Heil air conditioners and heating is a name you may have heard about. While they aren’t the biggest name in the game, they are quite popular.
Working under the United Technologies Corporation alongside names like Carrier and Bryant, it is easy to lose track of the value brands. Similar to Heil, names like Comfortmaker and Tempstar are also listed, and these three (plus a few others) share a lot more in common than just parent companies.
This article will examine the Heil air conditioner line ups and help you decide if a new Heil system is what you need. We will also cover everything you need to make a well-informed decision, such as SEER ratings, tax rebates, and model comparisons.
Quick Overview: Heil Air Conditioners
Heil ACs have been around for decades. Alongside their corporation counterparts Carrier and Bryant, you will also find other familiar (or not-so-familiar) names like Tempstar and Comfortmaker.
Heil is a value brand with a lot in common with the other budget-friendly air conditioner models from those other names. Like Tempstar, Heil uses some parts from Carrier that have been relabeled or are an older model.
This doesn’t make them unreliable or less efficient; it only serves to make them more affordable. Currently, Heil offers two lines, the name-branded Heil line, which uses the Ion System technologies for communication and compatibility with interior air handler units. They also offer a non-branded value line.
All told, Heil brings you 12 models to choose from, all ranging from 13 to 19 SEER, with costs more affordable than names like Trane, Carrier, or Goodman.
Price Compare & Running Costs
Cost is one of the biggest decision-making factors for choosing the right central air conditioner. There are three major expenses you need to be concerned about: unit cost, installation cost, and running costs.
The unit cost is the price you pay for the condensing unit itself. Depending on the brand you choose, the region you live in, and the current availability of your chosen model, the unit cost can range drastically. Heil models typically range between $1800 and $3000 (from low-end to high-end).
Installation costs are the fees you pay for a licensed contractor to install and test your air conditioner. This will include the labor, tools, time, and skills of the contractor and will also range on a wide scale.
Different contractors in different regions will all charge different prices. This is why it is crucial to find the best HVAC contractor you can (more details further below on contractor selection). However, it is also important to note that almost all the prices you see for AC installation will include the unit cost in their totals.
Finally, you have running costs. This is an estimated price range for how much you should expect to pay to run the unit. Your monthly energy bill will increase with the addition of a central AC. How much it increases is the running cost. There is a running cost explanation following the Heil price chart.
|Model||Price*(w/out Installation)||Price*(w/ Installation)||Estimated Running Cost**||Government Tax Break|
|HVA9||$2800 – 3000||$6000 – 8500||$360 – 440||$300|
|HCA7||$2000 – 2500||$5200 – 8000||$390 – 460||$300|
|HSA6||$2250 – 2700||$5450 – 8200||$475 – 525||$300|
|HSA5||$2250 – 2700||$5450 – 8200||$475 – 525||None|
|N4A7||$2000 – 2500||$5200 – 8000||$390 – 460||$300|
|N4A6||$2000 – 2500||$5200 – 8000||$400 – 490||$300|
|NXA6||$2000 – 2500||$5200 – 8000||$510 – 625||$300|
|N4A4**C||$2250 – 2700||$5450 – 8200||$475 – 525||None|
|NH4A4||$2250 – 2700||$5450 – 8200||$510 – 625||None|
|N4A5||$2000 – 2500||$5200 – 8000||$510 – 625||None|
|NXA4||$1800 – 2000||$4800 – 5200||$525 – 655||None|
|N4A3||$1800 – 2000||$4500 – 5200||$530 – 675||None|
*Prices are estimates for the following: 2.5-ton condenser, 1300-1400 cfm air handler plus a programmable thermostat.
**Running costs based on 21 cents/kWh and 2000 hours of cooling per year. Based on 2.5 ton AC unit.
Note – Other exterior factors can also influence the price; Based on national average
Estimated Running Costs Breakdown
Running costs can only be calculated as averages. When looking forward, it is near impossible to know precisely how many hours the system is actually running per day. Ambient temperatures change frequently, and your cost per kilowatt-hour (kWh) of electricity may vary, too.
However, the estimates are a good indication of how much you can expect to pay monthly or annually for a particular model. In this case, “close enough” is good enough to know if a particular brand or model is worth your investment.
The basic formula to estimate running costs is: kilowatts used x cost per kWh x hours of runtime x days of use.
For example, a 3500 watt AC unit uses 3.5 kW per hour of operation. If you pay 13 cents per kWh and run the unit 5 hours per day, for an average summertime period of 90 days, then the formula looks like this:
3.5 x $0.13 x 5 x 90, or $204.75 to run the unit over the summer.
Choosing A High Quality HVAC Contractor
Once you have selected a brand and model, you need to find the best HVAC contractor to install the system. One of the leading causes of inefficiency, poor performance, and higher electric bills with a new system is improper installation.
To help with that, you need a high-quality contractor that will not only do the job right but will back up their work with guarantees or warranties. However, knowing who to call and what to expect can be a challenge.
We use the experts at Networx to help locate the best contractors in a local area. Not only are the results from local contractors only, but they are already vetted, evaluated, and hand selected. Networx uses many algorithms to find you the best HVAC contractor.
These factors include licenses, education level, experience, previous customer ratings, and pricing. If you want the best, use Networx to locate them for you through the form below.
Heil AC Model Numbers Explained
Heil uses a common and simple nomenclature for their model numbers. Once you understand it, you can easily identify the models that fit your needs.
For the most part (with few exceptions), you will find the model numbers are 4 digits long. The first digit will tell you if it is a branded or non-branded model. H standing for Heil and N standing for Non-branded.
The next digit will tell you the refrigerant type or the compressor type. If it is a number, it is a refrigerant type, which is mostly found on the non-branded models. a “4” refers to R-410a refrigerant, while a “2” means R-22 (and should be avoided). Any model using R-22 is now illegal to install new.
Note that an “X” also refers to R-410a and is used when there are multiple units with an otherwise similar model number.
If the second digit is a letter (V, S, or C), it tells you the type of compressor, either variable speed (V), dual-stage (C), or single-stage (S).
The third digit should be an “A,” which tells you the type of machine, in this case, air conditioner. There are also “H” digits for the Heil heat pumps.
Finally, the 4th digit refers to the SEER value of the model. The number is the second number in the SEER rating, so a 7, for example, means SEER 17.
There are a couple of exceptions to the model terminology, specifically the NH4A4 and N4A4**C models. When looking at a specific N4A4**C model, the stars will be replaced with a 2-digit number, which tells you the BTU rating in thousands.
For example, the N4A418C is an 18,000 BTU model. This model has multiple BTU ratings, all with the same refrigerant and SEER rating, so the 2-digit BTU is needed to determine which model size you have.
|HVA9||2 – 5||19||56dB||24000 – 60000||5-speed variable|
|HCA7||2 – 5||17||70dB||24000 – 60000||2-stage|
|HSA6||1.5 – 5||16||69dB||18000 – 60000||Single stage|
|HSA5||2 – 5||15||74dB||24000 – 60000||Single stage|
|N4A7||2 – 5||17||71dB||24000 – 60000||2-stage scroll|
|N4A6||1.5 – 5||16||70dB||18000 – 60000||Single stage|
|NXA6||1.5 – 5||16||76dB||18000 – 60000||Single stage|
|N4A4**C||1.5 – 5||14||71dB||Varies||Single stage|
|NH4A4||1.5 – 5||14||66dB||18000 – 60000||Single-Stage Scroll|
|N4A5||1.5 – 5||15||75dB||18000 – 60000||Single stage|
|NXA4||1.5 – 5||14||75dB||18000 – 60000||Single stage|
|N4A3||1.5 – 4||13||74dB||18000 – 48000||Single stage|
**based on normal operation
Heil AC Buying Guide (Important Considerations)
Energy Efficiency/Seer Rating
The energy efficiency of a selected air conditioner is determined by the ratio of wattage input versus BTU output. This ratio is known as the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, or SEER. The higher the SEER value, the more efficient the model is, and the less it will cost to run.
Heil systems range from 13 to 19 SEER, with the top model, the HVA9 being the only option with a SEER 19 rating. Note that due to regional laws, certain SEER ratings may not be legally installed in the South or Southwest. In particular, a system rated at or below 13 SEER, which includes the N4A3 model.
The compressor is essentially the heart of the entire HVAC system. It is responsible for keeping the refrigerant pumping through the system to remove heat from the air. It is also the single most energy consuming part of the entire unit.
Variable speed compressors are among the most efficient, coming second only to inverter compressors. While Heil doesn’t offer an inverter model, it does have the HVA9 model with a variable (5-speed) compressor.
The rest of the models will use single or dual-stage compressors, which function well but aren’t the most efficient.
Condenser Fan Options
Like a compressor, a condenser fan can also operate at different speeds if a multi-speed motor is installed. The speeds help keep the refrigerant at the temperatures it needs and removes the proper amount of heat from the condenser coils based on system speed.
While a multi-speed fan can help with efficiency, it only helps with higher-end models. This is why the non-branded version of Heil condensers use a single-speed fan, but the named models will have multi-speed motors.
Heil offers a variety of heating options as well as air conditioners. The Ion series uses wireless communications to allow the condenser and Ion air handler to keep up with each other and run more efficiently.
Heil also offers heat pumps and electric furnaces if you would rather have those installed instead of an electric air handler with heating ability.
Noise is measured in decibels (dB) and is a rating based on the noise produced compared to absolute silence. While the ratings are stepped instead of sequential, you can tell by the numbers how loud a system is.
For example, a normal conversation in a quiet room rates about 48dB, while a hairdryer, on high at 5-feet, rates about 65dB. Heil offers models that range from 66dB to 79dB, which is considered a bit on the louder side. They aren’t the loudest machines in the market, though you can find quieter brands if needed.
Warranty & Why It Is Important
The warranty is a critical part of choosing your new system. It needs to cover the unit against defects and craftsmanship, but also against problems that may occur because of the system operating.
Higher-end models will have higher warranty periods, while lower-end units can end up with no warranty at all. Heil offers a no-hassle warranty that replaces the entire unit if any major component goes bad within the warranty period.
Their models come with a 5 to 10 year warranty (non-branded models having the lower end of the warranty periods), covering the compressor, coils, and heat exchangers.
Tax Breaks Explained
The government tax breaks are designed to bring incentives to upgrade your older systems. You can get $300 in tax breaks just for having a new system installed. This rebate program is currently running through December 31, 2021, with legislature in place to extend it through 2026.
To qualify, you must be the homeowner, living in the home (rentals do not qualify) with an existing system (new construction also does not qualify). The new model must be installed by a licensed contractor and have a SEER rating of at least 16.
If you meet these requirements or have over the last 24 months, you only need to fill out the tax form 5695 and submit it with your annual tax return.
Heil Advantages and Disadvantages
Knowing the good side of things is great, but knowing the downsides makes wise decisions. Here are the good and the bad when it comes to Heil air conditioners.
What We Like
- Average 15.5 SEER across entire line
- Affordable options for any budget
- No-hassle warranty replaces entire unit
- Ion system for wireless communications
- Lower installation costs than industry averages
- Ease of installation
What We Don’t Like
- Replacement parts can take time to locate/order
- Some models may be louder than expected
- Value models may not be compatible with air handler
- Not the most technologically advanced brand
Comparing With Other Central AC Brands
How does Heil stack up against some of the biggest names in the industry? We take a look at Heil versus Trane and Goodman in this section to find out.
Heil Vs. Trane
Trane air conditioners are generally reserved for larger, commercial applications. This is the target market for the brand and where they excel the most. However, their residential ACs are top of the line and have a much higher cost than Heil.
What you get, though, is reliable service, a decent warranty, and expert care throughout the install and ownership process. Most customers are overly pleased with Trane customer service and will buy from them again if the unit ever breaks down.
Heil, though, offers similar cooling and efficiency ratings at a much lower price. While it is more likely the Heil unit will fail first, you are still covered through the no-hassle warranty for at least a decade.
Heil Vs. Goodman
Goodman is one of the best known and most popular brands. This is mostly due to the cost of the units and the warranty they offer. Heil air conditioners are actually more expensive than Goodman ACs, but use parts from larger brands like Carrier and Bryant to help push their productivity.
However, Goodman condensers and compressors are warrantied for life, not just 10 years like Heil. For this reason, Goodman is a more popular choice than Heil in the residential market. The main downside, though, is that Goodman offers lower SEER ratings (top model has SEER 18), and they have a much higher running cost (averages over $600 per year).
If you need to save money now, Goodman is a suitable choice. Though, if you want to save money in the long run, Heil may be a better option.
We know that choosing the right brand, model, and size of the air conditioner can be a challenge. We also know that not every brand is right for every home. With variables like energy efficiency, sizes, technology, and installation, choosing the best air conditioner can be a headache.
Now you know what Heil has to offer and if they are a good fit for you. They have a decent selection, great internal parts, and the high-end models come with wireless communications. With a 10-year warranty, it is a safe bet, though for a little more upfront, you can find more efficient and capable systems if needed.
Our Rating: (4.3 / 5)