23 Oct How to Choose the Most Energy-Efficient Heating and Cooling System
When your home is in need of a new system for heating and cooling in Denver, you will have many decisions to make. By working with your HVAC technician, you can sort through all of the different system features. One of the biggest considerations will be the energy efficiency of your new HVAC equipment. The system’s energy efficiency is rated by the U.S. Department of Energy and is a measure of how well it converts electricity or natural gas into heated or cooled air. The higher the efficiency of your furnace and air conditioner, the lower your home’s heating and cooling costs will be.
Energy Star Ratings
One way to learn about a particular system’s energy efficiency is to look at its product labeling. Energy Star rated furnaces, heat pumps and air conditioners use at least 30 percent less electricity or natural gas to heat or condition the home’s air. To find out whether or not a system has the Energy Star rating, ask your HVAC technician, look through the information pamphlets or visit the manufacturer’s website. Some utility companies offer discounts and rebates for homeowners who select Energy Star rated HVAC equipment.
Air conditioner efficiency is measured by the seasonal energy efficiency ratio, or SEER. Heat pumps are also rated with SEER, as they provide both heating and air conditioning to Denver, CO homes. The current minimum allowable SEER rating is 14. The higher the SEER, the more efficient your new air conditioner or heat pump will be. Choosing the highest SEER means that your summertime cooling costs will be lower, no matter whether your home has an all seasons heat pump or a central air conditioning system.
Furnaces powered by natural gas are rated with the annual fuel utilization efficiency, or AFUE rating. The higher a furnace’s AFUE, the more efficiently it converts natural gas into heat. The minimum standard for today’s furnaces is 90 percent, although furnaces with an AFUE as high as 99 percent are offered. To find out the AFUE rating of a furnace, you can ask your HVAC service company or read the product literature from the manufacturer.
(Choosing an Air Conditioning System, rheem.com)
(A Guide to Energy-Efficient Heating and Cooling, energystar.gov)