man looking at paper adjusting thermostat

What energy efficiency ratings mean and why they’re important

More than half of your utility bills in Lexington can be attributed to the cost to heat and cool your home. To save as much money as you can, you need a system that can supply home comfort as efficiently as possible. The better your system’s energy efficiency, the more your system is doing while using less energy. If you’re ready to upgrade or replace your HVAC equipment, you should understand certain terms and ratings to be fully informed and get the best energy efficiency possible.

SEER (used to measure cooling efficiency)
The Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, or SEER, rating calculates the cooling efficiency of your equipment at varying temperatures. Higher SEER ratings indicate better energy efficiency, and therefore, smaller utility bills. For cooler northern states, The Department of Energy requires a minimum 13 SEER rating. Warmer, southern states must must have a SEER rating of 14 or higher. If your unit has a poor SEER-rating, an upgrade could bring you a valuable spike in energy savings.

AFUE or HSPF (used to measure heating efficiency: gas or electric)
Annualized Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) ratio shows the percentage of heat produced for every dollar of fuel expended—kind of like the miles per gallon you get from your car. Higher AFUE ratings translate into lower energy costs. So, an AFUE rating of 80 means that 80% of the heat produced by your furnace is heating your home, and 20% of the heat is lost through venting.

The Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF) measures the heating efficiency of heat pumps. It is in essence the SEER rating for winter given that it measures only heating efficiency. Like the other ratings, higher numbers indicate better energy efficiency.

At James Heating & A/C, Inc, you’ll find equipment with the best energy efficiency ratings. We can help you verify the energy efficiency of your current equipment and help you find ways to improve its efficiency and save money—whether with regular maintenance or with new, more efficient equipment. Just call us at 336-853-6070 or schedule an appointment with us online.