HVAC systems have come a long way from putting ice in front of a fan to cool and using the fireplace for your heat source. If you are in need for a new system or feel that yours is running a bit on the inefficient side, this article is designed to help give you some basic knowledge to start looking for a new unit. The SEER rating, size, and AFUE are all things that you should have an idea about when you start talking with salesmen.
The first mentioned SEER rating stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating. The higher the SEER number the more efficient your system will perform. The highest rated SEER 23 system is available, but the government mandate sets the minimum requirement for a SEER 13. If you live in a climate that requires the Air Conditioning unit to run more often, a higher SEER unit maybe recommended.
Why does the size of the unit matter, or did you even know different sizes were available. The size of the unit matters because houses are different sizes. You can’t expect a 3200 sq foot house to be cooled as efficiently with a system designed for a 1200 sq foot house. Your salesman will most likely recommend coming to visit to see what size unit will operate most efficiently. Don’t worry, they are just trying to make sure that you aren’t sold something that won’t work.
The Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) is a term describing how efficient your furnace will run. The higher the percent AFUE, the less gas that will be wasted. Wasted gas = wasted money. While the higher percentage units do cost more and may require some additional installation costs, their lifetime savings will show you why people are buying them.
With these different terms in mind you can talk with your salesman and feel more educated and able to make a decision that will benefit you best. Knowledge is power, even when purchasing a new HVAC system.