Here in this blog, we often talk about efficiency: ways to improve it in your heating and air conditioning system, and features to look for that indicate a more efficient system. You may be surprised, however, if you buy an efficient device, only to find that your bills remain the same or even go up a little more. It’s quite common and with winter still raging here in Dover, DE, it can catch people by surprise. We’ve found that understanding the difference between efficiency and saving money can be very useful, not only in helping with your heating and air conditioning purchases but with your habits once a new system is installed.
What Efficiency Means
An efficient system isn’t necessarily one that is less expensive to run. It’s simple one that makes the most use of the energy it consumes. Both heaters and air conditioners use grading scales to determine how well a given system does this. With air conditioners, it’s a SEER rating, which stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. With heaters, it’s AFUE, which stands for Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency. Both use different scales and measurements, but in both cases a higher rating means that the system uses its fuel more effectively (i.e., with a higher percentage of the energy generated actually going to heating and cooling your home) than one with a lower rating.
Why It Could Still Cost More
It’s important to realize that improved efficiency is automatically the same as saving money. For instance, if you buy a more powerful system with a higher efficiency rating, it will still consume more fuel that a smaller system. And if you have a more efficient system, but run it more than a less efficient one, it’s still going to cost more money.
Talk to the pros at Atlantic Refrigeration about how to use a more efficient system the right way.