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Making Sense of Heat Pump Efficiency Ratings


Many Colorado homeowners wonder if a heat pump will be sufficient to keep their homes warm during our cold, long winters. That’s because there’s a common misconception that heat pumps will struggle to keep a home warm enough in cold climates.

However, with advancements in heat pump technology, homeowners don’t need to worry as much about this. It’s not a question of whether a heat pump can heat your home sufficiently; it’s a question of what efficiency rating you should look for in a heat pump. Let’s go over the most important factor to consider when deciding on a heat pump: its efficiency ratings.

The Difference Between HSPF2 and SEER2

When shopping for heat pumps, you’ll undoubtedly run across these two terms. 

  • HSPF2: This stands for Heating Seasonal Performance Factor. It applies to the heating capacity of a heat pump only. It measures how efficiently a heat pump will heat your home. The higher the HSPF2 rating, the more efficiently the heat pump is in heating mode.
  • SEER2: This stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio and you’ve possibly seen this term in relation to air conditioners. It applies to the cooling capacity of a heat pump only. It measures how efficiently a heat pump will cool your home. The higher the SEER2 rating, the more efficiently the heat pump is in cooling mode.

What’s a Good HSPF2 Rating for a Heat Pump?

The HSPF2 rating is the one Colorado homeowners should be concerned about. Also, the HSPF2 rating must meet a minimum energy efficiency level due to government regulations based on region. (In fact, the minimum levels changed as of January 1, 2023, which is when SEER and HSPF became SEER2 and HSPF2.)

Colorado falls in the North Region and therefore, all heat pumps installed as of 2023 must have a minimum of 7.5 HSPF2 (8.8 HSPF) and 14.3 SEER2 (15.0 SEER).

However, that doesn’t really answer the question “What’s a good HSPF2 rating?” Compared to an outdated, 15-year-old furnace, a heat pump with a 7.5 HSPF2 rating will be an excellent upgrade. Any new heat pump will be an improvement and you can look forward to increased efficiency and lower energy bills.

Are High-Efficiency Heat Pumps Worth It?

High-efficiency heat pumps are for those seeking a heat pump in the “better” to “best” categories. While some of the highest-efficiency heat pumps are rated at 10.5 HSPF2, anything at 9 HSPF2 should be considered a high-efficiency model.

To determine if a high-efficiency heat pump is worth it, you need to compare the initial expense to how much you’ll save on energy bills for as long as you own it. If you plan on living in your home forever, it’s worth it to invest in a high-efficiency heat pump. But if you plan to sell in the next several years, you might not recoup those savings.

Also, if your cooling system is separate from your heating system, by upgrading to a heat pump, you’ll replace two systems with one, which also saves money. 

We know that deciding on a heating system for your home is a big decision. Contact us today for our expert opinion on the best heat pump system for your home.

Robbins Heating & Air Conditioning serves Colorado Springs and the surrounding area. Contact us for heat pump service today.

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