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SEER vs. AFUE Ratings: How Do They Differ from Each Other?

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When you’re preparing to purchase a new central air conditioner, heat pump or furnace for your San Angelo, TX, home, you’ll see and hear a lot of industry jargon. Two of the terms you’re likely to come across are SEER and AFUE. Read on to learn about what these ratings are, how they’re different and why they’re important when choosing which heating or cooling system to buy.

Understand SEER Ratings

SEER stands for seasonal energy efficiency ratio. It’s a rate of the cooling efficiency for a heat pump or air conditioner. It measures how much heat is removed compared to the amount of energy used. SEER ratings range from 1 to 25. SEER is only used to measure cooling functions. When a heat pump is set to its heating function, it is rated on a different system called heating season performance factor, or HSPF. The HSPF is a ratio of heat produced per unit of electricity consumed.

Learn About AFUE

AFUE stands for annual fuel utilization efficiency. It’s a measurement of how much oil, natural gas or propane is converted into heat by a gas furnace, boiler or similar heating system. AFUE ratings are reported on a percentage system. New gas-powered furnaces may have AFUE ratings as high as 99%. AFUE is only used for heat measurements for heating systems that burn gas or oil.

Know Why SEER and AFUE Ratings Matter

If you’re tired of seeing your utility bills increase, this is a good reason to pay attention to SEER and AFUE ratings. According to the Department of Energy, there are federal minimum standards for these measures of energy efficiency. For air-source heat pumps, the minimum SEER is 15. For gas-powered furnaces, the minimum AFUE is 95% for northern climates and 90% for southern climates.

For more information about SEER versus AFUE ratings, take a look at Bowles Heating and Cooling’s furnace installation services, or call us today for additional details about our HVAC services.

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