Heat pumps offer heating and cooling services by transferring heat rather than providing the direct heating or cooling itself. The pump essentially transfers warm air back and forth from the outside and inside of your home, depending on the indoor temperature needs. Heat pumps come in a few different varieties but choosing the most energy-efficient model comes down to the same two key metrics regardless of pump type.
Still confused? Call in a furnace and air conditioning installation company for more information.
The Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, or SEER rating, applies to the heat pump's function and energy efficiency when the unit acts as an air conditioner. The ratio represents how much cooling the air conditioner can provide, represented in British Thermal Units or BTUs, per an energy output, represented in watt-hours. A higher SEER rating represents a more efficient air conditioner or heat pump.
Older air conditioners or heat pumps can have SEER numbers lower than 6. The U.S. government sets minimum energy efficiency ratings for newer appliances and the minimum SEER rating for air conditioners in the hotter, drier Southwest region, for example, is set at 14.
While shopping for new heat pumps, compare the SEER ratings across similar models to help choose the most energy-efficient heat pump possible.
The Heating Seasonal Performance Factor, or HSPF rating, refers to the function and energy efficiency of the heat pump when the unit acts as a heater or furnace. The ratio again uses the BTUs per watt-hour measurement but measures the amount of heating provided rather than cooling.
A higher HSPF number means the unit has higher energy efficiency. But the HSPF numbers aren't directly comparable to the SEER numbers. For example, a minimum HSPF of 8 is considered suitable for most heat pumps by the U.S. government authorities monitoring energy efficiency.
Compare the HSPF rating between like models to help you choose the heat pump unit that is the most energy efficient.
Using Both Numbers
How can you decide on a unit if you can't find a heat pump that has the highest SEER and HSPF across all models? Or, if you need to save money on a lower cost unit, how can you prioritize which energy efficiency standard to prioritize?
Your climate can serve as a great deciding factor. If you have milder winters and hotter summers, you can prioritize the SEER rating since you don't need to worry about energy efficiency as much during winter. Have colder winters and milder summers? Prioritize the HSPF rating over the SEER rating.
Still uncertain about choosing a heat pump that would work best for your home? Contact a heating and cooling repair and installation service in your area for more assistance.
For HVAC repair, contact a company such as Butler Heating & Air.