The federal government requires manufacturers of heating and cooling systems to label each unit with an energy efficiency rating. This helps consumers make an educated decision when they are comparing various HVAC systems that are in the market today. It is important for you to understand what these ratings mean. Knowing what the ratings me can help you can make the best long term decision based on your specific needs. By making a smart choice now, you can continue to save money throughout the lifetime of your new heating or cooling equipment.
Heat Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF)
All new heat pumps are labeled with a HSPF ranging from 7.7 to 10. This number reflects the energy consumed in watt-hours divided by its seasonal heat output expressed in British Thermal Units (BTU). Only heat pumps manufactured prior to 2005 should have a HSPF less than 7.7.
Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER)
When the heat pump is used for cooling in the summer, its energy efficiency is measured by a Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating (SEER). This rating is always used for air conditioners. As of January 2006, air conditioners and heat pumps must have a minimum SEER rating of 13. Newer models may having a SEER of 20 or even higher.
Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE)
This rating is used to measure the efficiency of gas and oil furnaces and is typically expressed in whole percentages. For example, a furnace with an 80 percent AFUE rating utilizes four-fifths of the fuel available to it when heating your home. The remaining 20 percent is vented outdoors during the process of converting fuel to heat. You can now purchase a residential furnace with an AFUE rating as high as 98.7 percent.
Raising The Standards
In 2016 the United Stated government introduced a new minimum SEER standard for most of the country which is great news because newer air conditioner systems are more efficiency and therefore have less of an impact on the environment. We hope this trend continues to drive manufacturers to also increase their standards and to improve the technology to provide even more efficient products in the future. If you want to get the full details on the year to year changes, learn more about comparing SEER or EER (energy efficiency ratings) and how much you can expect to save with a higher SEER system, then you can click here to check out the latest article from our friends over at Furnace Compare that has all the up to date information. You can also visit FurnaceCompare.com for unbiased reviews and articles on many HVAC related products.
We’re Here to Help
All the these labels can get confusing at times. That is why the team National Air Warehouse is here! We know that purchasing a new air conditioner, heat pump, or furnace is a major decision. Our staff is happy to answer any questions you have about a particular unit prior to purchase, including explaining its energy efficiency rating. Reach out by email, or by phone with your inquiries and we will he glad to assist you or answer any questions you may have.