man looking at paper adjusting thermostat

What energy efficiency ratings mean and why they’re important

More than half of your utility bills in Colfax are comprised of the cost to heat and cool your home. To save as much money as you can, you need a system that can supply home comfort as efficiently as possible. The better your system’s energy efficiency, the more your system is doing while using less energy. If you’re ready to upgrade or replace your HVAC equipment, you should understand certain terms and ratings to be fully informed and get the best energy efficiency possible.

SEER (used to measure cooling efficiency)
The Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, or SEER, rating measures the cooling efficiency of your equipment at varying temperatures. Higher SEER ratings denote better energy efficiency, and therefore, lower utility bills. For chillier northern states, The Department of Energy requires a minimum 13 SEER rating. Warmer, southern states must a minimum SEER rating of 14. If your unit has a lower SEER-rating, an upgrade could bring you a beneficial spike in energy savings.

AFUE or HSPF (used to measure heating efficiency: gas or electric)
Annualized Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) ratio shows the percentage of heat produced for every dollar of fuel used—similar the miles per gallon you get from your car. Higher AFUE ratings translate into lower energy costs. So, an AFUE rating of 80 means that 80% of the heat generated by your furnace is heating your home, and 20% of the heat is escaping through venting.

The Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF) measures the heating efficiency of heat pumps. It is fundamentally the SEER rating for winter because it measures only heating efficiency. Like the other ratings, higher numbers mean better energy efficiency.

At Ackerman Heating & Air Conditioning, you’ll find equipment with the highest energy efficiency ratings. We can help you verify the energy efficiency of your current equipment and help you find ways to improve that efficiency and save money—whether with diligent maintenance or with brand new, more efficient equipment. Just call us at 509-397-3622 or schedule an appointment with us online.