From MERV and SEER to AFUE and BTU, there is a shorthand to understanding HVAC system ratings—and we’re here to explain them. In general, higher ratings mean a more efficient system and lower operating costs. But it’s important to note that not all systems fit every household. We can help determine which system and what efficiency rating you need.
- Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV)—measures the overall effectiveness of air filters and how efficiently they remove contaminants from the air. The higher the rating, the finer the pore size, which means more particles are filtered out. However, since filters with smaller pores can make your system work harder to circulate air, it’s important to choose a filter with your system in mind. A good rule of thumb is the higher your system’s efficiency is, the higher the MERV rating you should get.
- Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER)—represents the ratio of an air conditioner’s efficiency throughout the cooling season. A higher rating means more efficient cooling—the current minimum SEER rating required for most states is 13.
- Energy Efficiency Rating (EER)—represents the energy efficiency of your air conditioner by dividing the input electrical power by the amount of cooling created. While SEER measures the seasonal efficiency of your system, EER measures overall efficiency without additional inputs or factors like season, making it a great way to compare air conditioners.
- Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE)—a percentage that indicates how much energy your furnace or boiler is converting into heating. Furnaces with an 85% AFUE rating convert 85% of its energy into heat and the other 15% is wasted. Some furnaces can reach up to 98% AFUE and are the most efficient options available.
- British Thermal Units (BTU)—shows the amount of energy a boiler, A/C, or heat pump requires to increase the temperature of one pound of water by one degree. BTUs are associated with the size of the system and its heating or cooling capacity.
Spelling out these ratings will help you understand the efficiency of home comfort systems. The next time you’re in need of a new unit, we will determine which system size is going to be the most energy efficient and cost effective in your home.
This blog is brought to you by our Sabre Sales Team.
From left to right: Peter – Retrofit/Replacement Sales, Todd – New Construction Sales, Michael – New Construction Estimator, Sarah – Retrofit/Replacement Sales Coordinator
Our goal is to always provide the best possible service. If you have any questions about your home comfort system, please give us a call. We have a 24-hour emergency line and are always available to help you.