Learn What the Terms AFUE, SEER, and HSPF Mean for Your HVAC System

The upcoming spring months can bring a variety of climate changes to the Fort Collins area so it’s important your HVAC system is working efficiently.

AFUE, SEER, and HSPF are all measure of heating and cooling efficiencies; however, they vary on how the efficiency is measured and what it could mean for your heating and cooling budget. As you begin to look into the efficiency of your HVAC system or are looking to replace your existing system, you’ll want to have an understanding of each term.


AFUE, or annual fuel utilization efficiency, measures the efficiency of your heating system when converting fuel into heat for your home. This rating does not account for any heat loss within the heating system itself. An AFUE rating of 85% would mean that 85% of the fuel your system uses becomes heat in your home where the remaining 15% escapes.


Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) determines the efficiency of your cooling system. It is found by determining the cooling capacity of the unit to the total energy input during the same timeframe. The higher the SEER rating, the more efficient the system will be. The federally mandated minimum SEER rating for central cooling systems is a score of 13; however, some new appliances are receiving scores of 20 and higher.


The Heating Seasonal Performance Factor is used to measure the efficiency of a heat pump and is measured seasonally. As with the SEER, the higher the HSFP rating, the more efficient the heating pump.  The minimum rating for HSPF is set at 7.7 although high efficiency system will score at least 8.2.

Knowing the efficiency of your HVAC systems and what you can do to improve it could mean reduced heating and cooling cost for your home.  If you would like to learn more about the efficiency of your HVAC system contact an expert at Balance Point Heating and Air Conditioning.

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