More than half of your utility bills in Portland are comprised of the cost to heat and cool your home. To save as much money as you can, you need 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 a handful 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 varying temperatures. Higher SEER ratings denote better energy efficiency, and therefore, smaller utility bills. For colder northern states, The Department of Energy requires a minimum 13 SEER rating. Warmer, southern states must have a 14 SEER-rating minimum. If your unit has a lower SEER-rating, an upgrade could bring you a helpful spike in energy savings.
AFUE or HSPF (used to measure heating efficiency: gas or electric)
Annualized Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) ratio shows the percentage of heat produced for every dollar of fuel consumed—similar 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 produced 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 fundamentally the SEER rating for winter since it measures only heating efficiency. Like the other ratings, higher numbers denote better energy efficiency.
At Three Rivers Heating & Cooling, you’ll find equipment with top energy efficiency ratings. We can help you find out the energy efficiency of your current equipment and help you find ways to improve that efficiency and save money—whether with continued maintenance or with up-to-date, more efficient equipment. Just call us at 503-213-4433 to schedule an appointment with us.