HSPF and SEER Ratings Matter When You’re Looking at Heat Pump Installation in Albany GA

Published on: June 22, 2012

In Albany GA, as well as cities all over the U.S., HSPF and SEER ratings are measures of energy efficiency for heat pumps and central air conditioner units, respectively. These ratings measure the output of heat or cooled air as compared to the energy utilized. HSPF and SEER ratings are important when homeowners are seeking to install an HVAC system in their homes. The higher the heat pump and AC unit rates using these standard ratings, the more energy efficient the unit will be. A highly rated unit will more efficiently utilize a non-renewable energy resource, such as electricity, to heat or cool the home. In addition, the more energy efficient the HVAC unit, the more money the homeowner will save in energy costs.

One way to think about HSFP and SEER ratings is to compare them to the miles per gallon reading associated with evaluating the fuel efficiency of an automobile. The higher the MPG, the more energy efficient the car. HSPF and SEER ratings are similar ratios, but apply to HVAC units.


What are HSPF Ratings?

The HSPF rating is a measure of the energy efficiency of air source heat pumps. “HSPF” is an acronym for Heating Seasonal Performance Factor. However, HSPF ratings may also be used to measure the energy efficiency of air conditioning units. An HVAC system with an HSPF rating of 8 or above is considered a high efficiency system. Heat pump maintenance and AC service professionals use the HSPF rating to describe the performance of HVAC systems over a warming or cooling season.

Heat pump maintenance is also important for maintaining the energy efficiency of a heat pump. In Albany GA, heat pump maintenance companies will provide homeowners with annual service checks and recommendations for how to keep their heat pumps efficiently operating during the cooler months.


What are SEER Ratings?

The SEER rating is used to describe the energy efficiency of central air conditioning units. “SEER” is an acronym for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating. Older AC units, particularly those over 10 years old, usually have SEER ratings lower than 10. A SEER rating of 10 or under is considered a low efficiency model by today’s standards. Not only do older AC units have lower SEER ratings, but these units will require more frequent AC service than newer models.

SEER ratings measure how well an AC unit converts electricity to cooled air, but the SEER rating also measures how efficiently a heat pump converts electricity into heat. SEER ratings range from less than 10 for older HVAC units to 20 for extremely efficient units. SEER ratings do not measure how effectively the unit will cool or heat the air, but it does measure how efficiently the unit will utilize energy to produce the conditioned air.

Most new AC units have SEER ratings between 13 and 20. In fact, the U.S. Department of Energy requires that all new AC units manufactured today have a SEER rating of 13 or above. A decade ago, a SEER rating of 10 was considered to be a high efficiency unit, but by current standards, that is not a desirable rating.


Why Are HSPF and SEER Ratings Important?

When homeowners are considering the purchase of a heat pump or any type of HVAC unit, HSPF and SEER ratings will help them determine which models will utilize electricity more efficiently. The more efficiently the unit utilizes energy, the less the unit will cost the homeowner to heat or cool the home. Though HVAC units with high HSPF and SEER ratings may cost a bit more for purchase, the homeowner will recover the cost in energy savings many times over throughout the years of use of the unit.

Upgrading an older HVAC unit with a SEER rating of 9 to a newer unit with a SEER rating of 13 will save the homeowner approximately 30% on utility bills. In areas of the country where energy costs are significant, the cost savings may amount to over $500 per heating or cooling season.

In areas of the country that are hot and humid, such as Florida and Georgia, the AC unit may be required for 9 out of 12 months of the year. In such cases, energy savings for homeowners who purchase HVAC units with high SEER and HSPF ratings may be even greater.


Regular AC Service and Heat Pump Maintenance

Regular AC service and maintenance is also necessary to ensure the unit remains energy efficient. Annual checks from an AC service professional or a heat pump maintenance technician will ensure that the unit retains its efficiency. A heat pump maintenance or AC service company will recommend the HSPF and SEER rating that is best for your home.