Heat pumps are growing in popularity and use. As their popularity grows, so does the understanding of how they can save you on energy costs, be more efficient than a central AC system and save you on unit and installation costs.
However, that popularity also means there are a lot of different brands and models to choose from. One of those brands is Carrier. Arguably the biggest name in HVAC systems, Carrier has their thumb in the heat pump market, too.
This article will examine the Carrier heat pumps, discuss the pros and cons and help you decide if a heat pump is worth it, and if so if Carrier is the right brand for you. Read on to find out everything you need to know about Carrier heat pumps and how heat pumps work.
Overview Of Carrier Heat Pumps
Carrier offers over a dozen different models of heat pumps. Each model has its own unique advantages, from high SEER ratings to simple DIY installation. There are downsides to each model as well, which we will cover further below.
However, with a company as large as Carrier, you can expect quality and excellence no matter which model you select. Carrier builds with high-quality parts they manufacture themselves. They also produce a line with higher humidity control and others with sound reducing technologies.
With Carrier on the name tag, you know you have a product you can trust. This is also backed by Carrier’s warranty. That warranty covers the compressor and parts for 10 years (if registered) for the original owner and a subsequent 5 years if transferred to a new owner.
What Are Heat Pump SEER Ratings & Tonnage?
Standard air to air heat pumps have their efficiency measured primarily in SEER and HSPF. SEER, or Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, is a rating that shows you the efficiency of the cooling side of the heat pump during the summer months. The higher the SEER rating, the more efficient the unit is.
For HSPF, or Heating Seasonal Performance Factor, is the ratio of the unit of heating output versus electricity consumed. Again, higher HSPF means a more efficient unit. The industry average for heat pumps is between 16 and 17 SEER and 9.5 HSPF.
While individual models will be higher or lower (some much more or less), the brand averages are all about the same. Carrier, though, has a higher average with 18 SEER and 10.25 HSPF, making them one of the most efficient brands on the market.
You can’t just go by the SEER value, though. Proper sizing and capacities are even more important. It doesn’t matter how efficient the model is, if it is too big or too small for the space, the efficiency goes out the window.
Heat pumps, like air conditioners, are measured in tons. A ton is a measurement of BTU output, where 12,000 BTUs equals 1 ton. A 1 ton unit is capable of cooling or heating a space 600 to 900 square feet. Larger spaces need higher tonnage models.
You will find Carrier offers tonnage ranges between 1 and 6 tons, which will cover almost every home size from 600 square feet to over 3500 square feet.
Carrier Heat Pump Range (Side By Side Comparison)
Carrier heat pumps come in all sizes, capacities, capabilities, and features. The following chart compares all of the Carrier unites by model number. We look at ratings, sizes, and costs, so you know which model or models are worth looking at closer.
|Heat Pump Model||SEER||Ton||Home Size||Compressor Type||HSPF||Cost (Unit Only)||Cost + Install|
|Infinity 24||24||2 – 5||1200 – 3200 sq. ft.||Variable Speed||13||$5100||$12600|
|Infinity® 18VS||19||2 – 5||1200 – 3200 sq. ft.||5-Stage||11||$3600||$10000|
|Infinity® 16||17||2 – 5||1200 – 3200 sq. ft.||2-Stage||9.5||$3200||$9800|
|Infinity® 16 Coastal||17.5||2 – 5||1200 – 3200 sq. ft.||2-Stage||9.5||$3200||$9800|
|Performance™ 16||17||2 – 5||1200 – 3200 sq. ft.||2-Stage||9.5||$3000||$8900|
|Performance™ 15||16||1 – 5||600 – 3200 sq. ft.||Single-Stage||9||$2900||$8600|
|Performance™ 14||14||1 – 5||600 – 3200 sq. ft.||Single-Stage||8.2||$2800||$7600|
|Performance™ 16 Enhanced||16||1 – 5||600 – 3200 sq. ft.||2-Stage||9.5||$3200||$9800|
|Comfort™ 15||15||1 – 5||600 – 3200 sq. ft.||Single-Stage||8.5||$2500||$7200|
|Comfort™ 14||14||1 – 5||600 – 3200 sq. ft.||Single-Stage||8.2||$2300||$6800|
|Comfort™ 14 Coastal||14||1 – 5||600 – 3200 sq. ft.||Single-Stage||8.2||$2300||$6800|
Carrier Heat Pump Reviews
Carrier offers around a dozen models of heat pumps at any given time. As they continue to advance their technologies, newer and more efficient models enter the lineups. Carrier has three basic types of heat pumps, separated by the compressor type and enhanced features (noise reduction, improved airflow, etc.).
This section looks at the Carrier Infinity, Performance, and Comfort series heat pumps to help you understand their differences and find the best option for your needs.
The Carrier Infinity Series
The Carrier Infinity series is the top of the line. It contains four different models, but only one with variable speed pumps. The Infinity 24 utilizes a variable speed compressor and Greenspeed Intelligence. This system uses the Infinity System Control to monitor temperatures and adjust the compressor from 25 to 100% capacity.
Since the compressor never runs harder than it needs to, it uses far less energy than other styles. With this technology, the Infinity24 can reach SEER ratings as high as 24 and maintain your home’s temperature with little effort.
The other three models all use a two-stage compressor. While it is still more efficient than a single-stage, it isn’t quite as efficient as a variable speed. These three models can only reach up to 19.5 SEER, which is still outstanding on all accounts.
The Infinity series all utilize Infinity System controls for self-monitoring, communications, and temperature control. They run more reliably, for shorter times, and use much less energy than any other Carrier model. Not only that, but these systems help remove humidity by up to 400% more than their competitors.
If you register the model’s purchase within 60 days, you will receive a 10-year unit replacement and 10-year parts warranty for your trouble. While they are quite expensive as a unit and have a high installation cost, the Infinity series is worth it, saving you money every month for at least a decade.
The Carrier Performance Series
The performance series is the most popular. Balancing performance and cost, the Performance series houses four models. Two of the models are near identical, the Performance 16 and Performance 16 Enhanced.
The main difference here is that the Enhanced model (25HPB6) has a single-stage compressor and a much quieter operation (Max 67dB). The standard model (25HCB6) uses a two-stage compressor for a higher SEER rating (17 compared to 16) and includes comfort features and humidity controls the Enhanced model doesn’t have.
The other models, the Performance 14 and Performance 15, are single-stage compressor heat pumps with no additional comfort controls or sound reductions. They are the most cost-effective of the series but may not be large enough for extremely cold climates. They average only 8.7 HSPF, which is among the lowest of any Carrier heat pump.
The Carrier Comfort Series
The Comfort series is a budget-friendly series. However, don’t let that fool you into thinking the heat pumps aren’t up to par. There are three total models, with 2 of them being near-identical, once again. The Comfort 14 and Comfort 14 Coastal are identical in almost every aspect, from internal parts to performance and operation.
However, the Coastal model has a powder-coated steel frame that is highly resistant to saltwater and salt air damage. It is ideal for areas within 10 miles of saltwater. If you live further inland, the Comfort 14 is the model you should choose as the added protection will only cost you more without any added protection of longevity.
The Comfort 15, then, as the last model, is a step up from the Comfort 14. It offers a higher SEER rating to meet the needs of summer heat in almost all US regions. Like the other two, you also get a 10-year warranty with registration. However, there isn’t a 10-year unit replacement option like you get with the Infinity series.
Considerations When Buying A Carrier Heat Pump
One of the first things to think about is model type and size. You want the correct tonnage for your home and the right-sized unit, physically, to install in the allotted space. If you are unsure, you can use the general guide of 20 BTUs per square foot of the home. An HVAC tech will be able to help you find the exact size needed, as well.
Noise levels are also something to consider. Many Carrier models are quiet, but some of the lesser models can get quite loud. With an average decibel rating below 60, you shouldn’t have much problem. However, choosing a different brand may have different results.
The warranty will also play a part and is worth looking at closely. Most heat pump warranties (regardless of brand) will have a free extension opportunity if you register the purchase online. However, you have a specific time to register (usually 60 days).
The extension is a simple process and worth taking the 5 minutes to do. However, make sure the warranty itself is worth having in the first place. Some brands will extend the warranty, but even the extension is less than 5 years and may not be worth it.
Finally, you need to be concerned about cost. Unit cost is one thing, and Carrier has a wide range of prices for their models. Almost every budget can find a model to suit their needs. However, you also need to consider installation costs.
Larger models will cost more. According to Modernize.com, the average install cost for a 2.5 ton unit is about $6000. Larger models can reach over $10,000 to install, depending on location, fees, and timing.
Tax Credits Explained
The US government, back in 2018, passed an incentive program to advance the purchase and installation of energy-efficient systems. This covers boilers, heat pumps, central air conditioners, and other items. This program has since been extended through 2021 and retroactive to January 1, 2017.
If you buy and install a qualifying heat pump system, you can file for a $300 tax credit. Certain factors must be met to qualify, though.
- The home must already exist, and the homeowner must live in it. New construction and rentals do not qualify.
- The heat pump must be Energy Star certified.
- Split systems must be a minimum of 15 SEER and 8.5 HSPF.
- Package systems must be a minimum of 14 SEER and 8 HSPF.
- System must be purchased and installed before December 31, 2021.
Once you have a qualifying purchase, you simply need to install it and file tax form 5695. Once approved, your $300 tax credit will be applied.
Note that there is a current legislation attempting to pass that will extend the program through 2026 and possibly double the tax credit amount (to $600 for heat pumps).
How To Calculate A Heat Pumps Power Consumption
Power consumption is the calculation of how much energy the system uses to produce heat (or cooling). That energy is what you pay for each month, and you can figure out how much a system will cost you with a simple math formula.
Before you can figure the costs, there are a few steps you need to take to get the values for the formula. First, you need to find out how many kilowatts the system uses. This will be shown on the label under watts (divide by 1000 for kilowatts). If watts are not listed, you can multiply volts and amps to get watts.
You will also need to know how much you are charged per kilowatt-hour of electrical use. This information is found on your monthly energy bill. The national average is about 13 cents.
Finally, you need to know how many hours per day the heat pump runs and how many days you want to know the cost for. On average across the US, a heat pump will run 4 to 6 hours, and most people are interested in the 90 days of summer or spring when the system runs the most.
Now that we have the variables, we can use the formula: kilowatts (kW) x Price per kilowatt-hour (kWH) x hours per day (h/d) x Days in cycle (D).
If we have a model that draws 4200 watts (4.2kW) that costs the average 13 cents ($0.13), running 5 hours per day for 90 days, our formula would look like this: (4.2 x $0.13) x (5 x 90) = $196.56.
Carrier Heat Pumps Vs. Other Brands
Carrier may be the biggest name in the game, but that doesn’t mean they are the only (or the best). How does the HVAC giant stack up against other big-name brands? We compare Carrier heat pumps to Trane and Amana here to find out.
Carrier Vs. Trane Heat Pumps
Trane is a high-end name brand that produces some of the most durable and reliable heat pumps around. Trane offers similar model styles to Carrier. Variable speed, two-stage and single-stage models are available.
Trane Heat Pumps are slightly less expensive when comparing like for like. On average across the whole line, though Carrier has a lower price point. Carrier also has more models and a higher average SEER rating. While Carrier may be, on average, a better option than Trane, there is a spot for Trane on a specific model basis.
The warranties are comparable, too. Both brands offer a 5-year base warranty. If you register within 60 days, though, Carrier will extend the warranty to 10 years for both parts and compressors.
Trane’s warranty will vary by product. Most of their heat pumps, though, will be extended to 10 years (some models will get 20 years). Read the fine print before you decide.
Carrier Vs. Amana Heat Pumps
Amana is a well-known brand that produces reliable and affordable products. Their heat pump line is no different. While they may not have the selection that Carrier offers, their models are still just as good.
You will find an average SEER value of about 16 and an HSPF average of 10. Carrier beats these numbers but also has twice the number of heat pump options. The biggest advantage that Amana holds is its cost. Priced much lower than Carrier, you can get an affordable unit that will perform well and last for several years.
Amana Heat Pumps also offer variable speed compressors and wireless communications. Carrier also has these features, but it is rare to see them on such mid-range and affordable machines. Because Amana works under the Goodman branding, they also follow Goodman’s amazing warranty.
The base warranty is either 5 or 10 years (based on model), but with registration, the compressor is automatically warrantied for life and all other parts for 10 years. For an affordable option, Amana is a great choice. However, if you want a more reputable brand with more options, Carrier may be a wiser choice.
Why Tou Should Hire An HVAC Professional To Install A Heat Pump
Hiring a professional HVAC technician for the install is a wise choice. There are many reasons a professional is your best option, which we cover here.
Correct Model Will Be Supplied
When you hire a contractor to perform the installation, most of the time, they will supply the unit. You can request the brand and model, of course, but they will add the cost to their invoice and take care of shipping and installation for you.
This ensures that you get the right size for your needs. Based on square footage, average temperatures in your area, and your heating and cooling needs, different sizes work better. While you may not know precisely what BTU output you need, your installer will.
System Warranty Guaranteed
Many brands (though not all of them) require a professional install to uphold the warranty. Some warranties don’t make the distinction; however, they can void the warranty if it is deemed an improper install caused the issue.
Having a professional installer will negate this void attempt. Many times the installing contractor will also offer a warranty on the labor of the installation to protect your investment and the costs associated with a warranty reinstall.
Safety is always a concern with HVAC equipment installs. A professional installer will minimize these concerns. Personal safety is the most important, of course. And hiring a trained professional will keep you out of harm’s way.
Structural safety and equipment safety are also worth noting. With a licensed contractor, your home, installation area, and heat pump will all remain safe from improper mounting, structural compromises, and other known issues from a faulty install.
Increased Efficiency Due To A Correct Setup
Improper installation was found to be the cause of most efficiency issues. This is what prompted the tax credit program. Not only will a professional install be better for you and your system, but it will also ensure the system performs at its best.
For the highest efficiency and best performance, a professional install is the way. A DIY install can be fine, but the added assurances from a professional install will always be worth it.
Carrier Heat Pump Troubleshooting Tips (and FAQs)
Carrier Heat Pump Trips Breaker Or Freezes Up
Many things can cause a tripped breaker or a heap pump to freeze up. If both are happening, it is most likely a clogged filter or clogged coils. Cleaning coils or replacing filters can correct the problem.
If the breaker keeps tripping, the system is drawing too much power. This can be caused by a faulty run capacitor or a short in the thermostat wiring. If you check these and everything seems fine, it is time to call in a professional for diagnosis.
Carrier Heat Pump Not Heating Or Cooling Correctly
One of the biggest causes of this condition is human error. In most cases, the thermostat ends up being placed in the opposite mode (heating or cooling). It is always worth it to double-check the thermostat and its settings.
If the thermostat is fine, the issue is most likely low refrigerant. Refrigerant loss due to a leak must be identified and refilled by a professional. You will notice a loss of refrigerant in cooling mode if the coils are frozen.
Carrier Heat Pump Blower Doesn’t Run
If the blower doesn’t run, the blower motor is at fault. This can be caused by a capacitor being burned out or a shorted power wire. Inspection is okay, but confirmation should be left to the pros. Proper tools and knowledge of high voltage electricity are needed to confirm the exact cause. Blower motors do burn out over time and will need to be replaced.
Are Carrier Heat Pumps Quiet?
Almost all heat pump models from Carrier have a decibel rating below 60. This is below the industry average, making Carrier one of the quietest heat pump manufacturers around. On a model per model basis, though, some of the low-end models can reach sound levels over 75dBA, which is considered quite loud.
How Do I Reset My Carrier Heat Pump?
Unlike their air conditioners, Carrier heat pumps don’t have a reset button. The only time a Carrier pump will need to be reset is if the internal fuse blows. When this happens, you need to turn the breaker off that supplies the heat pump. Find and replace the blown fuse and then turn the breaker back on. As long as the thermostat is functioning correctly, the heat pump will reset when the power is restored.
How Long Does A Carrier Heat Pump Last?
Carrier heat pumps can last quite a while. With averages showing a heat pump lasting 10 to 12 years, Carrier can go longer. With proper care, maintenance, and regular check-ups, Carrier heat pumps have lasted 20+ years without any issues.
Carrier heat pumps are popular, durable, and mostly affordable. The high-end models have high SEER and HSPF ratings, making them some of the most efficient systems on the market.
To save a bit of money, you can opt for a lower-ranged model. While you may have an efficiency drop, it is still higher than your current central AC system. Quiet and efficient models span the Carrier line up with options for all needs and home sizes. Staying with a well-known brand like Carrier can give you peace of mind, though installation and unit costs can be a bit higher.
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