How to Measure Heat Pump Performance: Interpreting SEER, COP, and HSPF Ratings
Learn how to size up which heat pump is right for you using the most common rating categories which measure efficiency and performance.
Investing in a heat pump is a big decision. You’ve done the research and know that a heat pump can stand to save you quite a bit on your monthly energy bill.
A common problem that arises when purchasing a heat pump is knowing which specific model is right for you based on your heating and cooling needs, along with your budget. There are many different models, configurations, and brands on the market today, so sorting through all of the options can be a challenge without knowing how to judge them.
To determine the most efficient heat pump models, it’s possible to evaluate them based on several important criteria. These ratings show how efficiently a heat pump performs in both cool and heating mode, as well as it’s overall energy output.
Interested to know how heat pumps work? Learn more here.
Below you’ll learn about what these ratings are, why they matter to homeowners and a few of the top models in each category.
Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) is the rating used to measure how well a heat pump performs during cooling mode. The higher the score, the more efficiently the heat pump is able to cool the air.
Not only does this rating help consumers determine the air conditioning ability of a heat pump, but the government also sets minimum standards for how well a heat pump should be able to perform air conditioning functions. In Canada, the minimum SEER rating required for heat pumps is 13.
SEER is calculated by taking the total cooling provided (measured in Btu), divided by the total amount of electricity used (measured in watts) over the same period.
If you’re looking for a mini-split system with excellent air conditioning functionality, then you’ll need to check out the Daikin Quaternity model. With a SEER level of up to 26.1 and a coverage area of up to 1,200 sq.ft, this model will be sure to keep you cool all summer while being as efficient and cost-conscious as possible.
The Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF) is essentially the same measure of efficiency as the SEER but in heating mode.
The measure of HSPF is of particular use to homeowners in Atlantic Canada because of the extreme weather conditions in the winter. Excessively low temperatures can cause heat pumps to perform less effectively, which is why judging a heat pump’s HSPF score will show you which units are your best bet during the most frigid winter days. The minimum HSPF in Canada is 6.7, while the Daikin 8 zone multi-split can function up to 16.5 HSPF.
During the winter months, it’s also advisable to look at a given model’s heating temperature range. It’s important to know its full capabilities so you can plan your backup heating solution accordingly on days where your heat pump is less likely to operate efficiently.
Coefficient of performance (COP) and energy efficiency ratio (EER) describe the amount of heat or cooling a heat pump is able to put out compared to how much energy has been put in at any given time. COP measures heating output and EER measures cooling output.
For example, if a heat pump produces 4kW of heat from 1kW of electricity, then it’s COP would be 4, the same would go for EER in regards to providing air conditioning.
The Daikin EMURA is one of the top heat pump models, with a high overall energy output of 4.6 COP.
An in-home consultation from a Daikin Comfort Pro Dealer is your best bet for finding the right energy efficient heat pump for your home. Click here to find a Daikin dealer near you.
Energy Efficient Certifications and Programs
To make it easier for consumers to make more energy efficient buying decisions, both the US and Canadian governments created their own programs to highlight products with higher levels of energy efficiency.
EnerGuide aims to highlight the actual energy usage statistics for individual products. For heat pumps, this includes the categories listed above. This helps consumers know roughly how much energy their products will be using, steering them to make more conscious purchasing decisions around efficient products.
Energy Star’s goal is to recognize the most energy efficient products in their category, highlighting those products with the Energy Star badge. Although managed by the EPA in the United States, the Energy Star brand has also been licensed to be used for products in Canada.
For heat pumps, to earn the Energy Star certification, they must reach several benchmarks. These Include ≥ 8.5 HSPF, ≥15 SEER, ≥12.5 EER for mini-splits and ≥ 8.2 HSPF, ≥15 SEER, ≥12 EER for central units.
Find Your Energy Efficient Heat Pump
Download our Daikin Heat Pump Catalogue to browse the models mentioned above and more, along with their COP, EER, HSPF, and SEER ratings and those earning the coveted Energy Star rating.