We recently had the question “So many brands of mini-splits on the market how do I separate the good From the bad the.”
This is a GREAT question and it’s one that is on a lot of Nova Scotia homeowners minds. It is possible to compare similar sized units and determine which is better than the others for your home. You just need to know a few key areas to compare.
We’re going to show you what information you need and how to compare it in this article.
There are several ratings for heat pumps:
- Operating Temperature
While many manufacturers talk about SEER (seasonal energy efficiency rating) this rating has more to do with air conditioning then heating. We suggest you compare the HSPF ratings instead. A higher HSPF rating means lower cost of operation.
If a model doesn’t disclose HSPF you should seek out the HSPF rating number.
An example HSPF rating is 13.8 for the 12,000 BTU Fujitsu 12RLS3 or LG Prestige 12,000 BTU unit has an HSPF of 11.8.
COP – Coefficient of Performance
COP stands for coefficient of performance. This rating, in a nutshell, measures how efficient a machine is compared to electric resistance heating. So a rating of 1 means you put one unit of electricity in and get one unit of heat out. A rating of 2 means you put one unit of electricity in and get two units of heat out and so on.
COP is calculated at a certain temperature for units so that you can compare them apples to apples. In real operation COP varies based on the outdoor temperature. As it gets colder the COP drops, which leads us to the next point to compare.
Example COP’s are 4.64 at -8.3° C for the 12,000 BTU Fujitsu RLS3 or 4.62
Heating Capacity at Low Outdoor Temperatures
This is a BIG one to compare. A unit can say it operates to -20°, -25° or even lower, but the real question is at that temperature how much heat is the machine still producing.
A highly efficient machine will still be producing 90% or better of its total capacity. For example, a 12,000 BTU machine should be able to produce 10,800 to 11,000 BTU’s at low outdoor temperatures.
We’ve done some homework on this and have created a “cheat sheet” you can use to compare some of the most popular 9,000 12,000 and 15,000 BTU heat pumps brands and models.