Heating and Cooling Efficiency Ratings Explained
In your quest to find your ideal heating or cooling system, you will encounter several important industry-standard efficiency ratings. The higher efficiency of your product, the lower your long-term energy costs will be. And as always, the experts at All Seasons Inc. can also help you choose the heating and cooling products that are right for you.
SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio)
SEER rating is the measurement of efficiency of the cooling process of air conditioners and heat pumps. The higher the SEER number, the greater the efficiency—and therefore greater energy savings. Today, U.S. regulatory agencies require all new products to have a 13.0 SEER rating or better. Carrier’s full line of air conditioners offers SEER ratings of 13.0 to 21.
AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency)
AFUE is the standard measurement of efficiency for gas fired furnaces and boilers. Given in percentages, this number tells you how much of your fuel you use to heat your home and how much fuel you waste. The higher the AFUE rating, the greater the efficiency. All Seasons offers a full line of gas furnaces and boilers with AFUE ratings ranging from the minimum industry requirement of 78% to more than 96%.
Cost Savings: If you have an older furnace (with an AFUE of approximately 60%), you could save up to 40% on your heating bills by replacing it with a new high efficiency furnace! The cost to replace your old, inefficient furnace will pay you back through lower utility bills.
HSPF (Heating Seasonal Performance Factor)
HSPF is the efficiency measurement we use to gauge the heating efficiency of heat pumps. The higher the number, the greater the efficiency and cost-savings. Today’s models are require 6.8 HSPF. All Seasons Inc. offers heat pumps with HSPF ratings ranging from 6.8 to 9.5.
Cost Savings. Higher efficiency in heat pumps and air conditioners usually means higher equipment cost but lower utility bills. If you live in a warm and/or humid climate, you will probably see the higher cost of a high efficiency air conditioner or heat pump pay you back back (through lower utility bills) in a few short years. Ask your sales consultant to help you determine about how long it will take you to recover the additional cost in energy savings. Of course, after the payback, you will continue to save on your energy bills.
FER (Fan Efficiency Ratio)
July 3rd, 2019, US department of Energy implements a new standard for residential furnaces called “FER”. For years, furnace blower motors we designed with PSC (permanent split capacitor) motors. Although these are proven reliable, modern technology reduces energy consumption of electric driven motors by over 50%. We take into consideration the electric consumption of blower motors for the overall SEER and HSPF ratings. Now we have a standard to take the fan efficiency into consideration for electric, gas, and oil furnaces. For more information about FER standards, please visit www.ecfr.gov
Matching Your System for Optimum Efficiency
One additional factor that affects the efficiency of your air conditioning or heat pump system is your indoor coil. If your condensing unit is not matched with the proper indoor coil, it may not give you a true SEER and/or HSPF ratings. This may even develop future problems with performance. When you replace an existing system, make sure you replace your coil at the same time, so your new heat pump or air conditionert will give you optimal performance, efficiency and comfort.