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HVAC systems—like furnaces, air conditioners, and boilers—are labeled with ratings that tell homeowners how efficient they are. These ratings can be a bit of a mystery to first-time homeowners or those who are buying systems for the first time. Our Carrier technicians at Roth Heating are cluing you in on what these confusing ratings stand for and why they’re important to you:
- SEER—seasonal energy efficiency ratio tells you how efficiently your air conditioner runs during the cooling season. The higher the rating is, the more efficient the A/C is. Although older systems’ SEER ratings may land around 6, the Department of Energy recently raised the minimum SEER standard across the country. In Wisconsin, packaged air conditioners must have a minimum SEER of 14 and split systems a SEER of 13.
- AFUE—annual fuel utilization efficiency ratings show how efficiently your boiler or furnace is converting energy into heat. AFUE ratings are listed in percentages—for example, a 92% AFUE furnace converts 92 percent of its energy into heat and only wastes 8 percent. AFUE ratings can go as high as 98 percent—these are the most efficient systems available.
- BTU—British thermal units represent how much energy your boiler, furnace, A/C, or heat pump requires to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit. Whole-house systems typically have BTU ratings between 60,000 and 80,000. Larger homes require higher BTU ratings to guarantee enough heating or cooling is being generated efficiently.
- MERV—minimum efficiency reporting values show how efficient an air filter is at capturing contaminants, like dirt, dust, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The higher the rating, the more contaminants the air filter can capture. MERV ratings can be as low as one and as high as 20. Make sure you select air filters with MERV ratings that fit your HVAC system. MERV ratings that are too high for your system can impede airflow and cause it to malfunction. Ratings that are too low can leave your family feeling ill with asthma symptoms and other respiratory irritations.
Have additional questions? Reach out to us online or give us call—and make sure you read our blog on selecting the right filter for your home comfort systems.