Your heating, ventilating, and air conditioning system keeps you cool in the summer, warm in the winter, and comfortable all year-long. This infographic was originally published by Davis Air Conditioning and Heating, and it discusses some of the primary considerations homeowners need to take into account when shopping for a new HVAC system. In particular, energy efficiency should rank as your highest concern because your HVAC system represents about half of your home’s total energy consumption.
When it comes to your air conditioner, check its SEER (seasonal energy efficiency rating). Higher numbers mean more efficiency, and it’s important to avoid air conditioners with SEERs lower than 14. For your furnace or heat pump, the EER (energy efficiency rating) is the standard. You can also familiarize yourself with other rating systems, such as AFUE (annual fuel utilization efficiency) ratings and the heating seasonal performance factor (HSPF). Keep in mind that, while higher numbers lead to increased efficiency, the ideal system for you also depends on your local climate.
Many homeowners prefer central air conditioning, which consists of an indoor AC unit, an outdoor unit, and a duct system. However, modern AC options also include ductless mini-split air conditioners and energy-efficient heat pumps. You can also equip your home with other components that help you maintain comfort and efficiency, such as whole-home dehumidifiers, air purification systems, and UV lights. When you’re ready to upgrade a component of your HVAC system, hire a professional technician for the job, as improper installation can increase energy consumption by up to 30 percent.