When it comes to heat pumps, you have choices. Not only can you choose your brand and model, but you can even choose your type. Heat pumps come in packaged units, split systems, geothermal models, and mini-split systems.
The problem is that not every brand carries all types of heat pumps. MRCOOL heat pumps, though, do. While it may be surprising, there isn’t a heat pump system that MRCOOL doesn’t manufacture, and they offer some of the highest SEER ratings in the industry.
This article will cover the MRCOOL brand and take a close look at their heat pump options. If you have ever wondered about heat pumps, DIY installs and what benefits a heat pump can offer you, this is the place for you. Read on to find out what heat pump is best for you.
MRCOOL Heat Pump Range Explored
MRCOOL has a wide variety of heat pump options, and that isn’t by chance. The company has a unique take on HVAC technology and believes everyone should have choices when buying a new system.
Their technological advances have allowed them to create the first (and currently only) true DIY installed mini split system. You don’t need special tools, training, or certifications to install these systems. Note, though, that for all other MRCOOL heat pumps, you will need professional installation.
With a great 10-year warranty (with registration) and innovative ideas, you are bound to find a model, unit, or style that fits your exact needs.
Understanding SEER & HSPF: Made Easy
Two of the biggest heat pump related rating systems are for energy efficiency. SEER and HSPF ratings are something you should know and understand before you make a final purchase decision.
Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) is essentially the wattage and BTU ratio comparison for a heat pump (or central air conditioner) while in cooling mode. Higher SEER ratings mean more efficient systems. You should strive to purchase a model with a minimum of 14 SEER. 18 to 20 SEER is great, and anything over 21 SEER is considered excellent.
Likewise, the Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF) measures the same wattage intake and BTU output of the system, except when in heating mode. As with SEER, the higher the HSPF rating, the more efficient the unit. For your needs, look for anything above 8 HSPF, with 10 to 11 HSPF being excellent.
Other Important Specs To Consider
Along with the efficiency ratios, you should also be aware of noise levels, costs, and, of course, the brand warranty. Let’s look at how MRCOOL heat pumps rate in these categories.
MRCOOL has a wide range of installation costs depending on the type that you purchase. The most cost-effective is the DIY install mini split systems. These can save you over $3000 on installation fees alone if they are the right fit for your needs.
A more traditional heat pump will have added costs. Ducting, slab work, mounting, and wiring all cost money and need to be done by a licensed and trained professional. This also counts towards the need for older system removal, upgraded venting, and other structural issues. You can expect to pay between $3000 and $6000 for a packaged or split heat pump system.
Less popular (though much more efficient) are geothermal heat pumps. However, they require a lot of work to install, including trenching, backhoe operations, and burying tanks and pumps. An entire geothermal system can save you thousands per year but will cost about $25,000 or more to install.
Annual maintenance costs will also depend on the type of system you purchase and what is needed. All systems will need proper yearly cleaning and monthly (or up to 90 days) air filter replacement.
For packages and split systems, you should also invest in annual professional inspections. These will cost between $200 and $500 on average and last about 2 hours. However, they will ensure your system is clean, refrigerant is topped off, and that you have no issues, problems, or other concerns.
Cost of the Heat Pump
Of course, you have the cost of the heat pump itself. This will vary significantly as well. It will depend on the type of system and when, where, and how you have it installed. Where you buy the unit and even what time of year are also pricing factors.
MRCOOL heat pumps will range in cost from a few hundred dollars to several thousand. Each type and model will have a different price, and we help narrow down these costs further below in the article.
Noise is measured in decibels (dB), and the higher the dB level, the louder the device is. Heat pumps, on average, will range from 60 to 80dB, which can get quite noisy. MRCOOL systems are also in this range. However, certain models and various heat pump types will hit sub-50dB as well, making them whisper-quiet during even peak operation.
MRCOOL offers a 5-year total parts warranty and a 7-year compressor warranty. With proper registration, each of these warranties will extend to 10 years, which is common and above industry standards.
MRCOOL Heat Pump Range: A Side By Side Comparison
In the chart below, we compare the various types and models of MRCOOL heat pumps so you can find the ones you are most interested in.
Note that the SEER and HSPF ratings are maximums for that particular type or model and can change based on installation or capacity sizes. The costs are also based on an average across the line and will vary depending on the factors listed in the section above.
|Heat Pump Model||SEER||Ton||Home Size||Compressor Type||HSPF||Cost (Unit Only)||Cost + Install|
|Advantage Mini Split||19||0.5 – 3 ton||300 – 1500 sq. ft.||Variable Speed Inverter||10||$1250||$1250|
|E Star Mini Split||22||1 – 3 ton||500 – 1500 sq. ft.||Variable Speed Inverter||10||$1400||$1400|
|DIY Multi-Zone Mini Split||22||0.5 – 4 ton (total)||300 – 2500 sq. ft.||Variable Speed Inverter||10||$1300 (per zone)||$1300 (per zone)|
|Geocool Geothermal||36 (EER)||2 – 5 ton||500 – 3500 sq. ft.||Two-Stage||5.6 (COP)||$11000||$3000|
|Olympus Hyper Heat Mini Split||25||0.5 – 2 ton||300 – 1200 sq. ft.||Variable Speed Inverter||12||$1650||$1650|
|Olympus Energy Star Mini Split||23||0.5 – 2 ton||300 – 1200 sq. ft.||Variable Speed Inverter||10.5||$1800||$1800|
|Prodirect Split System||14||1.5 – 5 ton||500 – 3200 sq. ft.||Single-Stage Scroll||9.5||$2550||$6550|
|Signature Packaged System||14||2 – 5 ton||900 – 3200 sq. ft.||Variable Speed Inverter||8||$2600||$6600|
|Signature Split System||15||1.5 – 5 ton||500 – 3200 sq. ft.||Single-Stage Scroll||9||$2400||$6400|
|Universal Series||20||2 – 5||900 – 3200 sq. ft.||Variable Speed Inverter||10||$3500||$7500|
MRCOOL Heat Pump In-Depth Reviews
In this section, we will get into the deeper details of the various systems offered by MRCOOL. However, to avoid confusion and overlap, we will omit the MRCOOL mini split models here. We have a full write-up just on the mini splits that you can read if you want more information on those models.
MRCOOL Heat Pump Split Systems
Aside from the DIY mini split systems, MRCOOL’s most extensive lineup is the traditional split system setup. This is a condenser unit that you will pair with an air handler to heat and cool the home. There are three main lines in the split system category, including Prodirect, Signature Split, and Universal Series.
The Prodirect line is a Gold Fin ® condenser that can withstand any weather. Water rolls right off the unit and doesn’t pool, puddle, or stay, so there is less chance of corrosion. It also features 4-way installation, so airflow direction and refrigerant flow are never an issue.
The single-stage scroll compressor is efficient, quiet and contains fewer moving parts that require less energy to start up. The galvanized internal cabinet is sleek and smooth and comes with a removable filter for easy cleaning and maintenance.
The Signature Series comes in 1.5 to 5 ton sizes (increments of 0.5 ton) to be a modern fit for every home. This is the most popular system from MRCOOL, and for a good reason. Not only is it relatively simple to install, but it performs well. And, with 15 SEER output, you can save a lot of cash each month just by using this system.
Finally, the Universal Series is a split system designed to fit any home, any install for any reason. It features a whopping 20 SEER in 2 to 5 ton sizes. The condenser unit is smaller and more compact to allow for installation on multiple locations, including installing multiple units in the same general area.
All of the split system units come with a 10-year warranty, though registration is required (within 60 days of purchase). If you fail to register on time, the warranty reverts back to standard 5-year coverage.
MRCOOL Heat Pump Packaged Units
For packaged units, you have a single choice. The MPH14 is the only packaged heat pump MRCOOL produces. The 14 SEER unit has advanced corrosion resistance and comes in a heavy-duty galvanized steel case.
It is fit for rooftop or slab installation and even allows for downflow and horizontal options. Note that if you need the downflow installation, the downflow kit is required (separate purchase).
The biggest draw to the unit is that you can add supplemental heat on an as-needed basis. If you live in a climate that experiences sub-zero temperatures, you can opt for a 5, 7.5, 10, 15, or 20kW auxiliary heat kit that will keep your unit running and heating your home even on the coldest nights.
MRCOOL Geothermal Heat Pumps
Finally, the geothermal units. While there are separate models here, they are all the same. The only difference is the tonnage. The options for size capacity are 2 and 3 ton, or 4 and 5 ton.
These models are designed to install with a proper groundwater pump and filter system to bring you the most efficient cooling and heating your home can experience. As a commercial application, your home can reach efficiency ratings over 36 EER and up to 5.6 COP.
COP, or Coefficient of Performance, is similar to SEER and HSPF but is used to determine the efficiency of a pump at transferring heat compared to the electrical input, instead of the BTU output.
With a geothermal system, you cut operational costs by 50% or more, and energy rates by up to 60%. Over the life of the system, you can save tens of thousands of dollars in heating and cooling costs alone. However, currently, the cheapest system is about $10,000 and will require about $13,000 to $20,000 to install.
MRCOOL Vs Other Popular Heat Pump Brands
Like you, we wondered how MRCOOL heat pumps compared to the competition. So, we did the research and created this section. Here we look at packaged and split systems only (as the other brands don’t always offer geothermal or mini split systems).
To keep it fair and a more “apples to apples” comparison, we compare the packaged and mini split heat pump systems from MRCOOL to Goodman, Carrier, and Coleman.
MRCOOL Vs Goodman
Goodman is one of the largest brands and most recognized names in heating and cooling. With Goodman heat pumps, you get performance, durability, efficiency, and the industry’s best warranty.
While it is hard to top Goodman, MRCOOL does make an attempt. The split systems alone are a little more expensive than Goodman, though, and don’t quite offer the same SEER values that you can get from a Goodman system.
For packaged units, though, the MRCOOL outperforms Goodman but costs about $500 more. When you factor in the 10-year warranty that both brands offer, it seems fair until you learn that Goodman also comes with a lifetime warranty on their compressors.
MRCOOL Vs Carrier
If Goodman is one of the largest, then Carrier is the largest. The Carrier name has been around since the very first air conditioner, and they have only increased notoriety, reliability, and innovation. Carrier heat pumps are among the best in the industry, and they share that with their fellow corporations.
Carrier is a part of the largest umbrella corporation in the world, housing other prominent names like Bryant, Heil, and Tempstar. What you get with Carrier, though, is brand recognition, high quality, durable and resilient machines and outstanding efficiency.
MRCOOL has a slight advantage when it comes to cost, and their split systems are just as durable, resilient, and efficient. The big difference here is repair options, where MRCOOL is much easier to work on, should the need arise.
MRCOOL Vs Coleman
Coleman is a giant name, but not yet in the HVAC industry. Compared to their sporting goods department, the heating and cooling side, specifically the Coleman heat pumps, are just small fish.
Still, Coleman doesn’t do anything small, and their units are among the most reliable and efficient in the business. Compared to MRCOOL, Coleman units are also more affordable and easier to install.
The main advantage to MRCOOL here is that they are much more durable and easier to work on. With their large, easy-access panels and simple-to-follow wiring, working on an MRCOOL saves your technician time, which in turn saves you money.
Qualifying For an HVAC Tax Credit
The Non-Business Energy Property Tax Credit is a program designed to give you the incentive to purchase a highly efficient system. Qualification is easy but does have a few restrictions. If you do qualify, though, you will receive a $300 flat-rate credit on your income tax filings.
To qualify for the program, you must buy your system after January 1, 2017, and install it before December 31, 2021. It must also be installed at an existing, primary residence. Rental properties and new construction are not allowed.
The system itself must be Energy Star certified and a packaged or split system. Currently, mini splits and geothermal systems do not qualify.
For a packaged system, you must have both a minimum of 14 SEER and 8 HSPF ratings as well. For split systems, the minimums are 15 SEER and 8.5 HSPF.
Once the system is professionally installed, you will fill out tax credit form 5695 and file with your income tax to receive the credit.
How To Work Out The Power Consumption Of A Heat Pump
Finding out how much your system will cost you is also fairly easy. You need only four variables to plug into the multiplication formula to know an estimated running cost over any period of time.
- You will need the kilowatts (kW) of the system, which can be found on the ID plate of the unit itself, online, or through the tech sheet that comes with your unit.
- You also need to cost of kilowatt-hours ($kWh) from your electric company. You can find this amount on your monthly energy bill.
- Next, you need to know (or guess) the average daily running time in hours (H) for the system. For example, during the coldest months, your system will run approximately 5 hours per day.
- Finally, you need to know the number of days (D) that you want to know the costs for.
The formula looks like this: kW x $kWh x H x D = $Cost.
For example, we can use a standard 3200 watt (3.2 kilowatts) system, running 5 hours per day for spring and summer (180 days) at the cost of 13 cents per kilowatt-hour. The formula then looks like this:
3.2 x $0.13 x 5 x 180 = $374.40.
Tips For Hiring A HVAC Contractor For The Installation
When hiring a professional HVAC technician to perform your heat pump installation, there are a few things you should be on the lookout for and know to ask about.
- Get a minimum of 3 quotes. Even local contractors will have different fees, rates, and conditions for a project.
- Find out what fees are non-negotiable and which are optional.
- Ensure that if you are performing a system upgrade that removal and disposal of the old system are included.
- Check for EPA certification and HVAC licenses from all possible contractors.
- Get rates and reviews from friends, family, or previous customers.
- Ensure that the company is local. Out of town or out of state contractors may not have everything you need and tend to take up to twice as long to complete a job.
If the process is a bit daunting, we can help take some of the stress away. We have teamed up with Networx to bring you a free tool that helps you find the perfect company for the job. When you use the tool, you will get up to 4 local, vetted, and checked contractors.
Each one has undergone a rigorous check, is rated, reviewed, and guaranteed to be local to your area. All you have to do is call and schedule the estimate inspections.
Troubleshooting Tips & FAQs
This section will answer some of the most common MRCOOL heat pump questions and look at common issues.
Is MRCOOL energy efficient?
MRCOOL heat pumps are great at maintaining energy efficiency. With a wide range of models and products, you can find a system that fits your exact needs. Most of their heat pumps will range between 14 and 20 SEER with mini split systems and geothermal systems exceeding 21 SEER on average.
How do I reset my MRCOOL Heat pump?
Depending on the type of system, you can press the reset switch (mini split) located inside the access panel of the air handler unit. For packaged and split systems, you will need to perform a power reset by turning the breakers off that control the system.
At what temperature is a heat pump not effective?
Most MRCOOL heat pumps will run in drastically cold environments. You can safely and effectively use your MRCOOL heat pump down to temperatures around 20 degrees (Fahrenheit). After the outside temp reaches about 20 degrees, a supplemental heat source may be needed.
Are MRCOOL heat pumps made in the USA?
MRCOOL heat pumps are produced and manufactured in Hickory, Kentucky. Born, raised, and made right here in the USA.
Do MRCOOL heat pumps heat and cool?
MRCOOL heat pumps, like all heat pumps, have a reversible motor that will effectively and efficiently cool your home in the summer and heat your home in the winter.
When it comes to heat pumps, MRCOOL knows a thing or two. Not only do they have one of the largest and most diverse selections, but they have a price and efficiency range to fit any home or budget.
Whether you want to go big and install an underground geothermal unit or keep it simple and upgrade an existing AC, MRCOOL has you covered. Their biggest claim to fame is that they are the only true DIY install of mini split heat pumps on the market, making it easy for anyone to get high-efficiency heating and cooling in their homes.
Our Rating: (4.6 / 5)
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