Air source heat pumps are much more efficient than most other heating and cooling options – and they provide both in one system! If your current HVAC system is aging, you may be able to switch to air source heat pumps for higher efficiency, lower overall utility bills, and, depending on where you live, some extra savings through rebates and incentives. (Bonus: if you have solar, you can heat and cool your home using the sun!)
Panasonic is one of the major players in the heat pump space, with seven different lines of heat pumps (including ducted and ductless) you can install in your home. They have been developing HVAC systems since they first produced an air conditioning unit in 1958, releasing their first mini split heat pump system in 1983. Panasonic heat pumps are available in a variety of styles and price ranges to suit differing consumer needs.
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Panasonic offers seven different lines of air source heat pumps, including mini splits, ductless heat pumps, ducted heat pumps, single-zone systems, and multi-zone systems.
Their heat pumps have up to a 12-year warranty if you use a Panasonic-certified and trained contractor for installation.
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Panasonic makes finding a heat pump based on your specific climate control needs easy with a variety of options and ways to customize and upgrade the single or multi-zone heat pump solution you choose. From their ClimaPure™ XE line, a wall-mounted mini split system designed for cold climates, to their slim duct and cassette ducted heat pumps, there is likely an option that will work for you, whether you’re looking to retrofit your ducted HVAC system or install ductless heat pumps into your home.
A mini split is a type of air source heat pump – specifically, there are separate indoor and outdoor units that offer highly efficient heating and cooling. Panasonic offers mini splits that are wall mounted, cassettes, and slim ducts. We’ll share details on three popular wall-mounted mini split options below.
Short-run ducted heat pumps
If ductwork only runs through a small section of the house or your home has gone through a renovation, you may have a situation where you have short-run ducted heat pumps that you combine with other ductless units for the rest of the house.
Ducted heat pumps
Buildings with a ducted heating and cooling system distribute air through a single central path, usually tubes in the walls made from sheet metal. Panasonic offers a slim duct system that can be installed inconspicuously in the ceiling or floor of your home.
Single-zone vs. multi-zone heat pumps
Panasonic offers options for both single- and multi-zone systems. A single-zone system is ideal if you only need heating and cooling in a single space, like an addition or room. In this case, one outdoor unit connects to one indoor unit. With Panasonic multi-zone systems, you can handle HVAC needs for multiple spaces, and one outdoor unit can connect to up to eight indoor units. Two of the mini split systems we cover in detail below are available in multi-zone systems.
The outdoor unit may also be called the heat exchanger, containing a coil and fan. The fan blows outside air over the coil, and then the coil operates as a condenser when cooling or an evaporator when heating. Panasonic offers outdoor units for single- and multi-zone units, and those in their cold climate series are equipped to work in extremely cold temperatures (down to -15° F/-26° C).
Panasonic sells a wide range of heat pump products – in this article, we’ll compare three of their best-selling varieties of ductless mini split systems.
Key features of Panasonic heat pumps
Exterios E Deluxe Series
Clima Pure™ XE Cold Climate Series
|Ductless (mini splits)||Ductless (mini splits)||Ductless (mini splits)|
|Single-zone||Both single-zone and multi-zone available||Single-zone and limited multi-zone|
|Good, highly efficient, ENERGY STAR rated||Better, highly efficient with additional features that help maintain indoor climate, ENERGY STAR rated||Best, highly efficient with added performance features to adjust airflow and maximize efficiency in rooms you use more, ENERGY STAR rated|
|Up to 16||19-23||20-28.2|
|9,000 - 22,000 BTU/h||9,000 - 28,000 BTU/h||9,000 - 24,000 BTU/h|
|Optional anti-microbial filters are available as an add-on||Air filters eliminate unwanted smells, particulates, and allergens while deodorizing||Panasonic nanoe™ X air and surface purification technology to inhibit viruses, bacteria, mold, pollutants, allergens, odors and hazardous substances|
|As low as 32||As low as 26||As low as 25|
|Works with cold climate outdoor units in outside temperatures as low as -5° F/-21° C||Works with cold climate outdoor units in outside temperatures as low as -5° F/-21° C||Works with cold climate outdoor units in outside temperatures as low as -15° F/-26° C|
|Up to 12 years for parts and compressor when using a Panasonic gold-certified installer||Up to 12 years for parts and compressor when using a Panasonic gold-certified installer||Up to 12 years for parts and compressor when using a Panasonic gold-certified installer|
|Wireless remote control, Blue Fin condenser designed with anti-rust coating to last longer in salty air and rain, room freeze protection, additional features available as add-ons||Wireless remote control, optional WiFi control available, Blue Fin condenser designed with anti-rust coating to last longer in salty air and rain, room freeze protection||Built-in WiFi control with Panasonic app, wireless remote also included, Blue Fin condenser designed with anti-rust coating to last longer in salty air and rain, room freeze protection|
Panasonic air source heat pumps have a few different options ranging from budget-conscious to premium. They all have different levels of air filtration capabilities, ranging from standard to the nanoe™ X air purification technology, which releases hydroxyl radicals to purify air and surfaces.
SEER ratings and cooling performance
One performance number you’ll want to check into when comparing heat pumps is SEER, which measures the efficiency when cooling. According to the Air Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI), the efficiency of central air conditioning systems is rated by a Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER), meaning your heat pump is rated just as an air conditioner would be.
In general, the higher the SEER, the less electricity the system needs to do its job. Panasonic heat pumps offer average cooling efficiency, with a SEER rating ranging between 16 and 28.2 SEER depending on the model, while most heat pumps on the market only range between 13 and 31 SEER.
HSPF ratings and heating performance
The other rating you’ll want to pay attention to when comparing heat pumps is the Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF). The higher the HSPF rating, the more efficient a heat pump is at heating, which results in less energy used and more energy savings overall. ENERGY STAR heat pumps must have at least 8.5 HSPF, but heat pumps can range up to 14 HSPF. Ranging from 8.5 to 14 HSPF, Panasonic heat pumps are very efficient no matter what model you choose.
The Panasonic Control App
Panasonic heat pumps have an app, the Panasonic Control App, available on the Apple Store and Google Play. The Panasonic app lets you manage temperature preferences for your heat pumps and control up to 200 heat pumps at a time (up to 10 locations with 20 units per location), easily adjusting fan speeds, setting modes, and customizing schedules. The app also allows for multiple users with different user privileges, letting children control the temperature in their own room, for example, or a home with multiple tenants to access the app to control their heating and cooling in their part of the home.
Additional Panasonic heat pump features
Panasonic’s heat pumps all come with Blue Fin condensers in the outdoor unit, which are designed with an anti-rust coating to withstand things like salty air, rain, and other corrosive factors. The Clima Pure™ XE models also come with Panasonic's nanoe™ X technology that significantly reduces air and surface pollutants in a room. Some models include the Econavi sensor, which can detect when there are people in a room and adjusts the operation of the heat pump system accordingly to maintain efficient operation.
Panasonic heat pumps range widely in price, depending on the specific line or model you purchase and how many heat pumps you’ll need to install to cover the entire area you want to heat and cool. In addition to the cost of the equipment, you’ll have to account for installation costs since heat pumps require specific training, running refrigerant lines, and electrical work, so you’ll want a trusted, licensed, experienced contractor to ensure your heat pumps are correctly installed. Additional factors may also increase your heat pump installation costs, such as needing additional ducting installed, upgrading your home’s electrical panel, or additional work to run lines, depending on your home’s floor plan.
Early heat pump technology wasn’t known for heating in extreme cold, but technology has greatly advanced, and many heat pumps now work down to -10° F/-23° C. Depending on the model, Panasonic heat pumps are actually confirmed to work down to as low as -15° F/-26° C.
For particularly cold climates, the Clima Pure™ XE models are the best choice, as they have operational capacity down to -15° F/-26° C and can continue to provide some heat at temperatures below that.
Any Panasonic heat pump systems purchased from and installed by a licensed HVAC contractor in the continental United States, Alaska, Hawaii, or Puerto Rico have the following warranty to the original owner of the heat pump system: a seven-year warranty for the compressor, a five-year warranty for all other parts aside from the controller, and a one-year warranty for the controller. The compressor also comes with a 30-day limited labor warranty, during which Panasonic will repair or replace the compressor in the event of an issue.
Additionally, if you get your Panasonic heat pump system installed with a gold-level certified Panasonic installer, your warranty increases to 12 years for parts and the compressor.
If you live in a cold climate like New England, you may be keeping an alternate heating system as a backup, like a natural gas furnace, for when temperatures drop in the dead of winter. While most heat pumps work in low temperatures, they do lose efficiency below a certain temperature, so you may benefit from increased energy efficiency if you use a smart thermostat (sometimes called integrated controls for heat pumps as well) to automatically switch to your backup heating source at a set temperature.
Panasonic heat pumps typically use Panasonic control systems, including handheld wireless remotes and the Panasonic Control App to help you control your heating and cooling from your tablet or smartphone. If your home already has a different smart thermostat, like a Nest, you can purchase a thermostat adapter.
Panasonic designs some models to be compatible with Google Home and Amazon Alexa, allowing you to perform four basic functions of the heat pumps’ operation with voice commands. Those include: on/off, changing the mode, adjusting temperature, and checking the current status.
Working with a trusted heat pump contractor is important, not just to ensure it’s installed properly to maximize your system’s efficiency, but before that, you’ll want an expert to guide you with the design and sizing of your heat pump system. An oversized system will cost you more money to install and reduce efficiency, while an undersized system won’t provide enough support to heat and cool your home adequately.
Your heat pump contractor will help you determine the number of Panasonic heat pumps you’ll need based on the size of your home and living space, location, temperature preferences, and insulation quality.
Panasonic is a top, trusted brand in heat pumps. With their range of options for both ducted and ductless heating and cooling and different levels from more affordable to premium, you can likely find something to fit your needs and budget. Your best bet is to speak with a contractor near you to learn what options might work best for you when designing your heat pump system and see which Panasonic heat pumps could cover your needs.
You can save even more money on heating and cooling by powering your home with solar panels – the EnergySage Marketplace helps you compare several quotes from pre-screened installers to find a solar system that fits your needs at the right price. If you plan to install heat pumps or already use them at your home, share that information when getting estimates so your installer can help you build the right size system. This way, you can heat and cool your home with the free, renewable energy you generate.