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What are HVAC Ratings?

If you’re seeking a new HVAC unit for your home, you should know about several important numbers. Discover why MERV, EER, SEER, and HSPF are important HVAC industry ratings you should understand when evaluating an HVAC system for your Johns Creek, Georgia, home.

MERV – Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value

Whether or not you’re aware of the filter in your HVAC system, you should be aware that the filter carries an important number on it, a MERV rating. The higher the MERV rating, the more efficient your filter becomes at trapping allergens and airborne particles, such as dust and mold.

While top-end residential systems can handle a MERV rating as high as 12, a home rarely has HVAC equipment compatible with any higher numbers. You can go as high as you can, but don’t exceed your system’s specifications.

EER – Energy Efficiency Ratio

EER ratings apply to portable air conditioners. The number indicates the system’s BTU, British thermal units, divided by its wattage. Higher EER ratings are better for efficiency, but these ratings are also associated with higher up-front costs.

SEER – Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio

Experts calculate a system’s SEER rating similarly to an EER. SEER calculations, however, apply to the air conditioner’s seasonal averages, not its performance at a particular temperature. Most equipment manufactured in 2015 or later must have a minimum SEER of 14. However, you can find high-efficiency options with ratings in the 20s.

The higher the SEER, the better energy efficiency you’ll enjoy over the life of the unit. If you’re currently using an older air conditioning system, you may have a SEER as low as 6. Upgrading will yield energy savings.

HSPF – Heating Seasonal Performance Factor

The HSPF is a measurement that determines the efficiency of a heat pump. The HSPF is the ratio of BTU heat output to electricity usage in watts. The higher the HSPF, the better efficiency you’ll enjoy with this heating system. Energy Star products must have a rating of 8.5 or higher for split systems and 8.2 or higher for single package equipment.

For help selecting a new HVAC system for your home, contact our E. Smith Heating & Air Conditioning service professionals at 678-369-8866.

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