facebook noscript

Why It Is Important To Know About AFUE, SEER, HSPF

Why It Is Important To Know About AFUE, SEER, HSPF

Why It Is Important To Know About AFUE, SEER, HSPFWhen you’re selecting a new HVAC system for your home, the terms AFUE, SEER, and HSPF are essential to understand so you make a good choice for your home and budget. These acronyms are the terms that indicate how energy efficient the system is.


Short for Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency, the term applies to furnaces and boilers that use combustion products, like natural gas and propane. It’s expressed as a percentage and ranges from 78 to 99. It indicates how much of the fuel the system uses to create heat, versus being wasted as flue gases. A furnace with an AFUE of 78, the current minimum, wastes 22 percent of the fuel it uses.

Generally, furnaces whose ratings are over 90 are condensing furnaces. A second heat exchanger removes the heat from the water vapor burned gas creates. They also use a sealed combustion chamber and draw air from the outside for combustion, keeping your home’s air cleaner.


This term applies to central air conditioners and heat pumps. It indicates their cooling efficiency and stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. The minimum starts at 13 and systems are available that go into the 20s. Each single digit increase in the rating indicates the system uses 10 percent less energy for the same amount of cooling.


The Heating Season Performance Factor applies to heat pumps, a solid way to heat homes in our region, since winters are quite mild. The minimum stands at 7.7 and goes as high as 10. Generally, if the cooling efficiency for a heat pump is high, the heating efficiency will be as well, since these systems use the same parts for heating as they do cooling. A reversing valve changes the system from cooling to heating, making the refrigerant flow change direction.

To learn more about AFUE, SEER and HSPF, contact Air-Tro, Inc. We’ve provided outstanding HVAC services for Pasadena area homeowners since 1969.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Monrovia, California area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

Image courtesy of Shutterstock