Energy Efficiency Terms

Energy efficiency can most easily be described as the percentage of fuel or energy used to the amount of heating or cooling recovered. It can be thought of like miles per gallon of your car.

One of the most important decisions that can be made when selecting a heating or cooling system is the energy efficiency of the system. Below we will provide you with some of the most common terms used in the industry. Terms like SEER, AFUE, and HSPF are most commonly used.

BTUH – Is the input of energy in your heating or cooling system. The amount of heat required to heat one pound of water one degree at sea level.

TON – Air conditioning systems are rated in size by the TON. One TON of cooling equals 12,000 BTU’S. This harks back to the days when cooling was created by ice. The amount of cooling one TON of ice will deliver in one day, 12,000 btuh x 24 hours = 288,000 btu’s per day. A two TON system does not actually weigh 2 TONS!

AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) – is the standard measurement of efficiency for gas and oil furnaces and boilers. Given in percentages, this number tells you how much of your fuel is used to heat your home and how much fuel is simply wasted. The higher the AFUE rating, the greater the efficiency.

For example, if your heating system is rated with an 80% AFUE, 80 percent of the fuel is being used to create heat. The other 20 percent goes right up the chimney.

Carrier offers a full line of furnaces and boilers with AFUE ratings ranging up to 98.5 percent.

SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) – is the measure of efficiency by which the cooling process of air conditioners and heat pumps is rated. The higher the SEER number, the greater the efficiency, which translates into greater energy savings. Today, U.S. regulatory agencies require all new models to have a 13.00 SEER rating or better. Carrier’s full line of central air conditioners offers SEER ratings up to 26.

HSPF (Heating Season Performance Factor) – is the efficiency measurement used to gauge the efficiency of the heating mode of heat pumps. Again the higher the number, the greater the efficiency. Today’s models are required to have a 9 HSPF. Carrier offers heat pumps with HSPF ratings ranging from 9 to 13.

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