When it’s time for you to shop for a new home comfort system, there are a lot of factors to think about. Is it the appropriate size for your home? Is it energy efficient? Will it work with your budget? Will the HVAC system be quiet enough for your home? How will it impact the 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 already know can be confusing for the average homeowner. Luckily, the team at Wolfe & Sons Heating and 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 links how much of the fuel you use in your furnace to the amount turned into useable heat. The higher the percentage of heat used, the better the system rating.
If your system has an AFUE rating of 85, that means the system makes 85 percent of the fuel used into useable heat. Systems that are highly efficient have 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): Both heat pumps and air conditioners use this rating. 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 vary between regions. A high efficiency model that provides more energy savings in the long run will generally be a little more expensive. Lennox carries air conditioners with SEER ratings up to 26—another industry leading rating.
Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF): Looking into heat pumps? This is the rating to keep in mind. You’ll want to look for heat pumps with a higher rating if efficiency is your goal. If you want to find a solution that’s ENERGY STAR® efficient, you’ll need 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 flow within your indoor space. MERV takes a look at the size of the holes. The higher the rating, the smaller the holes in the filter—and the fewer debris particles that make their way into your home. If you’re looking for a more efficient filter, find one with a MERV rating of 10 or higher.
Air filters are critical to indoor air quality. 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 model that will work for you, or you have more questions about system ratings, call the team at Wolfe & Sons Heating and Cooling. You can reach us at 614-451-0846 We’ll work with you to find the best solution and get to the bottom of all your questions.