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What do EER, SEER, COP, and HSPF have in common?

They are all measurements of energy performance efficiency used in reference to heat pumps.

What do the acronyms stand for? How can you calculate the value of efficiency using them? Why does it matter when it comes to choosing your heat pump? This article answers these questions. 

 


 

What Is EER?

 

Let’s start with the acronym EER. EER stands for Energy Efficiency Ratio. It is a ratio of energy efficiency for air conditioners and heat pumps.

  • The EER is calculated with an exterior temperature of 35°C, an interior temperature of 26°C and a humidity factor of 50%. It’s the cold created in BTU/hr (BTU stands for British Thermal Unit), divided by the energy consumed in Watt/hr.
  • The EER is mainly used by technicians to obtain real-time data on the performance of an air conditioning device without having to account for temperature changes from season to season. 
  • The higher the EER, the less energy that device consumes. For example, if a device has an EER of 4, that means that for every kW consumed, the air conditioner puts out 4. 
  • A cooling device with a high EER is considered top of the line. An Energy Star certified device will have an EER of 12.5 or more.  

 

What Is SEER ?

 

The SEER is the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. It’s the ratio between the cooling device’s performance in BTU/hr and the energy consumed in Watt/hr. The SEER represents the global performance of a device for the regional climate of a specific location. 

  • The SEER is calculated according to seasonal averages and not according to a specific outdoor temperature like the EER. However, the formula is the same as the EER, cold produced in BTU/hr., divided by the energy consumed in Watt/hr. 
  • The SEER of each cooling device appears on the Energy Guide label. 
  • The higher the SEER, the less energy that device consumes. Since 2015, manufacturers have narrowed production to devices that have a SEER of 14.5 and higher. This is the minimum SEER rating for a product to be certified by Energy Star. 

What Is COP ?

 

COP is the Coefficient of Performance that is similar to the EER but measures heating. It’s a ratio of energy consumed to the quantity of heating produced by a device, like a heat pump. 

  • The COP is calculated according to different outdoor temperatures. Manufacturers generally specify COPs calculated at 8.3°C (47°F), 0°C (32°F), -8,3°C (17°F), and -15°C (5°F). That’s the maximum heating power (in kW/hr.) divided by the energy consumption (in kW/hr.) of the device. As they are influenced by outdoor temperatures, it’s expected that a heat pump will have a lower COP in colder temperatures. 
  • The higher the COP, the less energy the device consumes. If your device has a COP of 3, that means that for every kW of energy consumed, the heat pump generates 3 kW of heat into your home. 
  • In Québec, the COP of a heat pump varies between 1.4 and 3.3, depending on the outdoor temperature. 

What Is HSPF ?

 

Last but not least, the HSPF is the Heating Seasonal Performance Factor. It’s the energy efficiency of a device per season of heating. 

  • As with the COP, the HSPF is the ratio of energy consumption to the quantity of heat produced. It is calculated by dividing the amount of heat generated throughout a season (in BTU/hr.) and the electricity consumed (in kW/hr.) by the unit within the same season. 
  • The HSPF is included on the Energy Guide label of every device. 
  • The higher the HSPF, the less energy the unit consumes. For the device to be certified by Energy Star, it must have an HSPF of 7 or higher. 

 

Now What? How Can One Use This Information to Their Benefit?

 

These ratios exist so that you, the consumer, can make an informed choice when shopping for a heating or cooling unit. This energy converter will help you calculate and compare EER into COP and SEER or vice versa. 

It’s also essential to consider the BTU (British Thermal Units) rating.

In Québec, our cold season is much longer than the warmer season. Therefore, it’s beneficial for your unit to have a high HSPF rating. 

To make sure that you choose the right cooling or heating unit for your personal needs and comfort preferences, contact MST. 

Our technicians are experienced in considering all the factors needed in order to suggest the appropriate heat pump for your needs. 

We will ensure a safe and complete installation of your device according to the manufacturers’ specifications. Your comfort is our priority! 

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