Going Green – What Do Those Numbers Mean?

While it seems like the whole world is “Going Green” and thinking of its carbon footprint on the universe, it seems we take for granted what all of it actually means. When it comes to our HVAC systems, it’s no exception.

We’ve heard about “efficient” units and know, in our minds, that the higher the efficiency of an HVAC system, the less it will cost in the long run to use it. Do you really understand what those numbers stand for in the HVAC universe? If you are like the typical Average Joe consumer, you more than likely nod your head when someone mentions it and move on to the next “to do” on your honey do list.

The federal government has issued a ruling that all systems must have a rating when it comes to their efficiency.  When you see a system with a higher rating, it means that it is more energy-efficient.  Gas Furnaces, which use the AFUE or Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency, are defined based on the amount of heat used to warm your home from the burned fuel. A 90% furnace will use 90% of the available heat to warm your home while 10% is vented outdoors. That might seem like a lot of hot air going outside until you consider that older units typically vent 40% outdoors!

Air conditioners use a different system, Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio or SEER.  Unlike the furnaces, this rating is more or less in relation to the design of the unit- the compressor and outdoor coil. These are more or less for homeowners to compare and contrast the different brands and models to one another.

When in doubt, consult your trusted HVAC technician and let he or she guide you to the systems that best fit your home, your needs and monthly budget.

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    23:39 06 Jun 22
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