Shopping for a new heating and cooling system can feel like you’re swimming in an alphabet soup since the HVAC industry uses so many acronyms. Even HVAC is an acronym for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. With the many acronyms, we at Air Supply Heating & Air Conditioning would like to clear up the confusion and provide a quick glossary of the most common acronyms for you today.
AFUE – Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency
Pay close attention to the AFUE since it will play a large role in your annual heating costs when it comes time for shopping for a new furnace. How efficiently your heating system uses fuel is what the AFUE ratio measures. For instance, a furnace will have an AFUE of 85% if it converts 85% of fuel into heat. New furnaces are mandated to meet a minimum of AFUE of 80 by the U.S. Department of Energy. Fortunately, modern top-of-the-line models far exceed the minimum standard. Leaving very little to waste, high-end heating systems achieve an AFUE of 95% and higher.
SEER – Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio
Over a typical cooling season divided by the energy it uses in Watt-Hours, the SEER calculates an AC system’s cooling, which usually ranges from 13 to 22. According to region, the U.S. Department of Energy enforces minimum SEER standards. Many older cooling units have a SEER of 8 or less, so in comparison, a new unit with the lowest available SEER would be a significant step up. IN the Vegas Valley, the minimum requirement is 14. The less you’ll pay in monthly cooling costs with the higher the SEER, making it the more comfortable you’ll be. Also, you will save even more with combining this technology with other ways to reduce energy consumption, such as sealing windows, adding insulation, and using thermal curtains.
HSPF – Heating Season Performance Factor
A heat pump’s heating performance is measured with the HSPF. The more efficient the unit’s heating mode, the higher the HSPF. The minimum energy efficiency standard for heat pumps to 8 by the U.S. Department of Energy back in 2015. A heat pump’s SEER rating is the rating you should be more concerned with. Heat pumps provide heating and cooling comfort.
MERV – Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value
The air quality is associated with the MERV rating. By how small of a particle it can capture is measured through an air filter’s performance. The higher the MERV is based on the smaller the particle. Capable of filtering out household dust and lint, throwaway filter has a MERV of 4 to 6, making it inexpensive. To protect your HVAC system from getting jammed up with debris is how it is primarily designed. You’ll need a filter with a MERV of 8 to 13 to improve your home’s indoor air. Contaminants such as lead dust, auto emissions, and even certain airborne bacteria can be filtered out with this MERV rating. Though the filters with MERV ratings at the high end of the scale are hospital-grade, the tight mesh screen would restrict a residential HVAC system’s airflow.