You’ve made the decision to purchase a heat pump and are trying to determine which manufacturer’s unit to buy. Two ratings that will assist you with making your selection are the Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF) and the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER).
HSPF measures the heating efficiency for air-source electric heat pumps and comprises the total space heating required during the cold months. It is expressed in British thermal units (Btu), divided by the total electrical energy that the heat pump uses during the same season, signified in watt hours.
Conversely, during the warm to hot months, cooling efficiency is indicated by the SEER, a number that signifies the total heat removed from the conditioned space during the summer, expressed in Btu, divided by the total electrical energy the heat pump uses during the same season, expressed in watt hours. Usually, the higher the SEER, the higher the unit’s cost. However, the higher cost can be offset by savings on future utility bills.
Every residential heat pump sold in the U.S. has a yellow and black EnergyGuide Label, which includes the ratings for both HSPF and SEER. SEERs of 12 or greater and HSPFs of 7 or greater receive the Energy Star label. The higher the unit’s rating, the more energy efficient it will be. In cooler Midwestern/Plains climates like Kansas City, you should focus on purchasing a unit with the highest possible HSPF. The higher the rating, the less electricity the unit will use to heat your home or business. The most efficient units have an HSPF of 10.
The U.S. Department of Energy provides detailed information on how both HSPF and SEER are connected to your HVAC system’s energy efficiency.
Overland Park Heating and Coolinghas been providing residential and commercial HVAC maintenance, repairs and installation in the Kansas City area since 1983.
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.