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What HVAC Energy Efficiency Ratings Mean

Half of Your Utility Bill Goes Toward Heating & Cooling Your Home

Over half of your utility bill in the Tennessee Valley consists of the cost to heat and cool your home. To save as much money as you can, you should look for a heating and air conditioning system that can provide home comfort as efficiently as possible. The better your system’s energy efficiency, the more your system is doing to heat or cool your home while using less energy. If you’re ready to upgrade or replace your HVAC equipment, you should understand a few terms and ratings to be fully informed and get the best energy efficiency possible.

SEER (used to measure cooling efficiency)

The Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio or SEER rating measures the cooling efficiency of your equipment at different temperatures. Higher SEER ratings signify better energy efficiency, and therefore, more affordable utility bills. For colder northern states, The Department of Energy requires a minimum 13 SEER rating. Systems for our area (Huntsville, AL) requires a minimum SEER rating of 14. If your unit has a lower SEER-rating, an upgrade could bring you helpful relief in energy savings.

AFUE or HSPF (Gas systems)

Annualized Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) ratio shows the percentage of heat produced for every dollar of fuel expended—similar to the miles per gallon you get from your car. Higher AFUE ratings usually mean lower energy costs. So, an AFUE rating of 80 means that 80% of the heat generated by your furnace is heating your home, and 20% of the heat is wasted through venting.

The Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF) measures the heating efficiency of heat pumps. It is fundamentally the SEER rating for winter given that it measures only heating efficiency. Like the other ratings, higher numbers denote better energy efficiency.

At Garrison and Garrison Heating and Air, you’ll find equipment with the highest energy efficiency ratings.

Contact Us

We can help you find out the energy efficiency of your present equipment and help you find ways to improve that efficiency and save money whether with continued maintenance or with up-to-date, more efficient equipment. Call us at 256-859-8500 or schedule an appointment with us via email at [email protected].