Looking to upgrade your HVAC system? Before you go out shopping, it’s a good idea to learn HVAC terms. Armed with this kind of information, you can feel confident about choosing the upgrade that’s best for your situation. Here are some terms it pays to know.
- AFUE, or annual fuel utilization efficiency, is a rating that allows you to compare the energy efficiency of furnaces. A higher AFUE means less wasted fuel and lower heating bills.
- SEER, or seasonal energy efficiency ratio, is a rating system used to compare the energy efficiency of air conditioning systems. A higher SEER rating means that more cooling power can be produced with less electricity.
- HSPF, or heating seasonal performance factor, is similar to SEER but is used to measure the heating efficiency of heat pumps.
- Variable-speed blower motor – Furnaces with this feature have intelligent technology that allows the blower motor to continually determine the amount of air that needs to be delivered. The blower motor can automatically adjust to accommodate factors in your home such as a dirty air filter or a blocked register. This helps your furnace optimize its efficiency.
- Two-stage scroll compressor – This is the pump part of a heat pump or air conditioner. A two-stage scroll compressor is more energy-efficient than a traditional compressor.
- Two-stage gas valve – This is a feature that allows the furnace to burn fuel at either a high or a low setting, depending on your heating needs. Like a two-stage compressor, it saves energy because the HVAC system is not always running at full tilt.
- Radiant heating – This system uses heated tubes under the floor to warm a home. Because it does not use a fan or a duct system, radiant heating can be more energy-efficient than a traditional furnace.
- Zoning system – This is an upgrade to your duct system that divides your home into different temperature zones. A zoning system improves comfort, temperature control and energy efficiency.
After you’ve chosen the upgrade that’s right for your home, become familiar with another term, the minimum efficiency reporting value — or MERV. MERV is a rating system for air filters, and it’s a measure of the pollutants each filter can trap. You’ll need to check the filter in your system regularly, and it’s helpful to know which MERV rating is best for your specific needs. Filters with MERV ratings of five to 12 are considered suitable for most residential systems. Filters rated 9 to 12 are considered superior, and if you have family members with respiratory issues, this is the range you might want to look at.
If you would like to learn more about these HVAC terms, contact Apollo Home Heating, Cooling & Plumbing. With more than a century of experience, we are the Cincinnati-area HVAC experts you can trust.
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"Ernie & Mike did a superb job on my new furnace and A/C installation. Despite having more than a day’s work to do, they came in and stayed until the job was done. They were organized, efficient, and protected the rest of the house well. Got both furnace and A/C installed the same day. Ernie was courteous, informative, and clearly knew his job better than anyone I’ve encountered before. The units look so good guests now get The Tour of our new system. Apollo is clearly not a fly-by-night company. I would recommend them to anyone in need of a new furnace and/or A/C."
- Jerry A.
"I called Apollo because of a water leak I thought I had in our upstairs shower going into the kitchen. Robbie came and assured me everything was fine & looked at all the other plumbing. He ended up changing a few pipes for our washer & clearing a drain. He was very nice & knowledgeable with all my questions. I ended up signing up for the care plan & was very happy with my service."
- Cassandra B.
"The team at Apollo exceeded my expectations. As a business owner, my attention to the details and commitment to providing excellent service is high. From the sales rep. to the installation team, everyone’s performance was outstanding. For example, the installation team went to great lengths to protect our floors, placing floor runners and across the wood floors and up the stairs. They even were spot washing walls upon their departure. I highly recommend this company."
- Randy B.
"We scheduled an estimate AND a tune-up. We knew something was wrong with our furnace, but hoped we could make it through the rest of the season. Upon telling Bill what our furnace was doing, he warned us immediately what the possible outcome was going to be; a cracked heat exchanger. He watched the flames roll backward, tested carbon monoxide levels, which were so high they meter’s last reading was 5,600 before saying “high”. He immediately shut it down, tagged it, and explained that with levels that high and children in our home he wanted off right away. He continued his inspection and showed us via a camera that not only was it cracked in multiple places, but had holes all over it. He gave us a few options for repairing it; his knowledge as well as genuine concern was beneficial and refreshing. Luckily we also scheduled an estimator, Micah, to come too and we were able to get costs between repairing and replacing (with several options). We decided to replace with a much higher efficiency furnace and one sized properly to our home. Hands down, not only did they both provide us great service and knowledge, but without sounding dramatic, they may have saved our lives. This was our first time calling Apollo, but it won’t be our last."
- Sarah B.
"Apollo is an excellent company. I always receive great service. Alex A. was professional and friendly. He kept me informed during the process of checking my furnace and heat pump to make sure they were working properly. The company makes sure you are notified who is coming and when they are on the way. All my interactions with the company have been wonderful."
- Beverly S.