Founded by Robert Bosch in Germany in 1886, Bosch is a worldwide leader in technological innovation, from commercial to residential industries.
Below, we’ll be reviewing the Bosch heat pump, discussing its features, it’s drawbacks, and how to properly install one.
Bosch Heat Pump Features
When you see the technology on display in a Bosch heat pump, it’s easy to see why they are the world leader in this kind of technology.
Let’s take a look at some of the key features of a Bosch heat pump, and how the heat pump stands up next to its competitors.
Bosch Inverter Heat Pump Compressor
This is arguably the most important feature that sets this product apart from the crowd.
Interestingly, this feature was not produced by Bosh but rather by Mitsubishi. They have been producing inverter driven compressors for years, specifically for Bosch’s ductless heat pumps.
Efficient and reliable, it’s no wonder brands like Bosch use this compressor in their machine.
Bosch refers to them as Inverter Ducted Split Systems, or IDS.
These inverters are available in IDS 1.0 and IDS 2.0 versions. You may also know these inverters as a Bosch BOVA heat pump (1.0 version) or the Bosch BOVA 2.0 heat pump.
But both use the Mitsubishi inverter driven compressor, and a 230V alternating current powers the unit. The AC voltage is then inverted to DC power, allowing for variable speed operation.
Inverter-driven compressors operate at any speed between about 25% and 100%. They speed up or slow down as necessary to make sure they offer just the right amount of cooling and heating.
Standard And Dual Operation
If you live in a hot climate – or even a moderate climate – you may want a standard split system. This is a heat pump and an air handler in one.
However, if you live in an area that has freezing conditions then you can also make use of a dual system that pairs the heat pump with a Bosch gas furnace.
In freezing outdoor temperature, sensors provide data to the control board to switch heating back to the furnace seamlessly. Then, when the temperatures climb, the system automatically switches back.
This is important because heat pumps are more efficient than furnaces and using one can lower your energy costs. However, heat pumps don’t function as well in cold weather.
But with a dual fuel system, a furnace can take over in colder weather to ensure your home always has plenty of heat.
Paired Split Systems
If there is nothing wrong with your current air handler and it’s in good condition, you just need to install a Bosch heat pump. However, if you’re replacing your entire split system for extra efficiency, Bosch also has a couple furnace and air handler options available.
Series 10.0 systems use a constant torque-blower that isn’t variable, and might cause noticeable warm air blasts at the start of an air conditioning cycle.
All Bosch indoor coils are made from aluminum tubing and fins, which prevents corrosion and issues caused by dissimilar materials.
A 10-Speed ECM Fan
While this isn’t a hugely important feature of the Bosch heat pump, we have to mention it just because it’s so unique.
Unlike most condensing units that have a single-speed fan, the Bosch BOVA2.0 heat pump has a 10-speed fan that can reach the same speed as the variable-speed compressor.
This disperses heat more effectively and also allows the pump to operate super quietly.
The fan is also electrically commutated (or ECM) rather than using a permanent split capacitor, or PSC motor. As an ECM motor is also more efficient than a PSC motor, it also costs less to run.
Considering that only a few condensing units have 2-stage fans to make them run quietly, the fact that the Bosch heat pump has 10 is pretty impressive.
What Could Be Better About The Bosch Heat Pump?
There are two areas – practical and mechanical – where we believe the bosch heat pump could be better.
Only Two Sizes Available
Our first issue is that there are only two sizes of the heat pump condensing unit (this is the unit outside of the pump). These are 3 tons/36,000 BTUs, and 5 tons/55,000 BTUs.
This is disappointing when you consider other heat pumps come in sizes of 1.5, 2.0, 2.5, 3.0, 3.5, 4.0 and 5.0 tons.
The problem here is that a heat pump should be in proportion to the heating and AC demands of the home.
If it isn’t in proportion the pump can work too hard and increase the risk of mechanical failure, or it might create temperature imbalances and will not dehumidify the house well in the summer months.
Bosch uses air handlers/furnaces and indoor coils sizes from 2.0 to 5.0 tons to potentially avoid these problems. The indoor coil capacities/sizes are 2, 2.5, 3.5, 4 and 5 tons, while the blow motors are feared for 2, 3, 4, and 5 tons.
So if you need 24,000 BTU/hour of cooling, a Bosch dealer will install the 3-ton unit with potential cooling of 36,000 BTU/hour and pair it with a 2-ton, 24,000 BTU/hour indoor coil.
Bosch also uses properly sized blower motors in its air handlers and furnaces. If you’re having a complete system installed, then the blower in the air handler or furnace will be geared to proper airflow for a 24,000 BTU system.
Most brands tend to make condensing unit sizes and matched indoor coil sizes.
While this is a better approach, if the installer knows how to match up equipment, then the indoor climate control and comfort shouldn’t be too negatively effected.
Bosh heat pumps have a 10-year general parts warranty much like Carrier, Lennox, Trane, and others. Meanwhile, Amana, Goodman and Heil have far better warranty policies.
Who Can Install Bosch Heat Pumps?
Bosch isn’t too picky about who installs their HVAC systems. This includes their heat pumps and furnaces. This approach has its positives as well as its drawbacks, however.
One advantage is that you get more competitive estimates when you have more options of who can install the equipment, rather than relying on specially trained installers.
For example, American Standard has Customer Care Dealers that have been properly trained in American Standard installation. Because their staff have received specialized training, they charge higher prices for installation and because they have such little competition.
You’re less likely to find somebody who isn’t employed by American Standard installing their products.
Bosch has what it calls ‘ABCs’ or Accredited Bosch Contractors who can install their products. However, they don’t receive specialized training in order to do this. But they also don’t have a reputation for quality workmanship either.
An ABC is simply someone who has signed up with Bosh to get marketing help and other kinds of assistance from Bosch in exchange for that contractor promoting Bosch products such as heat pumps, furnaces, thermostats, water heaters and more.
Most people don’t have a problem with ABCs pushing these products as Bosch has a good reputation for creating quality, hugh-performance products.
One advantage of using an ABC that we can’t overlook is that if you hire one to install your equipment an extra year will be added to your warranty, taking it to 11 years. This isn’t a huge leap, but a perk is a perk!
However, if you don’t want to use an ABC to install your heat pump, you can also use a free estimating service to get good estimates from other contractors.
Just make sure that whoever you hire is licensed, insured, and certified by NATE – the North American Technician Excellence program.
Getting A Good Deal On Bosch Heat Pumps
We hope the above information is useful in making sure you get the best deal when installing your Bosch heat pump, but let’s take a closer look at how you can get a good deal on Bosch heat pumps.
Following on from our above point, just because a contractor is charging you next to nothing that doesn’t mean sacrificing good installation. Contractors whose prices are too good to be true usually are, and will probably cut costs that lead to poor quality installation.
It’s also worth keeping an eye out for rebates from your energy provider.
Some utility companies offer $150-$500 or more for installation of Bosch equipment, or any equipment that is energy efficient. You can also find information on rebates on Bosch’s website.
Click on ‘Rebate’ and it will show you available rebates in your area by typing in your zip code.
Finally, get at least 3 written estimates from installers as this is a good way to compare costs for different brands.
Make sure the equipment is comparable in terms of size and efficiency, and also check reviews of the contractors on sites like Yelp, and also via the Better Business Bureau.