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HVAC FAQ: How Is Efficiency Rated?

Saving_Green There is a lot to consider when it comes to investing in a new HVAC system. You need to have your budget planned out, you need to decide what type of system you are going to use, and so on. Perhaps the most important consideration, though, is the efficiency rating that you want your new system to have. The sticker price of a new heater or AC is obviously important, too, but that efficiency rating will inform you about how much you’ll be spending to heat and cool your home for years to come.

Today, we are going to talk about how it is that efficiency is rated for these systems. Those numbers are not necessarily something that every homeowner understands, but we want you to choose your new HVAC system confidently. And remember, even the best HVAC systems will fail to impress if they are not expertly installed and serviced. Leave your heating and AC services to the Cary, NC HVAC pros on our staff.


If it is a new central air conditioner or heat pump (cooling mode) that you’re after, then the SEER is what you’ll be looking at. SEER stands for seasonal energy efficiency ratio, and it measures how efficiently these systems cool homes. Modern standards mean that you’ll need a system with a SEER of 13, but keep in mind that there are systems out there with a SEER of 25+! Yes, you’ll likely be spending more money up front if you really decide to invest in energy efficiency. However, the long-term savings that you’ll enjoy in reduced energy bills should not be overlooked.


HSPF, or heating season performance factor, is an efficiency rating specific to heat pumps. More specifically, it is a rating that is used to measure the efficiency with which a heat pump heats a home. You’ll want to keep the heat pump’s heating and cooling efficiency in mind when choosing your system, but the fact is that you’re not going to find a heat pump that has a great SEER rating but a lousy HSPF rating, or vice versa.


AFUE stands for annual fuel utilization efficiency, a measurement used for both boilers and furnaces. The higher the AFUE rating, the more efficient the system will operate. It is important to remember, however, that efficiency and affordability are not interchangeable terms. An electric furnace will operate in the 95%-100% efficiency range. However, it may still cost more to run an electric furnace rather than a gas model, because gas is more affordable than electricity is.

We know that this is a lot to take in, but the good news is that the professionals on our team are here to help. Whatever questions you may have regarding your new HVAC system options, we’ve got the answers. Count on us to help ensure your 100% satisfaction with your new heater or air conditioning system. It’s a major investment, and you deserve the best return possible on it.

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We understand that installing a new heating or air conditioning system can be a significant investment. We help take the stress out of your installation project by offering the
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