When it comes to selecting a heating system for your home, you must weigh a number of different factors in order to find the best unit for the job. Along with picking a heater that can provide the level of warmth necessary for your family’s comfort and which uses type of fuel best suited for where you live, you also must choose a heater that runs efficiently and will not create exorbitant utility bills.
Here is a tip on how to narrow down your heating systems choices based on their efficiency. For further assistance finding and installing the right heater in Chicago, IL, call the company that has kept the city warm for over a century: Shavitz Heating and Air Conditioning.
AFUE and HSPF: Efficiency Ratings to Watch For
The best way to determine the efficiency of a heating system is to look for either the AFUE or HSPF rating. The latter is found only on heat pumps, while the former applies to all other systems, such as furnaces and boilers.
Annual fuel unitization efficiency (AFUE) is a measurement of how well a heating system burns its fuel source to generate heat. AFUE is written as a percentage that expresses what amount of fuel the system converts to heat; the higher the percentage, the more efficient system works and the less it will cost to run. A furnace with an AFUE rating of 85% would return 85 BTUs of heat for every 100 units of fuel it burns (gas, propane, electricity, etc.).
How high an AFUE should you aim for? That depends on your budget and the type of heater. For a gas furnace to qualify for the U.S. Department of Energy’s ENERGY STAR label, it must have an AFUE of 90% or better. In general, you should look for units with ENERGY STAR certification when shopping for a heater.
Heating seasonal performance factor (HSPF) is different kind of efficiency measurement, and it only applies to heat pumps in heating mode. (For cooling mode, they have a separate rating, SEER.) HSPF is a ratio of the amount of heating provided to the amount electricity consumed in watt-hours. The HSPF rating for efficient heat pumps tends to hover in the range of 10–12 and is almost always lower than SEER for the same system.
Here’s something to keep in mind: an efficient heating system doesn’t necessarily mean that it is powerful enough for your home. A heater can efficiently consume energy, yet still fail to produce enough heat to effectively warm a space. This is why you must rely on professionals for installing a heater: they will assist you with balancing all the important factors so you will end up with a system that will save you money and keep out the cold.
Call Shavitz Heating and Air Conditioning today for the Chicago, IL heater service you need to make the upcoming winter (and many after it) a pleasant and cozy one.