Shopping for HVAC Equipment can be a daunting task. What do all of the energy ratings actually mean? Here is a brief guide to what the efficiency acronyms stand for, and the current minimum standards for new heating and air equipment.
Understanding Efficiency Ratings
AFUE: Refers to the percentage of heat that stays in the home from the amount of fuel burned. This translates into the dollars you spend to heat your home.
The higher the efficiency rating, the it costs to do the same job.
SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating): This is a rating number given to air conditioning equipment to indicate the efficiency of that unit when combined with the proper additional components.
EER (Energy Efficiency Ratio): This rating number is given to air conditioning units to show efficiency of equipment. The difference between SEER and EER is simply the temperatures at which determinations are made. SEER ratings are measured at 82 degrees and EER ratings are measured at 95 degrees, consequently higher SEER ratings do not necessarily guarantee higher EER ratings. In either case,the higher number the more efficient the unit.
Gas Heat – 80% AFUE
Central Air Conditioners – SEER 13, EER 11
Gas Heat – 95% AFUE
Central Air Conditioners – 20 SEER, 18 EER