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? How does the system work with your finances? Will the HVAC system be quiet enough for your space? 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 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 homeowner. Luckily, the experts at Age Heating & Cooling 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. A better system will have a higher percentage of heat used.
If your system has an AFUE rating of 85, that means the system turns 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): This rating is used in both air conditioners and heat pumps. A lot like AFUE, this ratio measures how much of the fuel used to power a heating and cooling system is converted to cooling output. The higher your unit’s SEER, the more efficiently it runs.
Minimum SEER ratings change between regions. High efficiency models are generally more expensive, but they provide more energy savings. Lennox carries air conditioners with SEER ratings up to 26—another industry leading rating.
Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF): Have a heat pump? This will be what you’ll want to take a look at as far as heating efficiency. A higher rating indicates a more efficient heat pump. If you want to find a solution that’s ENERGY STAR® efficient, then look for a model with 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 circulate through your home. 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 enter into your home. If you’re wanting a more efficient filter, find one with a MERV rating of 10 or higher.
Air filters are key to keeping the air in your home clean and comfortable. Make sure to find the rating that works with your home, with your system and change the filter on a consistent basis.
Keeping these ratings in mind as you begin looking for a new system will help ensure you find one that meets your needs and will work with your home. If you’re ready to find the best solution, or you have more questions about system ratings, call the pros at Age Heating & Cooling. You can reach us at 208-578-4258 We’re happy to answer any questions you have and show you options that can work for your home.