Nobody expects you to be an HVAC service technician – that’s what we’re here for!
But if you’re thinking about having a home heating or cooling system installed or repaired, or just want to make sure your home is as energy efficient as possible, there are several terms you should at least be somewhat familiar with.
SEER ratings (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio)
- SEER ratings are an important metric that determines the efficiency of your home’s cooling system
- SEER ratings measure the rate at which a cooling system uses energy to cool your house
- SEER ratings are like miles per gallon on a car; the higher the SEER rating, the more efficient the system
- Visit www.ahrinet.org, which provides a comprehensive list of systems with their SEER ratings
HSPF ratings (Heating Season Performance Factor)
- HSPF ratings measure the rate at which an electric heat pump uses energy to heat your home.
- Here’s a fact: the average home in the state of Alabama experiences more heating than cooling hours.
- Another fact: Alabamians’ heating bills are, on average, higher than their cooling bills.
Much as we evaluate SEER ratings, Freedom’ professionals use weather conditions and other factors to measure HSPF ratings and determine the best possible system for your house. We will provide you with a system that operates at high HSPF ratings while keeping your home nice and comfy during those chilly winter months.
AFUE ratings (Annual Fuel Utilization of Efficiency)
- AFUE ratings are used to monitor gas and oil systems
- AFUE ratings are measured in percentages and can be influenced by a number of factors, including heat that may not be captured directly into your home
For example, a gas furnace operating at a minimum AFUE rating of 80% may cost you $.20 for each dollar you spend to heat your home, due to heat being directed into pipes and vents.
At Freedom we know how expensive it can be to heat a house using gas or oil. That’s why we strive to ensure that all of our customers’ systems maintain the highest possible AFUE ratings. It’s not only our goal to keep your house warm, but your heating bills under control.
BTU (British Thermal Unit)
- In cooling – it is the amount of heat that must be removed to reduce one pound of water, 1 degree Fahrenheit Fº.
- In heating – it is the amount of heat that must be used to heat one pound of water 1 degree Fº.
- 1 ton of cooling is equal to approximately 12,000btu/h. It is the amount of power required to melt a 2000lb block of ice in 24 hours.
This means your HVAC system must be in tune to always produce the desired amount of heat or cool air. Freedoms’ professionals accurately measure BTU and work to ensure that your system is doing its job year-round.
The two most important things to consider when purchasing an HVAC system are:
- Equipment selection. Make sure you have components that match-up well with each other. If not, the system will not work as efficiently as possible, so work with a professional to ensure that all of a system’s components fit.
- Proper installation. The most important day in the life of the system is the day it gets installed. It’s startling to note the National Comfort Institute estimates that most systems get installed incorrectly at only 57 percent potential capacity. If an HVAC unit isn’t installed correctly, it may not even be able to match the efficiency of the 12 – 15-year-old Sherman Tank system you’re replacing.
Remember: A heating and air conditioning system will always cost you more to own than to buy, and the money you spend over the life of the system will be far more than the initial purchase price. But having some knowledge at your fingertips will help minimize that cost.