You wouldn’t buy a new car or have it fixed without knowing some of the basic lingo, and you shouldn’t do the same when it comes to your HVAC system either. Knowing what a few key terms mean for the equipment in your home mean, like AFUE, SEER and HSPF can help you talk to technicians and salesmen in the future.
This stands for annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE), and is how the efficiency of a water heater or furnace is commonly measured. In other words, this value tells you the percentage of fuel that your furnace can turn into heat for your home. This is an average value that’s based on typical yearly usage, as furnace efficiency will fluctuate over time based on conditions. The Department of Energy has set a minimum required AFUE value of 78 percent.
Just as efficiency is measured for furnaces, it is also measured for air conditioners (A/Cs) using a seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) rating. These are again relative numbers, and a higher number indicates a better use of fuel to cool your home than a lower one. The minimum SEER rating required by manufacturers is presently 13.
If you have been looking at heat pumps, you might recognize this term. The heating seasonal performance factor (HSPF) is an easy way to compare how well a heat pump can convert fuel into either hot air. The highest HSPF values will belong to high efficiency heat pumps, which waste very little energy.
AFUE, SEER and HSPF are just three terms about your HVAC system. If you want to learn more or need help understanding something about your Northwest Arkansas home’s system, feel encouraged to contact Paschal Heat, Air & Geothermal.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Springdale, Arkansas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about HVAC terms and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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