Four HVAC Terms Homeowners Should Know

There are lots of things to think about when you look into HVAC equipment. You want to get the most for your money, and to do so you have to figure out what products suit your needs, get the best efficiency and give you the most comfort. However, it’s easy to get confused by some of the terms you’ll see: AFUE, SEER, MERV and NATE. You are not alone in thinking, what does this all mean? Here’s a brief refresher course of the terms you should know.

AFUE stands for Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency, and it is a rating that shows homeowners the overall efficiency of a furnace or boiler. Basically, a furnace rated 80 percent AFUE uses 80 percent of the total fuel burned to heat the home. That means 20 percent is lost in the process. The highest rated furnaces currently reach 98 percent AFUE.

SEER is used to rate air conditioners or heat pumps. SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. SEER is a number determined by dividing the total cooling output during the cooling season by the total electrical energy input during the cooling season. A SEER rating of 10 is equal to 10 BTUs/WattHour. So, an air conditioner with a SEER rating of 10 will provide 10 BTUs of cooling per WattHour (Wh) of operation. The higher the number, the better and the highest efficiency for SEER is 24.5.

A MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) rating is designed to show consumers how an air filter performs over its lifespan. The higher the rating, the better job the filter does at catching particles.  Filters are rated from 1 to 16.

When choosing an HVAC contractor to perform maintenance or service, you want to know what NATE means. NATE stands for North American Technician Excellence. It is superior to other certifications, because it doesn’t just qualify anyone who applies. NATE contractors must pass a rigorous test, and only 65 percent of those tested pass. Getting a NATE certified technician means you’re placing your HVAC equipment in the hands of a knowledgeable, trusted professional.

A little learning goes a long way. Of course, you’re not alone in navigating the heating and cooling marketplace. The experts at Paitson Bros. are here for all your home comfort needs.

Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information, click here to download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

Paitson Bros. Heating and Air Conditioning services Terre Haute, IN. To get started, check out our website.

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