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Residential Real Estate
Aug 15, 2014

Understanding SEER And HSPF

Sponsored Content provided by Jimmy Williams - Owner, O’Brien Service Company

When it comes to purchasing a new HVAC system, there are many different terms and numbers that can make it difficult to compare your options, especially if you don’t understand what the terms mean. These terms are very important, though, when it comes to deciding which system is best your home. Understanding them will make your decision much easier. 

We’ll use this product description as an example: The XL18i home heat pump’s SEER rating of up to 18.00 and HSPF of 9.20 make it an energy-efficient choice for home comfort. 

Does any of that make sense to you?  If not, this article will help you decipher that sentence and understand what to look for when researching HVAC systems.

SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, which measures is the cooling efficiency of your air conditioning or heat pump. This is calculated by taking the cooling output for a typical cooling season divided by the total electric energy input during the same time frame. Basically what you want to take from the SEER rating is the higher the number, the more energy efficient it is. The minimum SEER that is allowed today is 13, but this will be changing in the near future. You should consider getting a higher SEER though, because more energy efficient systems will help create greater savings for you.

HSPF stands for Heating Seasonal Performance Factor. This number measures the heating efficiency for air-source heat pumps. It rates both the efficiency of the compressor and the electric-resistant elements. The HSPF is the total space of heating required during the heating season expressed in Btu (British thermal unit), divided by the total electric energy consumed by the heat pump system during the same season, expressed in watt-hours. Similar to SEER, systems with higher HSPF numbers are more energy efficient. Most efficient systems will have a HSPF between 8 and 10.   

Now that you know what the SEER and HSPF numbers stand for, you should be able to make more sense of the product descriptions that you read. If you still have questions or concerns regarding any systems, feel free to call us at O’Brien Service Company. We are comfort specialists and are here to help.  
   
Jimmy Williams has owned and operated O'Brien Service Company for more than 30 years. Our highly trained and versatile technicians can expertly handle complex repairs, installations, and advise you on the benefits of regular maintenance. O'Brien will work on both residential and commercial systems, and is a certified Trane Specialist. Call today to have your system serviced, or to have a free at home estimate. You can contact us by calling (910) 799-6611, or visit our website at www.obrienservice.com.  

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