Tempstar Heat Pump Review: Pros, Cons, Performance

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Last updated: 
September 7, 2017

This Tempstar heat pump review is where you can research models and their specifications as you compare this brand with Lennox, Trane, Carrier, Rheem and other leading brands we have reviewed. We include Tempstar pros and cons to consider before deciding on your next heat pump.

Tempstar is one of the brands made by International Comfort Products (ICP), which is part of United Technologies Corporation (UTC). The Tempstar catalog is identical to Heil and other ICP brands sold regionally in North America such as ComfortMaker, Arcoaire and KeepRite. UTC brands Carrier and Bryant are distinct from ICP brands.

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Tempstar Heat Pump Brand Overview

Like many top heat pump brands, Tempstar makes three series that you can differentiate by efficiency and climate control features:

  • Basic: Tempstar Performance Series (4 models);
  • Better: QuietComfort Series (2 models);
  • Best: QuietComfort Deluxe Series (3 models).

In the Things to Consider section below are general guidelines for choosing the right series/model for your application. These specifications will assist too.

Tempstar Heat Pumps Technical Specs

Here’s what you get with a Tempstar, starting with the top-of-the-line heat pumps.

  • All QuietComfort Deluxe Series models (TVH8, TCH9, TCH6) and the TSH5 heat pumps are certified Energy Star models with at least 16 SEER/9.0 HSPF efficiency;
  • The Tempstar TVH8 heat pump is the brand’s variable-capacity model with a compressor that modulates between 40% and 100% of capacity. It delivers quiet, precise and efficient heating and cooling;
  • Other Deluxe Series models are Tempstar two-stage heat pumps that run on low most of the time for quieter, longer cycles. These produce more balanced temperatures than single-stage heat pumps;
  • QuietComfort and Performance Series Tempstar heat pump models are single-stage units. They run on full capacity and can cause slight temperature fluctuations;
  • Dual fuel heating systems with a heat pump and gas furnace are ideal for climates where winter temperatures often drop below freezing. This is a range in which heat pumps aren’t effective;
  • ALL Tempstar heat pumps are dual-fuel compatible. The feature means that the system automatically switches to gas furnace heat when necessary and back to the heat pump when temperatures rise;
  • The Deluxe 18 TVH8 runs as quietly as 56 decibels making it one of the quietest models available;
  • Tempstar’s Observer communicating wall control is a Wi-Fi thermostat that supports QuietComfort Deluxe and QuietComfort Series.

Tempstar Heat Pump PROs and CONs

As a brand, Tempstar has a middle-of-the-pack reputation, but that’s where most brands are. Here are the benefits and disadvantages of choosing Tempstar.

Tempstar Heat Pump PROs

  • Tempstar warranties are among the best on the market. Moreover, many include replacement of the entire heat pump if the compressor or condenser coil fails in the first 5-10 years, depending on model;
  • The Wi-Fi Observer control for the Deluxe Series heat pumps gives you the option of monitoring and adjusting your heating and cooling remotely using a smart phone;
  • The 4 Energy Star Tempstar heat pumps include single-stage, two-stage and variable-capacity models to fit your budget and performance preferences;
  • Installing an Energy Star Tempstar heat pump might be eligible for utility rebates from your energy provider. So, ask your installer or search rebates;
  • The three performance levels tend to match efficiency ratings – the highest-performing Deluxe 19 is also the most efficient. Therefore, heat pumps that run the most can also provide the best indoor climate control when you choose the right model for your climate;
  • The 13.7 HSPF heating efficiency of the TCH9 two-stage Tempstar heat pump is among the very best in the industry. It is an ideal unit for cutting heating costs where winters are long;
  • Tempstar uses a baked powder-coat finish on galvanized steel to produce an attractive case that resists corrosion and scratches;
  • The Performance 14 NH4H4 Tempstar heat pump is a compact model for installation where space is limited and tight;
  • The Performance 14 Coastal Design N4H4**C is one of just a few heat pumps designed to slow corrosion in the salt air of coastal communities;
  • Tempstar manufacturers furnaces, air handlers and air purifiers. They provide integrated performance and optimal efficiency when combined with Tempstar heat pumps;
  • Tempstar is a national brand. So, service and parts can be obtained wherever you live.

Tempstar Heat Pump CONs

  • The most efficient models, the TVH8 variable-capacity and the TCH9 two-stage, have a SEER rating of 19. That is several points below the Lennox XP25 and other super-efficient heat pumps. So, these Tempstar models aren’t a top choice where summer heat and humidity are extreme;
  • The loudest single-stage Tempstar heat pump models run at 69 decibels. The rate is slightly higher than the industry average for this class.

There’s not much to criticize with this and other ICP brands. They are well-made, efficient, reliable and competitively priced. Expect 15-20+ years of service from a Tempstar heat pump – the better the series, the longer it will run when properly maintained.

Things to Consider Before Purchasing a Tempstar Heat Pump

There are two keys to being satisfied with your Tempstar heat pump going forward. Choosing the right one for your needs and hiring a qualified installer with a track record of quality work.

  1. The right heat pump for you will match the need for efficiency where you live. If summers and/or winters are extreme, then choosing an Energy Star-certified heat pump will keep energy use and cost under control. In those few areas of North America that have mild year-round climates, a 14-15 SEER model is sufficient since the unit won’t run much. This is true for heat pumps installed in part-time locations such as a guest apartment or vacation home. Reasons to choose a more efficient heat pump in mild climates are if you want the better comfort control of a two-stage or variable-capacity Tempstar heat pump or if lowering energy use as a means of living as green as possible is a high priority for you.
  2. The second key to satisfaction, proper installation, is more crucial than the brand heat pump you select. We recommend getting estimates from several heating and air conditioning companies in your area that have a good reputation for quality and customer service. Talk to their representatives about the experience of the person or crew that will install your heat pump or HVAC system. That’s what is important. If the technicians are NATE-certified, that’s a plus.

Final Thoughts on Tempstar Heat Pumps

This brand gets high marks from homeowners for product variety, competitive cost and dependable performance, especially when properly installed. If Tempstar makes the short-list of brands you are considering, see our library of heat pump brand reviews to narrow the options and make your choice.

Our comprehensive reviews make us a one-stop source when researching HVAC equipment for home or business. If this Tempstar heat pump review has been useful, perhaps others would benefit sharing it with them

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