If you are looking for a new heating and cooling system, you have to consider a lot of factors. Is it the right 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 space? How will it impact the air quality? That’s a lot to think about. On top of all the inquiries you have, some HVAC knowledge seems just out of reach. The acronyms and shorthand that industry professionals already know can be confusing for the average homeowner. Fortunately, the professionals at B & B Heating & Cooling 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 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 makes 85 percent of the fuel used into useable heat. If you are looking for a highly efficient system, you’ll want one that has 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. A lot like AFUE, this ratio compares how much of the fuel used to power an HVAC system is converted to cooling output. The higher the SEER rating, the more efficient your system is operating.
Minimum SEER ratings vary 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. A higher rating indicates a more efficient heat pump. If you want to find a solution 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 circulate within your indoor space. 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 enter into your home. If you’re looking for a more efficient filter, find one with a MERV rating of 10 or higher.
Air filters are critical to the quality of air in your home. Make sure to find the rating that works with your home, with your system and change the filter frequently.
Keeping these ratings in mind as you begin looking for a new system will help ensure you find one that meets your needs and will work with your home. 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 B & B Heating & Cooling. You can reach us at 314-325-7552 We’ll work with you to find the best solution and get to the bottom of all your questions.