Airton (Starlight) heat pump: reviews and prices (2023)

Airton (Starlight) heat pump: reviews and prices (2023)

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Airton is a French brand that is part of the Starlight company, a subsidiary of the MIH group. It offers fixed and mobile air conditioning and heating solutions. The brand gained notoriety in the second half of the 2010s, especially following the media coverage of its legal battle to have its ready-to-install "ReadyClim" air conditioners recognized as "hermetically sealed", and therefore able to be installed by individuals with the help of a professional. 

Airton offers a range of air-to-air heat pumps available in monosplit and multisplit (bi and tri-split) versions that feature DC Inverter technology, allowing heating in winter and cooling in summer.

In this practical guide, the editors review all Airton air-to-air heat pump models: technical characteristics, strengths, weaknesses, prices, financial assistance and consumer opinions.

Airton, a French start-up that is on the rise

Airton is a French brand specialized in air conditioning and heating solutions founded in the early 2000s. Its history is linked to that of Starlight SAS, a subsidiary of the MIH group, which began distributing energy-efficient lighting products in the mid-1990s, mainly in France and neighbouring countries. 

Today, Starlight is developing its activities in the HVAC industry, with a specialization in ready-to-install air conditioners. These practical, innovative and clever products have moreover boosted the brand's reputation since 2017, especially following the long legal saga that opposed it at the European level. Brief summary: 

  • In 2006, Airton patented ReadyClim, a high-performance, environmentally friendly air conditioner that can be safely installed by homeowners in Plug & PlayThe equipment cannot be marketed, however, pending a favorable opinion on its "hermetically sealed" character. However, the equipment cannot be marketed, pending a favorable opinion on its "hermetically sealed" character.
  • In 2013, the Direction de la Prévention des Risques ruled that the ReadyClim solution could be freely marketed to consumers without any particular restrictions. On the other hand, and on the recommendation of the Alliance Froid Climatisation Environnement, the Direction de la Prévention des Risques requires the intervention of a professional for each installation;
  • Between 2015 and 2016, Starlight approached Ségolène Royal, then Minister of the Environment, to lift the requirement for professional intervention;
  • In 2020, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) recognizes that Airton air conditioners meet the required criteria " to be qualified as hermetically sealed [...]. As such, they can be exempted from professional installation, the Court therefore recognizing that individuals can install them themselves "as stated in the January 5, 2022 edition of the newspaper La Tribune.

Today, Airton markets its ReadyClim air conditioners in France and neighbouring countries with some success. The brand also offers a wide range of air conditioning and air purification products: 

  • Fixed and mobile air conditioners;
  • Fans ;
  • Air fresheners and purifiers ;
  • Mobile heaters ;
  • Window caulking kits for mobile air conditioners.

Introducing Airton (Starlight) Heat Pumps

As you will see, Airton offers a small range of standard air-to-air heat pumps, which do not produce domestic hot water. These heat pumps are intended for small homes and/or homes with small living areas. The brand offers a range of powers from 2.5 kW to 5.27 kW (mono, bi or tri-split), with the possibility of adding a Wifi kit to the device. The Airton heat pumps have the particularity of being very easily installed by individuals, provided you are a handyman. However, you will have to ask for the help of an electrician. 

Here is our summary of the main advantages and disadvantages of air-to-air heat pumps from the French brand Airton.

Benefits of Airton (Starlight) heat pumps

  • Obviously, the "ReadyClim" technology that allows individuals to install their equipment without calling on a professional remains the brand's main argument. Beware: you still need to be a handyman to do it;
  • The "ReadyClim" technology saves between €600 and €1,400 in installation and commissioning costs;
  • No handling of refrigerant is required, so there is no risk of gas dispersion;
  • Airton heat pumps are equipped with Samsung, Panasonic, Sanyo or Toshiba compressors, brands known for the reliability of their equipment;
  • No vacuum: the system is 100 % airtight, hermetically pre-sealed and pre-charged with R32 gas, more efficient and less polluting than R410A refrigerant;
  • Airton is a French brand... a major asset for consumers who prefer Made in France ;
  • Airton heat pumps are quiet, with a sound pressure level below average for this price range;
  • Although relatively young, the Airton brand has found its place in the highly competitive heating and cooling market;
  • The brand is known for its capacity to innovate: the "ReadyClim" technology is one of the few outstanding innovations in the field of residential heating in the last thirty years;
  • Finally, Airton's customer reviews are generally positive, whether on discussion forums or on marketplaces like Amazon. We will talk about this in the section dedicated to reviews.

Disadvantages of Airton heat pumps

  • Airton heat pumps are not very powerful;
  • They are not designed for large houses or large living rooms;
  • Airton only offers air-to-air heat pumps. The brand does not offer any hybrid air-to-air models. Therefore, you cannot produce domestic hot water (DHW) with an Airton heat pump;
  • Aesthetically, Airton heat pumps do not offer anything noteworthy. The design is the same as that of a conventional air conditioner;
  • Airton has engaged in a high-profile battle with installers and industry professionals. Your installer will probably not recommend an Airton heat pump.

Airton's single-split air-to-air heat pumps

Single-split air-to-air heat pumps can be used to cool a single room. Airton offers three power ranges: 2500 W, 3400 W and 5270 W. Airton's single-split air-to-air heat pumps are all reversible, with DC Inverter operation to heat you in winter and cool you in summer.

Airton's single-split air-to-air heat pumps come with the following components: 

  • Remote control with batteries ;
  • 2 m condensate hose for the indoor unit ;
  • Protective foam;
  • Insulating tape;
  • Wall exit;
  • Drainage connection with condensate ;
  • 4 anti-vibration blocks to limit the noise of the outdoor unit;
  • 4 m of electrical wiring.

Here is a comparative table of the technical characteristics of Airton's single-split air-to-air heat pumps.

Airton R32 air-to-air heat pump 2500 / 2800 WAirton R32 air-to-air heat pump 3 400 / 3 600 WAirton R32 air-to-air heat pump 5 270 / 5 500 W
Suitable for a surfaceUp to 30 m² / 80 m3Up to 40 m² / 105 m3Up to 60 m² / 150 m3
Capacity Cold / Hot2 500 W / 2 800 W3,400 W / 3,600 W5 270 W / 5 500 W
Energy class Cold/HotA++ / A+A++ / A+A++ / A+
Sound pressure level Indoor/Outdoor (dB)29-36-40 / 5025-37-41 / 5331-44-47 / 54
Indoor air flow rate M3/H520550850
Dehumidifier capacity0.8 L/H1 L/H1.80 L/H
SEER / SCOP6.10 / 46.5 / 46.3 / 4
Type of gas - Quantity (Kg)R32 - 0.53 KgR32 - 0.55 KgR32 - 0.952 Kg
Diameters of refrigeration lines1/4 3/81/4 3/81/4 1/2
Compressor brandSANYOSANYOPANASONIC

As you can see, we have a seasonal coefficient of performance (SCOP) of 4: the heat pump produces 4 times more thermal energy than it consumes in the form of electricity. The performance is reasonable, but nothing more. All Airton single-split heat pumps use R32 gas, which is more efficient and less polluting than R410A. As for acoustics, we are still talking about something reasonable.

Airton's multisplit air-to-air heat pumps

Multisplit heat pumps allow multiple rooms to be heated with multiple indoor units from a single outdoor unit. Airton offers bi-split and tri-split heat pumps, again with the "ReadyClim" solution. In short, it is a matter of ordering a union connector (connection between two links) to go up to 12 meters of refrigeration connection.

Airton's multisplit air-to-air heat pumps are supplied with the following components: 

  • 2 or 3 remote controls with batteries;
  • 4 m condensate hose indoor unit ;
  • 2 or 3 protective foams fitting ;
  • Insulating tape;
  • Wall exit;
  • Condensate drain connection ;
  • 4 anti-vibration blocks;
  • 2 x 4 m (or 3 x 6 m) of electrical wiring.

Here is a summary table of the technical characteristics of Airton's air-to-air bi-split heat pumps.

Airton bi-split air-to-air heat pump 2 500 + 2 500 WAirton R32 air-to-air heat pump 3 400 / 3 600 W
Suitable for a surface30 sqm + 30 sqm30 sqm + 45 sqm
Capacity Cold / Hot2 600 w / 2 800 w - 2 600 w / 2 800 w2 600 w / 2 800 w - 3500 w / 3650 w
Energy class Cold/HotA++ / A+A++ / A+
Sound pressure Interior 1/Interior 2/Outside (dB)21 / 21 / 5221 / 22 / 52
Indoor air flow rate M3/H520 – 520520 – 580
Recommended circuit breaker20a curve d20a curve d
SEER / SCOP6.10 / 46.10 / 4
Type of gas - Quantity (Kg)R32 / 1.1 kgR32 / 1.1 kg
Connection diameters1/4 3/81/4 3/8
Compressor brandPanasonicPanasonic

What is the price of Airton's air-to-air heat pumps?

Airton's air-to-air heat pump prices may come as a surprise compared to other brands we've featured on our site, but keep in mind that :

  • Airton heat pumps are designed for small living spaces;
  • They are not very powerful;
  • Their SCOP is average;
  • They do not allow the production of domestic hot water.
ModelPrice
Single-split air-to-air heat pump (2500 W) - up to 30 m².Starting at 449 €.
Single-split air-to-air heat pump (3,400 W) - up to 45 m².Starting at 549 €.
Single-split air-to-air heat pump (5 270 W) - up to 65 m² (65 sq. ft.)From 999 € onwards
PAC air - air bi-split - 2 500 W + 2 500 W - 30 m² + 30 m²Starting at €1,099
PAC air - air bi-split - 2 500 W + 3 400 W - 30 m² + 45 sqmStarting at 1 199 €.
Heat pump air - air tri-split - 2 600 W + 2 600 W + 3 500 W (30 m² + 30 m² + 45 m²)Starting at 1 699 €.

All prices quoted do not include the services of a professional installer.

What financial assistance is available for the purchase of an Airton heat pump?

Air-to-air heat pump installation projects are subject to less advantageous financial assistance than air-to-water heat pumps. Here are the mechanisms available to you for the purchase of an Airton air-to-air heat pump: 

  • The Effy bonusA subsidy is offered within the framework of the Energy Savings Certificates (CEE). Amount: between 577 and 642 €, depending on your household income. Conditions: you must be the owner or tenant of a home built more than two years ago + your work must be carried out by an RGE company;
  • MaPrimeRenov' SerenityIf your energy renovation project includes the installation of an air-to-air heat pump. Amount: the aid is capped at €30,000 for very low-income households. Several conditions: you must be part of the category of households with modest or very modest incomes. Your work must bring a minimum energy gain of 35 %, etc.
  • Local and regional aid Contact your department or region.

What do consumers think about Airton (Starlight) heat pumps?

Households that have opted for an Airton air-to-air heat pump seem satisfied with their investment. In particular, they appreciate the ease of installation, the savings and the overall performance of the units.

Airton is one of the few French heat pump manufacturers to offer its products on Amazon. The 2,500 / 2,800 W monosplit model has a rating of 4.6 out of 5 based on 69 reviews. Here are some examples of verified reviews of this model: 

  • Lynda: " Great and very affordable " ;
  • Gru 59: " Been heating for a few days, no problems. For an office or I will be doing 3D printing from a modified and insulated porch. Good product " ;
  • Espace des Dômes Habitat : " Great product, Top. Easy to install for a good do-it-yourselfer (just need an electrician for 16 A at the panel. The rest is easy. Works in hot / cold and the WIFI is great too... Bravo! " ;
  • Antoine Aboud: " Great product, I recommend. Really top notch, easy to install, works great for cooling in the summer and heating in the winter. I'm thinking of buying 3 more ".

On the negative side, some consumers are not satisfied with the heating performance when the outside temperature approaches zero. Pascal1313 from the forum Quechoisir.org is in this case: " Clim Airton 3 500 W, works very well for cooling, but a real disaster in heating from 1 degree outside. Thick layer of frost that touches the motor blades. Fitted in June 2022, replaced by Atlantic in a few months ".

What are the alternatives to Airton (Starlight) heat pumps?

Households that want to buy an air-to-air heat pump have a lot to choose from. For small homes and households on a tight budget, you can opt for LG, Hitachi, Airwell or Samsung. For a smaller budget, you can opt for Daikin, Mitsubishi, Toshiba, Bosch or Fujitsu.

COMPARISON OF 10 SPLIT HEAT PUMPS

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