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Dalton Plumbing, Heating, Cooling, Electric and Fireplaces, Inc. Blog

Calculating Your Heating Efficiency

People are a lot smarter these days when it comes to using energy for heating in the fall and winter. With helpful apps that can keep track of our comfort preferences, to notation software and smart homes that operate automatically, a homeowner has never been more empowered to take control of their home efficiency and reach new heights.

But all of this calculation has to start somewhere. It’s not very helpful if you make up how much energy or fuel you think a furnace or heat pump consumes. There are specific rating systems like AFUE, SEER2, and HSPF that can help you fully understand just how much energy you’re using, and how to curb it and save money.

Yes, this blog is going to be all about heating in Cedar Rapids, IA, but more importantly how you can calculate your home’s efficiency using some basic arithmetic.

The AFUE Rating

The AFUE rating stands for the annual fuel utilization efficiency and it’s a number that’s used to determine how efficient your gas furnace is. A furnace burns a certain amount of gas that turns it into both heat and fumes, so the more heat that’s created from that same amount of gas the more efficient it is.

AFUE ratings present themselves as a percentage. If your furnace runs at 90 AFUE, this means that 90% of the gas is being turned into heat, and 10% is being turned into fumes, which is a pretty high efficiency to start. You’ll never have a rating that’s higher than 100, but it will never be lower than 0 as long as the furnace is working. The closer your furnace’s AFUE rating is to 100, the more efficient it is and the less you’re paying for fuel over time.

HSPF Ratings

HSPF is a rating system that’s used for heat pump. It’s different from the SEER2 rating that’s used for air conditioners because it has to do with heating efficiency as well as cooling efficiency.

HSPF stands for heating seasonal performance factor, and it’s a measurement of how much energy a heat pump uses to heat your home on a seasonal level. The higher this rating is, the less energy is used to heat the same amount of space and the more efficient your system runs. More efficiency means less you pay on your monthly energy bills!

SEER2 Ratings

Customers might be aware of the SEER rating, so why do we keep using the term SEER2? Well, since the Inflation Reduction Act passed, the SEER rating has actually been upgraded into a SEER2 rating, to compensate for updated energy standards and more efficient cooling systems.

SEER stands for seasonal energy efficiency ratio, and it’s similar to the HSPF rating, only being specifically designed for cooling units like central air conditioners. The higher your system’s SEER2 rating, the more energy efficient it is and the better it is for your budget.

While all of these numbers and ratings can be confusing–there’s one important theme to take away from this blog post. A higher number is always better, no matter what rating you’re using, so always install the highest SEER2, HSPF, or AFUE rated system you can afford for maximum energy or fuel efficiency.

At Dalton Plumbing, Heating, Cooling, Electric and Fireplaces, Inc., your comfort is our promise! To set up an appointment in the Cedar Rapids area, give us a call at the number above, email or schedule an appointment online. 

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