When it’s time for you to shop for a new home comfort system, there are a lot of factors to think about. Is it the correct size for your home? Will it provide the efficiencies you are looking for? How does the system work with your finances? 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 inquiries you have, some HVAC knowledge seems just out of reach. The acronyms and shorthand that industry professionals already know can raise more questions for the average person. Lucky for you, the professionals at North Mechanical 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. You’ll find that the better systems 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. Systems that are highly efficient have an AFUE of 90 or higher. Lennox offers residential furnaces with ratings up to 98.7—the highest in the industry.
Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER): This rating is used in both air conditioners and heat pumps. Similar to AFUE, this ratio compares how much of the fuel used to power an HVAC system is converted to cooling output. The higher your unit’s SEER, the more efficiently it runs.
Minimum SEER ratings change 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 carries air conditioners with SEER ratings up to 26—another industry leading rating.
Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF): Have a heat pump? This is the heating efficiency rating you need to know. 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 allow air and particles to flow through your home. MERV measures the size of the holes. The higher the rating, the smaller the holes in the filter—and fewer particles that get 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 essential 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 regularly.
Finding an HVAC system that fits with your home, your energy efficiency needs and your desired comfort starts with understanding ratings. If you’re ready to find the answer for your home comfort, or you have more questions about system ratings, call the pros at North Mechanical Heating and Cooling. You can reach us at 928-263-8570 We’re happy to answer any questions you have and show you options that can work for your home.