If you are looking for a new heating and cooling system, you have to consider a lot of factors. Is it the appropriate size for your home? Will it provide the efficiencies you are looking for? Is the price point one you’re comfortable with? Will the system be quiet enough for your house? What kind of air quality can you expect? It can be overwhelming. On top of all the factors you want to learn more about, some HVAC knowledge seems just out of reach. The acronyms and shorthand that industry professionals use can be confusing for the average person. Lucky for you, the team at Smyth Air Conditioning Inc are breaking down the system ratings to give you a better understanding as you begin shopping:
Annualized Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE): This efficiency rating is a ratio that compares how much of the fuel you use in your furnace to the amount turned into useable heat. A better system will have a higher percentage of heat used.
If your system has an AFUE rating of 85, that means the system turns 85 percent of the fuel used into useable heat. Systems that are highly efficient have an AFUE of 90 or higher. Lennox carries residential furnaces with ratings up to 98.7—the highest in the industry.
Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER): The SEER rating is used to measure both heat pumps and air conditioners. Much like AFUE, this ratio compares how much of the fuel used to power a heating and cooling system is converted to cooling output. A more efficient system will have a higher SEER rating.
Minimum SEER ratings differ between regions. A high efficiency model that provides more energy savings in the long run will generally be a little more expensive. Lennox offers air conditioners with SEER ratings up to 26—another industry leading rating.
Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF): Looking into heat pumps? This is the rating to keep in mind. You’ll want to look for heat pumps with a higher rating if efficiency is your goal. If you are in the market for a heat pump that’s ENERGY STAR® efficient, you’ll need a rating above an 8.2—as well as a SEER rating above 12.
Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV): Air filters have holes that allow air and particles to flow around the house. MERV takes a look at the size of the holes. The higher the rating, the smaller the holes in the filter—and the fewer debris particles that make their way into your home. If you’re wanting a more efficient filter, find one with a MERV rating of 10 or higher.
Air filters are critical to indoor air quality. Make sure to find the rating that works with your home, with your system and change the filter on a consistent basis.
Finding an HVAC system that fits with your home, your energy efficiency needs and your desired comfort starts with understanding ratings. If you’re ready to find the model that will work for you, or you have more questions about system ratings, call the experts at Smyth Air Conditioning Inc. You can reach us at 561-533-6066 We’ll work with you to find the best solution and get to the bottom of all your questions.