Water heater in basement
March 9, 2017

Info About Heat Pumps Ratings for HomeownersWhether you’re selecting a new heat pump or assessing your current system, it’s helpful to know what the ratings are for these versatile HVAC systems. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) requires that all heat pumps carry energy efficiency ratings, normally placed on the outdoor condenser, and that these ratings meet specific minimum standards.

Heating Efficiency

The HSPF (heating season performance factor) describes the heat pump’s energy efficiency in the heating cycle. The minimum HSPF for new heat pumps stands at 8.2. You may also find the COP (coefficient of performance) rating on the specifications sheet for the pump, which is actually an easier way to understand how efficiently it heats. An electric space heater has a COP of 1, which means it creates one unit of heat for each unit of electricity it uses. Heat pumps have much higher COP ratings because they generate much more heat per unit of power they use. The COP might range from 3 to 6 or more. A system with a COP of 5 generates 5 units of heat for each unit of electricity it uses.

Cooling Efficiency

The SEER (seasonal energy efficiency ratio) rating describes the cooling efficiency. The minimum starts at 14 SEER and systems are available that have cooling efficiencies into the mid-20s. Each numeric increase in the SEER indicates the system uses 10 percent less electricity for the same amount of cooling. Another pertinent rating for a heat pump is its EER (energy efficiency ratio). Unlike the SEER, the EER indicates how well the system performs when outdoor temperatures reach 95 degrees F. The SEER is tested at 82 degrees. Like the SEER, higher EERs indicate more efficient equipment. While the DOE requires the SEER to be prominently displayed on central heat pumps, it does not require the EER rating. The most important numbers to keep in mind when evaluating a heat pump are the SEER and HSPF and remember that higher is always better. For more information, contact Russell’s Heating & Cooling, providing trusted HVAC services for Hampton Roads homeowners. Our goal is to help educate our customers in Chesapeake, Virginia and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about heat pump ratings and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 757-750-1831. Credit/Copyright Attribution: “PublicDomainPictures/Pixabay”

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Regular annual maintenance keeps your system operating at peak efficiency. Experience has shown that a system that runs well keeps your utility costs in line — in fact, independent 3rd party research shows that you can save over $30 per month on utility bills.

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Just like your annual physical at the doctor’s office keeps you healthy, an annual tune-up or safety and efficiency check on your heating and cooling systems can keep your home working smoothly.

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  • I can't complement your team enough on the wonderful job done with regard to the installation of the new system in our home. More specifically, we want to recognize the outstanding efforts of: Roberto-- the initial visit and diagnosis of the problem.

    Dan & Connie, Virginia Beach
  • I recently had your team install a new gas package unit including all new duct work at my house in Chesapeake. I had a split system that had undersized ducting which was removed by your installers.

    Mike & Sandi, Chesapeake, VA
  • We purchased a one time service for $79. They came out on time, checked out the geothermal system...they were very professional and kind.

    Nicholas H., Chesapeake, VA
  • We would like to thank your company for an excellent job. We are very pleased with the new (Mitsubishi ductless mini split) system that was installed last week. It works wonderfully at heating our home.

    Danny and Teresa S., Chesapeake, VA
  • Not one single idea for improvement. Keep doing what you do. OUTSTANDING!

    Charles J., Norfolk, VA
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    Colleen & Jim C., Suffolk, VA
  • Everything went great! This is the second big project we've had done through Russell's and we couldn't be more happy! We had the most dedicated, polite, and respectful crew! The team consisted of Elliot, Chase and Sean. Sean was here for the removal process on day one, and did awesome!

    J. Luhan, VA Beach
  • Hi Nate, please pass along our appreciation for you, Elliot and Steve. We are very happy with you being able to arrange our ( Lennox ) replacement system so quickly!

    T. Johnson, VA Beach
  • Thank you for running a top notch company and sending over to us two excellent folks Terry and Shawn. They did an awesome job putting in our new furnace system. Also thank you for Donald and Nate who did a superb job as well. Please reward these guys with some sort of commendations or rewards....

  • ...folks need to know how wonderful working with Russell's Heating & Air Conditioning is. They were very professional all the way thru the process of getting our unit installed down to the payment plan. I have been telling our neighbors and my co-workers about the experience.

    Pamela F., Chesapeake, VA
  • Every moment from the time an appointment was set up until the day the work was completed was a pleasure. Every employee was a delight to work with. The proof that the product was great came when the electric bills started coming in the airconditioning season.

    Douglas P., VA Beach
  • I am extremely satisfied with both the Lennox unit I purchased and the employees of Russell's. Even with poor window and door quality in this overly tired house, I am actually cooled off sufficiently enough to call it chilly.

    Robin W., Chesapeake, VA
  • Over the years I have gained the utmost trust in my service technician Corey Lesko's knowledge and work ethic while servicing my system.

  • I am writing this letter to commend your company on a great job! We were very pleased with how the company performed in every area...the installers did an impeccable job. They were very knowledgeable, efficient, and hard workers—staying focused to the task in the extreme heat.

    Pastor Larry E. O'Brien, Churchland Assembly of God
  • A year ago, I contracted with Russell's to tune up and clean the heating and cooling system. How impressively your specialist cleaned my system...he also found a defective automatic (programmable) thermostat. Quite quickly, he replaced my automatic thermostat. The results?

    R. Snider, Norfolk, VA
  • You recently installed a new Trane unit for us. We want you to know we are completely satisfied. The outside unit is now a hum versus the roar of the old one...we also want to recognize the installer...we cannot overstate what we think of his workmanship.

    K. Hawkins, Portsmouth, VA
  • Great and prompt service – as usual. Everything from ordering the a/c unit to installation went smoothly. Thanks for everything.

    B. Fenstermaker, VA Beach
  • Everyone was very nice. I felt well informed about my purchase. Your staff is great! I don't usually return opinion forms, but you need to know you have a staff you can be proud of!

    V. Horn, Chesapeake, VA
  • You have a new customer for life and I will definitely tell all my friends about your prompt, courteous service, your knowledgeable technicians, and your very reasonable prices. Thank you very much Russell's. You warmed much more than just my heart!

    G. Knoop, Chesapeake, VA
  • Your company was very responsive to my needs. The quality of your work was extremely high.

    Ms. Bright, Chesapeake, VA
  • Your workers actually made this total replacement project an enjoyable learning experience...they were always willing to stop and answer any questions. Their pleasant and cooperative attitudes cannot be praised enough!

    J. Wellons, Portsmouth, VA
  • Very pleased with both the price and service. The installation went off without a hitch and everything exceeded our expectations. When finished, the work areas, including the attic, were so clean you couldn't tell anything had been done.

    T. Marsh, VA Beach
  • Great expertise and timely service.

    H. Turbeville, Chesapeake, VA