When selecting a heat pump for your Indianapolis home, how do you decide which model to choose?
Though features like size and price are extremely important, you also want to consider how energy efficient each heat pump is. To do so, there are two four-letter acronyms you should look at: SEER and HSPF.
SEER stands for seasonal energy efficiency ratio, and is the main system used for rating the air conditioning efficiency of heat pumps. You will also often see an EER rating listed, but the “seasonal” aspect of SEER makes it a better real-world measurement; SEER tells you the average efficiency over the full cooling season, while EER only refers to the efficiency at a certain temperature and humidity level. The “ratio” given by SEER is the amount of cool air produced compared to the amount of electricity the heat pump uses. A higher SEER number, therefore, indicates that more cool air can be produced per dollar you spend on electricity.
HSPF, or heating seasonal performance factor, looks at how efficiently the heat pump operates during the heating months. SEER and HSPF are calculated in very similar ways; the difference is simply that HSPF looks at the amount of warm air produced, and gives the average efficiency for the entire heating season.
Government regulations state that new heat pumps must meet certain minimum SEER and HSPF ratings before they can be approved for sale. The minimum SEER rating is 13, while the HSPF rating must be at least 7.7. You can save money on your long-term electric bills by choosing a unit with higher SEER and HSPF ratings. High-efficiency Energy Star-certified heat pumps have SEER ratings of at least 14 and HSPF ratings of at least 8 (or 14.5 and 8.2, respectively, for split systems). The highest-efficiency heat pumps can exceed 20 SEER and 9.5 HSPF.
There are other factors to consider besides SEER and HSPF, of course. At Mowery Heating, Air Conditioning and Plumbing, we can help you navigate the decision and select the right heat pump for your Indianapolis home. Contact us today with any questions.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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