Heat Pumps: SEER vs. HSPF

When the time comes to install a new heating and cooling system, it’s especially important to understand the heat pump’s efficiency ratings. This article from the Phoenix HVAC specialists at Precision Air and Heating will give you a better understanding of the ratings, SEER and HSPF.


  • Stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio
  • Applies ONLY to cooling
  • Currently, the minimum SEER you can buy is 13


  • Stands for Heating Season Performance Factor
  • Is a heating pump’s efficiency rating for winter
  • The minimum HSPF available is 7.7

Because heat pumps heat and cool (they are essentially air conditioners with reverse valves that make them run backward in the winter) each function gets its own rating: SEER and HSPF. If the SEER rating is high, the HSPF will be too– but if your heating load is higher than your cooling load, focus on finding a pump with a greater HSPF. Here are a few other tips that will help you choose:

  • Look at your energy bills for the last year or two and determine whether you use heating or cooling most.
  • Enlist a Phoenix heating repair contractor to calculate your home’s energy rating, which shows your home’s annual heating and cooling loads.
  • If you use heating more, go above the minimum HSPF rating and choose a heat pump with a rating of 8 or more.
  • Consider purchasing a thermostat with adaptive recovery, which minimizes your use of supplemental heat in the winter.
  • Air sealing, insulation, and attic ventilation also reduce the amount of heating and cooling your home requires.

If you’d like to speak with an HVAC specialist about heat pumps, attic ventilation, or other aspects of Phoenix heating repair, contact Precision Air and Heating today. We carry a comprehensive range of heating and cooling products and offer helpful maintenance services like furnace tune ups and preventative plans. For all your Phoenix HVAC and attic ventilation needs, call 602-fix-my-ac or schedule an appointment online.