When you’re reviewing the different features and stats of a particular heat pump you’re going to come across a few acronyms you might not be familiar with.
The one we most often use when comparing heat pumps here in Nova Scotia is the HSPF rating.
HSPF stands for Heating Seasonal Performance Factor. In a word it gives a numeric value to describe the efficiency of a given heat pump unit. You can then use the HSPF value as one factor when comparing similar sized heat pumps in BTU’s across several brands.
What Does the HSPF Value Mean?
The HSPF value is arrived at by dividing the the total heating output in BTU’s over a given heating season and dividing that by the number of watt hours that were required to create that heat.
So for example:
If a heat pump in Halifax produced 120,000,000 BTU over a winter heating season and used 10,435 KwH of electricity.
To do the calculation we first convert the KwH, which is how Nova Scotia Power shows our electricity usage on our bills, to watt hours. We convert this by multiplying the KwH by 1000.
10,435 KwH x 1000 = 10,435,000 watt hours.
The HSPF therefore would be: 120,000,000 BTU / 10,435,000 watt hours = 11.5
Using HSPF to Choose a Heat Pump
It’s worth while considering the HSPF when considering different brands of heat pumps, but it’s not the only thing to consider.
First off it’s important that you’re comparing the same sized units. Don’t compare the HSPF of a 9,000 BTU to a 12,000 BTU or an 18,000 BTU heat pump. Ensure you’re comparing same sizes.
You also want to consider down to what temperature the unit will effectively operate. Top brands will operate to -18 to as low as -25 in some cases.
The amount of air the unit can potentially move, which is measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM) is important as well. Why? Because the more air the unit is capable of moving, the faster the heat pump can get the entire room/area to a uniform temperature.
Finally you should consider the operating noise level and warranty.
Some units, such as the LG Prestige heat pump, can operate more quietly than a library (17db), and in terms of warranty looking for at least 7 years on the outdoor compressor and 5 years on the indoor heat unit.
So to sum things up.
HSPF is an important stat for a heat pump, especially in Halifax. However, don’t base your entire purchase decision on only HSPF. Take it into consideration along with the noise level of the unit, warranty, outdoor operating temperature and air circulation.
If you’d like one of our Home Energy Specialists to come to your home and do an initial assessment for what equipment would best fit your home give us a call today at 902-701-9678 or submit the form to the right of this page and someone will get in touch with you ASAP!