Lennox Vs. Trane Vs. Carrier Heat Pumps: Which brand is best?

The major heat pump manufacturers all make lines of heat pumps with comparable specifications. The specifications for HSPF (heating efficiency),  SEER (cooling efficiency), noise levels, and warranty duration are very similar when comparing models within each class. This is probably due to the fact that the different brands often use the same components.

Overall, Carrier and Lennox units tend to have very similar efficiency ratings (Carrier units usually have slightly higher heating ratings but slightly lower cooling ratings). In terms of published specifications, Trane systems fare the worst, having lower efficiency ratings and higher noise levels than competing models.

The HSPF & SEER ratings are measured by the AHRI, an unbiased organization.  The noise levels are measured by the manufacturers, so the differences here might be due to different testing procedures rather than real differences.

If noise levels are a major concern, we invite you to visit our Surrey showroom, where you can see the Lennox XP17 in operation, which is advertised as the quietest heat pump on the market.  The noise levels are rarely a concern except when installed in a bad location or when dealing with strict strata councils.

Comparing the systems

Each manufacturer makes a range of heat pumps, with the more expensive models generally having higher efficiency ratings and lower noise levels. Comparable units from each manufacturer are arranged side by side.

Lennox Carrier Trane
XP21 (2 stage)
9.70 HSPF, 19.20 SEER
67 dB Sound Rating
10 year warranty on functional components
25HNA9/B9 (2 stage)
10.0 HSPF, 19.00 SEER
69 dB Sound Rating
10 year warranty on functional components
XL20i (2 stage)
9.0 HSPF, 17.90 SEER
74 dB Sound Rating
12 year compressor warranty
10 year warranty on other parts
XP17 (1 stage)
9.50 HSPF, 17.70 SEER
62 dB Sound Rating
10 year warranty on functional components
25HNB6/A6 (2 stage)
9.75 HSPF, 17.00 SEER
69 dB Sound Rating
10 year warranty on functional components
XL16i (1 stage)
9.2 HSPF, 17.00 SEER
74 dB Sound Rating
12 year compressor warranty
10 year warranty on other parts
XP16 (1 stage)
8.70 HSPF, 16.50 SEER
74 dB Sound Rating
10 year warranty on functional components
25HNB5/PA5 (1 stage)
9.0 HSPF, 16.00 SEER
68 dB Sound Rating
10 year warranty on functional components
XL15i (1 stage)
9.0 HSPF, 16.00 SEER
74 dB Sound Rating
12 year compressor warranty
10 year warranty on other parts
25HCB6 (2 stage)
9.5 HSPF, 16.50 SEER
70 dB Sound Rating
10 year warranty on functional components
XR16 (2 stage)
9.5 HSPF, 18.00 SEER
73 dB Sound Rating
10 year warranty on functional components
XP14 (1 stage)
9.50 HSPF, 16.50 SEER
71 dB Sound Rating
10 year warranty on functional components
XR15 (1 stage)
9.0 HSPF, 16.50 SEER
75 dB Sound Rating
10 year warranty on functional components
XP13 (1 stage)
8.70 HSPF, 14.50 SEER
74 dB Sound Rating
10 year warranty on functional components
XB14 (1 stage)
8.5 HSPF, 15.00 SEER
78 dB Sound Rating
10 year warranty on functional components
14 HPX (1 stage)
7.70+ HSPF, 14.00+ SEER
76 dB Sound Rating
10 year warranty on functional components
25HCB3/C5 (1 stage)
9.0 HSPF, 16.00 SEER
69 dB Sound Rating
10 year warranty on functional components
XR13 (1 stage)
8.5 HSPF, 14.00+ SEER
76 dB Sound Rating
10 year warranty on functional components
13HPX (1 stage)
7.70+ HSPF, 13.00+ SEER
62 dB Sound Rating
10 year warranty on functional components
25HBC3/C5 (1 stage)
9.0 HSPF, 16.00 SEER
69 dB Sound Rating
10 year warranty on functional components
XB13 (1 stage)
8.5 HSPF, 13.00+ SEER
78 dB Sound Rating
10 year warranty on functional components

Each model is available in several different sizes, usually ranging from 24,000 to 60,000 BTU. Generally, the smaller sizes are quieter and more efficient than the larger sizes. For ease of comparison, the best rating (among all sizes) is listed for the HSPF, SEER, and noise levels.

The warranty terms listed here apply when the system is properly registered by a qualifying dealer. Some systems may include shorter warranties depending on the dealer and whether or not the system is registered properly.

Carrier Greenspeed

Carrier recently introduced their Greenspeed lines of inverter heat pumps, which are about 30% more efficient than other air source heat pumps, and maintains their heating capacity down to much lower temperature. However, we’re still waiting to see how reliable these units are. We currently install the Mitsubishi Zuba inverter heat pump, which has been in production much longer, and offers similar low-temperature performance.

Importance of a quality installation

In a recent report, Consumer Reports found that “28 percent of the builder-installed units failed compared with 18 percent for owner-installed systems.” (Note systems “installed by homeowners” refers to homeowners who hired a heating & AC contractor, not to homeowners who performed the installation themselves.) This shows the type of installer chosen can increase breakdowns by more than 50%.

Aa UK study by the energy saving trust measured the real world efficiency levels of 28 heat pumps. They found that only 4 of the systems performed near their potential efficiency, and several of them were operating less than half as efficiently as they should have been. So installation quality can more than double the performance of a heat pump. This suggests that choosing a contractor that performs quality installations is much more important than which brand you choose.

Heat Pump Installation EfficiencyUK Heat Pump Efficiency Study: Only 4 of 28 heat pumps were classified as “well performing.” The rest suffered significantly due to poor installation quality. Several of the heat pumps were operating at less than half of their potential efficiency. This suggests selecting a quality installer is more important than brand selection.


These results suggest that while some brands may be slightly more efficient or reliable than others, choosing a poor company to install your system can increase breakdowns by more than 50% or decrease efficiency by more than half. In general, choosing a good installer seems much more important than brand selection.

To learn more about your heat pump installation options, visit our heat pumps page.

To schedule a free quote on a new heat pump, call 604 GOOD GUY (604 466 3489) or use our online form.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>