units, including the Pioneer 24000 BTU Mini-Split, come with remote control.
Display – a display panel will usually be located at the front of the unit. You use switches and buttons to set the desired adjustments.
Wi-Fi kits – these allow you to control a heat pump via smartphones and other supported gadgets. You can find that with units like the MrCool Advantage 18k BTU 19 SEER.
While optimal performance is your primary consideration, the size of the heat pump should also fit your needs. The general idea to keep the parts as small as possible. That rule applies to both inside and outside components as that decreases the overall size of the system.
Before you purchase a heat pump system, consider where you plan to use and place it. You may want to compare the dimensions of the unit with the available space in the designated location.
You don’t want the heat pump to be bigger than the area where you plan to place it because the product may become unusable in that location.
Heat pumps use fans to increase the temperature in the room. Thereby, it is only natural that they generate a certain noise level. It is important to keep the pump as silent as possible, especially if you plan to spend a lot of time in that room.
For example, let’s say that you need a heat pump for your office. A loud unit may prevent you from focusing on tasks at hand, which reduces your productivity. That is why you should stick to units that offer quiet operation, such as the Pioneer 24000 BTU Mini Split.
Since heat pumps are a pricey investment, you want the systems to last as long as possible. That is why it is crucial to pick a product with durable components.
The manufacturers often choose high-quality materials, but the best possible pick is titanium. Although it increases the price significantly, you can rest assured the unit will last for years.
As for other details, you want to look for parts with corrosion resistance to extend the longevity of the parts. Additionally, if you have some components that sunlight can affect, you can benefit from UV resistance.
Although it doesn’t have to play a crucial role, the warranty can also be an important indicator of the product’s quality. If the product seems to be of excellent quality, but the warranty is surprisingly short, you may start wondering why the manufacturer doesn’t trust the unit.
The longer the warranty, the safer you are if anything goes wrong. A huge majority of manufacturers are willing to honor the warranty and ensure customer satisfaction. However, it is our recommendation to stick to reliable brands, such as the ones mentioned in our reviews.
Are you wondering how expensive a heat pump is? The truth is that these products are not cheap, but you might be eligible for a US tax credit or another deal.
If we consider prices, we can divide heat pumps into three different groups. The first one includes affordable devices, such as the Frigidaire FFRH082R1. These are available for under $500, but you can also look for a unit within the $1,000 range. That is where the MrCool Advantage 18k BTU 19 SEER can deliver plenty of bang for the buck.
The most expensive pool heat pumps often go over $2,000, and sometimes up to $5,000 without installation. The Hayward HP21404T HeatPro is an incredibly powerful heat pump, but also a product that requires a high initial investment.
The installation of a heat pump will depend on the unit that you purchased. The good news is that the set-up shouldn’t take a lot of time, especially if you went with a basic window or wall-mounted unit. The whole process usually starts with installing the condenser, and then you mount the air handler. The next step is connecting those two pieces. Finally, you cover the lines and handle the remaining connections to finish the installation. The installation should be straightforward if you follow the manual. However, make sure to have at least an hour set aside for the process. If you are unsure you can handle it yourself, don’t hesitate to call a professional. You don’t want an expensive investment to go down the drain just because you installed it unproperly. A professional will ensure that everything functions smoothly.
The majority of heat pumps offer permanent filters. These are true long-term investments because they will last for a long time. However, if you want to maintain their optimal performance, it is vital to clean them regularly. Cleaning a heat pump filter involves removing it, washing it, and then re-attaching it to the unit. Most units come with an instruction manual that shows how to detach the filter. You should be careful while washing it, but also ensure to wash it thoroughly. Make sure the filter is dry before re-attaching it to the base device. You can wash the filter as many times as you want, and continue using it.
The power consumption is directly related to how efficient the heat pumps are. Although they will probably increase your utility bill, it is vital to note that heat pumps are more efficient than space heaters. That makes them a better option, especially if you need to heat large rooms. You can take a look at SEER at HSPF ratings to learn more about the efficiency of the units. Additionally, you can look for particular certifications related to energy efficiency. The most famous one is the Energy Star certificate, which proves that the product is eco-friendly and helps you to save on utility bills.
Now that we’ve finished our roundup, it is time to pronounce the winner of our heat pump showdown!
If you ask us, no system can beat the Pioneer 24000 BTU Mini Split. It is a ductless heat pump that you can install yourself, and one you can use to heat areas of various sizes. The product has impressive SEER and HSPF ratings, and it guarantees quiet operation.
The MrCool Advantage 18k BTU 19 SEER can also be a wise choice. It allows you to control the unit with a remote or a smartphone and offers plenty of adjustments. It is an energy-efficient system that doesn’t have a high noise level.
Our final consideration for the best heat pump is the Hayward HP21404T HeatPro. It is a unit that delivers impressive 140,000BTU, which is enough to heat pools even when the nights are cold. Corrosion and UV resistances also make it a great choice for use in pools.
The best advice that we can give you is to focus on the features and ratings that would suit your needs. Start from there, and analyze factors mentioned in our guide to identify the best heat pump system for your requirements!