HSPF: A Rating You Need To Weigh When You’re Buying Your Heat Pump

October 13, 2011

Heat pumps are an efficient heating system for most homeowners throughout the U.S., because they work to find heat in the air, even when it feels cold out, and then transfer that heat into your home. When shopping for a new heat pump, it is important to use Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF) to find the right one for your home.

You might be thinking, How can a heat pump find heat in the winter air? There is actually a lot of heat in the winter air. According to Kansas City Power & Light, zero degree air temperatures have 82 percent of the heat available as when it's 100 degrees. That's part of the equation that makes heat pumps so effective.

The other factor is its ability to use energy effectively. In terms of dollars, a heat pump can take one dollar that you spend on fuel (electricity) to heat the air, and then generate three to four dollars worth of heat. If you consider how gas furnaces always operate at a loss, regardless of their efficiency, heat pumps start to look like a really appealing option.

Further, in the Kansas City area, our winters have more days where the temperature averages above 30 degrees, which is generally the point where heat pumps cease to operate efficiently. And that average is over 85 percent.

To select a heat pump that will get you proven results, look for a HSPF rating of at least 8. HSPF is the measurement of how efficient a heat pump operates, and it takes into account the extra energy consumption it requires for processes like defrosting during the winter or backup heat requirements. A heat pump with a rating of 9 or greater is considered high efficiency.

Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) is also important when upgrading systems, as it measures how efficiently the heat pump will cool your home in the summer season. A rating between 16 and 23 will generate the most energy savings.

To learn more about HSPF and how it will influence your comfort and energy savings, contact Santa Fe Air Conditioning & Heating. We have proudly served Kansas City since 1987.