If you are in the market for a new heating or air conditioning system there are many different things that you will want to consider. It may seem completely overwhelming to even know where to start your search. Air Supply Heating & Air Conditioning wants to give you some tips so that when you begin shopping you will have some background information that will help you make the best decision for your home or office. There are some different terms that you will want to become familiar with before you start shopping. Some of the most confusing terms are related to energy efficiency ratings. SEER, AFUE, and HSPF ratings will be listed on all of the units that you are looking at but what do they mean?
Central Air Conditioning Terminology
• SEER: SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. It measures the efficiency of an air conditioning unit. SEER is the ratio of the cooling output of an air conditioner over a typical cooling season, divided by the energy consumed in watt-hours. The minimum SEER rating for central air conditioner units is 13. The higher the SEER rating the more efficient the unit will be.
• AFUE: AFUE stands of Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency. AFUE measure a gas furnace’s efficiency in converting fuel to energy. For example, a furnace that has an 80% AFUE rating turns 80% of the energy that it consumes into heat. The other 20% is used during the heating process. The minimum AFUE rating is 78%. Just like SEER ratings, the higher the AFUE rating is the more efficient the unit will be.
• HSPF: HSPF stands for Heating Seasonal Performance Factor. HSPF measures the heating efficiency of heat pumps. The minimum HSPF rating for a heat pump is 7.7. Just like SEER and AFUE ratings, the higher the HSPF rating is the more efficient the unit will be.
HVAC Fuel Source; Gas, Propane or Electric
You will need to decide what type of fuel source that you want your heating or cooling system to use. Sometimes your choice is made for you due to the construction of your home or office. Other times you have a choice to make.
• Gas: Gas furnaces run off of natural gas. They are the most economical way to heat your home when the temperatures drop below freezing.
• Propane: Propane is a powerful source of heat as well. The downside is that propane tanks require more storage. Sometimes propane is more expensive to operate sometimes depending on the cost of gas and propane. Propane is an excellent alternative for homes and offices that do not have gas lines. Many older homes will use propane.
• Electric: The last option is an electric furnace. They typically cost more to operate than the other sources of fuel listed above.
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One factor that gets missed by consumers is the size of your unit. You do not want to purchase a unit that is too small to effectively heat or cool your home. This will cause your utility bills to become extremely high. It will also cause your unit to break earlier than necessary. Having a unit that is too big is not overly efficient either. One of our technicians at Air Supply Heating & Air Conditioning can help you determine what size of unit is going to be the best for your home or office and then expertly install it. We hope that this information helps you decide what type of unit to purchase. If you still have questions about what type of unit you should purchase please give us a call!