Energy Efficiency Acronyms – Digesting the Alphabet Soup of HVAC Terms

Alphabet soup

Posting Date: March 31, 2017
Posted by: Steve Ferguson, Branch Manager Ocala & Tampa

If you haven’t shopped for a home heating or home cooling system in a while, the sea of stickers, numbers, and acronyms could be confusing without a bit of guidance.

That’s why we’ve prepared this simple “cheat sheet” of six terms you may hear when you’re hunting for a home HVAC system. If you have any questions about what these terms mean, give us a call: we’re happy to talk about it.

  1. AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) – A measure of how efficiently a furnace is using fuel over the course of a heating season (higher AFUE rating = higher efficiency).
  2. BTU (British Thermal Unit) – The amount of energy needed to heat or cool one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit.
  3. BTUh (BTUs per hour) – The number of BTUs produced by a piece of heating or cooling equipment in the course of one hour (this is the number you most often hear about when describing the capacity of a furnace or air conditioner – i.e. a “5000 BTU AC Unit”).
  4. EER (Energy Efficiency Ratio) – A theoretical ratio that compares the output of an AC system to the total electrical power input needed to produce it, given a constant outside air temperature and 50 percent relative humidity.
  5. SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) – An actual measure of AC and heat pump efficiency over a single cooling season. SEER compares the total cooling output to the total electrical energy input needed during the same time frame under actual weather conditions (higher SEER rating = higher efficiency.
  6. HSPF (Heating Seasonal Performance Factor) – a measure used to calculate efficiency of the heating performance of a heat pump. Like SEER and EER, the higher the rating, the more efficient the heat pump.

To learn how to put these terms to use in a new home heating or cooling system, contact us today for a FREE, no obligation estimate!