What Efficiency Ratings Mean for You
Thursday, July 14, 2016
At Crane Heating and Air, we’re in the business of keeping people comfortable. But we know that staying cool during the summer or warm all winter is only half of the story. Our customers want to stay comfortable and get the most out of their air conditioners and furnaces possible, for a reasonable price each month.
Efficiency ratings can seem complicated but they’re just a system for letting you know exactly what you can expect from your air conditioner or furnace.
Ratings Relate to Potential Monthly Expenses
Simply put, the higher efficiency of your product, the lower your long-term energy costs will be.
AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency)
AFUE is the standard measurement of efficiency for gas and oil-fired furnaces. Given in percentages, this number tells you how much of your fuel is used to heat your home and how much fuel is wasted. In short, the higher the AFUE rating, the greater the efficiency.
If you have an older furnace (with an AFUE of approximately 60%), you could save up to 40% on your heating bills by replacing it with a new high efficiency furnace. The cost to replace your old, inefficient furnace is paid back through lower utility bills.
SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio)
SEER is the measure of efficiency by which the cooling process of air conditioners and heat pumps is rated. The higher the SEER number, the greater the efficiency, and therefore the greater your energy savings. Today, U.S. regulatory agencies require all new products to have a minimum of a 13.0 SEER rating.
HSPF (Heating Seasonal Performance Factor)
HSPF is the efficiency measurement used to gauge the efficiency of the heating mode of heat pumps. As with the other rating systems, the higher the number, the greater the efficiency and cost-savings. Today's models are required to have a 6.8 HSPF.
Higher efficiency in heat pumps and air conditioners usually means higher equipment cost but lower utility bills. If you live in a warm and/or humid climate, you will probably see the higher cost of a high efficiency air conditioner or heat pump paid back, through lower utility bills, in a few years.
Matching Your System for Optimum Efficiency
One additional factor that affects the efficiency of your air conditioning or heat pump system is your indoor coil (also called an evaporator coil). If your condensing unit is not matched with the proper indoor coil, it may not give you the stated SEER and/or HSPF ratings and could even develop performance problems. When you replace an existing system, make sure you replace both units so your new condensing unit will give you optimal performance, efficiency and comfort.
Is it time for you to upgrade your air conditioner or furnace? Give Crane Heating and Air Conditioning a call today to schedule an appointment: 513-641-4700.
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