3 Important Acronyms for your HVAC System! AFUE, SEER, HSPF

Before we get into the big 3 we might as well breakdown HVAC which stands for Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning. HVAC is the technology of indoor environmental comfort control. HVAC systems can provide ventilation, reduce air infiltration and maintain pressure relationships between spaces. Better known to most home owners as your furnace, air conditioner, boiler, heat pump, radiant heaters, water heater and your duct work. These different systems combined make up your household HVAC system.

hvac, afue, seer, hspf

air conditioner, furnace, heat pump, boiler, water heater, HVAC, AFUE, SEER, HSPF

When purchasing or maintaining your household equipment some of the terminology used in the industry can be overwhelming and confusing. Here are some breakdowns to give you a better understanding.

  • AFUE – Stands for Annuel Fuel Utilization Efficiency. This is a value that shows how well a furnace or water heater is able to turn your fuel into usable heat, whether it be natural gas, oil or propane. The word “Annual” indicates that this is an average value that was determined over the course of a typical year. The AFUE is important because different units will perform better or worse than others in extreme temperatures. Ontario now requires furnaces to have a minimum efficiency of 90% AFUE for new residential construction through its building code.
  • SEER or EER – Stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. This value demonstrates how efficiently your air conditioner cools air. Having a higher SEER number indicates that your air conditioner wastes less energy to cool air than a comparable A/C with a lower number. Many older central air conditioners have SEER ratings of only 6 or 7. To qualify for an ENERGY STAR label, units require a SEER of 13 or higher.
  • HSPF – Stands for Heating Seasonal Performance Factor. This number is again a type of efficiency rating that measures how well your heat pump translates the energy it consumes per hour into hot or cold air. The higher the HSPF number, the more you will save money on energy. The minimum rating to qualify for the ENERGY STAR label is an HSPF number of 8.

Understanding the components of your household HVAC system is important. I know it tends to be one of the last things on our mind when it seems to be working properly. I hope the brief definitions of these acronyms help.

Other questions to consider or ask a heating and cooling contractor like us:

  1. Have you changed your filters recently? How often should you be changing them?
  2. How old is your furnace, boiler, air conditioner, heat pump etc? What is the average lifespan of each unit?
  3. Are you covered under a warranty if something breaks down?
  4. When was the last time you had your equipment maintained, tuned up or serviced?
  5. How efficient is your unit? Are your utility bills rising?

If you have any questions, concerns or require additional information please feel free to comment below or contact us at any of the sources provided. info@hoggmechanical.com, 519.579.5330, Twitter @HoggMechanical, Facebook Hogg Heating & Air Conditioning

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