Facts

ENERGY EFFICIENT HEATING AND COOLING SYSTEMS

(What to Look For)

Looking for a new heating & cooling system can be very confusing. There are so many terms and numbers that are used today to describe the different types of equipment available it is no wonder why buyers are confused. Lets see if we can simplify things:

SEER- SEASONAL ENERGY EFFICIENCY RATIO

The higher the number the more efficient the system is to operate. Like many consumer products that use energy, air conditioners and heat pumps are manufactured to meet or exceed minimum efficiency standards set by the U.S. department of Energy. After nearly a decade with 10 SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) as the minimum efficiency, January 23, 2006 marked the mandated increase to 13 SEER.

Higher SEER means cost-savings and energy efficiency. For many homeowners, a 13 SEER air conditioner or heat pump will save money on each months electric bill. Exactly how much you can save will depend on efficiency of your current system. For example a 13 SEER product:

  • Delivers about 23% energy savings compared to 10 SEER models
  • Delivers about 8% energy savings compared to 12 SEER models

We offer equipment ranging from 13 SEER up to 21 SEER. The cost to replace your old, inefficient system is paid back through lower utility bills.

 

HSPF- HEATING SEASONAL PERFORMANCE FACTOR

The Heating Seasonal Performance Factor is a measure of the heating efficiency of a heat pump. The higher the HSPF number, the more efficiently the heat pump heats your home. Todays models are required to have a 6.8 HSPF. We offer heat pumps with HSPF ratings ranging from 6.8 to 9.5 (with a new system to be available this spring with a 13 HSPF).

Cost savings: higher efficiency in heat pumps and air conditioners usually means higher equipment cost but lower utility bills. If you live in a warm and/or humid climate, you will probably see the higher cost of a high efficiency air conditioner or heat pump paid back (through lower utility bills) in a few short years.

 

AFUE- ANNUAL FUEL UTILIZATION EFFICIENCY

AFUE is the standard measurement of efficiency for gas and oil fired furnaces. Given in percentages, this number tells you how much of your fuel is used to heat your home and how much is wasted. The higher the AFUE rating, the greater the efficiency. Carrier offers a full line of furnaces with AFUE ratings ranging from the minimum industry requirements of 78% to more that 96%.

Cost savings: if you have an older furnace (with an AFUE of approximately 60%), you could save up to 40% on your heating bills by replacing it with a new high efficiency furnace. The cost to replace your old, inefficient furnace is paid back through lower utility bills. Carrier is proud to offer you heating and air conditioning products with the ENERGY STAR label.

 

WHAT IS ENERGY STAR?

Products that earn the ENERGY STAR designation use less energy and prevent greenhouse gas emissions by meeting strict energy efficient guidelines set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy. With energy costs and global warming top-of-mind for consumers, Carrier is committed to offering solutions that help consumers conserve energy and improve the quality of our environment.

 

STIMULUS TAX CREDIT

2011 changes to Federal Tax Credits Available for Qualifying Residential Systems-Federal tax credits on qualifying, high efficiency HVAC equipment have been modified and extended through December 31, 2011 by the tax relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010. This program differs from the program effective in 2009-2010 in the following ways:

 

  • The maximum amount an eligible homeowner may receive in tax credits for purchasing qualifying products, whether those purchases are in the form of upgraded insulation, windows, HVAC equipment or other eligible improvements, will be reduced from $1,500 to $500.
  • The $500 cap is reduced by the total amount of residential energy property credits a homeowner has claimed for purchases between 2006 and 2010. If you have already claimed credits of $500 or more from improvements made prior to 2011, you will be unable to claim new credits for improvements made during 2011.
  • All furnaces and boilers, whether natural gas, propane or oil, must have an AFUE of 95 or above to be eligible for the credit.
  • The credit is no longer 30% of qualified residential energy property costs (including labor), but is now equal to an amount not to exceed.
Minimum Tax

Credit Available

Product Type Efficiency

Requirements

$50 Any advanced main air circulating fan *See below
$150 Natural gas, propane, oil furnace or boiler 95% AFUE
$300 Split system air conditioner 16 SEER/13 EER
$300 Split system heat pump 15 SEER/12.5 SEER/

8.5 HSPF

$300 Package air conditioner 14 SEER/12 EER
$300 Package heat pump 14 SEER/12 EER/8.5 HSPF
$300 Package gas/electric 14 SEER/12 EER

 

MAINTENANCE

Just like servicing and maintaining your car, it is important to keep your Heating and Cooling System operating safely and efficiently. A dirty system costs more to operate. There are also many components that can make a system dangerous to operate if not maintained properly.