Buying a new air conditioner is not as simple as buying a new phone or TV. You need to find the right unit that suits your home, and to do so, there are many factors that need to be put into consideration. Energy efficiency ratings are one. Here’s an overview of what these energy efficiency ratings are, and how they can help you find the right air conditioner for your home.
- SEER – Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) is the most common energy efficiency rating system for air conditioning units. SEER ratings are calculated by taking the cooling output measured in British Thermal Units (BTU) and dividing it by the energy usage, measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh). The higher the SEER rating, the more efficient the air conditioner will be. Choosing a unit with a slightly better SEER rating can help you save a few more dollars a month. A similar rating called Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) is used to evaluate a particular unit’s operating efficiency over time.
- HSPF – Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF) is to heating systems as SEER is to cooling systems. It’s important to note that, as cooling is basically the absence of heat, bidirectional heat pumps can provide cooling by pumping heat from indoor spaces, as opposed to its unidirectional counterparts that only pump heat one way. HSPF is calculated in the same way as SEER, with the total heating divided by energy usage. The higher the value, the greater the efficiency.
- AFUE – Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) is used to measure a heating system’s output against the fuel consumed. The higher the AFUE rating, the more efficient the heating system is at fuel-to-heat conversion. This rating is typically used in traditional heating systems such as furnaces.
- ENERGY STAR® – ENERGY STAR is an initiative of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and is today’s most recognizable energy efficiency rating system. Nearly every product that consumes energy, or affects its consumption, bears this rating, from computers to replacement windows. ENERGY STAR ratings make it easy for homeowners to identify energy-efficient products at the point of purchase.
Efficient Heating and Cooling With AB&B Air Conditioning and Heating
To learn more about energy-efficient HVAC units, call AB&B Air Conditioning and Heating today at (512) 670-8883 or fill out our contact form to schedule service or a free estimate. We serve homeowners throughout Texas, particularly Austin.