What Do HSPF And SEER Tell You About Heat Pump Performance?

Posted On: July 07, 2012

A heat pump may be one of the most energy-efficient ways to heat and cool homes, since they use no fuel other than electricity. Heat pump performance is measured by HSPF and SEER, the acronyms for heating season performance factor and seasonal energy efficiency ratio. The U.S. Department of Energy has established a minimum 7.7 for the HSPF and 13 for the SEER.

The method for determining the SEER involves running the heat pump when outdoor temperatures are 82 degrees to cool a room to 80 degrees with 50 percent humidity. Another measure of cooling efficiency is the EER (energy efficiency ratio), determined by running the heat pump when it’s 95 degrees to reach an indoor temperature of 80 degrees with 50 percent humidity. In general, SEER shows performance over an entire cooling season, while EER shows performance during the hottest periods. When the SEER and EER numbers are higher, the heat pump cools more efficiently.

In our climate, paying attention to a HSPF rating is particularly important. The average temperature that heat pump manufacturers use is 47 degrees for testing purposes, but our winter temperatures can be much lower. You can get better winter heat pump performance from a system with a scroll compressor or a dual fuel heat pump system. Each of these systems has its own advantages.

A scroll compressor creates up to 15 degrees warmer air indoors than a standard heat pump and also may last longer since it works more efficiently. A dual fuel heat pump is one that works in tandem with a furnace, so when temperatures drop into the 30s and the heat pump begins losing its heating efficiency, the system shifts over to natural gas or propane heating with the furnace. These lower the cost of heating, since you can use the more efficient heat pump when it’s mild and rely on fuel only when it’s cold. A system like this saves you during the fall and spring, since you only have to use the furnace back-up for the coldest weather.

If you’d like more information on heat pump performance, contact Ernst Heating & Cooling. We’ve provided HVAC services to the Metro-East area since 1951 and will be happy to answer any of your questions.

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

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

Service in Just Hours
What People Are Saying About Ernst
  Reviews for Ernst Heating & Cooling

268 customer reviews

Average rating:5

  All good here.
Pleasant workers and I trust their judgement on cleaning and repair.
by Kay Gieszelmann 3 on 05/24/2019
Dan is wonderful. Knowledgeable always takes time to explain any issue. Totally satisfied.
by Janell S on 05/24/2019
  Happy Customer!
Another unnamed local HVAC company, that I have on contract to do my furnace and air conditioner inspections/service,...
by james f on 05/22/2019
  Totally satisfied.
Dan is the most thorough and knowledgeable serviceman I have ever had the pleasure to meet. He cleaned the outside...
by walter d on 05/21/2019
  Technician Seth...
Seth thoroughly, patiently went through a diagnostic process that resulted in our air conditioning functioning...
by rooney b on 05/20/2019
More Verified Reviews
Service in Just Hours
Reasons You Should Replace Your Window AC Unit
Posted On:June 25, 2018

Nobody likes the idea of spending thousands of dollars on central air conditioning, which makes the window air conditioning unit an attractive option for those...