SEER? AFUE? What Do They Mean?

Published on: January 26, 2016
HVAC unit outside of house | AC Southeast®

When shopping for a new HVAC system for your Georgia home, you’ve probably come across many abbreviations on the systems. SEER ratings and AFUE ratings offer insight to the efficiency of your air conditioner and furnace. While these ratings are important, they are just one of several factors that determine the utility savings and efficiency of each system for your home and climate.

SEER Ratings

SEER, short for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, is a rating derived for air conditioners for their efficiency. SEER ratings specifically measure the cooling capacity of the air conditioner with the power used. A more efficient air conditioner will have a higher SEER rating than a less efficient air conditioning system. Although it’s common to see SEER ratings on HVAC systems, SEER ratings are specifically for air conditioners and not heaters.

AFUE Ratings

Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency is similar to SEER ratings, but AFUE is a measurement for furnaces as opposed to air conditioners. While SEER ratings use their own number system to measure efficiency, AFUE uses actual percentages. Typical AFUE numbers are any percentage up to 100 percent, with those percentages equaling the amount of fuel turned into heat. If your furnace has an AFUE rating of 80 percent, then 20 percent is not used to heat your home.

Balancing Act

You want an efficient system, but you also want an affordable system. The common question is if there is a magic number for SEER and AFUE to be the most efficient while still being affordable. Just because a system has a high AFUE rating, doesn’t always mean it’s the most efficient for your home. However, higher SEER ratings generally mean higher savings, considering how hot it gets in Georgia.

Knowing what AFUE and SEER ratings are can help you find the right system for your home. However, there are many other things to consider before making that purchase. If you’re thinking about upgrading your HVAC system, check out Airconditioningsoutheast.com to find a contractor in your area to discuss the best system with the right AFUE and SEER ratings for your home.