Heat pumps are very efficient comfort options for Southwest Florida homeowners. Because of our hot summers and milder winters, heat pumps offer an efficient alternative to straight cooling and strip heat models. However, there are different efficiency levels among various heat pumps.
Because heat pumps operate as both cooling and heating systems, you’ll want to look at two different ratings, the SEER and the HSPF. SEER (seasonal energy efficiency ratio) gauges efficiency when your system is providing air conditioning. HSPF (heating seasonal performance factor) is used to assess heating efficiency.
In Southwest Florida’s climate, SEER is the most important rating. It tells you how economically the unit consumes fuel over an entire cooling season, comparing the amount of energy it runs on and the amount of cool air it provides. You may pay more up front for a system with a higher SEER, but you will begin immediately to see energy savings.
Energy Star awards energy-efficient certification to systems that are at least SEER 14. However, ratings can reach up to 18. The higher the rating, the more economical.
This rating is used when the heat pump is in heating mode, so it’s not as important in Southwest Florida. However, when the weather turns chilly, you’ll still want your system to be as efficient as possible. That’s when you’ll look for the heating seasonal performance factor. It assesses the system’s consumption of fuel compared to its production of warmth over the duration of a heating season.
In cold climates, the HSPF is more important, because heat pumps lose a great deal of efficiency in freezing temperatures. However, moderately cold weather isn’t a problem. A high rating is about 10.
Remember that SEER and HSPF aren’t everything. Your system also needs to be accurately sized to meet your comfort needs. If you’re in the process of selecting a new heat pump, contact the experts at Conditioned Air. We’ll be happy to help you select the heat pump that’s just right for your household.
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.
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