Measuring geothermal heat pump efficiency is easy for industry veterans, but most homeowners don’t fit that description. When you aren’t versed in the latest industry jargon it can be difficult to figure out where or how one system might outperform another. Like any other specialized industry with decades of history, the geothermal HVAC business has its own specific terms and phrases that can be downright confusing.
If you’re interested in your installing your own geothermal heat pump system, it pays to learn some of this nomenclature.
Measuring Geothermal Heat Pump Efficiency is All About Terminology
Energy efficiency ratio (EER) is the most important term you need to know when it comes to geothermal heat pumps. EER describes roughly how efficiently a geothermal heat pump is going to operate during a typical cooling season.
When it comes to EER, higher is always better.
If you want to get a read on how efficient a geothermal heat pump is compared to a traditional air conditioner, compare geothermal EER to air-source season energy efficiency ratio (SEER). Like EER, a high SEER rating is always better than a low one, but even a medium range EER rating outperforms a high SEER rating.
In other words, a 13 EER-rated geothermal heat pump is more efficient than an equivalent or higher rated air-source heat pump.
The other main keyword you want to remember for measuring geothermal heat pump efficiency is coefficient of performance (COP). Gas furnaces, electric heaters, geothermal heat pumps, and other heating systems use COP to rate energy efficiency during heating applications.
Like EER, a higher COP is better than a lower one. The higher it is, the more you save during those cold winter months.
In short, the best way to ensure you get the efficiency you want from a geothermal heat pump is to choose a system with high EER and COP ratings. The higher those two ratings, the more money you’ll save over the long term.