Choosing the Right HVAC System: Energy Efficiency Ratings

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Choosing the Right HVAC System Energy Efficiency Ratings-2

If you decide it's time for a new HVAC system, selecting the right one for your home is crucial. Here are some factors to consider when making your choice.

Factors to Consider When Buying a New HVAC System

    • First and foremost, evaluate the size and layout of your home. A system that is too small will struggle to maintain the desired temperature, while one that is too large will short-cycle and waste energy. 
    • Consider the energy efficiency rating of the unit, as this will impact your long-term utility bills. (More on this later)
    • Think about any specific features you desire, such as smart thermostats or zoning capabilities, that can enhance your comfort and convenience. 
    • Lastly, seek guidance from a reputable HVAC professional who can assist you in determining the best system for your specific needs.

For this blog, we are going to focus on Energy Efficiency in HVAC.

What Does Energy Efficiency Mean?

Energy efficiency refers to the practice of using less energy to perform the same task. It involves using energy-saving techniques and technologies to reduce energy waste and improve energy productivity. Energy efficiency is important because it helps to conserve natural resources, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and lower energy costs.

Understanding Energy Efficiency Ratings in HVAC Systems

Energy efficiency ratings, such as SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) and AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency), provide valuable information about how well an HVAC system utilizes energy. The higher the rating, the more efficient the system is, thereby reducing energy consumption and saving you money in the long run. Understanding these ratings and their implications can help you make an informed decision and choose an energy-efficient HVAC system.

Ultimately, there are a lot of factors to consider when choosing a new HVAC unit for your home. The purchase price is certainly the first and foremost one for many homeowners, and for good reason! But make sure you consider other factors as well, including your long-term energy bills and comfort. Talk to one of our professional HVAC technicians at Barnard Heating and Cooling about your needs and concerns today! We can help guide you through choosing a system that’s right for you and your home.


Commonly Asked Questions

How to Find SEER Rating

Most HVAC systems have a yellow Energy Guide label that is attached to the unit which describes the SEER rating. This label will provide information on the SEER rating as well as other important energy efficiency metrics. If you are unable to find the Energy Guide label, you can also check the owner's manual or contact the manufacturer for assistance. 

What Does 14 SEER Mean? 

In HVAC systems, the SEER rating is an important factor to consider when it comes to energy efficiency. A SEER rating of 14 means that the system is operating at a moderate level of efficiency. While it may not be the most efficient option available, it can still provide comfortable temperatures while saving you money on your energy bills compared to lower SEER rated systems.

Is 14 SEER Good?

This question is dependent on several factors, the most important being the age of the system that’s being replaced. In general, 14 SEER rating is around 20-30% more efficient than HVAC systems from the last decade. However, improving from a SEER 13, for example, won’t show as much of a significant reduction in monthly energy bills. Furthermore, as of January 2023, HVAC regulations have increased the required minimum SEER rating. This increases minimum ratings to 14 SEER for northern states and 15 Seer for southern states. This means 14 SEER units are now the baseline models as the HVAC industry strives to continue to improve and become more efficient.

What is AFUE Rating?

The AFUE rating, or Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency rating, is a measure of how efficiently a furnace or boiler converts fuel into heat over the course of a year. It is expressed as a percentage, with higher percentages indicating greater efficiency. For example, a furnace with an AFUE rating of 90% converts 90% of the fuel it consumes into usable heat, while the other 10% is lost as waste. It's important to note that the AFUE rating only takes into account the efficiency of the heating unit itself, and not the efficiency of the entire HVAC system.

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