What is SEER, AFUE and HSPF?
SEER, AFUE and HSPF Explained
The easiest way to explain SEER, AFUE and HSPF is to think of gas mileage. The higher the rating is like buying a car that gets more MPG’s. Cars that have greater MPG’s are more efficient and require less fuel. The HVAC and air conditioning systems with higher ratings will be more efficient and require less energy. For a more technical explanation, see below.
SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio)
SEER is the measure of efficiency by which the cooling process of air conditioners and heat pumps is rated. The higher the SEER number, the greater the efficiency, which yields greater energy savings. The SEER is defined as the total cooling output (in British thermal units or Btu) provided by the AC unit during its normal annual usage period divided by its total energy input (in watt-hours) during the same period.
AFUE (Average Fuel Utilization Efficiency)
AFUE is the standard measurement of efficiency for gas and oil-fired furnaces. Given in percentages, this number tells you how much of your fuel is used to heat your home and how much fuel is wasted. The higher the AFUE rating, the greater the efficiency. If a furnace has a rating of 80% AFUE rating, the furnace converts 80% of the fuel that you supply to heat — the other 20% is lost out the roof of your home.
HSPF (Heating Seasonal Performance Factor)
HSPF is the measurement used to gauge the heating efficiency of heat pumps. (A heat pump’s cooling efficiency is measured by its SEER). The higher the HSPF number, the greater the efficiency and cost-savings. HSPF is calculated by taking the total annual heating requirements, including all energy inputs (defrost and back-up heating energy included) divided by the total electric power used.