The Top Ten Heat Pumps for Fall/Winter 2017/2018

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Our Top Ten Heat Pumps rating system combines our HVAC industry experience with our algorithmic process to provide totally unbiased reviews of central heat pumps. Thirty brands were tested and factors such as construction features, availability, reliability, efficiency, cost, and quietness were considered. Each brand/model ended up with a numerical score from zero to a high of 82 and then the scores were used to determine our top ten. The average score was a 38 while the low was a 16 and the high was a 52. So, here is the list:

#10

At number ten on our list is the DZ20VC model heat pump from Daikin. While they feature many of the top construction technologies, they are lacking in a few significant areas. Even so, their efficiency and a unique "field selectable boost mode" kept them in the top ten.

Daikin DZ20VC

score = 40 

This mode can be set to automatically increase the compressor speed (system capacity) during unusually high cooling load periods. Imagine having a nice get together at your house with quite a few people and the heat pump automatically raising its cooling capacity to keep all of your guests comfortable. That, my friends, is a very good feature to have if you entertain a lot of people on a routine basis. 

#9

Coming in at number nine on our list is the Ruud UP20 model which is made by RHEEM MANUFACTURING.

This unit held up well in the technology and construction features categories but was found a little lacking in the availability and reliability categories.

Ruud UP20

SCORE = 42

The brand has a rather limited dealer network and is not available through alternate means (online from Amazon or other outlets) which makes it rather difficult to purchase them. The manufacturer's guarantee on the units, while good, is not great when compared to others on the list.

#8

At number eight, is the flagship brand from RHEEM MANUFACTURING and the Rheem RP20 heat pump.

The units are virtually identical to their Ruud brothers but they have a much larger dealer network.

Rheem RP20

SCORE = 46

Although the cost tends to be slightly higher, this factor is largely offset by the fact that they are much easier to purchase and get service from a dedicated dealer.

#7

Taking a huge plunge from last year's top spot to this year's seventh place is the AVZC20 model from Amana.

The brand is made by GOODMAN MANUFACTURING which is a part of DAIKIN GLOBAL (our #10 pick).

Amana AVZC20

SCORE = 48

Although the plunge in our ratings is mostly due to JOHNSON CONTROLS stepping up its game, a portion of the drop is because of their limited availability. It seems that they may have taken a break from innovation and allowed the competition to go right on by.

#6

Taking the sixth spot is another brand that is made by GOODMAN MANUFACTURING, the Franklin AVZC20 heat pump. 

Although the units are virtually identical to the Daikin and Amana models, they are a less expensive option.

Franklin AVZC20

SCORE = 50

Although the brand has a very limited dealer network, they are backed by a very good guarantee and are what I would consider to be one of those hidden gems. If you can find a local dealer or if Daikin would consider allowing internet sales, the brand could be a great option.

#5

Speaking of JOHNSON CONTROLS, they break into the list of top ten heat pumps at number five with their Luxaire brand.

Their ACCLIMATE SERIES HL20 model combines most of the standard state of the art technology with a couple of features that are unique to this manufacturer. (more on those features later in our rankings)

Luxaire HL20

SCORE = 50

This is one of their lesser known brands and so faces some availability issues but, if you can find a local dealer (or if they wake up and sell directly to the public through Amazon), this is a very good choice. 

#4

Checking in at the number four spot is another JOHNSON CONTROLS brand and the Fraser-Johnston HL20B

This brand is a relatively old brand name but it sorta faded out years ago and was brought back to life with the purchase of York by Johnson Controls.

Fraser-Johnston HL20B

SCORE = 50

This brand is possibly even a little harder to find a local dealer but also it is often slightly less expensive than some of its UPG brothers. (Note: UPG stands for UNITARY PRODUCTS GROUP which is a subsidiary of York)

#3

Continuing our march to the top, we are still led by brands from JOHNSON CONTROLS (sorry I know that I may sound like a broken record). 

Champion is a relatively new brand for UPG and JOHNSON CONTROLS but its HL20 model is identical to the other brands in the family.

Champion HL20

SCORE = 50

So, why does it rank higher than some of the others in the brand family? Although they may be tougher to find, if you do, they will probably be less expensive and yet backed by the same guarantees and featuring the same replacement parts. Get the same quality and features at a lower price = a "no brainer".

#2

As you may have guessed, this year's runner-up in our Top Ten Heat Pumps is another JOHNSON CONTROLS brand with Coleman and their HC20 model.

Although it is a very familiar brand name, for many years it was associated with heating and cooling systems for mobile homes.

Coleman HC20

SCORE = 52

Although they still offer units for that market, the brand has matured to rank among the majors in state of the art residential HVAC systems. Their dealer network is a little larger than its UPG brothers but they also normally cost just a little more.

Drum roll please!

#1

The best heat pump in the world for fall/winter 2017/2018 is the YZV models from York.

The flagship brand from JOHNSON CONTROLS has made a tremendous leap in their game.

York YZV

SCORE = 52

They feature all of the most common state of the art technology with a couple of features that sets this manufacturer apart. First, is their "Charge Assurance" feature which allows you to check the operating pressures of the refrigeration system without the need to connect guages to the system. If you want to see what it requires to check system pressures without this feature, check out our video. Another great thing about these models (as well as the other UPG brands featured here) is their "Climate Set" feature which allows the installer to tune the unit and customize it to the climate (weather conditions) in your area. This makes the units even smarter than normal and can lead to added savings and comfort.

** Just a quick note ** 

Although one manufacturer took the top five spots in our TOP TEN HEAT PUMPS, we did not receive any compensation from ANY manufacturer and so we maintain the integrity of these reviews.

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