A heat pump can be a wise investment, thanks to its long-term energy savings. Though all heat pumps are at least somewhat energy efficient, you can maximize such savings by choosing a model with a high heat pump efficiency rating.

For air-source heat pump systems, the most common efficiency ratings are SEER and HSPF. For geothermal systems, the third measure of heat pump efficiency, COP, also is used.


The cooling efficiency of heat pumps (and all air conditioning systems in general) is measured by SEER, or seasonal energy efficiency ratio. As the name states, SEER is a ratio; specifically, it is the ratio of the cooling output divided by the electricity input. So, a system that can create more cool air without using more electricity would have a higher SEER number and would require less energy to keep your home cool. SEER ratings for heat pumps commonly range from 13 to about 19.


The heating efficiency of air-source heat pumps, on the other hand, is measured by HSPF, or the heating seasonal performance factor. HSPF is the ratio of heat energy produced divided by the electricity consumed. So, just like with SEER, a higher HSPF number means that the heat pump will require less electricity to provide the same level of comfort. HSPF ratings range from 7.7 to about 10.


COP, or the coefficient of performance, is used with geothermal heat pump systems to measure heating efficiency. If a heat pump provided exactly as much heat energy as it consumed in electrical energy, it would have a COP of 1.0. However, heat pumps can provide more energy than they consume, because they are not creating heat; they just pump it from one place to another. So, COP ratings can often exceed 3.0, or 300 percent efficiency.

You can convert COP to HSPF by multiplying the COP number by 3.4. For example, a 3.0 COP rating would be about 10.2 on the HSPF scale, since 3.0 times 3.4 equals 10.2.

If you have any questions about these heat pump efficiency ratings, please contact us at Pipe Works Services in Chatham.

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