Almost every household needs the HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) industry, but to most people, the world of contractors is mysterious and foreign. It doesn’t have to be this way; learning a few terms and concepts can go a long way toward having a better understanding of your heating and air conditioning system.
Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER)
SEER is an important term for Tampa Bay residents to understand because it refers to the efficiency of air conditioning equipment. The higher the SEER rating of an air conditioning unit, the more efficient it is. All newly manufactured units must have a SEER rating of at least 13, and all Energy Star units must have a rating of at least 14. When you are buying new air conditioning equipment, you should work with your contractor to find the most energy efficient unit that will work for your home and budget. Some units are rated as high as SEER 20; the equipment is more expensive, but your monthly utilities will be lower.
Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE)
AFUE is also an efficiency rating, but it refers to your heating equipment’s seasonal heating efficiency and is described as a percentage of the fuel burned to heat your home. For example, a rating of 75 percent AFUE means that 75 percent of the fuel consumed is used to heat your home, while the remaining 25 percent is waste. AFUE ratings can range from 55-65 percent on the low end, and up to 95 percent for more energy-efficient equipment.
North American Technical Excellence (NATE)
NATE is the leading third-party certifying organization for the HVAC industry. Technicians who are certified by NATE are required to pass a series of tests to prove their competence in HVAC system repair and maintenance. Working with a NATE certified technician means the job will be done right the first time, giving you greater peace of mind and saving you money.