Home climate control is something we have done to stay cozy for over a century now. As technology progresses, though, we are finding new ways to heat and cool our homes more efficiently.
Heat pumps are taking over the market from central AC systems as the most efficient heating and cooling devices available. The problem is that there are many brands and a lot of different models of heat pumps to choose from.
One of those brands is York. While York may not be the most well-known brand, there is a reason to give them a second look. In this article, we will review York heat pumps, compare them to other brands and look at each model individually.
York Heat Pumps & Their 140 Year History
York helped start the home climate control industry. Along with Carrier back in the 1870s, the two companies were vying to be the first and best. While Carrier led the way with air conditioning, it wasn’t without the help of the air washing system York invented.
Today, York heat pumps are among the most reliable, low maintenance, and easy to install systems around. While they may not offer the most extensive selection or have the highest SEER ratings in the industry, they are a trusted brand with a fantastic reputation.
You can own these American made heat pumps and keep your home as comfy as possible. You also save money on unit costs, installation fees, and running costs. When you install a York, you get one of the best, and it is only a matter of time before everyone on your block makes this realization.
What To Look For When Buying A Heat Pump
Before you head out and buy a York heat pump, it is important to consider several factors. Each factor listed below affects all brands and models, and knowing their pros and cons can help you narrow down your search.
Size Of Heat Pump
The size of the heat pump has two meanings. First, it refers to the physical size of the unit. Knowing the dimensions will help you decide if you need a standard or low-profile unit.
Second, the size most commonly refers to the tonnage. This is a measurement of the BTU output of the heat pump and will directly impact the cooling capacity based on your home’s size. More details on tonnage below.
Cost Of The Heat Pump
Ultimately, the cost of the heat pump itself will be a factor. Your budget concerns need to be met, and there are some features you may not need. Each feature on a heat pump will add to the overall cost, such as 2-wire connections, corrosion resistance, noise attenuation, and other factors.
Knowing what the heat pumps offer and which features you can live without will go a long way to finding the best heat pump for your budget.
Another cost factor is installation. It is highly recommended that you have a professional install your heat pump, which will cost money. Labor fees can get high on certain models and with various types of heat pumps (geothermal installs can exceed $25,000, for example).
However, with proper planning and finding the right contractor for the job, the installation costs will pay for themselves in the warranties and efficiency you receive.
Yearly Maintenance Costs
One of the significant advantages of heat pumps is their overall low maintenance. One cost, though, is annual cleanings and inspections. Some brands require a professional inspection and tune-up yearly.
This cost will come out of your pocket, takes about 2 to 3 hours, and will go towards your heating and cooling budget. However, it will maintain your warranty and find any issues that need to be addressed before they become a major problem or high cost.
Another factor often overlooked is noise levels. Measured in decibels (dB), noise levels on heat pumps are generally pretty low. Across the industry the brand average is between 48 and 72dB. Some brands offer noise dampening and can keep sound levels in the low 30s, while others save money and let their systems get loud, often reaching over 76dB.
A good noise level will be non-disruptive and should be easy enough to find. Look for ratings between 40 and 65dB, and you shouldn’t have any issues with noise.
Warranty coverage is also important. You need to know what is covered and for how long. In most cases, the compressor will have a separate warranty than the other parts of the system.
Many brands will also extend the warranty for free if you register the purchase in a timely manner. However, brand warranties can cover anywhere from 1 year to a lifetime, so it is essential to know where the model you are deciding on falls.
SEER, HSPF & Tonnage Ratings
There are three major measurements or ratings that you need to fully understand and consider when buying a heat pump. The SEER and HSPF ratings tell you how efficient the system is, and the tonnage tells you the heating and cooling capacity of the model.
Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating, or SEER, is a ratio between electrical intake and BTU output of the system in cooling mode. Generally, the higher the SEER rating, the more efficient the system is. Modern heat pumps range between 14 SEER and 21+ SEER, and the average for a good rating is 16 to 18 SEER.
The Heating Seasonal Performance Factor, HSPF, is the ratio during the winter months when the system is in heating mode. Again, a higher HSPF ratio means a more efficient system. Heat pumps generally range between 8 and 11 HSPF, with anything over 9 HSPF considered good.
Tonnage, as briefly covered above, is the capacity measurement in BTU output. Unlike the other two, though, higher doesn’t always mean better. One ton equals 12,000 BTUs. And the BTU output will directly correlate with the home size you are cooling or heating.
The tonnage measurements are generally laid out in half-ton increments (2.5 ton, 3 ton, 3.5 ton, etc.). You need to know the square foot size of your home or room so that you get the best match for BTU usage.
Too low, and the system won’t be able to cool or heat the space efficiently. Too large and the system will under-work, resulting in more power draw, system freezing, and improper heat cycling.
For tonnage, it usually breaks down to the equation of 20 BTUs per square foot. So we can use a general formula to produce known sizes and capacities:
- 1 ton is efficient up to 600 square feet.
- 1.5 tons for 900 square feet.
- 2.5 tons up to 1400 square feet.
- 3 tons are used up to 1800 square feet.
- 5 tons are efficient up to about 3200 square feet.
York Heat Pump Range (Side by Side Comparison)
Here, the York heat pumps are reviewed, compared, and examined. While York may not offer the largest selection, they have enough models with plenty of features to keep you cool (or warm) year-round.
We look at all the models offered and compare each one based on SEER, HSPF, and tonnage. We also look at the compressor types, home size requirements, and costs with and without installation.
|Heat Pump Model||SEER||Ton||Home Size||Compressor Type||HSPF||Cost (Unit Only)||Cost + Install|
|York YZV 20 SEER||20||2 – 5||1200 – 3200 sq. ft.||Variable Speed||10.75||$2500||$5700|
|York YZT 19 SEER||19||2 – 5||1200 – 3200 sq. ft.||Two-Stage||10||$2200||$5400|
|York YHM 16 SEER||16||2 – 5||1200 – 3200 sq. ft.||Modulating Rotary||10||$2150||$5350|
|York YHG 16 SEER||16||1.5 – 5||900 – 3200 sq. ft.||Single-Stage||9.5||$2000||$5200|
|York YHE 14 SEER||14||1.5 – 5||900 – 3200 sq. ft.||Single-Stage||9.5||$1700||$4900|
|HMH7 18 SEER||18||2 – 5||1200 – 3200 sq. ft.||Twin-Rotary||10.5||$1550||$4750|
|YEE 14 SEER||15||1.5 – 5||900 – 3200 sq. ft.||Single-Stage||9.5||$1250||$4450|
*Prices based on 2.5 ton models with average installation costs ($3200), no add-ons or extras included.
York Heat Pump Reviews
York heat pumps essentially come in two “classes.” Though not official, the higher-end models are a part of the Affinity series. The lower-end models are in an unnamed series, generally referred to as the Classic or Traditional series.
The top of the York line is the YZV 20 SEER. This model has all the features York has to offer. It has the lowest noise levels with an impressive 54dB. This is further matched by the high 20 SEER and 10.75 HSPF ratings. Easily the most efficient model made by York.
The YZT 19 SEER model is also well equipped. Like the YZV 20, this model also comes with a 10-year parts and compressor warranty. However, it has a two-stage compressor compared to the YZV 20’s variable speed compressor, which is more efficient.
Rounding out the Affinity series is the YHM 16 SEER. This model is rated for installation in all 50 states, and it comes with a powder-coated, galvanized steel cage. The corrosion resistance of the Affinity series models is rated at 1000 hours of direct saltwater spray.
The YHM 16 isn’t as quiet and the other models, though, with noise levels reaching 69dB. It is also important to note that all three models here only come in 2, 3, 4, or 5 ton sizes. There are no half-ton models, which can be a deal-breaker for some homes on the in-between size chart.
The other four models are a part of the classic series. The only odd-ball model is the HMH7 18 SEER. This model stands out because it has the corrosion protection and tonnage limits of the Affinity models.
The noise levels reach about 70dB, though, and it is the only model that can mount for horizontal discharge. While it is a low profile model, it is much easier(and cheaper) to install. The performance is slightly less than a standard model, though it does tend to last longer.
The other three models, though, are more affordable and more popular. The YHG and YHE 16 SEER models are the most capable and efficient of the group. They lack the corrosion protection and wireless or two-wire capabilities of the Affinity series, though.
If you are looking for more control and a higher efficient system, you need to go with the Affinity models.
However, for a central AC upgrade or new install, the YHG and YHE can be installed anywhere in the country and perform well, backed by the 10-year parts and compressor warranty.
Rounding out the series is the YEE 14 model. This is the most budget-friendly model available and does not meet the tax credit requirements (see further below).
Like the other Classic series models, this one also utilizes a single-stage compressor. While it isn’t the most efficient, it is the cheapest to install and maintain and still comes with the York 10-year warranty.
How Much Power Do York Heat Pumps Use?
Power consumption is a measurement you can figure out for yourself. You need to know four variables about your heat pump and electric usage, which are easy enough to figure out.
- First, you need to know the wattage of the heat pump. This is found on the information plate or in the owner’s manual. You can always multiply the volts and amps to get watts if the watts aren’t shown. Once you have the watts, divide this number by 1000 to get the kilowatts (kW).
- Next, you need the cost of electricity you pay. You can find the charge on your monthly energy bill. It will usually be marked as $x per kilowatt-hour (kWh). The national average is about 13 cents.
- Next, you need two numbers. The first number is the hours per day your unit is actually running (pumps moving, compressor compressing). During the winter and summer months, the average falls between four and 6 hours per day.
- The second number you need is the number of days you want to know the cost for. For example, if you only need a month, use 30 days. If you want an entire season, use 90 days, etc.
Once you have all four variables, you can plug them into this simple multiplication formula: kW x $/kWh x hours x days.
For example, if you have a heat pump that uses 4200 watts (4.2kW) and pay 13 cents per kWh and have a system that runs 4 hours per day for 90 days, the formula and cost will be: 4.2 x $0.13 x 4 x 90 = $196.56.
York Heat Pumps vs. Other Brands
York, as we have seen, offers a range of heat pumps that are efficient and affordable. But how does the long-standing brand stack up against some of the big names in the industry? We take York heat pumps compared to Trane and Ruud to find out.
York Vs. Trane Heat Pumps
Trane is a premium company that specializes in highly durable and reliable systems. Their heat pumps are considered among the most eye-pleasing and reliable units on the market. However, that dependability comes at a cost.
On average, Trane heat pumps will be $100 to $800 more than York compared to similar systems. As a whole, Trane has an average price that is $965 higher than that of York. However, Trane also has more units, and most of them are higher efficiency than York.
What you lose in aesthetics and dependable builds, though York makes up for in low maintenance and quiet systems. York is generally quieter than Trane and has less costly installation fees.
York Vs. Ruud Heat Pumps
Ruud heat pumps, like York, are a budget-friendly brand. They offer a few more models than York, but that is about where the differences end. Both companies build dependable and reliable heat pumps that will work for almost every budget and home in the country.
Noise levels for the two models are also similar, with both averaging about 62dB across their entire lines. The main difference is that York has a larger reach. Their history is slightly longer than Ruud and the name carries a bit more weight with consumers.
If you need to save a bit of money, though, York is slightly cheaper. Compared to Ruud, their maintenance is a little higher, which evens out the cost factor for the most part.
If your choice comes down to these two brands, it is essentially a coin flip. Though when everything is considered, York does have a very slight advantage with the higher-end models and their warranty.
*All listed ratings are averages from the entire line up across the entire brand, current as of this writing.
5 Reasons To Hire A Licensed HVAC Pro For Installation
Hiring a professional contractor has a lot of benefits for your heat pump and your monthly savings. Of course, the glaring negative is the overall cost of a professional installer. These fees, though, are about the only bad thing you can say about the matter. What are the top 5 benefits of hiring a professional? Let’s take a look.
- .Training, knowledge, and experience. Licensed HVAC professionals have official training and experience to ensure your install is correct. With the leveling, specifications, and calculations needed, that training is crucial to a proper install.
- .Warranty protection. Many brands require a professional install to activate the warranty. Others will require a professional annual inspection. When you hire a professional, most of the warranty conditions involved are met from day one.
- .Liability insurance against damages. When you hire a professional, they are responsible for anything that may go wrong. While it is rare, things can happen. In these cases, you aren’t out of pocket for repairs or replacements.
- .Correct model installed and at full capacity. One of the best benefits is that your system will be guaranteed to work at full capacity, meaning you get 100% of the efficiency promised by the manufacturer. This also extends to the tax credit requirements (see below).
- .Manufacturer, government, and contractor rebates. Along with the other benefits above, you also qualify for any rebates the system may offer. This includes the federal tax credit, local energy company rebates, and even contractor rebates or cost reductions for future services.
Do I Qualify For A Tax Rebate?
The federal tax credit incentive program started in 2018. It has recently been extended through 2021. With this program, qualifying heat pump installations will receive a $300 tax credit. How do you qualify?
- You must be the homeowner and live in the home. Rental properties and new construction do not qualify.
- The system must be Energy Star certified and professionally installed.
- For split system heat pumps, they must be a minimum of both 15 SEER and 8.5 HSPF.
- For package heat pump systems, the minimums are 14 SEER and 8 HSPF.
- File tax form 5695.
Once you have your system purchased (between January 1st, 2017 and December 31st, 2021) and the tax form is filed, the $300 tax credit is issued on your next filing.
Troubleshooting Tips & FAQs
In this section, we will look at York heat pump troubleshooting options for common problems. We will also answer some of the common questions about heat pumps in general.
York Heat Pump Emergency/Auxiliary Heat
Auxiliary heating mode is a commonly seen issue with many heat pumps. However, it is generally nothing to worry about. There are a few main causes of this situation. The first is a low ambient temperature.
If the outside temp is below about 35 degrees (Fahrenheit), the aux heat will kick on to help keep your home warm. Another cause is if heat is needed while the system is in defrost mode. Since the system is basically shut down and using heat to melt any ice or frost on the lines (normal operation), the aux heat will come on until the defrost mode is complete.
Finally, it is also known to come on when the set temperature is a large gap from the current temp. Most York heat pumps have a 3-degree range. So if the current temperature is 64 degrees and your thermostat is set to 67 or higher when you turn it on, the aux heat will come on to get the home to temp faster.
If none of these situations occur when your aux heat comes on, a deeper problem needs proper diagnosis from an HVAC technician.
York Heat Pump Not Cooling
If the heat pump is not cooling (or heating), there are a few things you can check and fix yourself before having to call a professional. First, the most likely reason is the thermostat. These can easily (and even accidentally) get switched to a different mode, the fan turned off, or the temperature set incorrectly.
Next, you can check the airflow. Dirty or clogged air filters and vents can cause the system to not move as much and effectively stop cooling.
If those two checks turn out okay, you need to check the outside unit. You want to look for two things. First, inspect the coils, refrigerant lines, and even the compressor for ice. If you find ice, there isn’t much you can do. Turn the system off to start the defrosting and call in an HVAC tech for further diagnosis (see below).
You also want to check the fan motor and ensure it is moving. If the condenser fan isn’t moving, a blown motor is generally the cause. You can replace these yourself or call a professional to do the replacement for you.
York Heat Pump Serial Number Lookup
If you ever need to call in a problem or need assistance, one of the first things you will be asked for is the serial number. The serial number will give you all the information you need about the system you have.
This number is a 10-digit alphanumeric sequence covering the plant of manufacture, date of manufacture, and sequence number of that particular model. You can find it on the ID plate located on the outside unit. If the number is unreadable, it is also located in your owner’s manual. Sometimes this will be on a removable sticker inside the front cover.
York Heat Pump Trips Breaker Or Freezes Up
Should you find that your York heat pump is tripping the circuit breakers or there is ice build-up on the refrigerant lines, you will need to call a professional.
The breaker situation can be caused by a few things, but most of the time, this is due to faulty wiring inside the compressor or a fan motor has burnt wiring. Because the system will need to be disassembled, tested, and run with live 240 volts of electricity, it is best to have a professional take a look.
This will include the blower motor, condenser fan motor, and air handler motor (if equipped). Checking them all yourself is doable. Just ensure you are using safety precautions and shut the power to the system off at the breakers and thermostat before you start removing access panels.
When the system is freezing up, check your air filter. Low airflow can cause the system to freeze. If that checks out, though, it means you have a refrigerant leak. Since you must be certified by the EPA to work with refrigerants, an HVAC tech is needed.
How Do I Reset My York Heat Pump?
Like most brands, York heat pumps do not have a reset switch. Unlike the air conditioners and furnaces, heat pumps are lower maintenance and don’t generally require a circuit reset. However, in the rare instance it does, there is a simple process to follow.
- .Turn the thermostat mode selection to “off.”
- .Locate the circuit breakers (usually two) and turn them to the off position.
- .Wait 3 to 5 minutes.
- .Turn the breakers back to the on position.
- .Turn the thermostat back on.
How To Run A York Heat Pump Defrost Cycle
York heat pumps come with a frost sensor. When frost or ice is detected by the sensor, the system will automatically switch to defrost mode. The interior units will shut down, and the compressor will continue to run to raise the unit’s temperature.
Once the frost is gone, the system will come back to regular operation. There isn’t a need for manual defrosting. However, if you notice ice or frost and the system does not enter defrost mode, the sensor needs to be replaced.
Where To Buy York Heat Pump Replacement Parts
You can find York heat pump replacement parts at any York distributor, retailer, or service center. The location of these can be found through the York website. You can also find some replacement parts at local retailers such as home improvement stores like Home Depot or Lowe’s.
If you prefer to shop online, you can find what you need on sites like Amazon or Sylvane. Make sure you know your serial and model number, though, so you can ensure you order the correct part as each model will have a slightly different part or connection.
If all else fails, you can always call the contractor that performed the install. They will either have a direct ordering process or have the part in stock and can install it for you.
York heat pumps are in the budget-friendly range. While they perform well and have good SEER ratings, they may not be the most durable on the market. Corrosion protection isn’t included, and coastal installations may find a shorter life cycle.
However, for smaller homes, tighter budgets, and those looking for an inexpensive upgrade or replacement, York makes an excellent choice. With a great warranty and simple installation, you can end up saving a lot of money in the long run by choosing York.
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