Heat pumps are essential to the home, and despite their name, they do way more than heating. They provide humidity control and air conditioning. They work by removing the heat indoors, transferring it outdoors during the summer, and doing vice versa during winter. Due to their efficiency, they have grown in popularity over the recent years.
According to an EIA Survey, over 12 million households in the United States use heat pumps. Also, did you know that if you install a heat pump with an Energy Star designation, you will qualify for a $300 tax credit? Amazing, right? For the average-sized American home, a 2.5-ton heat pump is essential.
This Best 2.5 Ton Heat Pump Guide talks about the best 2.5-ton heat pumps in the market and how they function. We will help you choose the best 2.5-ton heat pump for your home.
How Do Heat Pumps Work?
Heat pumps have been around for decades. They transfer heat by circulating the refrigerant through evaporation and condensation. Like a refrigerator, they evaporate the refrigerant at low pressure to absorb heat from the surrounding. After that, the refrigerant is condensed at high pressure on the other coil to release the heat already absorbed. This process can either heat or cool your home.
Types Of Heat Pumps
There are three main types of heat pumps: air source, split ductless, and geothermal. We recommend that a professional HVAC technician helps you install the heat pump, as you should not do it on your own, regardless of how confident you are in your abilities. A professional HVAC technician will also ensure that you get the right product for your home and needs.
Air Source Heat Pumps
Also known as air-to-air, these are the most commonly used heat pumps. They have an indoor unit (air handler) and outdoor unit (heat pump) that extract heat from the outdoors and transfer it into the home. They also have a refrigerant that circulates between the two units and absorbs and releases the heat back and forth
. The new air-to-air heat pumps can reduce heating costs by up to 50% over baseboard heaters and electric furnaces. They are also better dehumidifiers than the central air conditioners, hence perfect for the summer. Air source heat pumps were only used for warmer climates in the past.
However, with the advancement of technology, they are also used in colder environments such as the Midwest and Northeast regions. Some of these heat pumps have a freeze protection feature that helps keep your pipes from freezing in extreme cold.
- They are energy efficient.
- They are cheap to install.
- They take up little space.
- They are eco-friendly as heating is not done through the burning of fossil fuels.
- Their efficiency reduces drastically as the temperature difference between the outdoor and indoor temperatures increases. They do not run efficiently when temperatures are below -4°F or -20°C.
Split Ductless Heat Pumps
These are also called mini-splits. They have two units: an outdoor compressor and around four indoor handlers. They use a compression/expansion cycle to extract heat energy from the outside and transfer it indoors during the cold season. During summer, they do the opposite by removing heat energy from the inside air and taking it outside.
The quiet indoor units are usually installed high on the ceiling or wall and are operated by remote control. If your home does not have ducts, then this is the option for you. Since they do not require ductwork, they are also great for single-room additions. They can also be used to power multiple indoor units; hence individual units can be controlled independently, in what is known as zoning.
- They are energy efficient as they avoid the energy losses associated with ductwork, around 30% of the home’s energy consumption.
- They offer design flexibility.
- They are quiet.
- They are ideal for homes without ducts.
- Installing a mini-split heat pump with multiple indoor units is expensive.
Geothermal Heat Pumps
These are also known as ground-source or water-source heat pumps. They use the earth or the ground water as the source of heat in winter and the sink for heat in summer. They move heat through pipes buried horizontally or vertically in loops outdoors.
The tubes have a water solution warmed by the ground’s constant 50-60 degree temperature and circulated into and out of the home. They employ a closed-loop tubing buried below the frost line, and the water/antifreeze mixture circulates through the tubing while gathering heat from the earth. Geothermal heat pumps not only control temperature but also humidity. Compared with a conventional system, they can reduce your home’s energy use by 25-50%.
- They require little maintenance.
- They are highly effective in extreme climates than air-to-air heat pumps.
- They are long-lasting, with their indoor units lasting about 25 years and loops around 50 years.
- They are quiet.
- They have low operating costs.
- They are energy efficient, reducing energy use by up to 50%.
- They are not practical for small lots and some soil conditions.
- Installation is costly. However, the initial cost will drop considerably due to the federal and local incentives for installing these heat pumps.
Key Industry Heat Pump Definitions To Know
Below are some of the vital industry definitions you need to know before buying your 2.5-ton heat pump.
SEER and EER Ratings
The SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) is usually calculated by dividing the cooling output by the energy used by the unit. The higher the SEER rating, the more energy-efficient the heat pump will be. As per the Department of Energy mandate, all heat pumps in the U.S. have a minimum efficiency requirement of 13. Energy Star heat pumps have a SEER rating of between 18 and 27.5. The EER measures a unit’s efficiency when the outdoor temperatures are at 95 degrees Fahrenheit.
The Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF) is quite similar to the SEER in that it determines the amount of heating in BTUs divided by the total electricity used. The difference is that it also includes calculations for the energy required to defrost the pump during winter and any other backup requirements needed. A higher SEER is more vital in warmer climates, but in colder climates, a higher HSPF is recommended. In Energy Star heat pumps, the HSPF ratings will be between 8.5 and 12.5.
It stands for British Thermal Unit and measures the amount of heat energy required to raise one pound of water to one degree Fahrenheit at sea level. The higher the BTU, the faster the unit can cool the home.
The Annualized Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) rating measures how efficiently a unit uses fuel. The higher it is, the more efficient the pump is.
Our Top 5 Best 2.5-Ton Heat Pumps
Below are some of our best 2.5-ton heat pumps for your home. After intense research, we have compiled this list and are confident that you will have a great experience with them. We chose these pumps based on availability, positive customer reviews, and affordability. However, note that better installation is more crucial than the brand name as 80% of the problems people experience are caused by shoddy installation work. Therefore, ensure that you get a well-experienced contractor.
If you live in cold climates, this is the perfect 2.5-ton heat pump for you. The Goodman 2.5Ton 14 SEER Pump has a COP of 2.40 up to 2.63, depending on the temperature. It can therefore provide heat for apartments that are up to 1250 square feet in size.
We particularly love its 10-year warranty on parts, but only if installed by a qualified installer and registered within 60 days of installation. However, online registration is not required in Quebec and California. It also has a 28,000 BTU, which is relatively sufficient.
2.5-Ton 14 SEER AirQuest R4H430GKC / FEM4X3000BL Heat Pump System
If you are looking for a budget-friendly heat pump that will offer reliable comfort, then the 2.5 Ton 14 SEER AirQuest R4H430GKC is the one for you. It has a single-stage scroll compressor to facilitate quiet heating and cooling. This AirQuest R4H4 heat pump also comes with a ten-year warranty, a five-year warranty on the condenser, and a twenty-year heat exchanger limited warranty.
It can cool a medium-sized house in average conditions efficiently. However, you should note that the condenser cannot function independently; therefore, it needs an air handler or indoor coil to work. Also, if you need heat lower than 35 degrees Fahrenheit, you will need a backup heat strip to act as straight electric heating.
One of the other great features we love about this heat pump is that it is incredibly durable. The cabinets have reinforced corner posts, and an additional inlet grille protects the internals of the unit.
Unitary Ducted Daikin Mini-Split SkyAir Single Zone Heat Pump – FTQ30RZQ
This Daikin mini-split heat pump has unique comfort control features that we love. It has a new variable refrigerant temperature mode, saving you up to 30% or more energy while still providing maximum comfort. It is also highly efficient due to its smart inverter technology that is top of the line.
This heat pump is also pretty quiet, producing noise as low as 59dB outdoors and 44 dB indoors. If you have limited space and need an outdoor unit that is lightweight, then this is the best choice for you. It also produces up to 16 SEER and 30,000 BTU and can operate at temperatures up to -4 F, which is excellent for people in cold climates. However, they are a bit expensive, retailing at around $7,037.
2.5-Ton 16 SEER Goodman GSZ160301 Heat Pump
It has one of the highest efficiencies in the market, hence why it had to be on this list. This Goodman GSZ160301 heat pump condenser will save you money on energy bills due to its high efficiency. It also has a low sound output due to its sound insulation structure. It also has a factory-installed bi-flow filter drier, and its 16 SEER efficiency rating will save you up to 12% more in energy bills than a 14 SEER system.
See how Goodman 2.5 Ton Pump compares to the Goodman 3 Ton Pump.
18 SEER Multi-Positional Mitsubishi Mini-Split Single Zone Heat Pump- SVZ-KA30NA2
With an efficiency rating of 18 SEER and a 30,000 BTU output, this Mitsubishi SVZ-KA30NA2 is perfect for homes with existing ductwork. It also has a slim condenser making it quite versatile in terms of installation. Moreover, it has five-year parts and a seven-year compressor warranty.
The warranty is upgraded to ten years parts and compressor warranty when installed and registered online as per the state and local codes. It also has an optional WiFi accessory which you can use to control the heat pump remotely, as long as you have internet access.
Question: How Long Does A Heat Pump Last?
Answer: On average, a well-maintained heat pump will last up to 20 years, if not more. Some factors may impact their lifespans, such as climate and operational aspects. The good news is that most companies offer warranties up to 10 years, depending on the heat pump type and brand.
Question: My Heat Pump Freezes In Winter: What Should I Do?
Answer: If you notice that your heat pump has ice building up, there is a problem with its defrosting capabilities. This could be caused by numerous factors such as dirty air filters, low refrigerant levels, fan blade blockage, or blower motor coil. We recommend scheduling a service call with your HVAC expert to help with the issue and reduce any long-term damage that may occur in the process.
Question: Do Geothermal Heat Pumps Work In Cold Climates?
Answer: Yes, geothermal heat pumps work in any climate since they use heat from the earth. This heat maintains a constant temperature or between 45-75 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on your location.
Conclusion: Which Is The Best 2.5 Ton Heat Pump You Should Buy?
Picking the best 2.5-ton heat pump is not an easy task. However, with the above comprehensive guide, things will be easier for you. We recommend the Goodman 2.5-Ton 14 SEER Heat Pump Split System GSZ14030 ARUF31B14. It is effective, affordable, and highly reliable. Try it out today, and let us know how your experience is.
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