Best air-water heat pump 2022 : which brand to choose ?

Best air-water heat pump 2022 : which brand to choose ?

There are many players in the heat pump business. Whether suppliers, manufacturers, or installers. In this article, we look at the various brands of heat pumps, mainly air-to-water, which is the most popular model.

From French brands 🇫🇷 to German brands 🇩🇪 to Japanese brands 🇯🇵 to Scandinavian brands 🇸🇪 of heat pumps, we review the brands and touch on a few models that might catch your eye.

The brands are sorted by origin, but are not necessarily ranked from best to worst. At the end of the article, we will initiate a comparison.

Swedish Heat Pump Brands 🇸🇪

Swedish heat pumps are among the most widespread in France, Switzerland and Belgium, mainly thanks to the NIBE group, a giant in the field.

Brand 1: NIBE

It is THE heat pump manufacturer in Europe. Really one of the biggest, with a turnover of 2 billion € per year (2021). Originating from the same region where the famous IKEA was born, the group is listed on the Swedish and Swiss stock exchanges and employs 18,000 people in Europe. In France, NIBE Energy Systems is located in Reyrieux, near Lyon.

Their best known model is the NIBE F2120 which comes in several sizes 8-12-16-20 kW. It is an outdoor air water heat pump monobloc charcoal gray, quite sober, efficient and quiet, with a mid-range price. For more information you can consult our full review of the NIBE F2120

NIBE heat pumps also come with an internal hydraulic module, which contains the elements for distributing water to the house's heating network, as well as a domestic hot water reserve. They are called VVM.

In addition to single-package outdoor air-to-water heat pumps, NIBE offers split outdoor air-to-water models, as well as extract air heat pumps such as the NIBE F750 and NIBE F730, or geothermal heat pumps such as the NIBE S1155 or NIBE S1255 S1355.

And in general, NIBE offers a high-end connected regulation that allows remote connection and control, a bit like all manufacturers today, with a dedicated smartphone app, etc.

Mark 2: CTC

CTC is a Swedish brand present all over Europe. In France they are present but mainly through representatives.

Founded in 1923, it is a well-known heating brand throughout Europe. Today the company is part of the NIBE group presented above. The products come from the same factories, but have different appearances.

CTC PACs have a slightly more rounded appearance.

More active in Benelux and Switzerland, it will be rarer to see in France.

Their CTC EcoAir 600M model is similar to the NIBE F2120

Beyond that, CTC offers indoor air-water heat pumps, geothermal heat pumps, or thermodynamic hot water tanks to heat your hot water independently.

Brand 3 : TECHNIBEL

Created in 1958 near Lyon, it is a French brand at the base, but then why we put it in Sweden! It is because it is ALSO a brand of the NIBE group.

You can therefore go through them to have the NIBE F2120 heat pump or any other model, as well as any other model of the NIBE group including Alpha Innotec with the Alira air water heat pump for example that you will find in our top 5 German heat pumps. Yes Alpha Innotec the German brand is ALSO part of the NIBE group. They made the razzia.

French Heat Pump Brands 🇫🇷

Just as there are many Belgians in Belgium, French heat pump brands are very present in France. Let's take a look at them, starting with the ones from Vendée.

Brand 4: ATLANTIC

Atlantic is a brand from Vendée and therefore French, a big name in heating that we have already presented in our review of their Alfa Extensa Duo. With its army of engineers, Atlantic offers :

Split outdoor air-water heat pumps such as the Alfa Extensa Duo or the Alfa Excellia Duo

Gas hybrid heat pumps or oil hybrid heat pumps

Water-to-water heat pumps

Geothermal heat pumps

Their models Alfa Extensa Duo and Alfa Excellia Duo are very present in France and distributed by many wholesalers, installed by many installers.

You can find them at Aubade, EDF, or other online retailers.

Brand 5: DE DIETRICH

With its German sounding name, it doesn't sound like it, but it's a French brand, with important links to the country's history, as you can see in our opinion on the Dietrich Alezio Compact S heat pump

De Dietrich is a big name in heating, and in particular in cast iron stoves, which are dear to Alsatians, but they are also specialists in heat pumps. They are also part of a large heating group, BDR Thermea Group, which includes several brands, including another French brand that we will see a little further down.

De Dietrich offers a wide range of products in the field of heating, and in particular outdoor air-water heat pumps. You will find their Alezio Compact S heat pump whose objective is to save space since it fits in a 60 cm wide cupboard (its indoor unit anyway, as the outdoor unit remains outside).

De Dietrich also offers an R32 split air-water heat pump model with its Strateo R32. Another reversible air-water heat pump, for heating, hot water and cooling. But this one does not normally go in the closet.

De Dietrich is the big quality. Just looking at the way the documentation is done, you can feel the precision. If there are negative comments, it is probably more due to a bad choice of installer than to De Dietrich in most cases. By the way, if you are looking for a heat pump installer in France or in Belgium, go through our partner network by filling in the form below.

Brand 6: CIAT

A great champion of the heat pump in France. They are better known in the industrial world than in the residential one, because they are able to produce heat pumps or chillers of very high power.

This Culoz-based company, located in the Auvergne Rhône Alpes region, was acquired a few years ago by the American company CARRIER. In addition to its wide range of products for industry, it offers air-water heat pumps for residential use with its EREBA models. There is the EREBA Split model, and also the EREBA monobloc model.

From 4kW in heating power, up to 21kW, there is enough to heat quite large villas from 100m2 up to 250-300m2 depending on the insulation of the building envelope and therefore the heating needs.

This is what it looks like! to be connected to the buffer and hot water tanks in the technical room.

The heat pump is not the most aesthetic, but has the advantage of being quite silent. At 60°C the COP is bad, as for all heat pumps.

CIAT has a really old school website, from years before 2010, but will have the advantage of offering cheap heat pumps in general.

And they are even present in Switzerland, via a company that represents them in the canton of Vaud (Kalitherm).

Brand 7: AUER

A French brand whose leitmotif is invention. Born in 1892 to commercialize the invention of Austrian chemist Carl Auer, this company has established itself as a major player in gas heating in the 20th century, and still is. Auer moved into heat pumps around the early 2000s and released a popular model around 2010, then also invented a thermodynamic water heater or heat pump heater, or boiler PAC in Switzerland, around 2014.

They have 2 main models in thermodynamic heat pumps, the Auer HTi 70 and the Auer HRC70 which are high temperature heat pumps, which can ensure 70°C in radiators even in the harshness of a Siberian winter or almost. Without specifying the COP (you have to see the data sheets or ask for it)

The HTi 70 goes up to 14kW of hot power and will be sufficient for most houses. Otherwise, the HRC 70 is there to go up to 96kW of hot power, for very large buildings, tertiary type or apartment buildings.

Brand 8: CHAPPEE

Another French brand which is, like De Dietrich, part of the European group BDR Thermea.

The 93 company does not only focus on heating, but is also active in air conditioning and solar energy, so everything related to renewable energy.

Chappée products are therefore from the same lineage and probably from the same factory as De Dietrich products.

They offer air-to-air, air-to-water or hybrid heat pumps.

Split system heat pumps with the name Eria.

For example, their Eria-N FIT-IN is the same as the Alezio Compact S from de Dietrich

Eria N FIT IN

Brand 9: FRISQUET

In spite of its name, you will not be cold with Frisquet boilers or heat pumps. Indeed, it is one of the main actors in the world of high-end heating in France, with an experience of almost 90 years, and its first gas boiler approved in 1948.

As we have seen above, many French heat pump brands are part of international groups. As for Frisquet, it runs with 100% of French capital, which can be a plus for supporters of the Franco French.

With a name slightly reminiscent of the land of the rising sun, the TEAMAO 3 heat pump looks a bit like a Panasonic Aquarea. They all look alike!

TEAMAO 3 by FRISQUET

PANASONIC AQUAREA

This TEAMAO 3 from Frisquet is a split heat pump, which means that the indoor module (right) and the outdoor module (left) are connected by refrigeration pipes.

This heat pump can heat up to 14kW with a COP of 4.32 for an outside air temperature of 7°C (a little higher than the average temperatures in Western Europe) and an outlet water temperature of 35°C, therefore for low temperature floor heating.

You can find it on izi by EDF around 8000€ in the smallest size and with installation included (really cheap): probably a call price that will inflate after the advisor calls you 😉 But you can have help, don't forget, depending on your income.

German Heat Pump Brands 🇩🇪

Deutsche Qualität is universal, not just in the automotive field. Let's see who the BMWs and Mercedes of the heat pump are. If you are particularly interested in German heat pump brands, you can find more details on our article about the top 5 German heat pumps.

Brand 10: WOLF

A German company that started out in the hops! Very well known today in the world of industrial ventilation for its monobloc air handling units, Wolf is also present in the world of heating with monobloc or split outdoor air water heat pumps, indoor heat pumps or thermodynamic balloons.

The performance range of the BWL outdoor split air-water heat pump is from approx. 7 to 14 kW, with a COP of almost 5 at 7°C outdoor air / 35°C water outlet.

Brand 11: BOSCH

No, this is not the nickname that our grandfathers gave to the German soldiers, but the famous manufacturer very well known on the particular market, as much for its washing machines, as for its household appliances of all kinds, or its regulation systems, etc.

Bosch is a giant,

Bosch is also developing heat pumps, including a very stylish air-to-water heat pump that looks like a washing machine. It is the Compress 7000 AW, probably in reference to the compressor which is the soul of this machine, or to say that it compresses the heating bills!

With the attractive design of the outdoor unit, Bosch is clearly trying to solve the "ugly" problem of most outdoor air-to-water heat pump units.

Brand 12: DIMPLEX

This century-old Bavarian brand is now part of an Irish group, but continues production in Germany. It focuses on themodern look including a choice of color for the outdoor unit to match the garden.

One of their products suitable for residential use is the Dimplex System M compact which we detail in our top 5 German heat pumps. It provides up to 11kW A7/W35 with a COP of 4 or more.

Video from the Dimplex website

Dimplex also offers:

  • Heat pumps for power above 20kW, for buildings or offices for example.
  • Heat pump boilers
  • Ventilation

Mark 13: VAILLANT

A French-sounding name for a totally German brand, anchored in innovation and leader in gas heating in Europe, always present in force at the ISH trade fair in Frankfurt (Germany) to show the results of its Research and Development teams, and to exhibit its heat pumps adorned with Plexiglas so that we can see all the details inside.

Vaillant mainly offers a propane (R290) heat pump, a very ecological gas. It is the aroTHERM Plus which offers from 6 to 18kW A7/W35 with COP at 4 or almost, depending on the size.

This heat pump is modern and rather pretty, judge for yourself.

Brand 14: VIESSMANN

Viessmann is the champion of oil-fired boilers. However, the company with its innovative tradition feels the tide turning and has been producing heat pumps for years and is already marketing even more innovative systems based on fuel cells.

Their best-known heat pump model is the Vitocal :

  • The Vitocal 222S: a split heat pump with a 220-liter DHW tank that provides almost 9kW A7/W35 in 230V with a COP > 4
  • The Vitocal 200S: the same as the 222S but without the hot water.
  • The Vitocal 100S: a split heat pump that provides up to 15kW approximately A7/W35 with COP 4.5 (its twin with ECS is the 111S)
  • The Vitocal 350-A: a high-temperature heat pump for renovation that provides almost 21kW of power with a COP of 3.4
Vitocal 222S 9kW COP>4 (with DHW)
Vitocal 200-S 9kW A7/W35 COP > 4
Vitocal 100-S max 15kW COP 4.5

Vitocal 350-A max 20.6kW COP 3.4

These heat pumps are quiet, and the brand features an AAD Advanced Acoustic Design label showing that they have taken special interest in the noise produced by this unit.

Brand 15: STIEBEL ELTRON

If you type "German heat pump" into Google, you will find Stiebel Eltron's website first. Are we to assume that this is the gold standard for German heat pumps, or that they have a top SEO who does search engine optimization? 🙂

This is probably because it is one of the only companies that really specializes in heat pumps. While the others do all kinds of heating and other air conditioning or ventilation, solar, etc..

Stiebel Eltron offers every type of heat pump imaginable!

One of the most sought after models is the WPL33 which provides 6kW in approximately high temperature.

Stiebel also has a more compact model with the WPL15 or HPA 13 which can be seen on the picture below

Japanese Heat Pump Brands 🇯🇵

In the land of the rising sun, productivity is king. The inventors of the Kanban, and car manufacturers with a reputation for reliability, are also leaders in terms of heat pumps.

Brand 16: PANASONIC

The Panasonic heat pumps are among the most sought after on the web! Known for making quality with reasonable prices, this brand is multidisciplinary, from electronic components to air conditioning or automotive solar.

Its most popular model is the Panasonic Aquarea, about which you can find a detailed review by searching the site menu, heating section.

It exists in monobloc or bi-bloc, and can provide from 9 to 16kW of heating power A+7°C / W+35°C with COP around 4.5

The interior module of the reversible heat pump takes the form of a large refrigerator of 1.8m high and weighs 126kg. It integrates the domestic hot water.

Brand 17: HITACHI

Rather known for air conditioning, the Hitachi brand of Japanese origin actually belongs to an American group active in the field of building control: Johnson Controls.

They offer heat pumps mainly split reversible but they also have a monobloc model of PAC. Their heat pumps are called Yutaki and they provide a heating power of 6 to 11kW max A7/W35 on underfloor heating with theoretical COP varying between 4.5 and 5.

It is not the beauty of the heat pump itself that will catch your attention, but you may be seduced by its regulator, which has won a European design award.

To learn more about this heat pump, feel free to read our full review.

screenshot site Hitachi Yutaki S

Brand 18: DAIKIN

This brand is probably the most famous of all Japanese brands, and perhaps of all brands, when it comes to heat pumps. Countless installers offer it, you hear ads on the radio, your acquaintances who have a heat pump are likely to have this one.

The star heat pump is the Daikin Altherma 3H HT. It is a reversible high temperature heat pump. The fact that it is high temperature allows you to use it in your home renovation since it can be adapted to an old radiator network. It will be able to provide the adequate temperature, without however having a COP so great, look carefully at the data sheets.

DAIKIN has paid a lot of attention to design and this is probably what makes this unit so successful, in addition to the fact that it is quiet. Daikin's research and development teams have gone so far as to play on the psychological impact of appearance on the noise perceived by the brain.

To learn more, you can read our dedicated article here: https://seize-sa.ch/daikin-altherma-3-h-16kw-notre-avis-sur-cette-pac/

You have to admit that it is rather pretty, especially the black grid on the outside group

Brand 19: MITSUBISHI

Well known in the automotive world as well as in air conditioning, the Mitsubishi brand is also active in the world of heat pumps.

It offers a range called ECODAN and within this range a technology called ZUBADAN for extreme cold.

This heat pump is very compact, at least for the indoor module, the Ecodan Hydrobox, since it measures only 800*530*360 mm and will easily fit in a kitchen like in this picture, or in a technical room. Well, to make it as tidy as this, aligned with the cupboards and everything, it is necessary to plan ahead in the architect's plans.

screenshot site mitsubushi ecodan hydrobox heating

Brand 20: TOSHIBA

The brand that created the first portable air conditioner in 1935, and the Twin Rotary compressor technology that many heat pumps use. Toshiba is a pioneer in air conditioning, and naturally also offers heat pumps for heating.

Its best known model is the Toshiba Estia which provides heating with water up to 65°C, and domestic hot water.

Not necessarily the most beautiful, it remains sober, and offers a wifi interface for remote control. It offers from 4 to 13 kW of hot power with a SCOP of 4.6 max, and it works with R32, the refrigerant that will replace R410A in a large majority of heat pumps by 2025.

Here is an example of the integration of this Estia Toshiba heat pump with integrated DHW:

Toshiba Estia outdoor unit
Integration of Toshiba Estia interior module in the kitchen (integrated DHW tank)

What is the best 2022 air-to-water heat pump?

Among these models of heat pump, we can retain 2 that stand out from the rest by their thermal and acoustic performances, as well as by their worked design. The NIBE F2120 heat pump and the Daikin Altherma 3H HT are a good choice for your heat pump installation. These two manufacturers have a experience and a expertise in terms of heating by heat pump in Europe and around the world. They also both have a strong tradition of innovation and a constant focus on improving their products based on the data their sales volumes provide each year. If you're looking for the best heat pump around, you'll probably find it with one of these two giants.

And here we are with the 20 most famous heat pump brands. If with all these models you don't have the inspiration to replace your heating system, we can't help you anymore :). Make the right choice, and for the installation, go through our network of partners, it does not commit you in anything and allows you to have quotes for your project.

Editor's tip (totally subjective 🙂 ): from experience, customers who choose Swedish-made heat pumps (NIBE, etc.) pay the price but are mostly satisfied.

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