What Do The SEER, HSPF, and AFUE HVAC Efficiency Ratings Mean?

Whether you’re buying a new home or investing in a new heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system for an older house, you don’t want to make the wrong move. A smart investment requires a little research, but you’ll thank yourself when you see a dip in your energy bills and enjoy a longer-lasting HVAC system. A few things to plan for is your budget and what type of system your going to use, but the most important consideration is the efficiency rating for your new system. The efficiency rating will inform you how much you will be spending to heat and cool your home for years to come. 

What is Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER)?

The SEER rating of a unit is the cooling output during a typical cooling-season divided by the total electric energy input during the same period. A higher SEER rating means greater energy efficiency. The minimum standard SEER is 13 for air conditioners. Most modern air conditioners have a SEER that ranges from 13 to 21. It’s important to remember the efficiency of your system can also depend on the size of your home your current duct work and other variables. The upfront cost of a high SEER will in the long-term save you money on your energy bills.

What is Heating Season Performance Factor (HSPF)?

The higher the HSPF rating of a unit, the more energy efficient it is. HSPF is a ratio of BTU heat output over the heating season to watt-hours of electricity used. It has units of BTU/watt-h. This rating is specific to heat pumps. It is a rating that is used to measure the efficiency with which a heat pump heats your home. HSPF is basically the SEER rating for winter.

What is Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE)?

Annual fuel utilization efficiency. … For example, a 90% AFUE for a gas furnace means it outputs 90 BTUs of useful heating for every 100 BTUs of natural gas input (where the rest may be wasted heat in the exhaust). A higher AFUE means higher efficiency. This measurement is used for both furnaces and boilers. The higher the AFUE rating the more efficient the system will operate. Just remember efficiency and affordability are not interchangeable. An electric furnace will operate in the 95%-100% range however it may still cost more to run because gas is more affordable than electricity.

Are You Ready to Make a Smart Investment in an HVAC System?

Lots of new terms and information to understand. The good news is call a good professional to help you. Our team will have the answers. It is a major investment and you deserve the best return for your investment as possible.

Contact us (859-918-5400) for a Consultation!

About Phoenix Comfort Systems

Phoenix Comfort provides a full range of air conditioning and heating repair, installation, and maintenance services for residential and commercial customers. We keep your air conditioning and heating systems in their best condition and ready to go when you need them most, following the industry’s “best practice” methods and standards. Phoenix Comfort carries a full line of quiet, energy-efficient air conditioning and heating equipment.
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