What energy efficiency ratings mean and why they're important

January 10, 2017

The cost to heat and cool your home makes up more than half of your utility bills. That’s why it’s so important to look for a system that offers superior comfort in your Cedar Rapids home while still ensuring energy efficient. Greater energy efficiency means your system is working well while using less energy. Whether you are thinking about a replacement air conditioner or furnace or looking to upgrade your current 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 mean?

SEER (used to measure cooling efficiency)
SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. The SEER rating considers the efficiency of your unit at different temperatures, meaning, seasonally in Cedar Rapids. A larger SEER rating signifies a higher energy efficiency, which will translate into smaller utility bills. The Department of Energy demands a minimum 13 SEER-rating for cooler states in the north and a 14 SEER-rating minimum for hotter, southern states. If your home has an mature unit with a lower SEER-rating, you could see drastic energy savings after an upgrade.

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

HSPF stands for the Heating Seasonal Performance Factor and works to determine the heating effectiveness of heat pumps. It is the SEER rating for the colder months as it only measures your unit’s heating effectiveness. Similarly, the larger the number, the greater energy efficient the heat pump.

Ilten's Incorporated in Cedar Rapids offers equipment with the greatest energy efficiency ratings. If you are uncertain what the energy ratings are of the heating and cooling in your home we would be more than willing to help you become better informed to keep your home comfortable, while saving money. Give us a call at 319-208-3295 to schedule an appointment with us.