What energy efficiency ratings mean and why they're important

January 10, 2017

The cost to heat and cool your home totals more than half of your utility bills. That’s why it’s so important to find a system that provides quality comfort in your Auburn home while still remaining energy efficient. Higher energy efficiency means your system is working well while using less energy. Whether you are considering a replacement air conditioner or furnace or thinking to upgrade your existing equipment to be more energy efficient, there are some ratings to know that will help you during the search. So what exactly do those energy efficiency ratings represent?

SEER (used to measure cooling efficiency)
SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. The SEER rating takes into consideration the competence of your unit at different temperatures, or rather, seasonally in Auburn. A higher SEER rating indicates a higher energy efficiency, which will translate into less expensive utility bills. The Department of Energy demands a minimum 13 SEER-rating for cooler states in the north and a 14 SEER-rating minimum for hotter, southern states. If your home has an mature unit with a lower SEER-rating, you could see extreme energy savings after an modern system.

AFUE or HSPF (used to measure heating efficiency: gas or electric)
AFUE stands for Annualized Fuel Utilization Efficiency ratio and it finds the percentage of heat produced for every dollar of fuel used. You can look at it as the MPG on your car. The greater the AFUE-rating, the less your energy costs. If your furnace has a AFUE rating of 80, that means that 80% of the heat produced is exhausted to heat the home, while 20% of the heat is wasted through venting.

HSPF stands for the Heating Seasonal Performance Factor and operates to measure the heating productivity of heat pumps. It is the SEER rating for winter as it only determines your unit’s heating productivity. Like the others, the greater the number, the extra energy efficient the heat pump.

Forster Heating in Auburn offers equipment with the highest energy efficiency ratings. If you are uncertain what the energy ratings are of the system in your home we would be happy to help you better understand to keep your home comfy, while saving money. Give us a call at 530-885-8081 to schedule an appointment with us.