So, what exactly is a Heat Pump? Simply put, a Heat pump is an air conditioner that can run backwards. The name Heat pump was appropriately given because “pumping heat” is exactly what it does. A heat pump simply moves heat (or pumps it) from one location to another. Heat pumps are designed to pull heat out of the surrounding air (air to air heat pump) or out of the ground (water to air or geothermal heat pump) to heat a building or home. The best advantage a heat pump possesses over other standard heating and cooling systems is that they can be reversed to actually provide cooling to the building or home. With a heat pump, there is no need to install separate units or systems to provide both heating and cooling
How efficient are heat pumps?
Heat pumps are about the most efficient pieces of equipment on the market when used in moderate climates. In our Mid Atlantic area heat pumps are a great choice for heating and cooling your home. In more severe climates like the New England states or extreme northern locations, heat pumps would require a larger amount of “supplementary heat” to provide for the buildings heat requirements. New Heat pump systems today can be as much as 60% more efficient than systems built in the 1990’s. To get your free “no obligation in home estimate” on a new heat pump, click here.
How is the efficiency of heat pumps measured?
When measuring efficiency of heat pumps, there are three acronyms you will need to understand.1. SEER 2. HSPF and 3. EER
SEER = Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio is comparable to a “miles per gallon” rating for vehicles to ascertain the efficiency of the Air conditioning side of the Heat Pump. The higher the SEER, the more efficient the Heat pump is in the Air conditioning mode.
HSPF = Heating Season Performance Factor is a ratio of BTU heat output over the heating season to watt-hours of electricity used. The higher the HSPF rating the more efficient the Heat Pump is in the heating mode.
EER = Energy Efficiency Ratio is the ratio of “output cooling” (in Btu/hr.) to “input electrical power” (in watts) at a given operating point or temperature. EER is generally calculated using a 95F outside temp and an inside (actually return air) temp of 80F and 50% relative humidity.
Again, the higher the SEER, HSPF or EER the more efficient a heat pump is.