How to Determine Heat Pump Efficiency

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If you’re in the market for a new heat pump, efficiency is probably a factor in your search. Luckily, the AHRI (Air Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute) has a universal rankings system for heating and cooling units. You might have seen mystical abbreviations like “SEER” or “HSPF,” but what do they actually mean? Well, here’s a guide to determining heat pump efficiency:

What is HSPF?

HSPF stands for “Heating Seasonal Performance Factor.” This rating represents the amount of heat units produced (BTUs) by the total amount of electricity used over the course of a season (watt-hours). Generally speaking, the higher a heat pump’s HSPF, the more efficient it is. The US EnergyStar program has set a minimum HSPF of 8.2 for split-systems (ductless units), and 8 for single-package equipment (regular heating and cooling unit).

What is SEER?

SEER stands for “Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating.” It is essentially the equivalent of HSPF, but for cooling. A unit’s SEER rating is determined by the amount of cooling power (BTUs) divided by the amount of energy used within one season (watt-hours). Higher SEER means a more efficient heat pump. The minimum EnergyStar-qualifying SEER is 14.5 for split-systems, and 14 for single package equipment.

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Which Heat Pump Should I Get?

Generally speaking, if you live in a cooler climate, HSPF should have more weight in your decision than SEER, since you’ll be running it on that setting more frequently. You should favor SEER for the same reason in hotter climates.

However, it’s important to note that both of these ratings systems refer to a heat pump operating under optimal conditions. If a heat pump isn’t the right size for your home, you can have all sorts of problems. An oversized unit will short cycle, massively increasing your energy bill. An undersized unit will run for too long, which means its components will be overworked, and it will use too much electricity.

The best way to get the most efficient heat pump is to schedule an in-home consultation with AA-AIR CO. We’ll perform the necessary heat load calculations to determine which heat pumps will perform ideally in your space. Out of those options, you can choose the option that best meets your efficiency standards.

AA-AIR CO. is pleased to install heat pumps in Knoxville, TN, and surrounding regions. Call us today at 865-689-5290 for any questions about SEER, HSPF, or to schedule service.

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