HVAC-industry acronyms like AFUE, SEER and HSPF may look like Greek to you. However, decoding their meanings can help you increase your home’s energy efficiency. Armed with this knowledge, you’ll be able to do a little comparison shopping and find the most suitable system that matches your home’s HVAC needs.
Here’s what the AFUE, SEER and HSPF terms mean for your heating and cooling system:
- AFUE. Fuel efficiency rates for your furnace are expressed in percentages as AFUE – Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency. The AFUE rating lets you know what percentage of heat your system delivers from each unit of fuel. The higher the AFUE rating, the more efficient your furnace. In the Monmouth County area, a condensing furnace may be the most energy-efficient option. For example, installing a condensing furnace with a 90 AFUE rating instead a conventional furnace with an 80 AFUE rating saves you 10 percent on your utility bills.
- SEER. Your air conditioner’s energy performance is measured by SEER — the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. An air conditioner’s BTU units represent its cooling capacity. When the BTU is compared to the kilowatt hours of electricity consumption, the result is your air conditioner’s SEER value. A SEER value of 15 or greater defines a high-efficiency system.
- HSPF. To find the energy efficiency rating for heat pumps, look for HSPF — the Heating Seasonal Performance Factor. The higher the rating, the more energy-efficient the heat pump. Although the HSPF rating does not reveal how a particular heat pump may perform in your home, it compares the performance potential of different systems.
With this basic knowledge of AFUE, SEER and HSPF terms, you’ll be better equipped to ask questions of your contractor. Be sure to hire only NATE-certified technicians for all your heating and cooling jobs. These technicians have undergone specialized training to learn how to calculate heating and cooling loads properly.
In the Monmouth County area, Aggressive Mechanical Contractors, Inc. is happy to answer all your HVAC questions. We’ll help you decode the meanings behind all the abbreviated terms so that you can get the best value for your energy dollars.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Monmouth County, New Jersey and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about AFUE, SEER, HSPF and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.