When you’re searching for a new HVAC system, you have a lot of different features to think about. 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 home? Will it be beneficial for your indoor air quality? It can be overwhelming. On top of all the inquiries you have, 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. Lucky for you, the team at Forster Heating 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. 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. A system with an AFUE of 90 or higher is considered high efficiency. 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. Much like 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 differ 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): Do you own a heat pump or plan to shop for one? This will be what you’ll want to take a look at as far as heating efficiency. 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 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 wanting a more efficient filter, find one with a MERV rating of 10 or higher.
Air filters are essential 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 regularly.
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 team at Forster Heating. You can reach us at 530-885-8081 We’ll work with you to find the best solution and get to the bottom of all your questions.