What energy efficiency ratings mean and why they’re important

Technology

More than half of your utility bills in Lake Forest are comprised of the cost to heat and cool your home. To save as much money as you can, you should look for a system that can deliver home comfort as efficiently as possible. The better your system’s energy efficiency, the more your system is doing while using less energy. If you’re looking to upgrade or replace your HVAC equipment, you should understand a handful terms and ratings to be fully informed and get the best energy efficiency possible.

SEER (used to measure cooling efficiency)
The Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, or SEER, rating calculates the cooling efficiency of your equipment at different temperatures. Higher SEER ratings indicate better energy efficiency, and therefore, smaller utility bills. For chillier northern states, The Department of Energy requires a minimum 13 SEER rating. Warmer, southern states must must have a SEER rating of 14 or higher. If your unit has a lower SEER-rating, an upgrade could bring you a valuable spike in energy savings.

AFUE or HSPF (used to measure heating efficiency: gas or electric)
Annualized Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) ratio measures the percentage of heat produced for every dollar of fuel expended—similar the miles per gallon you get from your car. Higher AFUE ratings translate into lower energy costs. So, an AFUE rating of 80 means that 80% of the heat created by your furnace is heating your home, and 20% of the heat is wasted through venting.

The Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF) measures the heating efficiency of heat pumps. It is fundamentally the SEER rating for winter given that it measures only heating efficiency. Like the other ratings, higher numbers mean better energy efficiency.

At 1st Choice Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc., you’ll find equipment with top energy efficiency ratings. We can help you verify the energy efficiency of your current equipment and help you find ways to improve on it and save money—whether with diligent maintenance or with new, more efficient equipment. Just call us at 949-204-0859 or schedule an appointment with us online.

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