There is a growing awareness in today’s world of the necessity of reducing our carbon footprint and doing everything possible to stop greenhouse gases from being released into the atmosphere of our planet Earth. To accomplish this, everyone must do their part and making sure the HVAC system in your home and business runs efficiently is an excellent way. If your HVAC system is running efficiently, it will use less energy and operate better. The Department of Energy has set standards that help home and business owners as well as the HVAC industry to determine which systems are the best for maximum efficiency.

It is important to know how much energy a particular system uses and the approximate yearly cost to operate so you can estimate your energy cost. To help you with this, there are some efficiency ratings you can use to determine the efficiency of a given system. Always remember that just because a system is bigger, does not mean it will be the best. It is best to hire a qualified HVAC professional to inspect your home or business as only they can determine the proper system. The technician will come in and inspect the building to find out what size system would perform best. This is necessary because if a system is too big, the compressor can short cycle, which makes it work inefficiently and if the system is too small, it will not have the capacity to keep up with the daily demands.

The AFUE, which is the Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency, is the ratio that measures what percentage of heat a furnace generates by a dollar of fuel used. If the rating is high, the fuel cost will be low. It is a government requirement that every new furnace achieves an AFUE rating of 78 percent at the very least and this is considered only mid-level efficiency. A rating of 90 percent is considered a high efficiency furnace.

If you want to know how much cooling a system can provide for one dollar spent on electricity, find out the EER or the Energy Efficiency Ratio. The EER is based on summer’s hottest day and is in contrast to the SEER ratings, which is an average for an entire season. A technician can calculate the EER by dividing the energy coming in by the energy going out.

Energy Star 
The US Environmental Protection Agency provides an Energy Star designation to HVAC equipment that has exceeded or at least meets the high efficiency guidelines.

If you are wondering what the efficiency of your heat pump’s heating component is, have a HSPF or Heating Seasonal Performance Factor measured. The HSPF rating has a range of 6.8 to 10 and for a unit to be considered high efficiency; it must rate at least 7.5 or higher. The HSPF is calculated by dividing the heating energy output by the electrical energy input.

Filters are rated with the MERV or Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value and rate the efficiency of filters in terms of the size of their holes. A smaller hole equals a more efficient filter that can trap more contaminants. MERV ratings are from 1 to 16, with 16 being the highest efficiency you can get.

If you want to know the amount of cooling power a HVAC system gives for a dollar spent on electricity, the SEER or Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio will tell you based on what the average is for an entire season, (rather than the EER, which is based only on the hottest day of the summer). SEER ratings have a range of between 13 and 17, with 17 being the highest efficiency. The SEER is calculated by dividing the cooling energy output in BTU for a season by the electrical energy input for a season.

If you have fairly old heating and cooling equipment, chances are good that it is inefficient, therefore you will need to contact a professionally trained expert from David Gray Heating & Air. We will gladly speak with you about the options you have for repair, maintenance or maybe even a brand new system, which will help to also curb greenhouse gases and save you quite a bit of money in the long run. Feel free to give us a call today for an appointment.

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