What energy efficiency ratings mean and why they’re important01/10/2017 More than half of your utility bills in Charlottesville can be attributed to the cost to heat and cool your home. To save as much money as you can, you should find a system that can deliver 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 looking 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 calculates the cooling efficiency of your equipment at various temperatures. Higher SEER ratings indicate 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 must have a SEER rating of 14 or higher. If your unit has a smaller 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 measures the percentage of heat produced for every dollar of fuel used—just like the miles per gallon you get from your car. Higher AFUE ratings usually mean 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 lost through venting. The Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF) measures the heating efficiency of heat pumps. It is essentially the SEER rating for winter because it measures only heating efficiency. Like the other ratings, higher numbers denote better energy efficiency. At Beck Cohen, you’ll find equipment with the best 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 434-296-0129 or schedule an appointment with us online.