Considering a Heat Pump System? Weigh The SEER And HSPF Ratings Before You Purchase

Posted On: September 09, 2011

One of the biggest advantages of using a heat pump system to warm and cool your Metro East Illinois home is the amount you can save on your energy bills. Heat pumps are generally quite efficient, because they merely transfer heat into or out of your home; they don’t burn energy to actually create the heat.

Still, some heat pumps are more energy efficient than others. For the biggest energy savings, you’ll want to compare the efficiency ratings of different models before you buy. And since heat pumps provide both cooling and heating functions, there are two types of energy efficiency to consider.

Heat Pumps for Air Conditioning: Energy Efficiency

The air conditioning efficiency of a heat pump can be measured in multiple ways, but the most practical, real-world rating system is SEER, or Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. SEER compares the amount of cooling output produced to the amount of electricity consumed. It is sort of like the miles per gallon rating for cars, except in this case, it’s really British Thermal Units per watt-hour. Unlike some other efficiency ratings, SEER measures the average efficiency over the course of the entire cooling season, giving you a better indication of how it will affect your utility bills. A SEER rating of 13 is the minimum for new units, but some high-efficiency models can beat that number by 50 percent.

Heat Pumps for Heating: Energy Efficiency

When it comes to heating, the equivalent to SEER is Heating Seasonal Performance Factor, or HSPF. HSPF is exceedingly similar to SEER; the only real difference is that it measures heating output instead of cooling output.

You may also see Coefficient of Performance, or COP, to measure heating efficiency, especially for geothermal heat pumps. You can convert HSPF to COP, or vice versa, to compare different types of heat pumps. 1 COP is equal to 3.4 HSPF, so you can multiply COP by 3.4 to get the equivalent HSPF rating, or divide HSPF by 3.4 to get the COP number.

At Ernst Heating & Cooling, we can help you choose the right heat pump for your home in the Maryville and Metro East area. Contact us todayto schedule an appointment, or call 618-887-6093 with any questions.

Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about heat pumps and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

Ernst Heating & Cooling services Hamel, Illinois and the surrounding Metro East Illinois area. Visit our website to see our special offers and get started today!      

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