Because the HVAC industry uses so many acronyms, shopping for a new heating and cooling system can feel like you are wading in alphabet soup. Even the term HVAC is an acronym for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. Today, we at Hal Mechanical would like to clear up the confusion and provide a quick glossary of the most common acronyms due to the many acronyms used in the industry.
HSPF – Heating Season Performance Factor
The HSPF measures the heat pump’s heating performance. The HSPF will be higher with the more efficient the unit’s heating mode is. Back in 2015, the U.S. Department of Energy set a standard for heat pumps that the minimum energy efficiency is 8. However, the rating you should be more concerned with, is a heat pump’s SEER rating. Heating and cooling comfort is provided with heat pumps.
SEER – Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio
The SEER calculates an AC system’s cooling, which usually ranges from 13 to 22 is over a typical cooling season divided by the energy it uses in Watt-Hours. The minimum SEER standards according to region is enforced by the U.S. Department of Energy. A new unit with the lowest available SEER would be a significant step up in comparison to many older cooling units have a SEER of 8 or less. The minimum requirement is 14 the Vegas Valley. To make it the more comfortable you will be, the less you will pay in monthly cooling costs with the higher the SEER. Ways to reduce energy consumption, such as sealing windows, adding insulation, and using thermal curtains, you will save even more with combining this technology with other ways as well.
AFUE – Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency
When it comes time for shopping for a new furnace, since it will play a large role in your annual heating costs, pay close attention to the AFUE. The AFUE ratio measures how efficiently your heating system uses fuel. A furnace will have an AFUE of 85% if it converts 85% of fuel into heat for example. To meet a minimum of AFUE of 80 by the U.S. Department of Energy, new furnaces are carefully mandated. Modern top-of-the-line models far exceed the minimum standard fortunately. High-end heating systems achieve an AFUE of 95% and higher, which leaves very little to waste.
MERV – Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value
The MERV rating is associated with air quality. Measured through an air filter’s performance is by how small of a particle it can capture. Based on the smaller the particle on the higher the MERV. Making it inexpensive, usually the throwaway filter has a MERV of 4 to 6, which is capable of filtering out household dust and lint. It is primarily designed to protect your HVAC system from getting jammed up with debris. To improve your home’s indoor air, you will need a filter with a MERV of 8 to 13. With this MERV rating, contaminants such as lead dust, auto emissions, and even certain airborne bacteria can be filtered out. The tight mesh screen would restrict a residential HVAC system’s airflow, though the filters with MERV ratings at the high end of the scale are hospital-grade.