As a homeowner, you have to evaluate and make decisions on a variety of things throughout the year. Some are easy to understand. Some you guess at – lowering your carbon footprint and understanding the technology can be a complicated process.
In some ways, it may seem like your HVAC system is one of those mysterious items located deep within your home. What is it? How does it work? And how do you tell if your HVAC is energy efficient?
First, let’s define what HVAC is. HVAC stands for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. It includes your furnace, your air conditioner, and the ductwork that makes it possible to heat and cool your home.
Improving efficiency means making the process cleaner, better. If you purchase and install an energy efficient HVAC system, it allows the system to heat and cool your home more efficiently, which in turn saves you money every month on your utility bill.
For a furnace, you’ll find they list efficiency as an AFUE rating. AFUE stands for annual fuel utilization efficiency, which means that the closer the AFUE comes to 100, the more efficient your furnace will burn its fuel.
In general, we consider anything above 90 percent to be reliably energy efficient. To get maximum efficiency, focus on purchasing and installing one rated at 95 or above.
For an air conditioner, they list efficiency as a SEER rating. SEER stands for seasonal energy efficiency ratio, which measures how efficiently the air conditioner converts electricity into cooling power.
The US Department of Energy currently mandates to meet ENERGY STAR requirements, it must be rated at least 14.5 SEER. If your current unit is anything below that, it may be time to consider upgrading.
If you have older equipment before guidelines and it’s working fine, you don’t necessarily have to upgrade. However, keep in mind, that with upgraded technology, your equipment will be more efficient, which means you’ll be lowering your carbon footprint as well as saving money each month on your utility bills.
With older equipment, watch for indicators that let you know it might be worth upgrading.
If your utility bills keep rising without another explanation, it could be your HVAC equipment is wearing out.
If you’re having more breakdowns, and the repair bills are getting more expensive, it may be time to think about upgrading your equipment.
If you aren’t as comfortable in your home as you once were, it may be a sign your equipment can no longer do the job.
Have additional questions concerning your HVAC equipment’s energy efficiency? Give us a call today.