If you’re shopping for an air conditioner or heating system for controlling your home’s climate, you may have noticed several terms and acronyms referring to an air conditioner’s energy efficiency and heating and cooling capacity. If you’re planning to invest in a new heating and air conditioning system it is important to familiarize yourself with the measurements used to select a heating and air conditioning system.
Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency | AFUE - Represents the rating at which the heating system’s furnace converts gas into energy. An AFUE rating of 85 conveys that 85 percent of fuel is used to emit warm air. The remainder funnels through the ventilation system as exhaust.
British thermal unit | BTU - The scientific measurement and term of energy needed to heat a pound of water one degree Fahrenheit. In relationship to the home is heated or cooled, BTU is the measure of imparting heat when fuel burns, or a measure extracted heat for cooling a single family home. . (A wooden kitchen matchstick emits heat equivocal to one BTU)
Capacity - Defines an air conditioner or heating system’s output capability. The cooling and heating capacity are normally referred to in BTUs.
Cubic feet per minute | CFM - The standard measurement for calculating an air conditioners air flow is the cubic feet per minute (CFM). Generally, most air conditioning systems typically render 400 CFM per ton of air flow.
Heating Seasonal Performance Factor | HSPF - refers to a heat pump's operational efficiency for the heating season when it is in the heating mode. Higher HSPFs afford the highest energy efficiency.
Load calculation - During an energy audit or when an HVAC contractor is helping homeowners determine the precise size for an air conditioner and/or heating system, a detailed analysis or load calculation details what size and type of system will keep the home’s climate comfortable.
Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) - Refers to the measurement of the air conditioner or heat pump’s cooling efficiency. Higher SEERs translate into higher efficiency rates.