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Efficiency Ratings: How Important Are They with my HVAC unit?

Energy efficiency is a term that is heard more and more every day. Over the past few years, more home owners are becoming aware of saving energy and getting on the trend. Saving energy is an eco-friendly way of living as well as an opportunity for home owners to save money. A major system of the home that can benefit from energy efficiency is the HVAC system. Both heating and cooling systems in the home need to be energy efficient so that the home owner as well as the environment can benefit. However, many home owners are confused as to what exactly energy efficiency means with an HVAC unit and how it affects them.


One method of rating for energy efficiency is ENERGY STAR. The ENERGY STAR rating is one that is set up by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. This rating has strict guidelines for energy efficiency so any HVAC unit with this rating is going to work well to save energy. A unit that has this certification will be clearly labeled and will be able to provide enhanced comfort as well as optimize the unit performance.

An ENERGY STAR rated nit will have a higher SEER rating as well as EER rating which will make the unit around 15% or more efficient than a unit without this rating. It is recommended that home owners ensure that all of their HVAC products have this rating before purchase and installation.


SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating. This rating is based on the performance of your heating or cooling unit and is determined by the operating efficiency. Each unit has the outdoor compressor tested to match the indoor portion so that the energy efficiency rating can be decided. The rating is basically like the MPG of your vehicle.

The federal guidelines state that a new unit must have a rating of 13 or higher. Unit ratings can go quite high and the higher the rating, the better the energy efficiency. A unit that puts out more cooling or heating for each unit of energy that it is able to consume will have a higher rating. The higher the rating the less energy you will use which means that utility bills will be lower and the impact on the environment will be lowered.

Many home owners will find that HVAC companies or utility companies will compensate for installing a higher efficiency system. Home owners can earn a great deal of cash back on a purchase if they invest in a model of their efficiency. It is always best for home owners to check for local deals to be able to save money on the initial purchase.

So, as you can see, energy efficiency is very important with an HVAC unit and the terms do have meaning. Take the time to determine what type of unit you need for your home and base your decision with the SEER and ENERGY STAR rating in mind to get the best option for your home!

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