How Can I Find Heat Pump Ratings?

How can I find heat pump ratings? To find out heat pump ratings contact the contractor, distributor, or get an ARR manual. If you're looking for ratings on heat pumps look no further. Our heat pump expert,...

If you're looking for ratings on heat pumps look no further. Our heat pump expert, Pete Peterson, owner of Geothermal Supply Company, with more than 35 years experience in the heat pump industry, is here to share his knowledge with you.

"Find a contractor or a distributor who's got an ARR manual so they can rate both the air source and the water source heat pumps. They will tell you what the efficiencies and the capacities are of all the heat pumps. Other than that, I would say to get other homeowner's opinions of the different products on the market," Peterson says.

Heat pumps are given two efficiency ratings. A SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) rating is based on a unit's cooling efficiency. An HSPF (Heating Seasonal Performance Factor) rating is based on a unit's heating efficiency. If you want to save money on your electric bills and you want to help protect the environment as well, ask your air conditioner contractor about heat pumps that have the EPA's Energy Star label.

The SEER rating is used to identify the cooling efficiency of both traditional air conditioners and heat pumps. The SEER rating indicates how efficiently the unit utilizes electricity: the higher the rating, the less electricity the unit requires to cool a given area. Heat pumps manufactured today have a SEER rating from 10.0 to about 17.0.

The HSPF rating is used to identify the heating efficiency of heat pumps - the higher the rating, the less electricity the heat pump uses to heat a given area. Today's heat pumps are generally rated between 6.8 and 10.0 HSPF.

Generally speaking, heat pumps with the highest SEER and HSPF ratings are more expensive to purchase than their lower rated counterparts. However, because they utilize less electricity, they can actually save you money in the long run. If you are planning to sell your residence in the near future, you may not wish to invest in a unit with a high rating. However, if you plan to be in your home for a while, it may be more cost effective to purchase a higher efficiency unit.

Some heat pumps come with additional features that provide greater comfort. Two-speed units can run on low-speed (using about 50 percent of the energy) 80 percent of the time. Consequently, they use fewer on/off cycles and produce fewer drafts. Likewise, they produce much smaller temperature swings - only two or three degrees rather than the four degree temperature swing commonly experienced with single-speed units. Finally, the improved air circulation provided by a two-speed unit helps to prevent air "stratification": warm air rising to the ceiling and cold air settling near the floor.

If you would like more information on heat pump ratings, you can always go the heat pump manufacturer you are looking to buy from. They should have the ratings listed for you on their website. If not, you can always ask that the information be sent to you via mail. Peterson says it's always a good idea to get all the information you can, before making a big purchase for your home.

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