When it comes to efficiency in HVAC systems, you probably hear a lot of terms you don’t know. You also probably hear about increased efficiency in newer systems, and maybe even have some numbers to look at too. But what do these terms and numbers all mean?
We want to explain a few of these terms and what they mean for the efficiency of your HVAC system.
EER - Energy Efficiency Ratio - The EER rating in an air conditioning system measures how much power is being produced by an AC unit for every watt of every consumed in an hour. This is calculated by BTUs (British Thermal Units) divided by watts used. For instance, if you have a 12,000 BTU unit and consume 1200 watts in an hour, the EER rating is 10. The higher the rating, the more efficient the system is.
SEER - Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio - This is more commonly used in whole-home systems. This measures a range of temps that a season can see, so you have more of a broad idea of the efficiency for an entire season. With EER, typically one temperature is used to measure the rating, but SEER takes more temps into account.
BTU - British Thermal Unit - BTU is a very common term when it comes to HVAC equipment. One BTU is the amount of energy it takes to raise one pound of water one degree Fahrenheit. The higher the BTUs, the more power the system has.
There are 2 key ways these efficiency ratings impact you:
Your home comfort - If you have a very efficient system that does a great job, your home will be comfier. There will be fewer problem areas in the home, and you should feel comfortable all year long.
Your energy bills - You will likely see more of an impact with your energy bills when it comes to efficiency ratings. The more efficient your system is, the lower your energy bills will be.
Installing a system with a higher energy rating will absolutely help keep your energy bills lower. The only issue is the higher rated system will cost more up front than lower rated systems. Here’s the kicker though…
Your HVAC system should last you 15+ years. This means that it will be a HUGE determining factor in your energy bills for the next decade. Paying a few dollars less up front for a system will most likely end up costing you more in the long run when it comes to energy bills.
Another key factor when purchasing a system with a high-efficiency rating is the rebates that you have available. Systems with a high-efficiency rating often qualify for a rebate, due to the push the government has behind installing new energy-efficient equipment. In an effort to go green, lots of energy companies and government agencies want to offer incentives for homeowners and businesses that are trying to consume less energy. Therefore, even if these higher rated products cost a bit more, there is likely a rebate you can qualify for to knock the cost down a bit.
One of the easiest ways to determine if your system is performing inefficiently is by looking at your energy bills. Are they higher than they were the previous year at this time?
Also, many energy companies offer comparisons against the usage of your neighbors. Take a look at your bills. Are your neighbors using a lot less energy than you are? Is it about the same? This is a GREAT way to see how well your system is performing.
A home energy audit will assess how well your HVAC system is performing, as well as how well your home is maintaining energy. This accounts for drafts and leaks in your home that could be letting outside factors affect your home comfort and energy bills.
If you have any questions about energy efficiency for your HVAC system, we would love to help you out. Give us a call at (585) 641-3080, or email us at email@example.com.