Everybody wants to make their home as energy-efficient as possible. And many homeowners likely know that some HVAC systems are more efficient than others. But did you know how heating and cooling system efficiency is measured? There are certain ratings that serve to differentiate the most energy-efficient systems available from the rest of the pack. Knowing about these ratings – SEER ratings, AFUE ratings, HSPF ratings and BTU – can help you better understand the type of HVAC system you have in your home…and whether or not it is the most efficient and cost-effective system for your needs.
About Energy Efficiency Ratings
Facts about SEER ratings (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio)
SEER ratings determine your HVAC system’s overall efficiency. They measure the rate at which a cooling system uses energy to cool your home. SEER ratings are numerical values that, in modern systems produced after 1992, typically range from 13 to 23; the higher the rating the more efficient the system. More information about SEER ratings – including a comprehensive list of systems – can be found at www.ahrinet.org.
Our goal at Southern Air has always been to provide our customers with the most efficient HVAC systems available. We offer heating and cooling systems that boast SEER ratings that run the spectrum, but we can guarantee that all of the systems we provide will help save you energy and money.
It’s important to note that although it’s in an HVAC system manufacturer’s best interests to achieve the highest possible SEER rating at the lowest possible cost, we do not share this motivation. At Southern Air we perform detailed analysis of your home and take several factors into consideration, including regional weather conditions, to determine the best possible solution for your unique needs. We then identify, match and install cooling system components to meet those needs…all while ensuring they obtain the highest possible SEER ratings.
Facts about AFUE ratings (Annual Fuel Utilization of Efficiency)
AFUE ratings are used in the monitoring of gas and oil heating systems. These are not hard numbers; rather, they are measured in percentages. AFUE ratings can be influenced by a number of factors, including the system’s inability to completely capture heat within your home. As an example, a gas furnace with an AFUE rating of 80% may cost you $.20 for each dollar you spend on heating bills. As with SEER ratings, a higher AFUE rating indicates a more energy efficient, cost-effective system.
When it gets cold in Louisiana – and as we all know, it can get cold here – you want a heating system that’s as efficient as possible. That’s why we strive to offer HVAC systems that maintain the highest possible AFUE ratings. After all, we want to keep both you and your wallet comfortable.
Facts about HSPF ratings (Heating Season Performance Factor)
HSPF ratings measure the rate at which an electric heat pump uses energy to heat your home. A minimum HSPF rating of 8.2 is considered high-efficiency, but HSPF ratings go all the way up to 9.35. As with SEER ratings and AFUE ratings, the higher the HSPF rating, the more efficient the system.
Again, Southern Air technicians use a variety of techniques and resources, including the monitoring of weather conditions, to determine the best, most efficient heating system for your needs. And we pride ourselves on offering very high-efficiency heat pumps with high HSPF ratings. We’ll be happy to provide you with a system that keeps you warm without draining your checking account.
Facts about BTU (British Thermal Unit)
BTU’s – or British Thermal Units – measure heat energy. A single BTU is the amount of energy needed to heat a pound of water one degree Fahrenheit.
BTU’s are an important measurement because they help determine whether or not your heating system is producing the right amount of energy to heat your home’s air. Southern Air’s team of professionals use methods to accurately measure BTU in order to ensure your system is working at maximum efficiency.
Facts about purchasing an HVAC system for your home
Knowing about HVAC system energy efficiency ratings is well and good, but there are two more things you should remember when purchasing any HVAC system:
Equipment selection is key.
Southern Air takes great care to ensure that all parts and components match-up well with each other. Not doing so would run the risk of your HVAC system working improperly and inefficiently…something we all want to avoid!
Proper installation is extremely important.
Remember: the most important day in the life of an HVAC system is the day it’s installed. It’s disconcerting to know the National Comfort Institute estimates that most HVAC systems get installed incorrectly, running at only 57 percent potential capacity. That’s a lot of efficiency that’s being left up in the air, so to speak. An improperly installed system isn’t going to do anyone any good. That’s why we take care to make sure when we install a system, it’s installed right – the first time, every time.
When you combine the expense of having a new HVAC system installed with the number of choices that are out there, selecting a heating and cooling system for your home can be a daunting task. Remember: while the upfront costs of purchasing and installing a new system may seem pricey, that’s nothing compared to the money that you will likely spend over the lifetime of the system. Purchasing the most cost-effective, efficient HVAC system now will help ease that monetary pain later on. It’s our hope that the points illustrated here will give you a better idea of how to do just that.
If you’d like more information about SEER ratings, AFUE ratings, HSPF ratings, or BTU – or would like to speak with a Southern Air representative about how to make your home more energy efficient – contact us today.