We will look at a few window heat pumps that are available in today's market:
These reviews will consider the following important features of each model:
But, first let's clear up a common misconception....
Not all window air conditioners that also heat an area are called heat pumps.
Why is this significant?
All window units cool by means of a refrigeration system, consisting of a compressor, refrigerant, and other components.
But....window units that heat, do so largely by the following two methods:
Why should you care?
Because electric heat is expensive.
Granted, the window unit with electric heat is usually cheaper to purchase. But the window heat pump is generally less expensive to operate.
Amana AH Series
So, which type of window unit should YOU purchase?
This is not always a simple answer. However, in general, if you live in a climate with mild winters (30 degrees Fahrenheit or higher), the window heat pump is usually less expensive in the long run.
Most window heat pumps also have backup electric heat for very cold weather. Heat pumps do not operate well in heating mode during extremely cold periods (less than 30 degrees Fahrenheit).
So if your winters drop below 30 degrees Fahrenheit for weeks (not months), generally the window heat pump is a better long term purchase.
Now, let's address our first review topic:
Usually window heat pumps are purchased based on the cooling capacity required. Below you will find a summary of the available cooling ranges for each brand:
|Cooling Capacity and Efficiency By Model|
Note: Btu/hr denotes the cooling capacity. EER stands for "energy efficiency ratio", which is the cooling efficiency measurement that is used in the heat pump industry. Watts gives the power consumption at each full operating load.
In review of the above, we see:
While a customer will typically select the window unit based on the cooling capacity, it is also important to pay attention to heating capacity.
This allows us to select the right size unit for installation in a colder climate and it gives us an efficiency by which to measure the heating side of the heat pump.
|Heating Capacity and Efficiency By Model|
Note: Btu/hr denotes the heating capacity. COP stands for "coefficient of performance", which is the heating efficiency measurement that is used in the heat pump industry. Watts gives the power consumption at each full operating load.
In review of the above we see:
Window heat pumps can also serve as dehumidifiers for treating moist air. If dehumidification is a major concern for you, consider purchasing the unit with a larger dehumidification capacity.
|Dehumidification Capacity By Model|
|Pints Per Hour||1.9||3||5.4||7||2.2||2.5||4.1||4.2||3.2||4||5|
Each window heat pump is manufactured within standard constraints due to window sizes being quite universal. In case your window is not within standard dimensions, here are a few of the sizes available (listed in inches and pounds):
|Required Window Dimensions and Unit Weights By Model|
|Min. Window Width||27.5||27.5||27.5||30||23||23||27||30.5||30.5||30.5||30.5|
|Max. Window Width||42||42||42||42||*||*||*||42||42||42||42|
* Indicates this information is not available
A very common question in relation to air conditioners of all kinds is:
"How much cooling capacity do I need in order to sufficiently cool my room/house?"
Below is a chart that is a GENERAL guide to cooling capacity required based upon the size of the room being cooled. This applies toward a room that is sufficiently insulated and does not have significant amounts of outdoor air infiltration.
|Cooling Capacity to Room Size|
|Cooling Capacity (Btu/hr)||Room Size (sq.ft)|
Depending on it's design, heat pumps can struggle to operate well in frigid temperatures. So below we have summarized the low temperature operation limit.
Most heat pumps are supplemented with an alternate heat source (usually electric for window heat pumps) for heating operation in very cold weather. Where you see the acronym "BUH", it stands for "back-up heat". In this case, there is no minimum temperature operation limit.
Is "BUH" the best window unit to purchase? Not necessarily. It may be necessary to purchase a BUH unit if you live in climates that can reach frigid temperatures.
However, if you live in an area that would never drop below the units minimum temperature.....why worry?
It must be noted the when a heat pump starts to use the backup electric heat, it can become very, very expensive.
|Low Temperature Operation Limit By Model|
|Low Temp Limit||40 F||0 F||0 F||0 F||BUH||BUH||BUH||BUH||BUH||BUH||BUH|
When purchasing a heat pump it is very important to be aware of the warranty. This can be the difference between a very expensive repair or just an inexpensive inconvenience.
Below is are the warranty policies of each manufacturer discussing above.