When it’s time for you to shop for a new home comfort system, you have to consider a lot of factors. Is it the appropriate size for your home? Will it provide the efficiencies you are looking for? 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? You have a lot to think about when considering the best solution. 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 already know can be confusing for the average person. Fortunately, the professionals at Bain Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc are breaking down the system ratings you need to know before making a purchase:
Annualized Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE): This efficiency rating is a ratio that associates 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 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 offers 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 measures 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 change between regions. A high efficiency model that provides more energy savings in the long run will generally be a little more expensive. Lennox makes 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. The higher your heat pump is rated, the more efficient it is. If you are in the market for a heat pump that’s ENERGY STAR® efficient, that requires a rating above an 8.2—as well as a SEER rating above 12.
Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV): Air filters have holes that let air and particles to move around the house. 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 indoor air quality. Make sure to find the rating that works with your home, with your system and change the filter regularly.
These ratings will be important as you search for a solution that meets your needs. If you’re ready to find the answer for your home comfort, or you have more questions about system ratings, call the pros at Bain Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. You can reach us at 256-270-1196 We’re happy to answer any questions you have and show you options that can work for your home.