It is hard to go wrong with an American Standard heat pump, an energy-efficient product from a reputable home appliance brand.
A growing number of families are finding that the efficiencies and flexibility delivered with a modern heat pump just can’ be beat. If you’ve considered letting a heat pump handle all of your household’s heating and cooling needs (or even if you’re just curious about how they work) you would be doing yourself a favor by looking more closely at American Standard heat pumps.
Heat pump basics
One of the first steps in evaluating whether an American Standard heat pump is a good fit for your home is to understand just how a heat pump works. A heat pump is a device that uses a small amount of energy to move heat from one location to another. (In its capacity as an air conditioner, the process is essentially reversed.) There are two general types of heat pumps: air-source heat pumps and geothermal heat pumps.
An air-source heat pump typically will have a small refrigeration system included, consisting of a compressor and two coils of tubing (nearly always copper), one indoor and one outdoors. These coils are surrounded by fins (typically made of aluminum) that aid in the heat transfer process. In the heating mode, the liquid refrigerant in the outside coils extracts heat from the air and evaporates into a gas. The indoor coils release heat from the refrigerant as it condenses back into a liquid. For cooling, the process is basically reversed with the refrigerant flow cooling the air going into the house.
Geothermal heat pumps draw warmer air from an external space in colder weather (often from underneath the house) and cooler air in warmer weather, distributing it into the house for either heat or cooling.
A big advantage of heat pumps is that they don’t have to use much (if any) energy to generate the heat or cold air that is eventually pumped back into the house. A growing number of heat pumps use ambient air or solar energy systems to create the air being used to heat or cool a house. As efficiencies in design and construction improve, some heat pumps are now outperforming all other rivals for efficient HVAC systems.
Why American Standard?
American Standard Heating and Air Conditioning is a company that has been around since the 1880s. It was originally founded as a company that provided clean (and affordable) heating solutions for residential customers across the United States. Today, American Standard Heating and Air Conditioning is a member of the international juggernaut, Ingersoll Rand, offering a full range of HVAC products and services, primarily for residential use.
(PLEASE NOTE: many people confuse American Standard’s heat pumps with the American Standard company that produces bath and kitchen sinks, faucets and accessories. They are two separate companies with very different product lines.)
American Standard offers eight different heat pumps to choose from, designated by price and performance specifications across three categories: Silver, Gold and Platinum.
Here’s a brief overview of the differences in efficiency, performance, ratings and even the expected tax credits and rebates you can expect to enjoy with any of American Standard’s heat pump options (in ascending order of specifications and costs:
- Silver SI – SEER rating up to 13 and up to $500 in tax credits and rebates
- Silver XI – SEER rating up to 16 and up to $500 in tax credits and rebates
- Gold SI – SEER rating up to 14 and up to $500 in tax credits and rebates
- Gold XI – SEER rating up to 16, up to $500 in tax credits and rebates, and ENERGY STAR designation
- Platinum XM – SEER rating up to 16, up to $500 in tax credits and rebates, and ENERGY STAR designation
- Platinum XV – SEER rating up to 18, up to $1,300 in tax credits and rebates, and ENERGY STAR designation
- Platinum ZM – SEER rating up to 20, up to $1,300 in tax credits and rebates, and ENERGY STAR designation
- Platinum ZV – SEER rating up to 21, up $1,300 tax credits and rebates, and ENERGY STAR designation
Nearly all American Standard heat pumps are single-stage (the two exceptions being the two top-tier Platinum models) and all of them come with 10-year limited warranties on the compressors, coils and parts. (The Platinum ZV model includes a 12-year compressor warranty.)
A word about downsides
As effective and efficient as the modern heat pump is, it does have some limitations. One big one is if you live in an area where severe cold weather is normal. Remember, a heat pump works best when it’s being asked to transfer heat (or cooler air) from one place to another. If you do live in a region where there can be seasonally cold snaps or swings, having a heat pump may save you enough to have a supplemental or secondary heat source (the same may apply on the other side of the heating-cooling equation if you live where it can suddenly get real hot, real fast.)
One other common complaint about heat pumps is that the heat generated by them is not as intense or as immediate as it can be with other systems. American Standard addresses this concern by offering a number of advanced control features with its heat pumps that allow you to maintain a more even keel of heating or cooling, reducing the number of times when a system has to crank up, and saving you even more money and energy use in the long run.
Costs and installation
Finding a price estimate for an American Standard heat pump is a challenging proposition. The company does not list prices (not even contractor wholesale prices) on its website. Even if it did, you would be hard-pressed to get an accurate quote. One reason is that what you pay will depend on where you live and what specifications you need for your heat pump. Another (big) reason is that you have to factor in the installation costs. What a contractor will charge you for installation can vary widely from contractor to contractor and from area to area (even from house to house!)
When it comes time to install your chosen American Standard heat pump, choosing the right contractor is essential. Fortunately, American Standard is a ubiquitous brand with which all major contractors have some familiarity. It is usually not difficult to find a contractor who is willing and able to give an installation estimate for an American Standard heating product. It’s important that you select a licensed, qualified contractor authorized to install American Standard products to ensure that the system is installed properly and that all warranties remain in force. (It’s also important to get at least three bids for your installation project to use for comparison purposes.)
It is hard to go wrong with an American Standard heat pump, an energy-efficient product from a reputable home appliance brand. Lifetime warranties on the brand's various heating products lead to long-term savings for you.