HVAC Efficiency Ratings Explained

Energy EfficiencyIn your pursuit to find the HVAC happiness only a Carrier system can bring you, you will encounter several important industry-standard efficiency ratings. The higher efficiency your product ranks, the lower your long-term energy costs will be. And as always, Peirce-Phelps can also help you choose the right heating and cooling products that you and your unique home need. Read on to understand what these terms mean.

Air Conditioner and Cooling System Efficiency

SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) 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 greater energy savings. It is now required by U.S. regulatory agencies require all new products to have a 13.0 SEER rating or better. Carrier’s full line of air conditioners offer SEER ratings of 13.0 to 21.

Furnace Efficiency

AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) 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. The higher the AFUE rating, the greater the efficiency. Carrier offers a full line of furnaces with AFUE ratings ranging from the minimum industry requirement of 78% to more than 96%.

Cost Savings: 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.

Heat Pump Efficiency

HSPF (Heating Seasonal Performance Factor) is the efficiency measurement used to gauge the efficiency of the heating mode of heat pumps. The greater the efficiency and cost-savings, the higher the HSPF ranking. Today’s models are required to have a 6.8 HSPF. Carrier offers heat pumps with HSPF ratings ranging from 6.8 to 9.5.

Cost Savings: 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 short years. Ask your expert Carrier HVAC dealer to help you determine about how long it would take you to recover the additional cost in energy savings. Of course, after the payback, you continue to save on your energy bills.

Maximize Home Energy Savings by Matching Your System

One basic factor many people forget that affects the efficiency of your air conditioning or heat pump system is your indoor 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 replacing your existing system, make sure you replace both units so your new condensing unit will give you optimal performance, efficiency and comfort.