A heat pump system can be a very efficient way to keep your Georgia home warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Besides requiring only one system to perform the work of both an air conditioner and furnace, heat pumps typically require less energy input to provide the same comfort levels inside your home.
The biggest potential energy savings comes when the pump is in heating mode. This is because heap pumps do not really create heat; they just transfer or pump heat between the outside and inside of the house. A furnace, which does create heat, can never produce more heat energy than the gas and electric energy that is fed into it; it can’t go beyond 100 percent efficiency. However, it does not take that much energy to merely move heat, as a heat pump system does. This allows a heat pump to output more energy than it consumes.
The heating efficiency of heat pumps is measured by heating seasonal performance factor, or HSPF. The HSPF rating is equal to the number of BTUs, or British thermal units, of heat produced per watt-hour of electricity consumed. While standard heat pumps generally have HSPF ratings in the 7 range, high-efficiency models can rate closer to 10 HSPF—saving you 20 to 30 percent on your winter electric bills when compared to a standard system.
The efficiency of HSPF can perhaps be easier understood by converting it to coefficient of performance, or COP, which is another efficiency rating used with some heat pump systems. To convert the rating to COP, multiply the HSPF number by 0.293. For example, an HSPF of 10 would work out to a COP of 2.93, because 10 x 0.293 = 2.93. This means that a 10 HSPF heat pump would provide 2.93 times as much heat energy as it consumes in electrical energy and is roughly 3 times more energy-efficient than the best furnaces on the market today.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about heat pumps and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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