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Understanding Heat Pump Efficiency Ratings If You Want to Replace Your AC With One

Spring is the prime season to get a new AC installation in Katy, TX if your current AC looks to be coming to the end of the line. You don’t want to get caught with a failing air conditioner when the first major heat waves of summer arrive, so if you think you need a replacement, call our technicians as soon as you can and schedule an appointment. We’ll help determine if your AC is ready to go, and if it is, we’ll get a new one installed for you far in advance of the summer.

But maybe this is the year you decide you want to replace both your AC and heater and put in a heat pump. A heat pump is similar to an air conditioner, but it does the job of both heating and cooling. We often recommend heat pumps to our customers, and we’ll gladly assist you with making the choice. 

One important difference between ACs and heat pumps is their efficiency ratings. You’ll notice that they have three efficiency ratings, whereas air conditioners have two. We’ll talk about what these heat pump efficiency ratings mean.

SEER/EER

This is the same efficiency rating you’ll also find on air conditioners. They represent how efficienct the heat pump is when running in cooling mode. SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio and EER for Energy Efficiency Ratio. They use similar measurements: a ratio of the amount of cooling output (in BTUs removed from the house per hour) to the amount of energy consumed to do that work. The higher the rating, the more efficient the system. 

SEER is calculated through a series of tests meant to imitate a full season of work, while EER is calculated as a single test under set conditions. SEER is always higher than EER. The current US Department of Energy standards for air conditioners is 15 SEER/12.5 EER or higher to earn the ENERGY STAR label. 

HSPF

This is how you tell the efficiency of a heat pump when it’s in heating mode. The reason the heat pump needs a separate rating for this is that heat pumps are not as energy efficient in this mode—although you shouldn’t let this deter you from considering a heat pump, as they still use less energy for heating than an electric furnace. 

HSPF stands for Heating Seasonal Performance Factor, and it’s similar to SEER. It’s the ratio of the heat pump’s heating output (in BTUs moved into the house per hour) against the energy consumed to do the job (measured in watt-hours). Like SEER, it’s calculated with a series of tests meant to represent a full season of heating. The current minimum HSPF required by the US Department of Energy is 8.5. 

Call Us for Heat Pump Help

Don’t worry if you aren’t sure what SEER/EER/HSPF you need from a heat pump. We can help you juggle the various factors to find the ideal new unit to suit your needs and match your budget.

At AC Comfort, Your Comfort Is Our Business! Get in touch with us today for heat pump and air conditioning services in the Katy area.

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