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How Is the Efficiency of Heating and Cooling Equipment Measured?

Helms Heating & Air Conditioning - Thursday, March 24, 2016
HVAC Technician Inspecting System

Everyone is trying to reduce their carbon footprint and find creative ways to increase energy efficiency, especially when it comes to our homes. It’s easy to see when we’re using less energy on our monthly utility bills, but what about when choosing the right heating and cooling equipment? It can be confusing. Here’s a quick guide to the efficiency ratings of heating and cooling equipment.

Energy Star Ratings

This is one of the rating systems most people have heard of or are familiar with. The Energy Star Rating was developed by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) to reduce energy use nationwide. It's based on the measured performance of the HVAC equipment, the energy savings over time, and the difference in energy use between high-efficiency equipment and less efficient equipment.

SEER Ratings

SEER, or Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, is used when rating cooling systems for energy efficiency. It’s a ratio that indicates how much cooling capacity the system has for every dollar needed for the electricity it takes to run the equipment. The higher the SEER rating is, the more efficient the cooling system.

HSPF and AFUE Ratings

These two types of energy efficiency ratings are for heating systems. HSPF, or Heating Seasonal Performance Factor, is used to rate heat pumps, and AFUE, or Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency, is used for measuring the energy efficiency of furnace units. Both compare the amount of heat provided for the amount of fuel used to produce that heat, be it gas or electricity. In both, the higher the rating is, the more energy efficient the equipment.

Understanding your energy consumption is a great way to be environmentally conscious while also saving money on your utility bills. For more information on energy efficiency ratings and HVAC systems, contact the experts at Helms Heating and Air Conditioning.