Comfortmaker heat pumps are part of a much larger brand working alongside the likes of Heil, Day & Night, and all under the Carrier umbrella. While the company is regional, it still offers an affordable option with a great warranty.
Heat pumps are known for their high efficiency and simple installs. Heat pumps can reach higher SEER ratings than traditional central air conditioners. This article will examine the ins and outs of heat pumps and specifically the Comfortmaker brand.
By the end, you will know if Comfortmaker is the right brand for you, what they offer and what to look for.
Comfortmaker Heat Pump Brand Explored
Comfortmaker heat pumps are under the Carrier umbrella owned by United Technologies Group. This is the same umbrella that houses Bryant, Day & Night, Heil, and Tempstar. The last three, plus Comfortmaker, are all regional branding for the four corners of the United States.
In essence, the only difference between these brands is where they are sold and which name is on the badge when you open the box. As a brand, though, Comfortmaker is durable and reliable, using the 7mm copper tubing made famous by Carrier and housed in late-model Bryant machines.
They still offer decently high SEER ratings, work to low temperatures and maintain the temperature and climate in your home as well as anyone, all for an affordable price.
Most Important Specs To Look For In A Heat Pump
When looking to buy a heat pump, there are a lot of separate costs to consider. Below we outline those costs and other factors to help you make a better informed decision.
Cost of the Heat Pump
The most important cost factor is the unit cost of the heat pump itself. Comfortmaker is an entry-level brand that has excellent pricing. Unlike larger brands, you can expect to pay up to 50 or even 60 percent less with Comfortmaker compared to big-name brands.
The unit cost will not include any extras such as ducting, tubing, refrigerant, or labor. Most of these costs, though, will come with the installation fees (see below). In most cases, you won’t buy the unit and then find a contractor for installation, so your unit cost will be a part of the install fees you are given in your estimate.
Those installation fees will cover the labor hours fees of the installer, which can vary greatly from under $50 per hour to over $120 per hour. This depends on the contractor, where you live, and the demand at the time of install.
Install fees will also cover anything extra needed to finalize the system, such as bracing, slab for the condenser, ductwork wiring, etc.
Another thing to plan and budget for is the annual costs of ownership. Cleaning supplies, air filters, and other basic needs items are fairly cheap. You should also budget between $300 and $500 for an annual inspection.
These inspections help maintain proper operation of the system and maintain the warranty. You will also know your system is working well, have any minor repairs fixed, and spot potential significant repairs before they become an issue.
Noise levels are also a primary concern when you live in multi-family housing, have close neighbors, or install the unit near or under a window. With sound dampening techniques, some brands can get their models to sub-50 decibels (dB).
With the Comfortmaker brand, there aren’t any sound dampening devices installed, so the machines are slightly louder than average. You can expect noise levels to be between 65 and 72dB overall.
Part of large purchases are the warranties. You want your investment to be trouble-free and worth the price. However, savvy buyers know that things are going to happen. Being prepared with the right warranty will help protect your investment and limit out of pocket expenses for repairs.
With Comfortmaker, there are different warranty coverage periods based on the type of heat pump you buy. These warranties all cover the same things, including parts, compressors, sealed system components, and more. The difference is in the coverage time. 1, 3, 5, or 10 years of coverage come with the heat pump models, with higher-end units having the longer terms.
Running Costs: SEER & HSPF Ratings
Energy efficiency plays a significant role in today’s HVAC equipment. If it isn’t efficient enough, state and regional regulations may prevent its install. For the most part, as long as your SEER rating is above 14 and your HSPF rating is above 8, you will be fine. But what are the SEER and HSPF ratings?
Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, or SEER, is a rating system that determines maximum efficiency based on the electrical wattage draw of the system compared to the BTU output when using cooling mode. This ratio is given in an easy-to-read number where bigger is better.
On average, any system with 14 to 17 SEER is considered good, 18 to 20 is great, and anything over 20 SEER is excellent.
The same is true for the Heating Seasonal Performance Factor, or HSPF. It is also an efficiency rating comparing electrical draw versus BTU output. The difference is for this one is the system is in heating mode. HSPF rating numbers aren’t a large as SEER ratings, but they, too, are “bigger is better.”
Anything above 8 HSPF is considered good, with 9 to 10 HSPF being great and anything over 10 HSPF considered excellent. You can find a lot of highly efficient machines, but they will come at a higher price.
Comfortmaker Heat Pumps Compared
Comfortmaker has its name badge on 11 different models. Each one has a different SEER or HSPF rating, compressor type, and of course, cost. The following chart compares all of the models side by side so you can see which one best fits your needs.
Note: for the unit cost and installation costs, we use a 2.5 (or 3 if not available) ton unit average cost and the expected US average installation fee of $3200 to $3500. Your prices will vary based on location, contractor fees, and other variables.
|Heat Pump Model||SEER||Ton||Home Size||Compressor Type||HSPF||Cost (Unit Only)||Cost + Install|
|CVH8||19||2 – 5||1200 – 3200 sq. ft.||Variable||11||$2800 – 3000||$6000 – 8500|
|CCH6||17.5||2 – 5||1200 – 3200 sq. ft.||2-Stage||9.5||$2000 – 2500||$5200 – 8000|
|CSH6||16||1.5 – 5||900 – 3200 sq. ft.||2-Stage||9||$2250 – 2700||$5450 – 8200|
|CSH5||16||2 – 5||1200 – 3200 sq. ft.||Single-Stage||9||$2250 – 2700||$5450 – 8200|
|CSH4||14||2 – 5||1200 – 3200 sq. ft.||Single-Stage||8.2||$2000 – 2500||$5200 – 8000|
|N4H6||17.5||1.5 – 5||900 – 3200 sq. ft.||2-Stage||9.5||$2000 – 2500||$5200 – 8000|
|NXH5||15||1.5 – 5||900 – 3200 sq. ft.||2-Stage||8.5||$2000 – 2500||$5200 – 8000|
|NXH6||15||1.5 – 5||900 – 3200 sq. ft.||2-Stage||8.5||$2250 – 2700||$5450 – 8200|
|N4H4**C||14||1.5 – 5||900 – 3200 sq. ft.||Single-Stage||8.2||$2250 – 2700||$5450 – 8200|
|N4H4||14||1.5 – 5||900 – 3200 sq. ft.||Single-Stage||8.2||$2000 – 2500||$5200 – 8000|
Comfortmaker Heat Pump Reviews: The Full Range
Comfortmaker heat pumps come in a wide variety of styles, sizes, and options. In this section we look at the two lineup categories, the Premium and Value Series. Each model within these two categories has a unique aspect to make it more alluring for you.
Comfortmaker Premium Series
There are a total of five models in the Premium Series. Each model is compatible with the Ion System Control and offers you dual fuel capabilities when paired with the right furnace model.
The top of the line CVH8 is the only model in the entire lineup with a variable speed compressor. This allows the system to make small, subtle speed changes to keep performance and efficiency levels high. All told, the CVH8 can produce up to 19 SEER and 11 HSPF, making it the most efficient model from the brand.
You also have the CCH6 and CSH6 models. Each is compatible with multi-use furnaces as a stand-alone unit and offers quiet operation with levels as low as 68dB. The main difference between these two models is the efficiency rating and compressor. The CCH6 is a two-speed compressor model with up to 17.5 SEER. It is also a top-range model with a 10-year warranty.
The CSH6 model uses a single-speed compressor and produces up to 16 SEER. It is Energy Star certified, giving you the chance to qualify for the tax credit (see further below), but is considered a mid-range model which offers only a 5-year warranty.
The last two models here, the CSH5 and CSH4, meet the Ion System Control requirements to make it into the Premium category, but this is the only reason they are here. With a top efficiency of 16 SEER and only 9 HSPF, these two models are at the lower end of the spectrum.
However, the CSH5 is still a mid-range model giving you a 5-year warranty. Compared to the CSH4, which is a low-range model and qualifies only for a 3-year protection warranty.
Comfortmaker Value Series
The Value Series is comprised of six models, and each one is slightly different. The top of the line model is the N4H6. It offers a two-stage compressor and produces only 70dB of noise at full speed. While it is the most efficient of the remaining models (17.5 SEER), it is not Energy Star certified, so it won’t qualify for the tax credit.
The NXH5 and NXH6 models, though, are also both two-stage compressor options, and both are Energy Star certified. While you only get 15 SEER max, you do qualify for the tax credit, and they are slightly cheaper than the N4H6 model.
Next is the most unique model of the bunch. The NH4H4 is a slimline compact heat pump designed for horizontal installation or use in compact areas. It offers 14 SEER and 8.2 HSPF for decent efficiency as well as space-saving installation.
The final two are the only identical options. They have the same single-stage compressor, 7mm copper tubing, and housings. There is a single difference here (aside from the model number). The N4H4 is a standard model designed for installation in all locations.
However, the N4H4**C (the ** are placeholders for the BTU identification) is the “coastal” unit. It has a special paint and powder coating to help prevent corrosion from saltwater. It is designed specifically for install within 10 miles of beaches and coastal regions.
Average Power Consumption Of Heat Pumps
The power consumption will tell you how much you can expect to pay based on the unit size that you buy. This is a great formula to help you identify which model is the cheapest for you when you can’t decide between two models.
That formula uses 4 variables and will tell you the costs over any period of time. The formula looks like this: kW x $kWh x H x D.
Those variables are simple. First, you need to know the wattage intake and divide by 1000 to get the kilowatts (kW). This is found on the model ID plate or in the owner’s manual. Next, you need to look at your electric bill and determine how much you pay per kilowatt-hour (kWh).
After that, the rest is an estimation. You need to know the hours per day (H) that the system is actually running. For assistance, during peak season times (summer and winter), a typical heat pump will run 4 to 6 hours.
Finally, you need to know the number of days (D) that you want to know the running costs for. For example, a season will last 90 days. If we use these variables, assuming a 3900-watt system (3.9kW) at 12 cents per kilowatt-hour ($kWh) for that season at a 5 hour (H) runtime, we get the following: 3.9 x $0.12 x 5 x 90 = $210.60.
Comparing Comfortmaker with Other Heat Pump Brands
One true test of any heat pump is seeing how it stands up against the competition. This section will compare Comfortmaker to Heil, Tempstar, and Goodman brands to find out how they hold up.
Comfortmaker Vs Heil
The only differences between these brands are where they are sold and available and the name on the badge plate. The model numbers are identical (with the leading letter of the model number being an H, T, C), the internals and all other aspects are all the same.
The northeast region sells Comfortmaker, and Heil controls the southwest. You will find Day & Night in the northwest and Tempstar in the southeast. Depending on where you live, that is the brand you will buy in that region.
Coleman Vs Goodman
Goodman is the most recognized name in residential HVAC systems, and their heat pumps are among the most popular. While you only get a limited selection (5 models), the average higher SEER ratings across the entire line up and have a higher top end (21 SEER).
Like Comfortmaker, Goodman only offers a single model with a variable speed compressor. Two of the models are two-stage compressors, and the final two offer only a single-stage compressor. However, while Comfortmaker has more models to choose from, the Goodman units are overall more durable, last longer, and come with a better warranty.
Comfortmaker has a good warranty, with the industry average being between 5 and 10 years; the top-end models are all 10-year coverage. However, Comfortmaker also has a 1, 3, or 5 year warranty for lower-end models. Goodman, when registered, gives you 10 years on all parts and lifetime coverage on the compressor.
Government HVAC Tax Rebate Program & Eligibility
The federal tax credit program offers you $300 for buying and installing a high efficient system. There are a few requirements for qualifying for the tax credit.
- You must own the home and live in it. Rental properties don’t qualify.
- The heat pump system must also be Energy Star certified and installed by a professional.
- If you buy a split system heat pump, it must be a minimum of 15 SEER and 8.5 HSPF.
- If you buy a packaged heat pump, it must be a minimum 14 SEER and 8 HSPF.
- Finally, the system must be purchased and installed between January 1, 2017, and December 31, 2021.
Once you meet the requirements, you just fill out the proper tax form (Form 5695) and file with your income taxes for your $300 credit.
Finding A Licensed HVAC Contractor For Installation
Finding the right person or group to install your heat pump can be the biggest problem. Here are some tips to ensure you get the right contractor and the install goes smoothly.
- Get at least three or four quotes. This will ensure you have the best pricing for the project.
- Select local professionals. Local companies will work faster and be easier to contact should they be needed later.
- Ensure your contractors are licensed, insured, and bonded. They need the expertise and coverage to do the job and protect your investment.
- Obtain job estimates. This will show you the work to be done, including any extra fees, costs, or hidden charges. Itemized estimates will break down each charge and show you why it is being applied.
- Use only trusted, reviewed, and highly rated pros. You want someone experienced that knows what they are doing.
If you want to make the process even easier, we have a free-to-use locator tool. Partnering with Networx, we have a tool that will return up to 4 professionals that meet all the above requirements and that are local to you. It’s free, it’s fast, and it’s easy.
Troubleshooting Tips & FAQs
This section will answer common questions and explain when you can DIY a common troubleshooting issue or when to call a professional.
How do I read my Comfortmaker model number?
Comfortmaker model numbers all start with 4 to 5 digits. These are the numbers and letters that explain the model type. For example, when you look at the model CVH8, I will tell you specific information about that model. The full model number will depend on the tonnage and BTU size you select, which is why they are left off here.
The first digit is the branding. C for Comfortmaker and N for non-branded. The second digit tells you what type of compressor is used; variable speed (V), dual-stage (C), or single-stage (S). The third digit tells you the type of machine (H for heat pump, A for air conditioner, etc.) And finally, the 4th number is the SEER number average for that model across all size options (Not max SEER for that particular unit).
Comfortmaker Heat Pump Replacement Parts
Finding replacement parts for your Comfortmaker heat pump doesn’t have to be that difficult. As long as you know your serial number and model number, you will have all the information you need to look up the correct part.
Sites like Amazon will have decent deals and carry most parts without a lot of searching needed. However, if you plan to have your part professionally installed, it may be best to contact the contractor directly. If you use the same company that installed the unit for you, they will have your information on record and get the right part directly from the manufacturer.
Comfortmaker Heat Pump Blower Doesn’t Run
One of the biggest complaints with any heat pump is turning the system on and having no air come from the vents, even though the system is on and running. In almost all cases, this is because the blower fan motor is burnt out.
However, this burnout can be the motor itself, a run capacitor, or a contactor that controls the motor. It can even be a power wire that leads to or between any of these components. Because the system will need to be checked while on (240 volts), it is safer to call a technician with the right tools and experience to diagnose and repair (or replace) the motor.
How do I reset my Comfortmaker Heat pump?
To reset your heat pump, you will need to perform a power cycle. Locate the breakers in your circuit panel that control the heat pump and turn them off (there are generally 2 breakers). Allow time for the residual electricity to drain out (about 2 to 4 minutes).
Once enough time has passed, you can turn the breakers back on and allow the system time to come back on. This can take up to 10 minutes before the reset is complete and the system is running again.
Comfortmaker Heat Pump Trips Breaker or Freezes Up
When your system consistently trips a breaker, it is a sign that the heat pump is drawing too much power. In almost every case, this is due to the compressor being overworked. You can check a couple of things to see if it is an easy fix.
For example, airflow blockage is a significant cause of an overworked compressor. Check your air filter for clogs or damage and replace it as needed. You can also check the coils and fans on the condenser unit for blockages, dirt, or even corrosion.
If all that checks out or is cleaned and the problem persists, you will need to call in a professional for proper diagnosis and repair.
The same can be said for a system that ices up. Either the coils or the refrigerant lines can freeze if there is improper airflow. Checking the air filter and coils for clogs, blockages, or damage is your first step.
However, the most likely cause is low refrigerant, which only happens if there is a leak. You will need to hire a trained HVAC technician to locate and repair the leak and replenish the refrigerant.
How do you use a Comfortmaker heat pump wiring diagram?
Inside the control panels are wiring diagrams. These are made to help you or the technician identify specific parts, their locations, and all wiring connections between them. The key to using these diagrams is knowing how they are laid out and what the words and numbers mean.
Each component will be a small square on the diagram with a label. The black lines represent the wires, each coded with their respective color on the machine. To follow a circuit, you start at the component and then trace the wires on the diagram to the next part. Then follow along the same path on the actual machine.
Comfortmaker heat pumps make up one fourth of the budget-friendly branded machines from the Carrier group. Each of the four brands (Comfortmaker, Heil, Tempstar, and Day & Night) are all regional off-branding from both Carrier and Bryant.
When you go with these brands, you are getting a durable and reliable machine for a fraction of the cost. Their low unit cost and simple installation make them a favorite for multi-family housing complexes and installers alike. You can expect 5 to 10 years of trouble-free service with great savings and moderately high-efficiency levels in your home.
Our Rating: (4.1 / 5)