Saunier Duval heat pump: opinion and price (2022)

Saunier Duval heat pump: opinion and price (2022)

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Saunier Duval is first and foremost heat pumps made in Francein the famous Nantes factory of the company founded in 1907 by the polytechnician Charles Saunier and the industrialist Maurice Duval. 

Known for its discreet and efficient heat pumps, the brand offers a interesting range of air-to-water heat pumps as well as two models of air-to-air heat pumps. We suggest you explore the models of the French manufacturer in this practical guide.

Saunier Duval: a brief history of a century-old manufacturer

In the collective memory of the people of Nantes, Saunier Duval is a local brandThe company is firmly established in the factory on the Route de Paris, in the heart of the industrial district, not far from La Beaujoire stadium. In reality, the French manufacturer is Parisian by origin.

Its factory in Nantes was only acquired in 1964, after the purchase of the Hotchkiss Brandt buildings. Today it has more than 600 employees and is a sure bet for the German group Vaillant.

Created in 1907, Saunier Duval first evolved as an association. Its corporate name is in fact a combination of the names of its two founders, the polytechnician Charles Saunier and the industrialist Maurice Duval.

It was then a small Parisian business of heating and public lighting, which later diversified into the production of bathtubs and porcelain. The history of the brand will be upset during the Great War: 

  • Charles Saunier died at the front in 1906;
  • The company is dedicated to the production of armaments to support the war effort ;
  • In 1923, Saunier Duval bought Devivry Frères and became one of the the first lighting bronzers in France;
  • A vast policy of diversification was launched in the 1930s, including lighting, electricity, road signs, mechanical and pneumatic equipment, and also especially sanitary and water heating;
  • In the 1950s, the company expanded its activity to the manufacture of boilers, water heaters and candelabras. It launches in the wake of the SD 216, the very first wall-mounted combi boilerproviding both hot water and heating;
  • Saunier Duval makes its IPO in 1965;
  • The company is acquired by the British group Hepworth in 1990;
  • The Hepworth Group is bought by the German company Vaillant in 2000. The latter concentrates the heating activity at the Nantes plant. The latter also houses the R&D, marketing and purchasing activities.

Presentation of the Saunier Duval heat pump

Saunier Duval is considered to be a premium brand in the heat pump industry. It also enjoys an image as an innovator, even a pioneer in the heating and hot water sector.

Efficient, economical and ecological, Saunier Duval heat pumps generally have a Coefficient of Performance (COP) of 4 or more. Remember that the higher the COP, the lower the energy consumption, and this is reflected in the bill.

The French Environment and Energy Management Agency (Ademe) recommends heat pumps with a COP of 3 or higher.

To help you make an informed choice, the editors have compiled the benefits and the disadvantages heat pumps from Saunier Duval. Attention Some elements may change from one model to another. These are observations common to the majority of Saunier Duval heat pumps.

The advantages of the Saunier Duval heat pump

As a French leader in wall-mounted gas condensing boilers and a major player in the heat pump market, Saunier Duval is a well-known brand among French consumers.

Today, one in three boilers in France is a Saunier Duval brand... an indicator that shows the public confidence towards this century-old sign which has not relocated its factory in Nantes despite successive takeovers by foreign groups.

Here is a small summary of the advantages of the Saunier Duval heat pump: 

  • The vast majority of Saunier Duval air-to-water heat pumps are made in Francein the factory in Nantes;
  • The company has developed a culture of innovation since the 1970s. It still does so today, Saunier Duval invests heavily in Research and Development (R&D);
  • This R&D effort now enables Saunier Duval to produce very quiet heat pumps. They are therefore compatible with dense residential areas;
  • The company produces heat pumps for the French and European market. They are therefore sized for the region's climate ;
  • Relatively high COP (4 or more), which results in significant savings on the bill;
  • The range of Saunier Duval aerothermal solutions is relatively extensive, with air-to-water heat pumps, air-to-air heat pumps and thermodynamic water heaters;
  • Some Saunier Duval air-to-water heat pumps are compatible with existing radiators even at high temperatures;
  • Saunier Duval heat pumps use a natural refrigerant which does not require a certificate of competence;
  • Saunier Duval heat pumps have been designed to make it easy for professionals to install and maintain them;
  • Saunier Duval heat pump models are massively popular available in FranceThis is not necessarily the case for the latest models of foreign brands;
  • Saunier Duval's customer service is efficient and responsive.

The disadvantages of Saunier Duval heat pumps

With more than 115 years of expertise in heating and hot water technologies, Saunier Duval's know-how is recognized and driven by innovation. The only disadvantages of the brand's heat pumps are their higher-than-average prices. Summary of disadvantages : 

  • With an average price estimated at 8 000 €.Saunier Duval heat pumps are more expensive than the market average... but the quality is there;
  • Of course, the return on investment (ROI) is delayed for the consumer ;
  • Saunier Duval heat pumps will have difficulty extracting enough heat from the outside air in regions with harsh winters (-15° C)... but this is a drawback common to the majority of heat pumps intended for private use.

The Saunier Duval heat pump range

Like the overwhelming majority of manufacturers, Saunier Duval offers air-to-air heat pumps and air-to-water heat pumps. Let's explore these two product families in detail.

Saunier Duval air-to-air heat pumps

The air-to-air heat pump uses the energy contained in the outside air to produce hot air which will then be redistributed into the ambient air using fan coil units or directly from the indoor wall unit. Unlike geothermal heat pumps that draw heat from the ground or water, air-to-air heat pumps are aerothermal.

The circuit of the air-to-air heat pump contains a refrigerant whose heat and pressure increase and is then returned as heat (condensation phenomenon at the condenser).

Saunier Duval air-to-air heat pumps offer several advantages: 

  • A lower energy bill. It can be divided by two or three;
  • The air-to-air heat pump can be used in summer for refresh your home. Saunier Duval air-to-air heat pumps maintain satisfactory cooling performance even in scorching weather (up to 48° C) ;
  • The PAC air - air does not require a central heating system (unlike the air-water heat pump);
  • The Saunier Duval air-to-air heat pumps are designed for a quick and easy installation ;
  • The use of a renewable energy source allows to reduce the invoice but also the carbon footprint of the home.

In terms of disadvantages, the air-to-air heat pump does not produce domestic hot water. Some models are not compatible with dense residential areas because of noise, and air-to-air heat pumps are not not eligible for certain financial aid in France (State and local authorities). Saunier Duval offers two models of air-to-air heat pumps: VivAir Performance and VivAir Tek

#1 The VivAir Performance air-to-air heat pump from Saunier Duval

The Saunier Duval VivAir Performance air-to-air heat pump combines heating and cooling performance in a wide range of capacities, in monosplit or multisplit.

Seasonal cooling efficiency (SEER) can reach 8.5, with a SCOP of 5.4. The performance of this air-to-air heat pump model is guaranteed even in extreme weather conditions: -15°C for heating and +48°C for cooling. VivAir Performance is also : 

  • A polyester dust filter in two removable and washable parts;
  • A filter with active ionizer to neutralize pollution particles ;
  • A condensation and mold prevention system (X-Fan);
  • The technology DC Inverter which limits the stress on the compressor, extending the life of the unit;
  • A sensor integrated in the remote control for the "I Feel" function, for a comfortable temperature at all times;
  • 5 speeds available and a horizontally and vertically adjustable air jet;
  • Indoor units delivered filled with nitrogen to protect the circuit and the exchanger;
  • Use of the refrigerant R32 with a global warming potential three times lower than R410A refrigerant.

Here is a summary table of the main technical characteristics of the four models of the Saunier Duval VivAir Performance air-to-air heat pump (in monosplit): 

SDH20 - 025NWSDH20 - 035NWSDH20 - 050NWSDH20-065NW
Heating energy efficiency in temperate climate / SCOPA++ / 4,6A+ / 4,4A+ / 4,1A+ / 4
Heating energy efficiency in warm climate / SCOPA+++ / 5,4A+++ / 5,1A+++ / 5,2A+++ / 5,2
Energy efficiency of cold climate heating / SCOPA / 3,8A / 3,5A / 3,4A / 3,4
Nominal/maximum heating power (kW)2,9 / 4,43,8 / 4,45,6 / 6,87,2 / 10,1
COP5,75,35,34,9
Nominal/maximum cooling power2,7 / 3,83,5 / 3,85,3 / 6,67 / 10,1
Sound power level (dB A)60626570
Sound power at one meter (db A)52535658

#2 The VivAir Tek air-to-air heat pump from Saunier Duval

This wall-mounted monosplit shines with a flattering design with rounded linesThis is the first time that the product has been used in a building, with matte facade shades with glossy edges and a beautifully crafted, compact appearance. 

The indoor unit is quiet with its 22 dB (A) at one meter. The temperature sensor in the remote control, three airflow speeds and automatic and turbo modes complete the user experience. 

Here is a summary of the main technical characteristics of the two models of this Saunier Duval VivAir Tek air-to-air heat pump: SDHLD1 - 025NW and SDHLSD1 - 030NW.

SDHLD1-025NWSDHLD1-030NW
Heating energy efficiency in temperate climate / SCOPA+ / 4A+ / 4
Heating energy efficiency in warm climate / SCOPA+++ / 5,1A+++ / 5,1
Cooling energy efficiency / SEERA++ / 6,5A++ / 6,5
Nominal/maximum heating power (kW)2,8 / 3,53,4 / 4
Nominal/maximum cooling power2,5 / 3,253,2 / 3,6
Sound power level (dB A)6264
Sound power at one meter (db A)5151

Saunier Duval air-to-water heat pumps

The air-to-water heat pump collects the calories from the air near the dwelling via its outdoor unit to transport them via a refrigerant producing heat by compression and condensation.

The heat is transferred to an existing heating system and to a water source for domestic hot water (depending on the model). In particularly cold regions, the air-to-water heat pump must be combined with a supplementary heating system.

The Saunier Duval range of air-to-water heat pumps includes several flagship models: GeniaAir, GeniaAir Max, GeniaAir Split, GeniaSet, GeniaSet Max and GeniaSplit.

#1 Saunier Duval GeniaAir air-to-water heat pump

It is a reversible air-water heat pump, outdoor monobloc which meets the needs of new RT 2012 buildings. The ecological heating system intelligently combines electrical energy (30 %) and energy drawn from the air (70 %) for maximum efficiency in heating and possibly domestic hot water (optional). This model combines a heat pump and an electrical module controlled by MiPro, an intelligent management box.

GeniaAir 5GeniaAir 8GeniaAir 11GeniaAir 15
Energy efficiency class PAC for heating at 35 °CA+A++A+A+
Seasonal energy efficiency (ŋs) at 35 °C149153132145
Energy efficiency class PAC for heating at 55 °CA+A+A+A+
Seasonal energy efficiency (ŋs) at 55 °C119120112119
SCOP at 35°C3,83,93,43,7
SCOP at 55° C3,13,12,93,0
COP4,54,13,93,9
Acoustic power air 7 °C / water 35 °C (NF EN ISO 9614-1)59606065

#2 Saunier Duval GeniaAir Max air-to-water heat pump

Compatible with existing radiators, even at high temperatures, this heat pump is compatible with all types of emitters, with a production of hot water up to 75° C. This model offers a wide power range, up to 11.3 kW at -7° C / 35° C and up to 14.3 kW at +7° C / 35° C C.

This heat pump uses the natural fluid R290, whose climate impact is 700 times lower than that of the fluid traditionally used in heat pumps. This all-in-one module guarantees a quick installation, integrating the modulating electric booster, the three-way valve for the management of a remote domestic hot water tank and the 10-liter expansion tank (standard).

4581212 TRI1515 TRI
Seasonal energy efficiency for heating179 / A+++170 / A++179 / A++191 / A+++191 / A+++187 / A+++187 / A+++
SCOP at 35 °C4,544,334,554,854,854,754,75
SCOP at 55° C3,343,153,273,633,633,533,53
Air +7 °C / water +35 °CNominal heat output4,14,27,811,611,614,314,3
Nominal COP4,64,44,44,74,74,34,3
Sound power level air 7 °C / water 55 ° C (db A)<545457<61<616161
Sound pressure at 5 m nominal / silent mode (db A)<32 / 2432 / 2435 / 24<39 / 29<39 / 2939 / 2939 / 29

#3 Saunier Duval GeniaAir Split air-to-water heat pump

It is a flexible heating and cooling solution that adapts to all installation constraints. This model has an exceptional level of performance, with a COP up to 4.9 (+7 / 35° C) and a Erp seasonal efficiency up to 185 %. Like the previous models, the Saunier Duval GeniaAir Split air-to-water heat pump is compatible with dense urban areas, with a Full power sound pressure level of 32 db (A) at 5 meters (free field, directivity 2).

3571010 TRI1212 TRI
Seasonal energy efficiency for heating185175173180180175175
Class at 35° CA+++A+++A++A+++A+++A+++A+++
SCOP at 35° C4,74,44,44,64,64,44,4
SCOP at 55° C3,33,53,43,33,33,43,4
COP air +7° C / water +35° C4,94,74,64,64,64,54,5
COP air -7° C / +35° C3,12,72,62,82,82,52,5
Sound pressure at 5 meters33333439393939

#4 Saunier Duval GeniaSet air-to-water heat pump

The model GeniaSet is the combination of the GeniaAir heat pump and a dual service column. It is a technology monobloc available in two versions, with or without primary circuit. GeniaSet is certified NF PAC double service with the following powers 5, 8 and 11 kW.

With a DHW COP of up to 2.5, GeniaSet is a solution economical and efficient for domestic hot water production (ERP class A). We appreciate the low acoustic power (36 db A at 5 meters) for the outdoor unit, and no noise emission for the indoor module.

581115
Energy efficiency class PAC for heating at 35° CA+A++A+A+
Seasonal energy efficiency at 35° C149153132145
Energy efficiency class for water heatingA+A+A+A+
SCOP at 35° C3,83,93,43,7
SCOP at 55° C3,13,12,93,0
COP4,54,13,93,9

#5 GeniaSet Max air-to-water heat pump from Saunier Duval

With a simple refrigeration circuit, GeniaSet Max is a particularly versatile model, adapting to all types of emitters, from underfloor heating to fan coil units and radiators. Domestic hot water can be stored up to 70° C for a better comfort, according to the rhythm of the users' life.

4581212 TRI1515 TRI
Seasonal energy efficiency for heating179 / A+++170 / A++179 / A++191 / A+++191 / A+++187 / A+++187 / A+++
SCOP at 35 °C4,544,334,554,854,854,754,75
SCOP at 55° C3,343,153,273,633,633,533,53
Air +7 °C / water +35 °CNominal heat output4,14,27,811,611,614,314,3
Nominal COP Air +7° C and water +55° C2,82,82,92,92,92,82,8
Sound power level air 7 °C / water 55 ° C (db A)<545457<61<616161
Sound pressure at 5 m nominal / silent mode (db A)<32 / 2432 / 2435 / 24<39 / 29<39 / 2939 / 2939 / 29

#6 The GeniaSet Split air-to-water heat pump from Saunier Duval

A COP of up to 4.9 (+7 / 35° C), a full pressure acoustic comfort of 32 db A at 5 metersThe GeniaSet Split model from Saunier Duval ticks all the right boxes, with a connected solution via MiLink and a free application, and compatibility with all types of RT 2012 buildings. This heat pump combines a outdoor unita hydraulic column double service and a regulator is one of the quietest on the market.

3571010 TRI1212 TRI
Seasonal energy efficiency for heating185175173180180175175
Class at 35° CA+++A+++A++A+++A+++A+++A+++
SCOP at 35° C4,74,44,44,64,64,44,4
SCOP at 55° C3,33,53,43,33,33,43,4
COP air +7° C / water +35° C4,94,74,64,64,64,54,5
COP air -7° C / +35° C3,12,72,62,82,82,52,5
Sound pressure at 5 meters32323439393939

Price of a Saunier Duval heat pump

The price of Saunier Duval's air-to-water heat pumps is around average of 10 000 €, against about 8 500 € for the air - air models. More broadly, Saunier Duval heat pumps include between 6 000 and 16 000 €.. The manufacturer gives two concrete examples on the price (single-family house of 120 m² living space in which 4 people live) : 

  • Case 1 : new housing with underfloor heating and air-water heat pump

The GeniaSet Split 5 kW model consists of an outdoor unit and a hydraulic column. This model provides heating and DHW for 9 400 € TTC ;

  • Case 2: renovation of an old house with radiators and air-water heat pump

The 12 kW GeniaSet Max model is available from 14,200 INCL. VAT.

Where to buy a Saunier Duval heat pump?

Since they are made in France, Saunier Duval heat pumps are available in most specialized supermarkets and from online sales specialists such as ManoMano, Leroy MerlinEspace Aubade, Cdiscountetc. Professionals can also buy directly from Saunier Duval.

We do not recommend that you purchase the heat pump yourself. Instead, go through a professional installer. In addition to having preferential ratesThe installer will also install the equipment in your home. If you buy the equipment on your own, your installer will tend to overcharge for labor.

What financial assistance is available for the purchase of a Saunier Duval heat pump?

To encourage French households to replace their heating system with a more environmentally friendly heat pump, the State and local authorities offer several financing grants for air-to-water, water-to-water and, to a lesser extent, air-to-air heat pumps. Summary: 

  • MyRenovationPrime. This aid is attributed by the National Housing Agency. Subject to household resource conditions, this premium varies between 3,000 and 5,000 €.
  • The boiler conversion premium (CEE bonus). It applies to the replacement of an old boiler (oil, coal, gas except condensation). It is available without any means test, and takes the form of a check, a transfer or a purchase voucher from 2 500 to 4 000 €.
  • The zero interest eco-loan (eco-PTZ). This interest-free loan, repayable over a maximum of 20 years, is granted subject to acceptance of the application by the bank. It can cover up to 50 000 € of energy work.
  • Local government assistance. Ask your department and/or region for information on the facilities available.

Opinions on Saunier Duval heat pumps

The editors have compiled the opinions of Saunier Duval heat pump users to help you make the right choice.

Chaudevant, regular of the discussion space forumconstruire.com, explains, " Saunier manufactures its heat pumps in France, and not just the indoor unit like Atlantic. The Saunier machines I have very good feedback on ".

Doubie, from the same forum, comments on his experience with a Saunier Duval split: " Excellent product and indeed the outdoor unit is much quieter ".

More broadly, professionals praise the ease of installation, the quietness of the indoor and outdoor units, and the manufacturer's wide range of air-to-water heat pumps.

Our advice for choosing your Saunier Duval heat pump

The choice of a heat pump should not be made lightly. It is an important investment that will last you for many years. If you choose wisely, you will save up to 75 % on your heating bill while doing something for the planet. Here are some basic criteria: 

  • Air to air or air to water heat pump ? If you live in a hot region, opt for an air-to-air heat pump which will allow you to cool down in summer. Otherwise, prefer an air-water heat pump, which is easier to install as it is grafted onto an existing central heating system (radiator or underfloor heating).
  • Power and sizing. Only a qualified professional will be able to guide you according to your situation.
  • The COP must be greater than 3. The higher it is, the more energy efficient your heat pump will be.
  • The noise of the CAPThis is an important point to avoid problems with neighbors. Saunier Duval heat pumps are among the least noisy models on the market.
  • The guarantee. Saunier Duval generally offers a two-year parts warranty from the date of commissioning. Some dealers offer extended warranties on the compressor, a part that sometimes wears out faster than expected.

What are the alternatives to the Saunier Duval heat pump?

Atlantic and Mitsubishi are Saunier Duval's "most direct" competitors on the heat pump market. If you have a tight budget, opt for a Chaffoteaux or Samsung heat pump. If you can afford to upgrade, choose a Daikin, Hitachi or Auer model or a higher range from Mitsubishi.

Read also:

All heat pump reviews

TOP 20 Best air-to-water heat pumps

Review of the Auer air-to-water heat pump brand, another French brand

TOP Heat pumps made in France

Avis atlantic Alfea : another model of French PAC

COMPARISON OF 10 SPLIT HEAT PUMPS

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