Your Guide to HVAC Terminology: Common Terms to Know

energy efficient hvac

At Holtzople, we speak fluent HVAC; we also understand that many people looking to upgrade their HVAC systems don’t! We’ve created this guide to HVAC terminology and energy efficiency ratings that will help you understand your options and choose the best one for your residential or commercial needs.

Ready? Let’s go!

Sizing Your HVAC System

You know that sizing your HVAC system is the first step to choosing the best one for your space. It’s more than just square footage, though. Properly sizing your HVAC needs will require a look into the building’s structure, such as it’s building material and thermal characteristics. A building made of glass, for example, will require a different heating and cooling approach compared to one made of brick or stone.

HVAC professionals use a formula known as a load calculation to determine the right size of your unit. Units that are too large or too small will be far less energy efficient than a properly sized model.

Measuring Energy Efficiency

What if your new unit could pay for itself over time? The highest efficiency units can do just that. Energy efficiency is not just good for your wallet, it’s good for the environment, too.  HVAC units have ways to measure their energy efficiency:

Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE)

A unit’s AFUE covers the costs and efficiency of heating units. AFUE is measured in both fuel-based and electrical-powered units. Simply put, the AFUE measures how much of the fuel is converted into usable heat, and how much is wasted.

The numbers used to rate AFUE are basic percentages. An AFUE rating of 95 indicates that 95% of your fuel will be converted to energy. Electrical units will typically have higher AFUE ratings than others.

Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER)

This rating is for your cooling units. The United States has a minimum SEER requirement of 14 or more to be considered a high-efficiency unit. Most units have an average rating of around 18, but some units (like our Trane systems) have a SEER in the 20s, making them the most energy-efficient HVAC systems to purchase.

Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF)

Another factor affecting heating systems is their HSPF, specifically heat pumps. The most efficient units have an HSPF rating of 9.3, but minimum requirements stipulate that any newer model must be rated above 7.7. On average, many systems have a rating of around 8.2.

Energy Star

Chances are you’ve seen the Energy Star logo on many heating and cooling systems. A partnership between the EPA and Department of Energy, Energy Star is a way of identifying and certifying the most efficient and high-performing systems.

Some Energy Star units offer rebates, making them even more attractive to homeowners and businesses alike.

Energy Efficiency: It’s all About Being SMART

Today’s HVAC units have energy efficiency on their own, but there are additional benefits to pairing them with smart home devices, such as smart thermostats. We recommend and install Google Nest Smart Thermostats

With the Google Nest Smart Thermostat, comfort is automatic. These smart thermostats will “learn” your patterns and adjust the temperature, turning the systems down when you’re away from home and back up before you return. 

These thermostats can be connected to your other smart home devices to monitor your HVAC systems and alert you when it senses a potential problem. You can adjust the temperature of your home regardless of your location, and know when you’re operating at peak efficiency.

When paired with other smart devices, the thermostat will monitor your home for dangerous CO or smoke conditions.

Many Nest thermostat owners report savings of up to 20% or more on overall heating and cooling costs.***

***these savings are not guaranteed

Holtzople Heating and Air Conditioning Has the Energy Efficient Solutions You Need

With nearly two decades of heating and air conditioning experience, Holtzople is proud to provide the most energy-efficient heating and cooling solutions for residential and commercial needs. 

We professionally install Google Smart products to ensure you’re getting the most out of your HVAC systems, including security products, WiFi solutions, and, of course, smart thermostats. 

We have several financing options, including lease-to-own, making an HVAC upgrade more affordable for every budget. 

Contact our friendly team today to find out how much you could be saving on your new HVAC systems.