Wall mounted heat pump buying guide
WALL HEAT PUMP BUYING GUIDE (2023 UPDATED)
By presenting this 2023 wall-mounted heat pump buying guide, we want to help you make an informed choice. Here you will find all the useful information about wall-mounted heat pumps: manufacturing quality, power, energy efficiency rating, price, noise and more!
Your wall-mounted heat pump: from manufacturing to installation
No wall-mounted heat pumps are made in America. All manufacturers are established in Asia (Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, China, Thailand, etc.). Here is the detailed process surrounding the distribution and sale of wall-mounted heat pumps.
The manufacturer (Fujitsu, Mitsubishi, LG, Lennox, Sharp, Gree, etc.) manufactures the product and sells it to the distributor/supplier. It takes about two months by boat to arrive in America.
The distributor/supplier (Wolseley, Master, Descair, RBL, etc.) sells the product to the contractor.
The entrepreneur (like Les Entreprises MPH) sells the product to the consumer.
When choosing your wall-mounted heat pump, it is recommended that you prioritize a supplier as well as a contractor with fast after-sales service, good technicians and numerous distribution points so that they are able to provide you with parts in case debris.
Some devices have 12-year warranties. However, if the supplier does not have the spare part in stock during a heat wave, no need to think that your 12-year warranty will cool or heat your home if your appliance stops working. Distributors specializing in air conditioning and heating have many spare parts in stock in order to provide replacement parts in the event of breakage, and this, within 24 hours.
Some products have a very good reputation, but the distribution network and inventory are poorly managed. The two distributors/suppliers in Quebec with the best service and the largest inventory of parts are: Wolseley: with more than 25 branches specializing in air conditioning, heating and ventilation across Quebec (distributor of the Gree, LG and Keeprite brands). Master: with more than 19 branches specializing in air conditioning, heating and ventilation across Quebec (distributor of the Fujitsu, Haier, Moovair and York brands).
Today, all the major manufacturers of wall-mounted heat pumps produce entry-level and high-end products.
Many new products sold in large volume worldwide present difficulties when they arrive in Quebec, because the conditions are not the same as in Europe or Asia. The mechanical parts and electronic cards are not designed to withstand our winter climate and this creates major short-term operating problems. Other brands have a very good global reputation, but they do not have the experience with our extreme temperatures.
Here are the main brands of wall-mounted heat pumps that have been established in Quebec and Canada for more than 15 years: Fujitsu, Sharp, Gree, Lennox, Moovair, Panasonic, Daikin, Mitsubishi, LG, Carrier, Goodman. These manufacturers know the Quebec climate very well and their brands have proven themselves over the years.
Comparative table of wall-mounted heat pumps
The data was analyzed between 2017 and 2023.
How to choose the power of your wall-mounted heat pump?
In air conditioning, to obtain optimal comfort, it is not only necessary to lower the temperature to the desired set point… the relative humidity level must also be lowered between 40% and 50%. A wall-mounted heat pump that is too powerful will perform cooling cycles that are too fast, which will have the effect of cooling your home too quickly and preventing proper evacuation of humidity. An ambient temperature of 20°C with a relative humidity of 70% is not at all comfortable. On the contrary, it creates a feeling of damp cold. You will find yourself in this situation if your air conditioning unit is too powerful for the size of your house.
When researching a wall-mounted heat pump, it’s even more important to consider the layout of the rooms in your home than the square footage of living space. Many people get bad advice from salespeople who don’t understand the basics of air conditioning. Let’s take the example of a two-storey cottage-type house, including the basement, the ground floor and the second floor. Normally, these houses have 700 to 800 square feet per floor. If we add it all up, it gives between 1,400 and 1,600 square feet in total. Too often the units sold in these homes are 15,000 Btu/h or 18,000 Btu/h heat pumps, but this is a big mistake. If your heat pump is installed at the highest point of your stairwell and the area of the second floor is around 800 square feet, the 15,000 Btu unit will be too powerful. It will thus perform cooling cycles that are too fast, which will lower the temperature too quickly and result in poor dehumidification. A 12,000 Btu/h air conditioner will be too small if you add the two floors together. It’s true! It will, however, do a better job than an oversized device because it will lower temperature and humidity at the same rate (both variables are important). The best solution in this type of home would be to install two 9,000 Btu/h or 12,000 Btu/h appliances. On the other hand, this option can sometimes exceed the budget you set at the start. In 90% of cases, two-story homes will be very comfortable with a 12,000 Btu/h unit well positioned in the stairwell. The unit should also have enough CFM “cubic feet per minute” (fan power) to give you comfort with plus or minus 2-3°C difference from the second stage (which is very acceptable). We must also not forget the following parameters to be respected: the windows, the level of sunshine and the insulation of the house.
The table below will guide you in evaluating the power you need, depending on the area to be air-conditioned. This quick selection chart has been used by our company for over 15 years now and is based on heat load calculations for a standard one-story open-plan house (bungalow): Appliance Wattage vs. Feet squares
|550 à 850 p²
|850 à 1150 p²
|1150 à 1450 p²
|1450 à 1750 p²
|1750 à 2050 p²
Energy efficiency ratings (HSPF, EER, SEER and COP)
The acronym SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating. In French, you will find the abbreviation TRÉS which means Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rate. SEER is an energy efficiency rating or ratio and all appliances are rated on their performance. In other words, the higher the SEER, the less energy your heat pump will consume in cooling mode. SEER is only a measurement for cooling and is not effective for heating mode. SEER energy efficiency refers to the ratio of air conditioning output (BTU/h) divided by the unit’s gross energy consumption (kWh or Watt/h). This is the average for one cooling season and is calculated using an indoor ambient temperature of approximately 20°C and an outdoor temperature of 28°C. So if the average outdoor temperature in the area you live in is above or below 28°C during the summer, the SEER efficiency will not be the same. All air conditioning units have a seasonal energy efficiency rating and this should be displayed on the unit’s (yellow) Energy Guide label. Since 2015, manufacturers are no longer allowed to manufacture air conditioning units with an energy efficiency rating of less than 14.5 SEER.
13 SEER (lowest efficiency and no longer allowed to be sold)
33 SEER (highest efficiency in 2017 Fujitsu RLS3 and RLS3H model)
*** The difference in annual energy consumption between an appliance with a SEER of 33 and an appliance with a SEER of 16 is approximately $30. The SEER is a point to consider, but it is not the most important criterion in Quebec, because your air conditioning unit will only be used for two or three months. ***
The term EER stands for Energy Efficiency Ratio. In French, you will find the abbreviation TRÉ which means Energy efficiency rate. The EER is calculated using an outdoor temperature of 35°C, an indoor temperature of 26°C and a humidity level of 50%. No seasonal temperature changes are considered in the rating of a unit’s EER.
SEER is a good projection of your appliance’s energy efficiency if the average summer temperature in your area is 28°C, but it may be different if you live in Texas or very hot areas. However, the EER value is a standard efficiency rating that can be used to directly compare air conditioning units without worrying about temperature differences. The EER compared to the SEER is mainly used by air conditioning technicians to obtain real information on the general performance of the wall-mounted heat pump. In other words, the EER is used by engineers and technicians and the SEER is often used for marketing. The EER is actually a rating or ratio of energy efficiency that appliances possess and is rated according to their performance. The higher the EER, the less energy the device will consume. Energy efficiency EER is the ratio of the cooling power (BTU/h) divided by the gross energy consumption of the device (Watt/h or kWh). EER of 8 (lowest efficiency) EER of 18 (Best efficiency in 2017 Fujitsu RLS3 and RLS3H model)
The abbreviation HSPF stands for Heating Seasonal Performance Factor. In French, you will find the term FRSC which means seasonal efficiency factor in heating. The HSPF is actually a ratio or rating of energy efficiency and each appliance is rated according to their heating performance. In other words, the higher the HSPF, the less energy the device will consume in heating mode. HSPF is only a means of measurement for “heating” and is not applied for cooling data. The HSPF energy efficiency is the ratio between the heating power in (BTU/h) divided by the gross energy consumption of the appliance (kWh or Watt/h). The HSPF is the average for one heating season and is calculated using an indoor ambient temperature of approximately 20°C and an outdoor temperature of 8°C. All heat pumps have an energy efficiency rating for the heating season and it must be displayed on the unit’s Energy Guide (yellow) sticker.
*** An appliance with an HSPF of 14 can save you up to $500 on your annual heating bill. For comparison, an appliance with an HSPF of 9 will save you up to $200 on your annual heating bill (this takes into account the energy consumption for the cooling months). It is for this reason that the HSPF is much more important when you buy a heat pump considering the Quebec climate which has more months of heating than months of air conditioning. ***
If you are looking for a wall or central heat pump, you have probably heard the word or the abbreviation COP. The term COP stands for Coefficient of Performance. The COP is actually a ratio of energy consumption versus the amount of heat produced by a heat pump or other device. Each device is evaluated according to their heating performance using the COP. In other words, the higher the COP, the more the device will give you a calorific power in heating. The COP is a way to measure the efficiency of your heat pump for heating and is not applicable for the cooling data of air conditioners. The energy efficiency COP is the ratio between the maximum heating power in (kW/h) divided by the gross energy consumption of the appliance (kW/h). This calculation can be used regardless of the outside temperature. Generally manufacturers will indicate performance at the following temperatures: 47ºF (8.3ºC), 32ºF (0ºC), 17ºF (-8.3ºC) and 5ºF (-15ºC). Each temperature has a different COP because the heat pump is affected by the cold outside. So it is normal for a heat pump to have a lower COP at low temperatures. Example: A heat pump has a COP of 3 at an outdoor temperature of 17ºF (-8.3ºC). This means that your heat pump will consume 1 kW/h for a heating power of 3 kW/h. This is why heat pumps are so effective in saving heating energy. All heat pumps have a COP, but some manufacturers do not display their technical data.
The answer is yes, because we are in Quebec and unfortunately we have more heating months than air conditioning. At first glance, the meaning HSPF and COP don’t mean much, but if you compare the different rates, there can be a huge difference in power consumption between heaters over a lifetime. of several years. However, it is very important to weigh the costs of acquiring the device against the profitability of the device in the long term. There’s no point buying a wall-mounted heat pump with an HSPF of 12+ if you’re planning to move in 2-3 years, because the next owner of your home will benefit from the savings. energy from your heat pump. If you plan to stay in your home for several years, buying a heat pump with a high energy efficiency rate will have several benefits on your energy consumption. First, a heat pump with an HSPF greater than 11+ will consume much less energy to produce the same amount of heat compared to a unit that has an HSPF of 9. Second, wall-mounted heat pumps with a high HSPF and COP are usually considered high-end devices. Your unit will then also have a high SEER which will save you money for the cooling season. Third, units with a high HSPF are usually built by industry-recognized manufacturers who have many years of experience designing and manufacturing wall-mounted heat pumps. To obtain a high HSPF, manufacturers must use the best parts and components in order to obtain high performance yields. This ensures that your device is built with high quality materials. Buying a heat pump is a major investment. At Les Entreprises MPH, we are experts in the field. Our team will be able to advise you according to your needs, your current/future situation and your budget.
What is Inverter technology for the wall-mounted heat pump?
Inverter technology allows the compressor to vary the cooling power of your air conditioning system. The vast majority of wall-mounted heat pump systems today have inverter technology and here is why:
An inverter compressor is more precise in terms of temperature because it is able to vary its power continuously and precisely. Unlike traditional compressors that run either at full power or off, an inverter compressor can adjust its speed in real time to meet your home’s heating or cooling needs.
By using a temperature sensor located inside the evaporator, the inverter compressor constantly receives information about the ambient temperature and can adjust its speed accordingly to reach the desired temperature more accurately and quickly. This helps maintain a more stable and comfortable temperature, with less unwanted fluctuations.
Additionally, inverter compressors are often paired with sophisticated electronic control systems that provide precise temperature control and improved energy efficiency, which can significantly reduce heating and cooling costs while providing increased comfort.
The compressor drastically reduces its power when the temperature is reached and gives you only the BTU/h necessary to maintain the temperature.
Inverter compressors use a variable speed motor, which means that the speed of the compressor can be adjusted according to air conditioning demand. Unlike traditional compressors that cycle on and off to maintain the desired temperature, the inverter compressor adjusts its speed in real time to respond to indoor temperature fluctuations.
This allows the inverter compressor to operate at lower energy levels when the indoor temperature is close to the desired temperature, while traditional compressors always operate at full power and turn off when the temperature is reached, consuming more of energy.
A wall-mounted heat pump with an inverter compressor provides better dehumidification because it allows more precise regulation of the compressor speed, which allows the dehumidification capacity of the air conditioning system to be adjusted according to demand.
When air humidity is high, an inverter compressor can run at a higher speed to increase dehumidification capacity, which helps reduce air humidity faster and more efficiently.
Plus, the inverter compressor can maintain a constant speed as dehumidification demand changes, unlike traditional compressors that must cycle on and off to maintain the desired temperature. This allows the air conditioning system to operate more stably and efficiently, reducing air humidity more consistently.
By reducing the humidity in the air, an inverter compressor can help prevent the growth of mold and bacteria, which can improve indoor air quality and reduce health risks.
An inverter compressor has a longer lifespan for several reasons:
- Variable speed operation: The inverter compressor operates at a variable speed rather than a constant speed, which reduces compressor wear and fatigue. Traditional compressors run at full speed when running, which can cause premature wear of compressor parts.
- Pressure regulation: The inverter compressor regulates the pressure in the air conditioning system to maintain a constant temperature. This reduces the workload on the compressor and prolongs its life.
- Reduced energy consumption: Variable speed operation reduces the energy consumption of the air conditioning system. Less power consumption means less heat generated and less stress on the compressor, which extends its life.
- Reduced wear and tear on the air conditioning system: The precise regulation of air temperature and humidity by the inverter compressor reduces the workload on other components of the air conditioning system, such as fans and heaters. It also prolongs the life of the air conditioning system as a whole.
Inverter compressors are designed to operate more efficiently and more stably, which reduces wear and fatigue on air conditioning system components, thus extending the life of the compressor and the system as a whole.
A wall-mounted heat pump with an Inverter compressor is much quieter than a heat pump with an ON/OFF compressor, because the compressor starts slowly and gradually increases speed to maximize energy consumption. This allows the oil to circulate better and avoid knocking at start-up, thus being quieter when your air conditioner is running.
Traditional compressors run at full speed when running, which can generate high noise levels. In contrast, inverter compressors are designed to operate at lower speeds when cooling demand is low, which significantly reduces the level of noise generated.
In addition, the precise regulation of air temperature and humidity by the inverter compressor also reduces the workload on other components of the air conditioning system, such as fans and heat exchangers. This also reduces the overall noise generated by the air conditioning system.
By reducing the level of noise generated by the compressor and the air conditioning system as a whole, an inverter compressor can improve the comfort of the occupants of the house or air-conditioned space. Additionally, it can reduce noise disturbance to neighbors or other occupants of the building or surrounding area.
The frequency modulator communicates with the indoor temperature sensor located in the evaporator and this allows the speed of the compressor to be varied. The compressor is specifically designed to operate at different speeds to modulate the heating power according to the required temperature. Accurate refrigerant quantity is a critical requirement to ensure compressor life. In addition, proper oil management thus ensures proper lubrication for low-speed operation and prevents excessive injection of oil into the system during full-speed operation.
The inverter compressor uses a variable speed motor that allows the compressor to run at different speeds depending on cooling or heating demand. Unlike traditional compressors that cycle on and off to maintain the desired temperature, the inverter compressor adjusts its speed in real time to respond to indoor temperature fluctuations.
When the indoor temperature is higher than the desired temperature, the inverter compressor starts at a low speed and gradually increases its speed to reach the required cooling capacity. Compressor speed is regulated based on cooling demand, allowing the cooling capacity of the air conditioning system to be adjusted as needed.
On the other hand, if the ambient temperature is lower than the desired temperature, the inverter compressor reduces its speed or stops completely to save energy. Variable speed therefore reduces the energy consumption of the air conditioning system, because the compressor only operates at the speed necessary to maintain the desired temperature.
In addition, the inverter compressor regulates the pressure in the air conditioning system to maintain a constant temperature, which reduces the workload on the compressor and extends its life.
Important purchase criteria for a wall-mounted heat pump
When your heat pump turns off, the indoor fan continues to run until the evaporator is completely dry. This keeps your device always clean, fungus and mold free.
The self-cleaning function is generally activated when the heat pump is switched off. When the function is activated, the indoor unit of the heat pump continues to run for a short time to dry out the evaporator of your heat pump. This helps eliminate moisture and mold that may accumulate in the indoor unit.
Then the indoor unit stops for a short time and then restarts in fan mode at a higher speed than normal. This allows cool air to be blown over the evaporator to remove dirt, dust and allergens that have accumulated on the coils.
Finally, the indoor unit shuts down completely, allowing the evaporator to dry out completely and eliminate any residual moisture.
By reducing the buildup of mold, bacteria, and other allergens in the heat pump’s indoor unit, the self-cleaning feature helps improve indoor air quality and maintain peak heat pump performance. This can help reduce the health risks associated with poor indoor air quality and extend the life of the heat pump.
Make sure your heat pump is treated with an anti-corrosion coating that prevents oxidation (rust) from forming on the outdoor and indoor units. This promotes long lasting efficiency and extends the life of the coils by helping to prevent corrosion caused by surrounding pollutants.
Anti-corrosion treatment is important on a heat pump because corrosion can damage heat pump components, leading to high repair costs and loss of performance.
Corrosion is a natural process that occurs when metals are exposed to moisture, acids, salts and other corrosive substances. Heat pumps are often installed outdoors where they are exposed to the elements such as rain, snow and wind, increasing the risk of corrosion.
Anti-corrosive treatment can help protect heat pump components from the effects of corrosion. Anti-corrosion treatments can take many forms, such as the use of corrosion-resistant paint coatings or the application of zinc or chrome coatings to the metal components of the heat pump.
By protecting the heat pump components against corrosion, an anti-corrosion treatment can extend the life of the heat pump and maintain its optimal performance. It can also reduce repair and maintenance costs by preventing breakdowns caused by corrosion of heat pump components.
Good quality units have a module that protects the compressor from overheating if a refrigerant leak is detected.
A refrigerant leak detection sensor on a heat pump is designed to monitor the heat pump refrigeration system and detect any refrigerant leaks.
Refrigerant is a liquid or gas used in the refrigeration system to transfer heat from one place to another. When a leak occurs in the refrigeration system, it can result in decreased heat pump performance and increased energy costs.
The refrigerant leak detection sensor is installed in the refrigeration system and continuously monitors the refrigerant pressure and level in the system. If the sensor detects a refrigerant leak, it triggers an audible or visual alarm to notify the heat pump user.
By quickly detecting refrigerant leaks, the refrigerant leak detection sensor can help prevent heat pump performance loss and reduce energy costs. Additionally, it can also help avoid environmental hazards, as refrigerant leaks can release harmful gases into the air.
When the temperature drops below freezing, the heating element installed in the bottom of the condensing unit heats the base of the outdoor unit to prevent the condensate from freezing. Without a heater, frozen water can cause noise, damage the outdoor unit and fan blades, and reduce system performance.
When comparing the spec sheets of different devices, there are two sound variations to check:
The sound level of the indoor unit (evaporator)
The indoor unit called “evaporator” has between 3 and 8 fan speeds. Each fan speed should be listed on the data sheet along with the airflow (CFM) and noise level (dB). The quietest unit currently is the LG Prestige model with (17 dB) for the indoor unit.
The sound level of the outdoor unit
The outdoor unit called the “condenser” is speedless, as it is usually a variable speed fan motor that communicates with the inverter compressor depending on the heating power required. The operating noise in dB will then be entered at the highest speed in the technical sheets. The quietest units currently are the LG Prestige model and the Fujitsu RLS3 and RLS3H model with (43 dB) for the outdoor unit.
The price of wall-mounted heat pumps
We strongly advise you to use companies that have been in business for several years and that have a storefront: office, showroom and warehouse. This will give you a guarantee that these companies will be able to give you service throughout your warranty. The prices will be a little more expensive, but you will be sure to obtain a good quality of installation carried out by certified technicians who have the necessary competency cards to carry out your installation. Some companies offer you products at very low prices, but be careful, because the quality of the installation and the after-sales service vary enormously between each company. Here are the market prices analyzed between 2017 and 2023 for a 12,000 Btu wall-mounted heat pump:
|2000 $ à 2800 $
|2900 $ à 3900 $
|3800 $ à 5500 $
Warranties can vary wildly from brand to brand, but the majority of quality devices now come with a 10-year warranty and even 12 years in some brands. This is quite an important indicator as to the quality of the unit. Beware of warranties that are not written on the manufacturer’s brochures or data sheets. Some companies add “in-house warranties” to their products, but be very careful because if the contractor closes the doors, you won’t have any warranties. The average lifespan of a wall-mounted heat pump that has been well maintained varies from 12 to 15 years.
An installation carried out according to the rules of the art
As certified air conditioning, heating and ventilation contractors, our technicians are often called into homes where a system is down. After performing diagnosis on the system, it is easy to see that the installation was done wrong by an unlicensed worker or an inexperienced worker. Sometimes the owner is no longer able to reach the person responsible for the installation and calls us with great frustration. Most of the time, the owner has already tried to obtain a repair reimbursed by the manufacturer. However, when the owner mentions that the appliances were installed by a contractor who was not qualified, the latter completely loses the manufacturer’s warranties. There are many more stories like this and unfortunately, while there are laws and regulations against unlicensed contractors in most parts of Quebec, enforcement is often slow or non-existent. This leaves homeowners in precarious positions and, often, with appliances that no longer work. As an air conditioning, heating and ventilation contractor, we adhere to the rules and regulations adopted by the Régie du Bâtiment du Québec in order to work according to the rules in force. Many of these regulations are intended to protect homeowners from scrupulous and dishonest contractors. But if the owner is unaware of the risks of using an unlicensed contractor, how can he make a good decision about hiring a company? All Entreprises MPH technicians are trained to answer the questions and concerns of owners of wall-mounted heat pumps. When you purchase a heat pump, you must ensure that the contractor carrying out the work has all the licenses to carry out the work.
- Refrigeration 15.10
- Forced air heating 15.1
- Breakdown 15.8
- CMEQ License: Electricity 16
- Liability insurance to protect you from possible damage caused by the installation
Additionally, here is a list of topics that technicians should discuss with owners to uphold the importance of licensing agreements:
Unlicensed contractors may not perform warranty work unless the manufacturer has authorized a specific person in writing to perform the work. Be careful, as some contractors subcontract work to non-certified contractors. Apply for the license and make sure the person doing the work is listed. Unlicensed work on your system will void the manufacturer’s warranty.
How long has the company had its license? Is the company certified to perform warranty and installation work in your home? With a certified contractor, the owner receives a guarantee of the work carried out and a guarantee on the equipment installed. If this is not offered, the homeowner may end up with a poorly done installation and malfunctioning system. Improper electrical connection can cause a fire.
Many homeowners don’t realize that when they hire an unlicensed and often cheaper contractor, they can be held liable if that worker falls or is injured while working on their property. Owners often think they’re getting a good price on a repair or a new system, but if a worker slips and falls while working, the owner could be responsible for the worker’s injury. So, make sure the contractor has valid liability insurance in good standing. In our region, being a licensed contractor has its downsides when it comes to job auctions. Unlicensed contractors do not have to comply with laws, have no overhead, pay workers’ compensation, and do not provide insurance for their employees.