HSPF Rating Explaining: Measuring And Calculating HSPF For Heat Pumps

HSPF Rating

Heating Seasonal Performance Factor or HSPF is the most important rating metric for all heating equipment, including furnaces, heat pumps, and water heaters.

Heating and cooling equipment contain several technical details, and you might feel it is tough to understand those abbreviations printed on the product and user manual.

This article will provide fundamental insight into HSPF ratings that will help to understand your heating devices. Let us start our explanation of HSPF with a definition and then continue with its related information.

What is HSPF Rating?

HSPF measures the efficiency of the heating pumps. The heat pump’s high efficiency will result in higher ratings and vice-versa.

If heat pumps function better, your entire unit will run at optimum capacity. Therefore, there will be significant savings on energy consumption and monthly power bills.

The Process To Measure HSPF Ratings

Heat pump system functions as both heating and cooling equipment for your house. Different metrics indicate that organizations publish heat pump efficiency separately for cooling and heating functions.

When your heat pump works as a heating unit at home, it is denoted in Heating Seasonal Performance Factor Ratings. Think HSPF as a mile per gallon for your vehicle. 

It is measured through the total quantity of heat available during the heating season about the amount of electricity consumed by the heat pump over the same time frame. HSPF ratings also take into account temperature changes outside.

Minimum and Maximum HSPF Ratings according to the U.S. Department of Energy

The U.S. Department of Energy has fixed a minimum of 8.2 HSPF ratings for residential, split-system, and air-source heat pumps.

According to the Federal Government HSPF, 10 and higher is a high-efficiency heat pump. Some leading companies provide air source heat pumps with HSPF ratings up to 13.

Heat pumps with HSPF ratings of 8.2 and SEER rating of 12 or more above get the Energy Star certification from the U.S. EPA.

How To Measure HSPF Rating?

HSPF is a method to calculate energy efficiency, especially during the Winters. We can calculate heating effects through heating ability in BTUs or British Thermal Units and electricity consumption for heating through unit kilowatt-hours (kWh).


For example; a home with 1200 sq. ft. area for December, January, and February (three months of the Winter). You consumed 15,000 kWh energy and generated 120,000,000 BTU of the heating effect.

Now we will use these data to calculate the HSPF rating below:

HSPF=Heating Effect (in British Thermal Unit)/Electricity consumed (in watt-hours)

For Watt-hours conversion from Kilo watt-hours: 1 kWh equals 1,000 Wh

HSPF Ratings= 120,000,000 BTU/15,000,000 Wh =8

Cost Calculation of Popular Heat-Pump Brand: Initial Cost and Lifetime Savings

Outdoor Model No.CapacityHSPFAnnual Energy Use (kWh)Annual Cost (National Average)*Lifetime Cost to Operate**% Savings over Federal Minimum
AirEase – Pro Series 20LX 23,000101,850$202$2,42030%
Amans (AVZC200241A)23,400101835.2$200$2,40032%
Bryant (280ANV024*0**A*)24,200102,029$221$2,65427%
Coleman (HC20B6021)53,0010.504,307.6$470$5,63429%


An efficient heat pump improves the overall performance of the equipment. If you are looking for heating equipment to shield against winters, always opt for high HSPF ratings. 

HSPF 8 and above is the mark of quality. A well-performing unit lasts longer than cheaper units. Try to bear the initial extra cost to save on utility bills throughout the unit’s life. Refer to the passage and bring home an HVAC product with a high Heating Seasonal Performance Factor.

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