How to Measure Heat Pump Performance with Efficiency Ratings

Understanding efficiency ratings can help you determine which heat pump system will save you the most energy and heating & cooling costs.

There are several factors that come into play when choosing the right heat pump for your home. One of those factors is how much energy savings you are looking for. The amount of potential energy savings depends on the heat pump efficiency ratings—also known as steady-state metrics—including SEER, COP, and HSPF. 

Why Some Heat Pumps are More Efficient Than Others

Many Daikin heat pump models are equipped with variable-speed inverter technology. The technology enables the heat pump to remain at peak efficiency at all times by staying on and self-regulating to the current temperature.  

Steady-state metrics determine how efficient a heat pump is when running in an optimal (steady) state:

  • The HSPF (Heating Seasonal Performance Factor) is used to measure a heat pump’s efficiency when it is in heating mode. The HSPF is important to consider for understanding the efficiency of your heat pump, especially in Atlantic Canada. It’s calculated by taking the total heating output of a heat pump and dividing it by the total electricity input during the same period of time (Btu/Watt hours).
  • When a heat pump has a high SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio), the heat pump is very efficient in air conditioning mode. It’s calculated by taking the total cooling output of a heat pump in its air conditioning mode and dividing it by the total electricity input during the same period of time (Btu/Watt hours).
  • Similarly, the higher the COP (Coefficient of Performance) and EER (Energy Efficiency Ratio), the more efficient the heat pump. These measurements indicate the ratio of heating or cooling provided by a unit relative to the amount of electrical input required (Btu/Electricity consumption). 

Did you know your region will only allow heat pumps to be sold that will function properly in the respective climate? Canada has energy efficiency regulations for air-source heat pumps that require a minimum HSPF of 7.1 and a minimum SEER of 14.

Cold climate heat pumps are designed to maximize heating capacity in colder temperatures. These models often have very high heat pump efficiency ratings including HSPFs up to 13 and SEERs up to 30.

Use our Energy Savings Calculator to find out how much you could save by switching to a heat pump.

Size Matters for Heat Pump Efficiency

When a heat pump is too small for your home, it will run at full speed in an effort to reach the desired temperature. It can trigger defrost mode more than necessary if it’s constantly running at full speed—also, it may not heat enough of your home, triggering your back-up heating source more often than you’d like. The energy you’d be saving with your undersized heat pump would be counteracted by using both heating sources at the same time. 

Whereas a heat pump that is too large for your home will reach the desired temperature quickly and begin short cycling. This puts added pressure on the motor, prevents the heat pump from achieving optimal temperature, and can even shorten the lifespan of the system. 

A Daikin professional can assess your home to recommend the best size heat pump based on Btu. You can learn more about recommended Btu by square footage in our article here

Start Saving Energy with a Heat Pump

Now that you have a better understanding of how heat pump efficiency ratings impact energy savings, you can make an informed decision on how efficient you want your heat pump to be. To have a truly optimized heat pump system, contact your local professional Daikin dealer so they can properly assess your home and calculate the best size and model for you. 

Contact your local Daikin dealer