When you’re searching for a new HVAC system, there are a lot of factors to think about. Is it the correct size for your home? Will it be energy efficient? Is the price point one you’re comfortable with? Will the system be quiet enough for your space? What kind of air quality can you expect? It can be overwhelming. On top of all the questions you have, some HVAC knowledge seems just out of reach. The acronyms and shorthand that industry professionals may include can raise more questions for the average person. Luckily, the team at Bishop Heating & Air Conditioning are breaking down the system ratings to provide more education as you head into the purchasing process:
Annualized Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE): This efficiency rating is a ratio that links how much of the fuel you use in your furnace to the amount turned into useable heat. The higher the percentage of heat used, the better the system rating.
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 has 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. Similar to AFUE, this ratio looks at how much of the fuel used to power a home comfort system is converted to cooling output. The higher the SEER rating, the more efficient your system is operating.
Minimum SEER ratings change between regions. High efficiency models are generally more expensive, but they provide more energy savings. Lennox offers air conditioners with SEER ratings up to 26—another industry leading rating.
Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF): Looking into heat pumps? This will be what you’ll want to take a look at as far as heating efficiency. The higher your heat pump is rated, the more efficient it is. 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 permit air and particles to move around the house. MERV measures the size of the holes. The higher the rating, the smaller the holes in the filter—and the fewer debris particles that get into your home. If you’re seeking a more efficient filter, find one with a MERV rating of 10 or higher.
Air filters are key to keeping the air in your home clean and comfortable. Make sure to find the rating that works with your home, with your system and change the filter regularly.
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 pros at Bishop Heating & Air Conditioning. You can reach us at 760-784-9034 We’re here to answer your questions and get you on the path to home comfort.