You are bombarded with a series of acronyms, with each brand claiming superiority over the other when you step out to buy the latest HVAC equipment. When you’re shopping for heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, it really pays to understand HVAC energy efficiency ratings. In helping you make informed decisions about your purchase, and helping you to pick the best possible product for your needs, a little bit of in-depth understanding goes a long way. When you understand exactly what each product offers and how well it fits with your unique requirements, you can end up saving quite a few dollars. During the purchase of equipment such as air conditioners and heat pumps, a few parameters are important to evaluate; and they include SEER, EER, HSPF, and AFUE.
SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio)
The measure of energy efficiency of cooling equipment is the SEER. By dividing cooling output, measured in BTU or British Thermal Units, by electricity usage, measured in kilowatt-hours is how it is calculated. Compared to the amount of cooling that it generates in a real-time environment, SEER indicates the electrical input that is needed to run the air conditioner over a season. A higher SEER rating means better energy efficiency in the cooling equipment. To help significantly reduce power consumption, even a minor increase in the SEER ratings of your HVAC system.
EER (Energy Efficiency Ratio)
To evaluate the operating efficiency of a cooling unit, EER is measured over higher temperatures and over a period of time. Dividing the output cooling energy by input electrical energy, measured in BTU and kilowatt hours respectively, gets you the EER. You know what to expect in terms of performance from both SEER and EER ratings are usually displayed on cooling units. In order to ensure consistent cooling efficiency of the unit in use, it is essential to carry out periodic evaluation and regular HVAC maintenance, however.
HSPF (Heating Seasonal Performance Factor)
The HSPF helps measure the heating efficiency. For both unidirectional and bidirectional heat pumps, bidirectional heat pumps provide cooling in summer and heating in winter, this efficiency is measured. Essentially the ratio of total heating needed divided by the total electricity utilized by the heat pump is how the HSPF is calculated. A higher HSPF value indicates better heating efficiency, just as a higher SEER indicates greater cooling efficiency.
AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency)
Some percentage of energy is always lost in conversion, during the process of conversion of fuel into heat energy. Conversion losses are minimal with a higher AFUE rating means that more heat energy is produced. You save more money with the decrease in fuel losses.
Requirements by the Government
For energy efficiency of products, the government has laid down standards. Prior to 2006, the SEER rating was expected to be minimum of 10 and was subsequently revised to 13 and 14 in 2006 and 2015 respectively. With the exception of a few states, the EER is expected to be a minimum of 10.
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Depending on the location, there is some variation in the required SEER and EER values. Keep in mind, efficient energy systems have SEER values in the range of 20-28 and EER in the range of 12-16. To help you find the right HVAC unit with the best energy efficiency within your budget, call Air Supply Heating & Air Conditioning.