With so many HVAC ratings, it can be confusing when it comes time to buy a new home comfort system.  Of course you want a system that’s energy efficient and properly sized, but what do all those abbreviations stand for – and more important, what do they mean?  Our Austin HVAC experts hope to clear up the confusion for you below.

MERV, or Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value applies to air filters and how well they filter particles out of the air that comes into your home.  Air filters have holes in them so that air can filter through, but the larger the holes the more particles (and therefore, more contaminants) can enter as well.  Smaller holes filter out more dust, pollen and other debris, so opt for a filter with a MERV rating of at least 10.

SEER, or Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, is a rating that applies to the ratio of the cooling output for a typical cooling season of your air conditioner divided by the energy your system used in watt-hours over the same time period.  SEER is used to measure both air conditioners and heat pumps; the higher the SEER rating your system has, the more efficiently it operates.  While the initial cost of a system with a high SEER rating may be a bit more, you will benefit from greater energy savings over the lifespan of your system.

AFUE, or Annualized Fuel Utilization Efficiency, is the ratio applying to the amount of fuel used in your furnace versus how much of that fuel is converted to usable heat.  For instance, an AFUE rating of 90 means that 90% of the fuel used is converted into usable heat.  The higher the number, the more efficient your system is.

HSPF, or Heating Seasonal Performance Factor, applies to heat pumps and indicates how efficiently they operate.  The higher the number, the more efficient the heat pump is.  HSPF is a ratio of how much heat is put out to the amount of electricity consumed over the average heating season.

It’s a good idea to be familiar with these acronyms and what they mean, especially when it comes time to buy a new HVAC or other home comfort season.

At Schneider Mechanical our goal is to help you enjoy the utmost in comfort while keeping costs down by providing products that are energy efficient and designed for reliability.  Give our Austin heating and cooling professionals a call today!