|Top-Rated Conventional Heat Pumps|
|Top-Rated Conventional Heat Pumps Conventional (Air-Source) Heat Pumps
Most Energy-Efficient Conventional (Air-Source) Heat Pumps
Central heat pumps provide both cooling in the summer and heating in the winter. However, heat pumps generally do not perform well over extended periods of sub-freezing temperatures. The cooling performance of heat pumps, like that of central air conditioners, is rated according to the seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER). This is the cooling output divided by the power input for a hypothetical average U.S. climate. The higher the SEER, the more efficient the air conditioner. Heating performance is measured by the heating season performance factor (HSPF), a ratio of the estimated seasonal heating output divided by the seasonal power consumption for an average U.S. climate.
The current national efficiency standard for new heat pumps requires a minimum HSPF of 6.8 and a minimum SEER of 10. In 2006, a new standard for central heat pumps will take effect requiring heat pumps to meet a minimum of 13 SEER and 7.7 HSPF.
The heat pumps in our list are grouped by their heating and cooling capacities. In warmer climates, SEER is more important than HSPF; in colder climates, focus on getting the highest HSPF feasible. In addition to our list, you can find guidance on high-performance products at www.energystar.gov and www.cee1.org. For the most efficient equipment, ACEEE recommends SEER at least 14.5 and HSPF in the range of 9.0.
Our list provides manufacturer, trade name, and condenser model. Depending on the indoor unit installed, SEER and HSPF can vary significantly within the ranges provided. When purchasing a new system, check with your contractor or visit the Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute to see the specific SEER and HSPF values for the combination you are considering.