The cooling efficiency of a heat pump, like an air conditioner, is measured by its SEER. Because (unlike an air conditioner) a heat pump has a heating capacity, its heating efficiency is measured by the unit's HSPF. The minimum SEER rating for heat pumps was raised – by the U.S. Dept of Energy – in 2015 to 14; the minimum HSPF is now 8.2.
The indoor unit in a heat pump or all electric system is referred to as the air handler. The air handler consists of a blower motor, evaporator coil and auxiliary heat package. A common misconception is that this unit is the home's primary source of heat when - in reality - it is only a back-up. All manufacturers now – as mandated by the US Dept of Energy in 2019 – offer indoor electric air handlers with a high efficient ECM blower.
Because of the high cost of electricity & because in central Ohio we heat 7 or 8 months out of the year, we at Hetter Heating & Cooling recommend, when purchasing a heat pump, focus on a unit with an HSPF of at least 9.0 or higher. For more information, go to www.trane.com, www.tempstar.com, www.ruud.com.