During the winter season, the need for interior heating rises. And while you have multiple options for heating your room, space or home, one stands above the rest. Heat pumps are affordable, highly efficient, and can be used in new construction, upgrades, or replacements.
If you currently have a central air conditioning and heater system, a heat pump upgrade can save you a lot of money. The problem is knowing which brand and model to choose. Daikin heat pumps are affordable, have excellent reviews, ratings and are highly efficient.
This article will examine the Daikin heat pump lineup and help you decide if it is a good match. We will look at all of their models and compare pricing, features and explore what heat pumps are as well as how they work.
Daikin is now owner of the Goodman Global Group and has been working with integrating the companies since 2012.
While Daikin is a leading world manufacturer, since the acquisition of Goodman, their base headquarters have been in Houston. However, they still operate out of Japan, China, India, and Spain.
You will find that Daikin offers a wide range of heat pumps, with three named units and a budget-friendly series that contains 7 different models. Each one has various features, options, and compressors that make them individual enough to be noted alone.
Daikin also has a decent warranty covering the entire unit for up to 12 years, which is 2 years longer than most other brands (except a few lifetime offers). The reliable systems are durable in all weather conditions, hold up to constant use, and can work to supply heat in temperatures as low as -13 degrees.
If you are in the market for a heat pump, Daikin is a solid option. But what makes them stand out and be noticed among the other brands? Let’s take a closer look.
What Are Heat Pump Tonnage, SEER & HSPF Ratings?
Heat pumps have various measurements to let you know their capacities, electrical intake, output, and efficiency. There are three main numbers you need to be concerned with.
Tonnage is not a unit of weight when talking about HVAC equipment. A ton is the BTU equivalent for heat or cooling output. A BTU is how much it takes to melt a ton of ice in 24 hours. A ton, then, is equal to 12,000 BTUs which are measured in ½ ton increments. So a 2 ton unit has 24,000 BTUs, a 4.5 ton unit has 54,000 BTUs, and so on.
The tons will equate to the size of the home, where larger homes (3000 square feet +) will need 4 to 5 ton units to be effective.
The other two measurements show you how efficient the system is at cooling (SEER) and heating (HSPF). Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) is the rating of the wattage input and BTU output over the summer months when in cooling mode. The higher the SEER rating, the more energy-efficient that model is. For heat pumps, anything over 16 is good, 18+ is great, and over 20 SEER is excellent.
For heat output and winter efficiency ratings, you look at the Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF). This is basically the same as the SEER, but for the heating aspect of the unit over the winter months. The HSPF will be a lower rating than SEER as it takes more energy to heat than to cool.
For heat pumps, anything over 8 HSPF is good, where 9 to 9.5 is great, and over 10 is excellent. However, if you buy just on SEER and HSPF ratings, you can get the wrong sized unit for your space. This will negate any efficiency and end up costing you more.
You need to find the balance between tonnage, SEER, and HSPF for your home. Is it better to oversize or undersize a heat pump? Technically neither is optimal, but if you have no choice, go with the larger sized unit; it will run less often and won’t burn out as quickly.
Daikin Heat Pump Range (Side By Side Comparison)
Daikin heat pumps come in a wide range of types, styles, profiles, and capacities. Each model also comes in different sizes to accommodate more homes. One of the most important aspects of choosing your suitable model is to find the model with the right SEER, HSPF, and tonnage for your home.
The chart below compares all Daikin heat pump models and their SEER and HSPF ratings, tonnage options, and costs. Read through the list and get a better idea of the best model for you and your needs.
|Heat Pump Model||SEER||Ton||Home Size||Compressor Type||HSPF||Cost (Unit Only)||Cost + Install|
|FIT Heat Pump||18||1.5 – 5||1200 – 3200 sq. ft.||Variable Speed||10||$5200 – $6500||$8200 – $9500|
|VRV LIFE||18||2 – 5||1200 – 3200 sq. ft.||Variable Speed||10.5||$4800 – $5900||$7800 – $5900|
|SkyAir FTQ Ducted||16||1.5 – 4.5||900 – 3200 sq. ft.||Variable Speed||10.4||$4200 – $5200||$6200 – $8200|
|DZ20VC||21||2 – 5||1200 – 3200 sq. ft.||Variable Speed||10||$3800 – $5000||$6800 – $8000|
|DZ18VC||19||2 – 5||1200 – 3200 sq. ft.||Variable Speed||10||$3500 – $4700||$6500 – $7700|
|DZ18TC||19||2 – 5||1200 – 3200 sq. ft.||Two-Stage||10||$2600 – $3400||$4600 – $6400|
|DZ16TC||17||1.5 – 5||900 – 3200 sq. ft.||Two-Stage||9.5||$2200 – $3300||$5200 – $6300|
|DZ16SA||16||1.5 – 5||900 – 3200 sq. ft.||Single-Stage||9.5||$1400 – $3000||$4400 – $6000|
|DZ14SA||15||1.5 – 5||900 – 3200 sq. ft.||Single-Stage||9.0||$1000 – $2100||$4000 – $6100|
|DZ14SN||15||1.5 – 5||900 – 3200 sq. ft.||Single-Stage||9.0||$1000 – $2000||$4000 – $6000|
Daikin Heat Pump Reviews
Daikin offers 10 different models, each with their own sizes and features. While Daikin doesn’t differentiate their heat pumps, we will here for purposes of clarification. There are three named models and 7 common models. Let’s take a closer look at each model to find the best fit for you.
Daikin Named Heat Pumps
The three named heat pumps are the Daikin FIT, VRV Life, and SkyAir FTQ. All three come with variable speed inverter compressors and high SEER values. The FIT is a low profile body that can be installed in small spaces, tight corner areas, and doesn’t need much surrounding free area.
The VRV Life and SkyAir are both more normal-sized units, and the SkyAir is a ducted system. It is designed to be an upgrade replacement for current central air systems. It can use your existing ductwork and vents, which can save on installation costs.
The variable speed compressors run near silent, making the loudest of the three units (SkyAir) run at a quiet 52dBA, which is almost the lowest ducted heat pump on the market. All three models also feature an HSPF rating of 10 or higher and either 16 SEER (SkyAir) or 18 SEER (FIT and VRV Life).
While their cost is much higher than the other common heat pumps, you will find their efficiency, runtimes, and installs all save you money over time. You also get the standard 5-year Daikin warranty extended to 12 years upon registration (within 60 days). Each unit must be installed and serviced annually by a licensed professional.
Daikin Common Heat Pumps
The common heat pumps are your mid-range and entry-level models. This group is further broken down into those with two or more speed compressors and those with a single-stage compressor.
Multi-Stage Heat Pumps
The common models do have variable speed compressor options. Again, this is rare in the heat pump industry, with the more expensive technology reserved for the high-end models only. However, the DZ20VC and DZ18VC each come with a variable speed compressor, quiet operation, and high efficiency (21 and 19 SEER, respectively).
If you are looking to save a bit of money but still require 20+ SEER ratings, the DZ20VC was recently rated Energy Star’s most efficient unit of 2021. This is awarded to any efficient system that exceeded Energy Star ratings for efficiency. Needless to say, not many brands or models have this delegation, and Daikin has five such models.
The two other multi-speed models are both two-stage compressor units. Each model is still highly efficient ranging from 17 to 19 SEER. The DZ16TC and DZ18TC are among the most affordable heat pumps in the industry that offer SEER values over 17 and an HSPF rating higher than 9.5.
Of course, the Daikin 5-year (12-year registered) warranty is in place here, as with all other models. And while you can save a lot compared to the named units, the multi-speed models aren’t the least expensive option.
Single-Stage Heat Pumps
The last three models are all single-stage compressor units. Designated as DZ16SA, DZ14SA, and DZ14SN each offer affordable units, installation, and performance. You will notice that the last two models are almost identical. The designation in model numbers is only different by a single letter (S or N).
The S located in the 5th spot of the model number means it is available for install in all regions of the US. This means the SEER value is high enough to install in the South and Southwest, where restrictions are higher, and the HSPF rating is high enough to install in the Northeast, where their demands are greater.
The N in the model number signifies it can only be sold and installed in the northern regions. The SEER value and HSPF values are not high enough to install in the hot and humid Southwest.
Other than that limitation, these units are efficient, reliable, and quiet. Even with the single-stage compressor, you will find that most operation noise levels stay around 55 to 60dB. This makes Daikin one of the quietest heat pump manufacturers in the world.
Specs To Look For When Buying A Daikin Heat Pump
All heat pumps will make noise. Some models will make considerably less noise, though, and if you have the unit installed near a neighbor’s property line or windows, a quieter unit may be more practical.
The main issue, though, is that models with noise suppression (compressor blankets, rubber mounting, vibration absorption, etc.) will cost more than a standard model.
On average, the Daikin heat pumps will range between 58 and 72dBA. This is about the industry average. The top models will be much quieter, with an average of around 45dB, but the cost trade-off may not be worth it to you.
Size Of Heat Pump
The size of the heat pump is two different measurements. First is the actual physical size of the unit. Low profile models are thinner and can install in different positions. A more standard-sized unit takes up more space but is generally easier to install, saving on install fees.
Next, size will refer to the tonnage of the unit. You must ensure you have the right size for your home. A 3000 square foot home trying to use a 1 ton heat pump will find that the unit runs constantly, overheats and breaks down, all without properly reaching the set temperature.
As a general rule, you need 20 BTUs per square foot of home. 1 ton units are suitable for 600 to 900 square feet, 2.5 tons for up to 1800 square feet, 5 tons for over 3200 square feet, etc.
Heat pump compressors are the main reason for their efficiency. The best types are variable speed compressors. These will maintain the correct speed that is required for the system to maintain temperature. They rarely go full speed and never fully stop moving, making them require less electricity to start up.
Below this are two-stage compressors. They have two speeds and maintain a more even cycle flow that uses less energy to maintain temperature. These models are highly efficient, though not as much as a variable speed. They cost much less, though, making them quite popular.
Finally, there are single-stage or traditional compressors. They are the cheapest of the types and are either on or off. The main problem is that when they are off, it takes a lot of electricity to get them moving. This constant jolt can spike your energy consumption and drastically lowers overall efficiency. While it takes more energy to keep them going, they cool or heat quickly before shutting off again.
Cost Of Heat Pump
Unit cost will also be a major factor. Obviously, the larger units, more advanced features, and various options will raise the price. Daikin has many affordable models, but they also have some that cost quite a bit.
More efficient models are higher priced, and if you need a 5 ton or multiple systems for the size of your home, you will also pay more. Finding the balance between features, efficiency and cost is the toughest factor of them all. However, with diligent research (and our heat pump articles), you are sure to find the right brand and model for your needs.
Another cost factor is installation. While mini-split systems are designed for DIY install, most heat pumps will require a professional install. There are many benefits to having a professional HVAC tech install your system (see below).
However, that installation comes at a cost. In most cases, you can expect to pay between $3,000 and $10,000. Location, time of year, the scope of the entire project (upgrade or new install), and other factors all go into the cost of install. It is worth getting your quotes and making a budget for the whole system.
Daikin has a fairly good warranty. With your purchase, you automatically get a 5-year protection of the entire system. However, there is a registration warranty as well. If you register your purchase within 60 days, the warranty is extended to 12 years.
There are requirements that are outlined in the paperwork, but for the most part, you must register within 60 days, identify the owner or contractor that will perform annual maintenance, have the unit maintained each year by a licensed contractor, and keep all records of that maintenance.
Working Out A Heat Pumps Energy Consumption
If you want to know how much your heat pump will cost you to run, there is a formula for that. Before you freak out because math is involved, it is basic multiplication, and the variables are easy to figure out.
- You need to find the wattage of the system. Usually found on the information plate or owner’s manual, the wattage can also be determined by multiplying the volts and amps together. Once you have the watts, you need to divide by 1000 to get the kilowatts (kW).
- Next, you need to determine how much you pay for electricity. This is measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh) and is found on your monthly electric bill. The US average is about $0.13 per kWh.
- Then you need two numbers. The first is the number of hours per day that the unit is running. The average is between 4 and 6 hours over the summer and winter months). You also need the number of total days you want the cost for. Most people do 90 days to cover the winter or summer months.
When you have all of your numbers, you simply plug them into the formula and do the math. The formula looks like: (kW x $/kWh) x (hrs/day x days in cycle).
For example, if we use a 4200 watt system (4.2 kW) that costs 13 cents per kWh, running for 5 hours per day over 90 days, the math will look like this: (4.2 x $0.13) x (5 x 90) = $245.70.
Energy Tax Break Considerations
One other thing you want to pay attention to is the federal tax credit for non-business HVAC installation. If you are buying a heat pump anyway, you might as well qualify for a tax credit, right?
Since 2018, the US government has offered a $300 tax credit for qualifying Energy Star certified heat pumps. To qualify, you must meet a few requirements.
- The installation location must be the home that you live in. New construction and rental properties do not qualify.
- The split heat pump must be a minimum 15 SEER and 8.5 HSPF. If either is lower, the unit does not qualify.
- For packaged systems, the minimums are 14 SEER and 8 HSPF.
- Tax form 5695 is filed with your income taxes.
Once you meet the qualifications and fill out and file the tax form, that’s it. You can enjoy a $300 tax credit on your income taxes.
Daikin Vs. Other Brands
Daikin is known worldwide, and while they may not be the largest HVAC corporation around, they are quite popular. How do they stand up against other big names in the industry? In this section, we compare Daikin to Goodman, Bosch, and Trane to find out.
Daikin Vs. Goodman Heat Pump
Goodman and Daikin are both part of the Goodman Global Group, making the two fairly similar. Goodman heat pumps offer several models as well and also focuses on a more affordable approach. They recently released their first 20 SEER unit, and it is quickly gaining popularity.
Like Daikin, Goodman has variable speed, two-stage, and single-stage compressors to fit all budgets and heating needs. Their pumps are among the most popular because of the well known name and durability. Daikin is less known in the areas Goodman is most popular, but that doesn’t mean they are better.
Across all models, Goodman and Daikin have similar SEER, HSPF, and tonnage sizes. Their costs are also similar. Where Daikin loses out is in the warranty. Both brands offer a 5-year warranty upon purchase. But when registered, Daikin raises the warranty to 12 years. Goodman extends their warranty to 10 years for all parts but lifetime on the compressor, which is advantageous.
Daikin Vs. Bosch Heat Pump
Bosch is a premium brand, and their models and prices show it. You will pay much more for a Bosch heat pump than most other brands, including Daikin. However, you do get what you pay for. Bosch has some of the most reliable and durable systems on the market.
While they aren’t made for every budget, like Daikin, a Bosch heat pump will give you years of reliable heating and cooling with low maintenance, a 10-year warranty, and variable speed compressors (optional).
Bosch specializes in geothermal water to air heat pumps. While these expensive units can end up costing over $25,000 to purchase and install, they save up to 70% energy each year, making them some of the most efficient units around.
For a more practical approach, though, Daikin has a model answer for each air to air Bosch unit. With less expensive models, similar outputs, and a slightly better warranty, Daikin may win your money before Bosch does.
Daikin Vs. Trane Heat Pump
Trane is another high-end brand that is quite popular. They have higher priced models than Daikin but offer slightly better options. More variable speed models and a somewhat better construction for durability.
If price is the deciding factor, you may always choose Daikin over Trane. However, for many of Trane’s heat pump models, you will find that they last longer, require less annual maintenance, and save you a little bit more on your monthly energy bills.
Where Daikin wins is in the registered warranty, which is 2 years longer than Trane. However, it is more likely you will need the warranty with Daikin. Either way you go, though, you will get a system that lasts, performs well, and is highly efficient.
Hiring A HVAC Professional To Install Your Heat Pump
Hiring a professional installer is highly recommended. Trained HVAC technicians have a lot of benefits and only one downside. That downside, of course, is cost. You will pay, on average, between $3000 and $8000 for a proper installation. What you get in return, though, is well worth it.
- Proper model installed.
You will have your home measured with a professional contractor, and the right-sized unit will be ordered, verified, and installed.
- Safety considerations.
Your personal safety is important, and a trained installer will minimize any risk to you. This also extends to the safety of the equipment being installed. With proper leveling and connections, you won’t have to worry about damage or safety issues later.
- Increased efficiency.
Just because the model is capable of reaching high efficiency doesn’t mean it will. A proper installation will help the unit reach full potential, saving you time, effort, and money in the long run.
- Warranty concerns.
Some brands require professional installation to grant a warranty or a warranty extension. With a licensed technician performing the install, you won’t have to worry about the heat pump warranty. Plus, many contractors will also offer a warranty on the labor, which can come in handy if something goes wrong later.
Troubleshooting Tips & FAQs
In this section, we will look at common Daikin issues and how to troubleshoot them and answer some common questions about Daikin heat pumps.
Daikin heat pump not heating or cooling correctly
If your heat pump is not producing enough heat or cold air (and the ambient temperatures are within operational range), check the thermostat for the correct mode and fan settings. You also want to check the air filter for dirt, clogs, or damage. Next, check the coils and ensure they aren’t dirty.
If cleaning the coils, replacing the air filter, and checking the thermostat does not fix the problem, you will need to call an HVAC technician to diagnose and fix the issue.
Daikin heat pump error codes
Daikin heat pump systems are equipped with troubleshooting error codes. One of the most common is the E7 error code. When you see this code, it means there is a problem with one of the fan motors. It can be a power issue, or simply something stuck in the blades preventing rotation.
To check and clear the issue, first test the fuse’s continuity on the fan inverter PC board. If there is continuity, move on. If not, replace the fan inverter PC board. Check that you can manually rotate the fan blade with ease with the fan motor connector removed. If you can, move to the next step. If not, replace the fan motor with stuck blades.
Next, check for resistance between the power supply wire terminal and the metal part of the motor frame. It should be 1 megaohm or lower (1MΩ). If it is higher, replace the fan motor, otherwise move to the next step. Check the fan motor connector (power supply wire) for resistance between UVW phases. If there is an unbalance, replace the fan motor. If not, check the fan motor connector signal wire.
If the signal wire short circuits between Vcc and GRD and between UVW and GRD, replace the fan motor. If it does not, replace the fan inverter board.
Daikin heat pump blower doesn’t run
If the blower doesn’t run, you most likely have a worn fan motor. The blower motor is a simple fix but can be challenging to get to. If you cannot find the blower motor and access it easily for replacement (or just don’t want to), calling a trained professional will have your motor replaced in less than an hour (in most cases).
How do I reset my Daikin heat pump?
To perform a reset on a Daikin heat pump (not an air conditioner unit), you will need to complete a hard reset. First, turn the system off with the thermostat or remote control. Locate the circuit breakers that control the entire unit and shut them off (usually, there are two).
Once all power is removed from the system, wait for 3 to 5 minutes. After the wait time, restore power at the breakers and turn the system on with the thermostat or remote. If the problem persists, try the hard reset again, waiting an extra 3 minutes.
If, after a second attempt, the system still does not function properly, you will need to call an HVAC tech for diagnosis.
Are Daikin heat pumps quiet?
Daikin heat pumps are relatively quiet. They also offer one of the quietest models available right now with the FIT DX17VSS. The inverter-driven heat pumps run near silent. Two-stage and single-stage models are a bit louder, but Daikin has noise reduction methods in place to help reduce the noise. Most models will run, on high, at less than 60dBA.
How to use a Daikin heat pump remote?
To use the remote control (mini-split systems), point the remote at the receiver on the wall cassette unit. The fan button controls the airflow rate.
The temperature buttons raise or lower the unit’s set temperature, and the power button in the middle turns the system on or off. All settings, temperature speeds, and modes are displayed on the LCD at the top of the remote.
How do I register my Daikin heat pump warranty?
When you register your heat pump purchase, you will need the serial numbers of the equipment, your contact information, and the name and phone number of the dealer who installed the system. If you register within 60 days, you will receive an extension on your warranty.
To register, you can mail in the information written on the supplied warranty card, or you can visit the Daikin website and enter the information online, which is faster and more convenient for most.
If you need a new home climate control system, heat pumps are a great option. Not only will a Daikin heat pump replace your existing central air system, but it will cost less and run more efficiently, too.
Not all heat pumps are created equal. Some models are more advanced and more expensive. You also have many brands to choose from. Daikin is a solid option for a reliable and affordable heat pump. Whether you go top of the line with the Daikin FIT or choose a less expensive option like a Daikin DZ Series, you will have reliable warmth and comfort year-round.
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