What energy efficiency ratings mean and why they're important

January 10, 2017

The cost to heat and cool your home adds up to more than half of your utility bills. That’s why it’s crucial to search for a system that delivers quality comfort in your Wisconsin Rapids home while still remaining energy efficient. Better energy efficiency means your system is operating well while using less energy. Whether you are considering a replacement air conditioner or furnace or thinking to upgrade your existing equipment to be more energy efficient, there are some ratings to be aware of that will help you during the process. So what exactly do those energy efficiency ratings represent?

SEER (used to measure cooling efficiency)
SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. The SEER rating reflects the effectiveness of your unit at different temperatures, meaning, seasonally in Wisconsin Rapids. A greater SEER rating denotes a higher energy efficiency, which will turn into smaller utility bills. The Department of Energy requires a minimum 13 SEER-rating for cooler states in the north and a 14 SEER-rating minimum for humid, southern states. If your home has an older unit with a lower SEER-rating, you could see radical energy savings after an improvement.

AFUE or HSPF (used to measure heating efficiency: gas or electric)
AFUE stands for Annualized Fuel Utilization Efficiency ratio and it measures the percentage of heat produced for every dollar of fuel consumed. You can think of it as the MPG on your car. The higher the AFUE-rating, the smaller your energy costs. If your furnace has a AFUE rating of 80, that means that 80% of the heat generated is consumed to heat the home, while 20% of the heat is lost through venting.

HSPF stands for the Heating Seasonal Performance Factor and operates to keep track of the heating productivity of heat pumps. It is the SEER rating for winter as it only measures your unit’s heating efficiency. Again, the greater the number, the more energy efficient the heat pump.

Rapids Sheet Metal Works Inc in Wisconsin Rapids offers equipment with the greatest energy efficiency ratings. If you are uncertain what the energy ratings are of the equipment in your home we would be happy to help you better understand to keep your home comfy, while saving money. Give us a call at 715-301-0256 to arrange for an appointment with us.