What is SEER?
SEER stands for seasonal energy efficiency ratio. It applies only to air conditioning, and it is basically a ratio of BTU’s gained per watt of electric current used. Units with higher SEER ratings don’t necessarily blow colder air, but do use less electricity. The present minimum SEER standard is 13.
What is HSPF?
HSPF stands for heating season performance factor. It applies only to heat pumps, and is the heating equivalent of the SEER rating.
What is AFUE?
AFUE stands for average fuel utilization efficiency. It applies to gas appliances, and is basically a ratio of heat captured compared to heat expelled through the combustion exhaust. In other words, a furnace with an AFUE rating of 95% would mean that 95% of the heat from the fuel burned ends up in the house, and the other 5% of the heat goes up the flue as combustion products. The present minimum AFUE standard is 80%.
I have a split system, can I replace just one component?
In the past, although it was never a good idea, you could get away with changing just one unit, like an air handler or a condenser. Now, in light of the recent upgrade of the minimum SEER standard, it is impossible for the unit to perform as the designers intended when, for example, installing a 13 SEER air handler with a 10 or 11 SEER condenser. This is especially true with heat pumps, since the system operates summer and winter and the components need to be balanced. Also, from a warranty stand point, the components need to be compatible to assure a successful warranty claim.
I need to replace my system, do I need to consider purchasing a system using the new 410A refrigerant?
The demand for the old refrigerant R-22 has increased, yet starting in 2004 the production was decreased by 35%. That reduction is based on R-22 production numbers from 1998. Production will be reduced by 65% in 2010 and OEM’s will not be allowed to use R-22 for production after that date. The reduction of R-22 itself will be reduced 90% in 2015 and no production will be allowed after 2020. Factor in the average life of a unit is 13 years, and you can get an idea of the availability of R-22 refrigerant in the future. It is estimated that there will be 100,000,000 R-22 units operating in the USA in 2010 that will need service and maintenance.
What is the best brand on the market?
The old adage “they don’t build them like they used too” seems to be more true now than ever. There is no such thing as a “set and forget” unit out there, with so many components coming from over seas. I have been dealing with Associated Equipment Co. Inc., (the local Goodman/Amana dealer) since 1998 and I have found them to have excellent inventories, the industries best warranties, and outstanding factory support, all very important factors to maintain customer satisfaction.