The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) requires heat pump manufacturers to test their equipment for its energy efficiency and clearly show two of those ratings on each unit they sell. The EnergyGuide label found on HVAC equipment displays these ratings. They’re also imprinted on the nameplates found on the outdoor condenser for existing heat pumps and air conditioners.
The two ratings that you’ll find for heat pumps include their SEER (seasonal energy efficiency ratio) and HSPF (heating season performance factor), and they refer to:
- Cooling efficiency. The SEER indicates how well it uses electricity to move heat out of your home in the summer. Manufacturers have to disclose the efficiency of each model to consumers. They find the SEER rating by running heat pumps in an environment set to 82 degrees F and measuring the amount of electricity it uses to cool a space to 80 degrees.
The DOE increased the minimum SEER rating for heat pumps to 14 in 2015. Each single numeric increase in SEER indicates the system uses 10 percent less electricity. Heat pumps with a 16 SEER use 20 percent less energy than those with a 14 SEER rating.
Another important cooling indicator is its EER (energy efficiency ratio) rating, which is measured by testing the equipment at 95 degrees. Given the Orlando heat, purchasing a heat pump with a high EER will cut cooling costs.
- Heating efficiency. The minimum HSPF of heat pumps stands at 8.2. You won’t find the heat pump’s COP (coefficient of performance) on the EnergyGuide label, but it’s a more revealing rating that tells you how much heat the pump delivers for each watt of electricity it uses. A pump with a COP of 3 puts out three times the heat for each watt of electricity consumed. Higher COP ratings indicate even more heating efficiency.
When you’re in the market for a new heat pump or want to learn the efficiency of your existing system, knowing what the ratings mean helps guide your choices. To learn more, contact Rinaldi’s Energy Solutions, providing trusted HVAC services for Orlando homeowners.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Orlando, Florida and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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