Just about anything mechanical you buy comes with some kind of rating to tell you how much energy the item will consume. With cars, it is the miles per gallon (mpg). With furnaces and boilers, the rating is AFUE (annual fuel utilization efficiency). So what is the rating when it comes to your heat pump HVAC system? The acronym is HSPF, which stands for heating seasonal performance factor.
What It Means
The first item to understand about the HSPF rating is that it rates heat pumps a little differently from traditional heating systems like furnaces and boilers. This is due to the way a heat pump works. Unlike boilers or furnaces, heat pumps do not generate heat; instead, they transfer it from one location to another using refrigerant to facilitate the process. Heat pumps do require electricity to operate, and this is what HSPF measures.
What HSPF Tells You
One of the big misunderstandings with HSPF is what it tells you about a particular heat pump. Many think the rating informs you that a specific heat pump will heat your home better than another; this is not true. What HSPF tells you is that one heat pump will heat your home using less energy than another. This is the key to understanding the rating.
HSPF runs on a scale of 1.0 to 10.0, but the minimum HSPF rating allowed by federal laws is 7.7. So, at the very least, you will own a heat pump that operates at a 7.7 HSPF. 10.0 is the highest rating you can purchase at heat pump at, but understand that the higher the HSPF rating, the more the initial cost of the heat pump system.
If you are getting ready to purchase a new heat pump system for your home in Orlando, the experts from Downtown Air and Heat can help you with the entire process.