Mick's Heating and Air Conditioning Blog

What Does SEER And HSPF Mean To Me?

What does SEER mean? SEER is the acronym for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. Your heat pump or air conditioner will have a SEER rating based on their cooling efficiency. It is the total cooling output of an appliance. To obtain the actual number divide the British Thermal Units (BTU)for the annual usage period by the total energy input for the same period.

Today, the government prefers SEER ratings of at least 13.0 for air conditioners and heat pumps. They are significantly more energy efficient than previously produced appliance models which could have much lower ratings (the higher the number, the greater the efficiency). While the heat pump’s cooling efficiency is gauged by its SEER rating, its heating efficiency is gauged by its Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HPSF) rating.

The HSPF is the average performance of a heat pump considering its seasonal use and its total annual heating input including energy used for defrosting and back-up heating and dividing it by the electric power used. The number of BTU’s generated is compared to the quantity of energy watts used to run the unit. The factor is then calculated and the rating is tallied. The government requires an HSPF rating of 7.7, while manufacturers make units with HSPF ratings as high as of 10.

If you are unsure of your appliance’s ratings, you’ll find it on some literature or the unit itself. If you have an older unit it’s probably safe to assume you’re using much more energy than you should to run it. It may be time to purchase a newer unit that is far more energy efficient. When shopping for the replacement unit, look for the SEER rating and the HSPF rating. In both cases find a unit with at least the government standard rating or a higher rating.

Don’t go it alone, if you don’t worry about upgrading your heating or cooling equipment without professional advice. Your local HVAC professionals are trained to make the right matches of heat pumps and other equipment to HVAC systems for your home’s needs. Allow them to make all the right upgrade choices for all your HVAC needs.