Everyone in the Decatur, Alabama area wants to keep their energy bills as low as possible, from homeowners to those managing large business rental properties. A key to doing that is using the right HVAC system, preferably one with higher energy efficiency.
But how do you tell if this is the case? It’s important to know where your system stands compared to the most efficient models, and the good news is that there are several ways to tell. Here are several methods for gauging your HVAC system’s energy use.
Look At Your Energy Bill
No matter the time of year, your energy bill can give you valuable clues as to how efficient your HVAC system is.
Your HVAC system will typically be the largest chunk of your energy bill, meaning it will have the largest effect on how expensive it will be per month. On average, heating and cooling account for 29% and 13% of energy usage, respectively.
Many energy companies have online tools to help you determine when you’re using the most energy, and how your energy usage compares to other customers. You can also compare your bills from month to month as the weather changes. While not perfect, this method can give you hints as to whether your HVAC system could use an upgrade.
For Air Conditioners, Check the SEER Rating
Air conditioners have what’s known as a Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating, which is a number that ranges from 8 (older units) to 25. The higher the number, the better the AC unit is at conserving energy, and the more you’ll save on your energy costs. Modern AC units typically have a rating from 15 to 18.
In areas such as Decatur, Alabama, higher ratings are preferred. You can find your unit’s SEER rating by checking its yellow Energy Guide sticker. If your rating is low, consider upgrading to a newer unit with a better rating.
For Furnaces, Look For AFUE
The Annual Furnace Utilization Efficiency rating tells you how much heat a furnace creates for every dollar spent on energy. Like the SEER rating, the higher the AFUE rating is, the better.
Unlike the SEER rating, AFUE comes as a percentage, and currently, an 80% or higher rating is required by law. High efficiency furnaces will have a rating of at least 90%. In the US South, a rating of at least 90% is required to receive an Energy Star rating.
Once again, you can find this rating on the yellow Energy Guide label that should be on your furnace.
Look At Maintenance
It’s often not enough to simply look at your energy bills and energy ratings. Checking how well maintained your system is will also tell you a lot about how much money you’re saving.
Dirty filters, condenser coils, and anything obstructing airflow will affect your energy use and drive up your bill. If your system is older, wear and tear may be impacting your energy use as well, so if parts are breaking or needing replacement, it may be best to upgrade.
Ready to Take the Next Step?
If you’re looking to upgrade an old HVAC system and lower your monthly heating and cooling costs, be sure to contact us today. We proudly serve the greater Decatur, Alabama area.