HVAC technicians go through years of training to master the knowledge and skills of their craft. The average Portland homeowner doesn’t have the time to commit all this know-how to memory. It’s simply not practical. However, Roth Heating and Cooling has a few terms that homeowners could derive great advantages from understanding. Knowing these simple HVAC terms can educate you about how furnaces and air conditioners use energy, so when it comes time to buy, you can be sure to choose a system that will save you money.
Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. SEER is a measurement that rates the efficiency levels of air conditioners. The amount of energy the air conditioner uses during operation is compared with the amount of cool air it actually creates. The more cool air per unit of energy, the higher the SEER rating. Air conditioners with higher SEERs, around 16 to 23, are considered high efficiency, and get more “miles per gallon” than air conditioners with lower SEER ratings. 8 or 12 is considered a lower rating.
Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency. AFUE is a percentage-based rating for a furnace’s efficiency. AFUE measures how much energy the system consumes compared to how much warm air is actually produced. The higher the AFUE, the more warm air per btu makes it into your home. A furnace with an AFUE of 95 percent is considered high efficiency, and converts 95 percent of the energy it runs on into usable heat.
Systems with higher SEER and AFUE ratings will be easier on your wallet. They also use less energy and non-renewable fossil fuels, releasing fewer dangerous greenhouse gases into our atmosphere.
When it’s time to choose a new HVAC system, you now know the right questions to ask to get the most bang for your buck. A good place to start is to ask about high efficiency systems certified by Energy Star. You can also call Roth Heating & Cooling, Plumbing & Electrical at (503) 994-9924. Our technicians have gone through years of training so you don’t have to!