What energy efficiency ratings mean and why they’re important01/10/2017 More than half of your utility bills in Portland Metro are comprised of the cost to heat and cool your home. To save as much money as you can, you should find 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 ready 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 assesses the cooling efficiency of your equipment at varying temperatures. Higher SEER ratings indicate 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 have a 14 SEER-rating minimum. If your unit has a smaller SEER-rating, an upgrade could bring you a helpful 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 expended—similar the miles per gallon you get from your car. Higher AFUE ratings usually mean lower energy costs. So, an AFUE rating of 80 means that 80% of the heat created by your furnace is heating your home, and 20% of the heat is lost through venting. The Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF) measures the heating efficiency of heat pumps. It is in essence the SEER rating for winter because it measures only heating efficiency. Like the other ratings, higher numbers mean better energy efficiency. At Central Air Inc, you’ll find equipment with the best energy efficiency ratings. We can help you verify the energy efficiency of your current equipment and help you find ways to improve on it and save money—whether with regular maintenance or with up-to-date, more efficient equipment. Just call us at 503-656-1908 or schedule an appointment with us online.