Being a homeowner means you sometimes have to make decisions about things you’re not so familiar with. When it comes to your home, understanding the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system can be overwhelming. To help you make more educated choices about the products you choose for your home, we’ve outlined some terms we feel every homeowner should understand.
What is SEER?
HVAC Terms You Should Know SEER, or seasonal energy efficiency ratio, is used to rate the efficiency of air conditioners and heat pumps on a seasonal basis. The higher the SEER, the more efficiently the unit will run. Today, all air conditioners or heat pumps sold in the United States must meet a minimum SEER rating of at least 13.
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What is AFUE?
AFUE, or annual fuel utilization efficiency, determines the efficiency of a furnace by measuring how well a fuel source is used by the unit. Any new furnace installed today must have an AFUE rating of at least 80. The higher the AFUE, the more efficient the unit will run. For example, a furnace with a AFUE rating of 90 means it will use 90 percent of the total fuel burned to heat the home. The remaining 10 percent is lost.
What is MERV?
MERV, or the minimum efficiency reporting value, is used to rate the efficiency of air filters. The higher the MERV rating, the more particles the filter will successfully capture. The scale is established using captured particles measuring between less than 0.3 micrometers and greater than 10 micrometers. The higher the rating you opt for in each particular unit can result in lower energy costs, but the unit will cost more up front than a less expensive unit with a lower rating. Selecting the right efficiency rating for your home will depend on the amount of money you wish to spend on a new unit, the time you plan to run the unit and the energy savings you hope to achieve with the purchase of a new system.
What many homeowners don’t know about efficiency ratings can end up increasing utility bills and wasting energy. For being such a little instrument, thermostats play a pretty big role in your overall comfort and the cost of thermostatically and cooling your home. Consider the following thermostat myths and facts when you use your thermostat. Doing so may just help you maximize the benefits you get from controlling your indoor comfort.