Important Heating & Cooling Terms You Should Know

Important Heating & Cooling Terms You Should Know

Energy GuideThe heating and cooling industry is full of terms that can be confusing to homeowners. Perhaps you have run into a few while shopping for a new furnace, air conditioner, heat pump, or replacement air filter.

To help relieve some of that confusion, here are three important heating and cooling terms you should know.

MERV – Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value – You will find MERV ratings when you are shopping for air filters for your current heating and air conditioning system. The higher the MERV, the more efficient the filter is at removing smaller airborne particles from your Phoenix area home’s air. Therefore, higher numbers typically mean better indoor air quality.

Rating Scale: For residential applications, you will likely see MERV 1-12. For the best filtration without restricting too much airflow, MERV 8-11 are recommended. Anything higher will place unneeded strain on your HVAC system.

SEER – Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio – SEER is the efficiency rating of heat pumps and air conditioners. The SEER of a unit is calculated by dividing the entire output during the cooling season by the total electricity used during the same period. It is a helpful tool to use when comparing two or more air conditioner or heat pumps.

Rating Scale: The larger a unit’s SEER, the more energy efficient it is (and the less energy it uses). According to current federal regulations, all new heat pumps and air conditioners must have a SEER of at least 13. You can also find some units with a SEER as high as 23.

AFUE – Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency – If you have ever been shopping for a new gas furnace for your Phoenix area home, you may have run into AFUE. AFUE is a rating scale used as the industry standard to measure the fuel efficiency of furnaces.

Rating Scale: AFUE is expressed as a percentage and measures the fuel it takes to run the heater versus the heat that the furnace produces. A furnace with an 80% AFUE uses 80% of the fuel it burns to create heat (and the other 20% is wasted energy). While all gas furnaces have some wasted energy, to be considered high-efficiency, a furnace must have 90-98% AFUE.

Fountain Hills Air is proud to provide industry-leading heating, cooling, air quality services to the entire Phoenix-metro area.

Have another heating or cooling term you need help with? Ask one of our resident experts online