You may have heard us talk about why a heat pump might be a good fit for your Corpus Christi area home. A good heat pump system provides an energy-efficient way to keep your home comfortable year-round. To find a heat pump that will truly cut down on your energy bills, though, you need to be familiar with four heat pump efficiency terms: EER, SEER, HSPF and COP.
- EER, or energy efficiency ratio, rates heat pump efficiency when it comes to providing air conditioning. EER measures how efficient the heat pump is at a particular temperature and humidity: specifically, a 95 degree outside temperature, an indoor return air temperature of 80 degrees, and a relative humidity of 50 percent.
- SEER, or seasonal energy efficiency ratio, is basically an average EER for the entire cooling season under all temperature and humidity conditions. Because it’s a seasonal average, many people prefer SEER when comparing how heat pump efficiency will really impact their overall utility bills.
- HSPF, or heating seasonal performance factor, is used to measure the heating efficiency of air-source heat pumps. Like SEER, it is a seasonal average. In fact, the only significant difference between HSPF and SEER is that HSPF measures how much warm air is produced, while SEER looks at how much cold air is produced.
- COP, or coefficient of performance, is the other heating efficiency measurement used with heat pumps. COP is mostly used for geothermal (or ground-source) heat pump systems. COP is the amount of heat energy produced divided by the amount of electricity used. So, if a heat pump provides three times as much heat energy as it uses in electrical energy, it will have a COP of 3.0.
In each instance, a higher numerical rating means that the heat pump will be more energy efficient. A 15-SEER system, for instance, would provide 50 percent more cool air from each watt of electricity than a 10-SEER system.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about heat pump efficiency and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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