If you are looking for a new heat pump for your home in Sacramento, you probably have questions about which heat pump is right for you. There are several factors to consider, including the size of your home and the average temperature where you live. Another factor to consider is HSPF.
What Is HSPF?
Heating seasonal performance factor is used to measure the overall energy efficiency of your heat pump. This measurement focuses on the heating season, which is going to be during the months of the fall and the winter. The higher the HSPF of your heat pump, the more efficiently it will work. This is better for you since you will spend less on energy. It is also good for the environment.
To be fair, we should also mention that the higher the HSPF rating of a heat pump is, the more expensive it will likely be. If you purchase a high-quality heat pump, you are going to get a lot of benefits that make the higher price tag worth it, though.
How Is the HSPF Rating Quantified?
When you look at a heat pump and you see the HSPF rating, you want a rating that is between nine and 10. This is considered a high HSPF rating.
In 2015, the Department of Energy made a minimum HSPF of 8.2 standard. However, it is thought that the minimum mandatory standard for HSPF for heat pumps will be 8.8 in 2023. The idea behind increasing the HSPF standards is to help homeowners heat their homes during the winter, save energy, and protect the environment.
What Factors Influence How HSPF Ratings Are Calculated?
To calculate HSPF ratings, you need to take the complete heating output of your unit during the fall and winter measured with BTUs and then divide it by the watt-hours used to power the unit during these months. When you see your energy bill, the numbers are usually presented in kilowatt-hours. In order to get the watt-hours, you need to take the kilowatt-hours number and divide it by a thousand. This is because there are 1,000 watt hours in 1 kilowatt-hour.
The equation would look like this: BTUs divided by kilowatts multiplied by 1,000 equals the HSPF.
For example, let’s say your heat pump uses 200 million BTUs during a cold winter. The total number of kilowatt-hours is 25 million for the heating season. You would then calculate your HSPF by taking the 200 million BTUs and dividing it by 25 million, which will give you eight. In this case, the HSPF of the heat pump would be eight, making it a lot lower than the standards set by the DOE.
Are HSPF and SEER Ratings the Same?
A heat pump is much more energy efficient than a furnace. The best and most energy-efficient furnace you can get is going to transfer 95% of its energy into heating your home. However, a heat pump does not generate heat. Its job is to transfer heat either from the air or ground outside into your home or from inside your home to the outside air.
For this reason, a heat pump can transfer up to 300% more energy than it consumes. This makes heat pumps vastly more energy efficient than any furnace. Since heat pumps can pull heat out of your home, they can serve as a cooling device for your home. A heat pump can thus be both a heating and a cooling unit. This is why many homeowners who live in areas with moderate climates see a heat pump as a great investment.
Since heat pumps are able to heat and cool, they have both a SEER and an HSPF rating. According to the appliance standards set for the United States, the minimum seasonal energy efficiency ratio is 14.
When you use your heat pump in heating mode and it is transferring heat into your home to keep it warm, HSPF is the standard that determines how energy efficient the unit is. However, when the unit is set to cool your home and pulls heat out of your home and transfers it outdoors, then SEER is used to measure how efficiently this process is being carried out.
Therefore, when you are looking for a heat pump, you want to focus on both the HSPF rating and the SEER rating. You will find both of these ratings on the EnergyGuide sticker on the front of your unit.
Which Rating Is More Important?
The answer to that question will vary based on how you intend to use your heat pump. If you are going to use your heat pump during the heating season, which is during the fall and winter months, then you should pay more attention to the HSPF rating. However, if you intend to use your unit more during the summer to keep your home cool, the SEER rating is what you are going to be more concerned about.
HSPF becomes more important if you live in colder parts of the country. The flip side is true if you live in an area that has longer summers and shorter winters; your primary concern will be keeping your home cool throughout the year.
Does a Higher HSPF Save You Money?
Yes. The higher HSPF your unit has, the more efficient your system will be. If your system is working efficiently, you are going to save time and frustration because you will not be dealing with a heat pump that is constantly malfunctioning. You are going to save money when it comes to energy expenditures.
For example, let’s say you purchase a heat pump with an HSPF of 9.2 and a SEER of 16. You qualify for ENERGY STAR certification. For many people, this means that at the end of the year, they are going to get a government tax credit that could be as much as $300. There are some stipulations to consider. For example, the heat pump has to be in the home that you live in and that home must be your primary residence. The $300 rebate could help offset up to a third of the expense of purchasing the heat pump.
Enjoy Comprehensive HVAC Services
At Gallagher's Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning, we are proud to have NATE-certified technicians who can help answer your questions about purchasing and installing an energy-efficient heat pump. We can help you with any HVAC need you have, including installing, maintaining, and repairing a furnace or an air conditioner.
All our technicians have been trained and are licensed to ensure they are prepared to perform high-quality work. At Gallagher's Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning, we are committed to doing the job right the first time. This is why we have built a stellar reputation in Northern California. We invite you to find out more about how we can serve your heating, cooling, and plumbing needs. Contact Gallagher's Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning today. We look forward to helping you make your home a more comfortable place to live.