When it comes to the numbers on your energy bills, no one wants to see those numbers grow higher and higher. However, as your system ages, it will lose efficiency. Furthermore, when HVAC efficiency starts to decrease, the numbers on your power bill will start to rise. When this happens, it’s time to think about replacing your system. But how can you track your HVAC efficiency to minimize the effects of outdated HVAC equipment? First, you can hire a qualified HVAC contractor to measure your system efficiency and provide necessary repairs. Additionally, your HVAC technician is sure to use some of the common measurements to report on the efficiency of your heating and cooling system. Here are those measurements and what they mean for your HVAC efficiency…
MERV is a measure of the effectiveness of your air filter. What this actually measures is the size of the holes in your air filter, which is helpful when compared with the specs of your system. Filters with a high MERV rating have smaller holes, which means they filter out smaller particles. However, this tends to obstruct airflow, which could hurt your system efficiency. Change filters with a high MERV rating, frequently.
HSFP is a measure that’s used to determine the efficiency of a heat pump. A high HSFP rating is a good thing and means that the total heat output is favorable when compared to the total electrical energy being used by the system. Unless you have HVAC training, you probably won’t understand how to calculate this number – best to call a professional.
The Energy Star Rating is used to label machines that have been specially built for to conserve energy while offering no decrease in system effectiveness as mandated the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This rating covers everything from laptops to refrigerators and, of course, heating and cooling equipment. Additionally, Energy Star products can be identified by a sticker on the machine, or you can find more information about Energy Start Products, here.
The EER rating is used to measure cooling systems above a certain temperature. Mainly this measure tells how well your system functions during peak operation during hot summer days. Measured in BTUs, this is another number that it would be hard to find without an HVAC technician. However, some manufacturers and websites will have these numbers listed for more recent air conditioning systems. Talk to your local professional if you can’t find your number online.
Like EER, contractors use the SEER rating to measure the efficiency of a cooling system with one main difference. The SEER rating accounts for total usage over a 12-month period and is a more accurate depiction of overall air conditioning efficiency throughout the entire season. The Energy Star Rating includes this; however, if your system is older, you may find it difficult to locate this measurement.
Questions about system measurements? Contact a Morrison technician to inspect your system and make energy efficiency recommendations.