If you are looking for a new heating and cooling system, you have a lot of different features to think about. Is it the appropriate size for your home? Is it energy efficient? Will it work with your budget? Will the HVAC system be quiet enough for your house? Will it be beneficial for your indoor air quality? That’s a lot to think about. On top of all the factors you want to learn more about, some HVAC knowledge seems just out of reach. The acronyms and shorthand that industry professionals may include can raise more questions for the average individual. Luckily, the professionals at Street Heating and 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 links 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 turns 85 percent of the fuel used into useable heat. A system with an AFUE of 90 or higher is considered high efficiency. Lennox carries residential furnaces with ratings up to 98.7—the highest in the industry.
Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER): Both heat pumps and air conditioners use this rating. Much like 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 vary between regions. Choosing a high efficiency model may be more expensive on the front end, but you’ll see greater energy savings throughout the years. Lennox offers air conditioners with SEER ratings up to 26—another industry leading rating.
Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF): Have a heat pump? This is the rating to keep in mind. A higher rating indicates a more efficient heat pump. If you are in the market for a heat pump that’s ENERGY STAR® efficient, then look for a model with 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 flow within your indoor space. MERV measures the size of the holes. The higher the rating, the smaller the holes in the filter—and a decrease in the number of particles that make their way 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 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 frequently.
These ratings will be important as you search for a solution that meets your needs. If you’re ready to find the best solution, or you have more questions about system ratings, call the pros at Street Heating and Cooling. You can reach us at 605-206-3915 We’re happy to answer any questions you have and show you options that can work for your home.