What is the COP of a heat pump?

How is the COP calculated on a heat pump?

If you’re looking for a wall-mounted or central heat pump, you’ve probably heard the word or abbreviation COP. The term COP stands for Coefficient of Performance.

The COP is actually a ratio of energy consumption versus the amount of heat produced by a heat pump or other device. Each device is evaluated according to their heating performance using the COP. In other words, the higher the COP, the more the device will give you a calorific power in heating. Now, it is important to understand that the COP is only a way to measure the efficiency of your heat pump for “heating” and is not applicable for the cooling data of air conditioners.

The energy efficiency COP is the ratio between the maximum heating power in (kW/h) divided by the gross energy consumption of the appliance (kW/h). This calculation can be used regardless of the outside temperature. Typically manufacturers will state performance at the following temperatures: 47ºF(8.3ºC), 32ºF(0ºC), 17ºF(-8.3ºC) and 5ºF(-15ºC). Each temperature has a different COP because the heat pump is affected by the cold outside. So it is normal for a heat pump to have a lower COP at low temperatures.

Example:
A heat pump has a COP of 3 at an outside temperature of 17ºF (-8.3ºC).
This means that your heat pump will consume (1 kW/h) for a heating power of (3 kW/h).
Here’s why heat pumps are so effective at saving heating energy.

All heat pumps have COP but some manufacturers do not display their technical data.

Does the Coefficient of Performance (COP) matter? Absolutely !

At first glance, the term COP doesn’t mean much, but if you compare the different rates, there can be a huge difference in energy consumption between heaters over a 10-year lifespan. . However, it is extremely important to weigh the investment costs of purchasing the device against the profitability of the device in the medium term. It is obvious that it is useless to buy a device with a very high COP (which are generally quite expensive high-end units) if you intend to move within 2-3 years, because it is the next owner of your home who will benefit from the energy savings of your heat pump.

If you plan to stay in your home for several years, buying a heat pump with a higher COP will have several benefits for your heating bill.

Appliances with a higher COP are usually considered “high end” appliances so your appliance will also have a higher SEER. This will save you money for the air conditioning season (what is SEER?). It is also important to consider the HSPF of heat pumps if you live in Quebec, because we must not forget that we have about 3-4 months of summer and 8-9 months of cold weather. HSPF will save you more on energy consumption compared to SEER. (What is HSPF?)

Appliances with a high COP are generally built by recognized manufacturers in the industry who have several years of experience in the design of heating appliances (heat pump). To obtain a high COP, manufacturers must use the best parts and components in order to obtain high performance efficiencies. So this assures you that your device is built with quality materials.

Finally, buying a heat pump is not an easy task, particularly because of their acquisition costs. It is therefore important that you are well advised according to your needs, your current situation and your budget.