Owning an energy-efficient HVAC system is important for a number of reasons – it will save you money on your electric bill, be better for the environment, last longer, and ultimately make your home more comfortable. But how do you know if your current HVAC unit, or one you are thinking about buying, is truly energy efficient? Here are some ways to tell if your HVAC unit is energy efficient:
The SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) rating is used to measure the energy efficiency of your air conditioner. It’s the ratio of your AC’s cooling output over a typical cooling season divided by the amount of energy it uses in Watt-Hours. The SEER rating can be found in your AC’s user manual or on the unit itself. Modern air conditioners typically have a SEER rating between 13 and 22 (the minimum standard rating in the Southern US is 14). If you have an older AC unit, your SEER rating could be as low as an 8 or 9. The higher the rating, the more efficient the system.
An AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) rating is used to measure the efficiency of furnaces, and it is the ratio of the furnace’s annual heat output compared to the total annual fossil fuel energy burned. For example, an AFUE of 90% means that 90% of the fuel you use actually heats your home, and the other 10% is consumed during the heating process. The minimum standard for new furnaces is 78%. An AFUE rating of 90% and above is considered highly energy-efficient and will save you money over time.
The US Environmental Protection Agency created the ENERGY STAR program to help consumers identify products that save money and protect the environment by having superior energy efficiency. To meet ENERGY STAR specifications, your AC unit must be at least a 14.5 SEER; gas furnaces must have an AFUE of at least 90%, and oil furnaces must be at least 85%. HVAC units marked with an ENERGY STAR label can save you 20% or more on your energy bills.
Reach out to the Airtegrity team today for all your comfort needs!