Out shopping in Hilton Head, SC, for a new air conditioner? Interested in checking the performance of your existing HVAC system? It never hurts to educate yourself ahead of time. Heating and cooling efficiency involves different rating systems based on design and fuel type. Here is a quick overview of the most common HVAC efficiency terms to help you get started.

SEER and EER Ratings for Cooling Performance

Air conditioners and heat pumps are scored based on their seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) and energy efficiency ratio (EER). Both ratings tell you how much cooling your system provides in relation to the amount of power used. EER ratings are handy for customers in the South since outdoor temperatures can reach up to 95 degrees.

SEER is calculated to mimic an AC system’s performance over the warmer seasons. Like other HVAC efficiency ratings, a higher number means that it’s more efficient. Most systems installed today have SEER ratings between 14 and 20 and EER ratings between 11 and 14.

Performance Ratings for Heating Efficiency

If you’re shopping for a new heat pump, be sure to check out the system’s heating seasonal performance factor (HSPF). That measurement will give you an idea of how it will hold up in the winter. Like EER, this rating measures your system’s heating output in British thermal units (BTUs). That output is then compared to the energy use in kilowatt-hours. HSPF ratings start around 8.2 and go up to 11 or 12 for variable-speed systems.

Annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) is the performance rating for furnaces and boilers that use natural gas or heating oil. AFUE is based on the percentage of fuel that’s converted into heat. Ratings start around 80% for oil furnaces and go up to 95% for high-efficiency gas furnaces.

Learn More About HVAC Efficiency

For more information about HVAC knowledge or ways to lower your heating and cooling bills, call Byrd Heating and Air Conditioning today. Our experts can help you understand new efficiency standards that will be released in the new year.

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