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Measures of Heating Efficiency

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013 at 8:56 am

You don’t use your heating system as much as your air conditioner when you live in Florida—but that only makes it all the more important that you have an efficient heater in your home for those cold nights during the winter. Those times when you need to have the heater on shouldn’t end up causing a massive spike on your energy bills for the month.

To understand how efficient a home heating system is requires understanding the two ways that efficiency is measured: AFUE (“annual fuel utilization efficiency”) and HSPF (“heating seasonal performance factor”). They are very different measurements used for different types of systems. We’ll explain what they mean in this post.

For more help for your heating in Rockledge, FL, look to Next Generation Air & Heat Inc.

AFUE

The annual fuel utilization efficiency rating measures how efficiently a furnace converts its fuel source into heat. AFUE is expressed as a percentage—the higher the percentage, the more completely the system converts fuel to heat. A furnace with an AFUE of 85% produces 85 BTUs (British Thermal Units) of heat for every 100 units of fuel it burns. A furnace with an AFUE rating of 85% would therefore only waste 15% of the fuel available to it. All furnaces sold in the U.S. are currently required to have an AFUE of 78% or greater—and most furnaces score much higher than that.

HSPF

Heat pumps, which operate on the same principle of heat exchange as air conditioners, have a different efficiency rating for heat: heating seasonal performance factor. HSPF is a ratio expressed as a whole number: the amount of BTUs of heat delivered divided by the energy consumed in watt-hours, as measured over a season. Again, the higher the number, the more efficient the heat pump. Most effective heat pumps will have a HSPF of 9 or 10. (Heat pumps have a separate rating for cooling efficiency, called SEER.)

Here’s something important to remember when you are thinking of installing a new heater in your home: although energy efficiency is an important factor to consider, it is not the only factor. A heater may use energy efficiently, yet still provide you with inadequate warmth. This is why having the help of home comfort professionals from the beginning of the installation process is so important: experts will balance all the factors to make sure you pick a heater with the efficiency and performance to keep you comfortable.

Next Generation Air & Heat Inc. can help you find the heating in Rockledge, FL that will keep away those cold days and nights. We’re available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to assist you.

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