man looking at paper adjusting thermostat

What energy efficiency ratings mean and why they’re important

More than half of your utility bills in Scottsboro can be attributed to the cost to heat and cool your home. To save as much money as you can, you should look for a system that can supply 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 few 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 measures the cooling efficiency of your equipment at various temperatures. Higher SEER ratings signify better energy efficiency, and therefore, lower utility bills. For cooler northern states, The Department of Energy requires a minimum 13 SEER rating. Warmer, southern states must a minimum SEER rating of 14. 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 identifies the percentage of heat produced for every dollar of fuel consumed—similar the miles per gallon you get from your car. Higher AFUE ratings translate into 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 wasted 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 mean better energy efficiency.

At Southern Heating & Cooling Inc., you’ll find equipment with top energy efficiency ratings. We can help you find out the energy efficiency of your present equipment and help you find ways to improve that efficiency and save money—whether with regular maintenance or with up-to-date, more efficient equipment. Just call us at 256-574-1300 or schedule an appointment with us online.