When you are shopping for an HVAC system, you’re bombarded with a series of acronyms that can get confusing. It is important to understand HVAC energy ratings when you are shopping for HVAC systems so that you can make an informed choice. Today, we will explain the different HVAC efficiency ratings and what they mean.
This is the ratio between an AC’s cooling output in British Thermal Units (BTU) and the energy it uses in watts per hour. In other words, SEER indicates the amount of energy an AC needs to run the AC over a season, compared to the amount of cooling the unit generates. The higher the SEER number, the more efficient the AC system is.
This is the ratio between an AC’s cooling output in British Thermal Units (BTU) and electricity usage in kilowatts. Unlike the SEER rating that’s based on a seasonal average, EER rating is measured over higher temperatures and gives a more general rating. A higher energy efficiency ratio means your AC is more energy efficient. The ERR rating is helpful for assessing the efficiency of smaller units like portable air conditioners.
Just as SEER and ERR measure the cooling output of an AC unit, HSPF measures a heat pump’s heating efficiency. This rating measures the overall output by a heat pump system, compared to the overall electricity used. Like SEER and ERR, a higher HSPF number means a heat pump system is more efficient.
This rating measures the heating efficiency of furnaces. In other words, AFUE measures the amount of heat a furnace produces relative to the energy it consumes to function. The higher the AFUE rating, the more efficient the furnace. For example, a furnace with an AFUE rating of 90 means that the unit converts 90% of the fuel it consumes into heat and the remaining 10% is lost in inefficiency. In short, an AFUE of 90% tells you, for each dollar you spend on energy for heating your furnace, 10 cents go to waste.
This is a newly developed rating that measures the energy efficiency of HVAC systems that operate at different load levels. This rating evaluates a system’s output at different times with specific conditions. It accounts for both full load and part load efficiencies by weighting ERR values at different load capacities and adding them together.
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