Heat Pumps: Ratings for Homeowners

Heat Pumps: Ratings for HomeownersHeating and cooling your Long Island home with a heat pump offers an opportunity for energy savings. Before you start comparing different models, it’s good to understand the equipment’s energy efficiency ratings in order to maximize your potential savings.

Efficiency Ratings for Heat Pumps

Heat pumps perform both heating and cooling, so they’re given an efficiency rating for each function. The ratings for specific models are always found on the EnergyGuide label affixed to individual units. The terminology used is different for air source and ground source (geothermal) heat pumps. Here’s an overview of the two efficiency ratings that can apply to each type of equipment:

Air Source Heat Pumps

  • Seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER). Just like traditional central air conditioners, split-system and ductless mini-split heat pumps are given a SEER rating that tells you their cooling efficiency. The possible ratings range from SEER 14 up to 23, and a higher rating means a unit is more energy efficient. SEER describes how much heat the equipment can move over one cooling season, divided by the total energy it uses in kilowatt hours (kWh).
  • Heating seasonal performance factor (HSPF). The HSPF rating measures the heating efficiency of a unit. Currently, the ratings range from 8.2 to 13 HSPF, and higher-rated units are more efficient. HSPF tells you how many British thermal units (BTU) the equipment produces divided by the kWh of electricity it consumes.

Ground Source Heat Pumps

  • Energy efficiency ratio (EER). This rating describes cooling efficiency. Today’s models offer ratings ranging from 13 to 45 EER, and the higher the rating, the greater the efficiency. EER represents the amount of cooling provided – in BTUs – for each watt of energy consumed in one hour at a temperature of 95 degrees.
  • Co-efficient of performance (COP). A COP rating measures a heat pump’s heating efficiency. It’s a measure of BTUs produced for each watt of energy used. Higher-rated units are the most efficient, and the ratings available today range between 2 and 5.5.

For expert help choosing an efficient heat pump for your Long Island home, contact us at Cool Power.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Hauppauge, New York and the Long Island area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about heat pump ratings and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 631-292-0629.

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