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Compare HVAC Experts is a free service that allows you to quickly and easily compare features, products, and deals from local HVAC professionals, especially those that specialize in one day installation and repairs.

We simplify the process by matching you with up to 4 qualified contractors in your local area. Providers can assist you with heating or cooling installation, maintenance, repair or replacement.

HVAC Efficiency Ratings: What do The Numbers Mean?

When you invest in an HVAC unit, you want to ensure it's as efficient as possible. Therefore, you want to understand its efficiency ratings and know what each option means. SEER, AFUE, HSPF...these are all efficiency ratings...
READ MORE

Which Type of Furnace is Right for Me?

Your furnace is the hub of your home’s entire heating system. Therefore, to ensure your home is nice and cozy no matter how chilly it is outside, you need to educate yourself on the various types of furnaces and consider which...
READ MORE

How to Know It's Time to Replace Your Central Air Conditioner

There is nothing worse on a hot, humid summer day than an central air conditioning that isn’t doing its job. While there can be many situations that merit a visit from a professional to handle and even things you can do to make your central air unit work...
READ MORE


HVAC Efficiency Ratings: What do The Numbers Mean?

When you invest in an HVAC unit, you want to ensure it's as efficient as possible. Therefore, you want to understand its efficiency ratings and know what each option means. SEER, AFUE, HSPF...these are all efficiency ratings. Read on to learn what these mean in terms of HVAC efficiency:

What These Ratings Measure

The government issues ratings based on various factors for all cooling and heating equipment. These ratings are regulated by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and governed by U.S. law. Each and every heat pump, air conditioner and heater sold in the United States is assigned one of the following efficiency ratings. Understanding these numbers will help you choose the best heat pump, air conditioner and heater for your home’s needs.

SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio)

SEER is based on the efficiency of a heat pump or an air conditioner’s cooling process. Ideally, you want this SEER number to be high, as the greater the number, the better the efficiency of the unit. The number is tabulated by measuring the cooling output via Btu’s, during normal annual usage, then dividing this number by the total energy output, measured in hours for the same period of time. Today, all cooling products must have a SEER rating of at least 13.0. Older equipment can have a SEER number much lower, though, dipping as low as 8.0. To judge the difference, at 8.0 SEER, if you pay $100 to cool your home throughout the summer, during the same time and for the same amount of cooling, you would instead save $42 if your SEER level was 14.0. That’s a big difference, financially.

AFUE (Average Fuel Utilization Efficiency)

This is the way efficiency is measured for oil-fired or gas furnaces. The percentages indicate how much fuel is used to heat a home and how much is wasted. Ideally, you want a higher AFUE rating as this means the furnace is operating with greater efficiency. A 80% AFUE rating means a furnace is successfully converting 80% of the supplied fuel into heat. The other 20% is lost. The best AFUE you can hope to get is 96.7%. Older furnaces often range around 60%. This means you could theoretically save around 40% on your heating bill by replacing an old furnace with a new more efficient model.

HSPE (Heating Seasonal Performance Factor)

This measures the heating efficiency of heat pumps. (Remember, the cooling aspect of a heat pump is measured via its SEER as mentioned above.) Ideally, you want to have a bigger HSPE number as this means the heat pump is working more efficiently. HSPF is a seasonal measurement because the heating part wouldn’t run as often during certain seasons. Therefore, the HSPF is an averaged factor. It is calculated by measuring the heating requirements, which includes all energy inputs like back-up heating energy and defrost. Industry wide, units are required to have a minimum of 6.8 HSPF. Any model manufactured after 2005 must have an HSPF of 7.7. The highest number you can find is an HSPF of 10.

Bottom Line

By taking the SEER, AFUE and HSPE ratings into consideration when upgrading a new cooling or heating system, you can enjoy savings due to greater energy efficiency from day one. Contact us today to learn more about these rating systems and how to find the right model for your home’s energy demands.

Which Type of Furnace is Right for Me?

Your furnace is the hub of your home’s entire heating system. Therefore, to ensure your home is nice and cozy no matter how chilly it is outside, you need to educate yourself on the various types of furnaces and consider which would be the better option for those chilly spring nights or on into fall and winter. Read on to learn more about various furnace types:

What is a Furnace?

Before considering types of furnaces, it’s important to understand its purpose. It is one of the most important elements in your HVAC system. When you turn the heat on using your thermostat, your furnace activates and heats the cool air in your home via a fan that switches on within the system. How the heat moves through your home depends on the kind of furnace you install.

Types of Furnaces

There are four main types of furnaces to choose from including propane, electric, oil, and natural gas. Nearly all these furnace types, save the electric option, require a chamber or heat exchanger to warm the air. Conversely, electric models heat the air via heated elements.

  • Propane Furnace: This type of furnace is a byproduct of gas and oil production. It is stored in a tank and is utilized by nearly 10% of American households. If you don’t have access to oil or gas in your area, propane can be a great alternative.
  • Electric Furnace: This is the cheaper option when compared to gas. In fact, an electric furnace averages about ½ the cost of a gas option. They also last up to 10 years longer than gas furnaces. However, even though the initial installation cost and the purchase price is cheaper because the cost of electricity is so much higher than gas, your monthly energy bill will be much higher than the gas alternative.
  • Oil Furnaces: Oil furnaces are less efficient than a gas furnace but only slightly so as they typically work between 80 and 90% as efficient as their gas counterparts. The installation and purchase price is lower, though. In fact, the natural gas option is up to 25% more when compared to an oil furnace purchase price. It’s also important to note that oil furnaces are waning in popularity as many people are choosing cleaner and cheaper fuels over this carbon-emitting substance.
  • Natural Gas Furnaces: This is perhaps the most economical choice on the list. New natural gas furnaces are up to 98% efficient, with older gas furnaces typically operating at 65% efficiency. Natural gas is also the most popular choice when it comes to heating homes in America. In fact, almost half the country is currently using natural gas furnaces to warm their home.

Other Factors to Consider When Selecting a Furnace

In addition to the type of furnace you choose, you also need to ensure it's the right size for your home. Usually, this is tabulated using various factors like the number of windows you have, your ceiling height, your local climate, and the overall size of your home. It’s best to have a professional help you determine the right size for your home as this will greatly alter its effectiveness after installation. In other words, you don’t want an improperly sized furnace, or it simply won’t work as designed.

Your Next Step

For more information on furnace types and how to choose the right option for your needs, contact us today. Let us guide you through the process, ensuring your home remains comfortable, no matter how frigid it gets outdoors.

How to Know It’s Time to Replace Your Central Air Conditioner

There is nothing worse on a hot, humid summer day than an central air conditioning that isn’t doing its job. While there can be many situations that merit a visit from a professional to handle and even things you can do to make your central air unit work better, sometimes, it’s simply time to say goodbye to your current model and upgrade to a new central air conditioning. Read on to learn some common signs it’s time to say sayonara to your central air conditioner:

The Air Isn’t Very Cold

Obviously, if your unit isn’t producing enough cool air to make your indoor space comfortable, there is an issue. One common problem that negatively affects the temperature of your air is low Freon levels. In that case, you are likely better off repairing your old AC unit. However, if it's a broken compressor or a more expensive part of the unit, it can be nearly as expensive to fix your unit as it is to replace it altogether.

Your House is Way Too Humid

High humidity levels in your home can vastly alter your comfort level. While the temperature itself might not be that high, if you have too much humidity in your interior spaces, it can make your house feel stuffy, sticky, and just downright uncomfortable. This can indicate your unit is not working as it should. Remember, your unit is designed to remove moisture from the hot air inside your home, then send it back into your space cool and comfortable. If there is no obvious reason that the airflow isn’t working as it should, but your indoor space is too stuffy, this could indicate your air conditioning unit isn’t doing its job as designed and might need to be replaced. 

Your Power Bill is Climbing

While it’s normal to note some increases in energy usage when the outside temperature and humidity levels rise, if you notice a sharp increase, this could indicate your AC system is not working as efficiently as designed. A sizable portion of everyone’s energy bill is allocated to running the central air conditioning. Therefore, if you notice a big jump in your overall energy cost, this might reveal a problem with your current cooling system. 

It’s Old, At Least Over 10 Years

In most cases, you will only get 10 years out of a central air conditioning system, max. If you maintain your system well, you might stretch that number to 15 years. Therefore, if you notice your central air unit isn’t doing its job, you must call in repairmen regularly to fix various problems and your unit also happens to be over 10 years old, it’s likely the unit has simply reached the end of its life.  

You Have Constant Issues

Even well-made and maintained central air conditioning will occasionally need repair work. However, if you call an AC repair company frequently to fix various issues related to your central air unit, it might be time to consider replacing it. After all, if you pay service fees and the cost of labor and parts each time, it can add up fast and become fiscally advantageous to replace your central air conditioning instead of furthering repair efforts.

Unfortunately, if you notice the above signs, your central air conditioning is probably in need of replacement or getting very close to that point. Call us today to learn more about replacement options and why it could be the better choice over continued repairs.


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