Product Review: Carrier Comfort 14 25HCE4 Heat Pump
Are you looking for an energy-efficient heat pump from a high-quality brand? The Carrier Comfort 14 25HCE4 heat pump reliably heats and cools all year round.
For those history buffs who care about HVAC, the first heat pump was invented in 1856 by Peter von Rittinger. The invention was used for vapor compression evaporation (open heat pump process) in salt works.
Jump forward a hundred years. During the 1970s oil crisis, the heat pump became a popular choice for heating and cooling homes. Heat pumps used - and still use - electricity, which was far cheaper than the skyrocketing oil prices.
If your heat pump is 15 years old or more, it might be time to invest in a new one. Or even if it’s not that old, and you’re frequently springing for costly repairs, it might be time to cut your losses and start heat pump shopping.
We might have the ideal solution for you. The Carrier 14 (25HCE4) is a budget-friendly heat pump that is efficient in both the summer and winter.
What Are the Features of the Carrier Comfort 14 Heat Pump?
This is a single-stage heat pump. That means it is either 100% on, or it’s off. This technology has been the standard for decades. That assures sturdy performance.
A multiple-stage unit would have more stages, meaning that it could run at a lower speed. The more stages a system has, the higher the price tag. The Comfort 14’s configuration makes it affordable without sacrificing performance.
The WeatherArmor coating provides durability with a galvanized steel cabinet. It also has a wire coil guard and baked-on powder paint to protect against dings, dents, and weather-based threats.
When brand new, the sound level can go as low as 69 dBA. (A normal conversation is about 60 dBA.) Older heat pumps will be significantly noisier as they age. You will notice the difference in noise between your new, quiet heat pump over your existing, loud one.
This heat pump is dual-fuel capable. Dual fuel means that you use an electric heat pump with a gas (or propane or oil) furnace. You are using two heating sources that alternate between two different types of fuel. A compatible thermostat will make the switch for you.
What Equipment Can I Pair with the Carrier Comfort 14 Heat Pump?
Different parts of your HVAC system need to “rate”). This is known as “equipment matching.” It means that the different pieces of equipment in your HVAC system need to be compatible with one another. This is true for heat pumps, furnaces, air conditioners, and thermostats.
You cannot pair this heat pump with a furnace that has a variable-speed blower. They don’t match, and the blower won’t function properly, if it works at all. That’s why we sometimes have to recommend that you replace your furnace or air handler at the same time you’re replacing your heat pump. The technology needs to match.
The 25HCE4 will work best with a single-stage thermostat and a single-stage furnace or air handler.
This is why it’s important to do your homework and talk to an HVAC professional before you buy a new piece of equipment. You’ll need to compare the specifications of your current system in order to determine whether a new addition is advisable.
What Is the Correct Size Heat Pump for Your Home?
A correctly sized heat pump is crucial. If your system is too big for your house, it will do what we call “short cycling.” The cycle it goes through when it’s trying to heat or cool will be too short. It will turn off and on and off and on. The inside air won’t have sufficient time to mix, resulting in hot and cool spots in the house.
In the summer, it also means that the indoor humidity level will be higher than it should be. Air conditioning removes humidity. When the system is not running enough, that humidity will make your home feel like a jungle.
It’s also rough on the machine. Anything that has to turn off and on frequently will wear out sooner than one that stays on longer.
And if it’s too small, you can already guess what will happen: It will struggle to meet the preferred indoor temperature. The house will rarely be comfortable during extreme heat or cold. And your energy bill will be higher than necessary.
Your HVAC salesperson should properly size the interior of your home before installation takes place. A Manual J Load Calculation is required. If your HVAC salesperson doesn’t perform this, they are being lazy. It doesn’t take much time, and it provides an accurate measurement of how much air your heat pump needs to move.
This calculation takes into account the number of occupants, windows, doors, insulation, the presence of a basement and/or attic, and the orientation of the home, as well as the square footage.
Read more: Sizing Your Air Conditioner, Heat Pump, and Furnace
How Efficient is the Carrier Comfort 14?
- Cooling SEER: up to 14
- Cooling EER: up to 11.5
- Heating HSPF: up to 8.2
What Do HVAC Cooling and Heating Ratings Mean?
SEER stands for seasonal energy efficiency ratio, which is defined by the Air Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute. The SEER rating of a unit is the cooling output during a typical cooling season divided by the total electric energy input during the same period.
It’s not uncommon for old heat pumps to run at SEER levels of 10 or worse. A heat pump with a 14 SEER is very energy efficient. Most 14 SEER systems are 20-30% more energy efficient than air conditioning systems from 15 years ago. If your current heat pump has a SEER 10 rating and the new one has a SEER 14, you take 10/14 which equals .71. That means the new heat pump is going to use 71% of the energy of your old one.
The EER rating provides you with a ratio of useful cooling output (in BTU/h) to electricity input (measured in W). The higher the rating, the more efficient the AC unit is. A good EER rating for an air conditioner is 8.5 and above.
Heating seasonal performance factor (HSPF) is defined as the ratio of heat output (measured in BTUs) over the heating season to electricity used (measured in watt-hours). An HSPF ≥ 8 can be considered high efficiency and worthy of a US Energy Tax Credit.
No matter how you measure it, the Carrier Comfort 14 is energy efficient in all seasons.
Who’s the Right Fit for This Carrier Comfort 14 Heat Pump?
The Carrier Comfort 14 heat pump is a great fit for a homeowner who has a single-stage heat pump that’s 10-15 years old and is looking for an upgrade. It’s also a good choice for anyone who’s thinking about moving to a new home soon and doesn’t want to install a top-of-the-line model.
If you don’t have any major concerns with your current unit but want a new model, this heat pump will help ensure comfort throughout your home in any season. The price tag is on the lower end for heat pumps, making it affordable without sacrificing performance.
It should provide great heat and cool for 10-15 years.
Who’s Not a Right Fit for This Carrier Heat Pump?
If your current heat pump isn’t providing enough cool in the summer, and falls short of warmth in the winter, an HVAC salesperson will likely press you for further details. Has it always been that cold and hot? If so, perhaps your previous heat pump wasn’t sized correctly.
Or maybe you should think about spending a bit more money and buying a unit that has a variable-speed fan. Heat pumps of this sort can run at more than one speed. That will allow it to run longer, which gives the conditioned air a better chance to mix with the unconditioned air. That will help eliminate uncomfortable rooms in your home.
A higher-end heat pump can also work better with excess humidity or air that’s low on humidity.
If you plan on moving from your home soon, the Carrier Comfort 14 is a better investment than a more expensive model, which could help with fuel bills, but you won’t reap the benefits quickly enough to offset the initial cost.
Read more: Heat Pumps 101: The Ultimate List of Heat Pump FAQs
What Is the Cost of the Carrier Comfort 14?
At Fire & Ice, we sell the Carrier Comfort 14 25HCE4 from $4,700 to about $6,500, including installation and labor. These prices vary depending on factors such as the capacity of the unit, any additional equipment (humidifiers, air cleaners, etc.), and any ductwork out of the ordinary. Ask your sales representative for further information about pricing and options.
Buying a New Heat Pump in Columbus, Ohio
At Fire & Ice, we’ve met with thousands of Central Ohio homeowners who face the difficult decision of buying a heat pump that meets their needs and works for their lifestyle and budget. That’s why we are here to answer any questions you might have about upgrading your HVAC system.
If you live in the Columbus, Ohio, area and are looking to take the next step, please check to see if we are in your service area by using the zip code map below.