Gulfstream AHRI Certification Homework



The GulfStream family of Super-Quiet, High Efficiency Heat Pumps are AHRI Certified.

What is AHRI, who are they?

AHRI stands for the Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute.

This institute operates to standardize the testing and performance data for all heat pumps. Originally, AHRI covered only the Air Conditioning industry. As you know, there are very strict standards and performance requirements for the Air Conditioning Industry. Seer Ratings and Performance data must be factual, accurate and verified.

The Heat Pump Industry is a new industry that was not governed or standardized by ANY group, institutes or standards. This meant that manufacturer’s could report any numbers they wanted to. There was no law or standard requiring them to perform standard tests or answer to any higher authority. So if a heat pump manufacturer reported that his unit is a 120,000 BTU unit, the next guy could simply state “Well mine is 130,000” – whether it was or not!

That’s not good news to the consumer – that’s you! You were basically being asked to “trust” the numbers that manufacturer’s decided to publish. The news for consumers has now changed to GOOD NEWS! Why? Because the heat pump industry has now fallen under the wing of AHRI, and AHRI strictly monitors the data reported on heat pump manufacturers. They not only monitor and verify the data, they actually perform the test on units for ALMOST all the heat pump manufacturer’s.



What a great question. Here’s why MOST do, but some choose not to.

Quality manufacturers WANT to submit to the verification and testing. It let’s you know that they are honest in the numbers and data and performance information they are telling you. It lets you know they’re not afraid to submit to rigid standards and tests and EARN your trust in their performance and reliability. At this point, this testing is not REQUIRED BY LAW.  If a company gets tested , they want you to know that they are telling you the truth to gain your confidence in their product.


Who DOESN’T want to submit to the standards? Why wouldn’t they want to gain my trust?’ 

Why do you think? There can be several reasons. Perhaps the numbers they are reporting are inaccurate or greatly inflated. Without the verification, a manufacturer can print any numbers they want to in their literature, advertising, or on their website. Their salesperson may and tell you a unit is giving you 130,000 BTUs and if you don’t do some research or ask for their  AHRI certification, that manufacturer hopes that you will take his word for it, and not look this information up. He’s hoping you WON’T DO YOUR HOMEWORK!

Also, submitting to the standardized testing program through AHRI costs the manufacturer money.  It’s a nominal fee and that is the cost per heater.

So that – any unit you want verified by AHRI testing standards, meaning all model sizes and versions, for example, 3 phase or heat and cool, etc. You must cover the testing fee each individual model that the manufacturer wants AHRI 1160 Certified, a true “Gold Star” of accuracy and results.

Why else wouldn’t they want to submit to the AHRI Standards? What other risk does the manufacturer face in having their units tested?

The unit could also fail! The manufacturer must address the matter by either going back to the lab to make revisions to the unit and put further capital into developing the unit. Or will simply discontinue the “failed’ unit, a unit which falls short of the AHRI performance standards.

By NOT testing the unit the Manufacturer can simply bypass the expense, risk of having failed units and having to spend more OR take that particular model off the market altogether. And because the AHRI standard is not required, a lesser quality unit would rather avoid the strict scrutiny of AHRI.


Bottom Line: Real Manufacturers Have Their Units AHRI Certified. 


While making your decisions about the purchase of a brand new heat pump to heat your pool, it only makes good sense to consider Heat Pumps that are AHRI 1160 Certified and can produce the Certificate with that units exact model name and number.


AHRI Information is Available to You Online

You can access the AHRI certification yourself on their website and look at all the data, performance test results and all detailed specs directly at the AHRI website.

If you’d like to visit this page and research the units you’re considering, click here!


What Does AHRI Test For? What Are the Tests?

When investigating various heat pump models, the first two things everyone wants to know are, “What are the BTUs and COPs?” These specs, BTUs and COPs are derived by “testing” the heater’s performance based on various temperatures and achieving a specific water/pool temperature of 80 degrees.

The heat pump is required to perform under certain weather and temp conditions. Test 1, the number most people are familiar with, or size by tests a heat pump under these conditions: the heater is tested in an 80 degree, outside air temperature. The humidity is set at 80% and the heater then performs to reach 80 degrees pool water temperature. When it does, BTUs and COPs are then recorded as, for example, 110,000 BTUs and a 6.4 COP. This is the number MOST people refer to when discussing heater size. This test however is not an AHRI test number.This is what’s known as the “80/80/80” test.

AHRI wants performance data based on COLDER temperatures and LOWER humidty,

two things that help make the heater run.

AHRI 1160 Tests the unit in an 80 degree environment, but drops the humidity to 63% – requiring the heat pump to work harder at gaining pool heat. The unit must then achieve 80 degree pool water. In that environment, and at that pool temp, BTUs and COPs are reported again.