If you’re considering replacing your HVAC equipment or have begun the process of collecting estimates for the work, you may have seen some options listed as “High Efficiency” or “Energy Star Rated.” Investing in High-Efficiency heating and cooling equipment comes with a number of benefits to your home, your comfort, and your budget. In this blog post, we’ll talk about what makes high-efficiency equipment different, and why you should consider it during your next installation or replacement:
First, what is High-Efficiency equipment?
High-Efficiency HVAC equipment is equipment that meets a certain standard of fuel or electric efficiency. For fuel-burning equipment such as furnaces or boilers, that efficiency is measured in Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency, or AFUE. For electric equipment such as heat pumps and air conditioners, efficiency is measured in Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, or SEER; Heating Seasonal Performance Factor, or HSPF; and Energy Efficiency Ratio, or EER.
The higher that number, the more efficient your unit is, meaning you get more comfort (heating or cooling) for your fuel or electric dollar. You may also hear about ratings from the AC Heating and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI), or Energy-Star Rated equipment. These third-party organizations certify the listed efficiency and categorize equipment as high-efficiency. There are other acronyms and measures of efficiency you may see on equipment labels, but these tend to be the most common for residential equipment.
High-efficiency equipment may have features such as two-stage operation, variable speed blowers, heat exchangers, and more that assist the unit in producing more heat or cooling with less cost in energy. While there are other factors that affect the efficiency of your unit such as regular maintenance and proper sizing, true high-efficiency uses the latest advancements in technology on the market and combines them with top-quality professional JK installation for the most reliable and efficient install possible.
Why is it worth investing in High-Efficiency HVAC equipment?
Lower Energy Bills
The primary reason most of our clients are interested in high-efficiency equipment is lower energy bills. Compared to standard-efficiency equipment, high-efficiency options use less energy to heat or cool your home without a reduction in comfort, which means less money spent on your utility bills each month. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, upgrading to high-efficiency HVAC equipment can save homeowners up to 20% on their heating and cooling costs. Depending on the age and condition of the unit you’re replacing and the continued price increases we see in both electricity and fuel, that figure and return on investment can be even higher.
Reduced Carbon Footprint
In addition to smaller energy bills, using less energy to operate also translates to a smaller carbon footprint because it’s using less of the earth’s natural resources. In the case of Geothermal heat pumps—the most high-efficiency form of heat pumps– carbon emissions are reduced even further, because geothermal uses minimum electricity to move heat to and from the earth, rather than generating heat via electricity or combustion.
Bonus tip: If using renewable energy and reducing your carbon footprint is important to you, adding Solar PV to your home comfort system can be a great option. Depending on the size of your residence, your electrical load, and your available sunny roof or yard space, many of our clients are able to significantly or fully offset their yearly electric costs.
Not only do you not sacrifice comfort by investing in high-efficiency HVAC equipment, but high-efficiency HVAC equipment can actually improve your comfort. Because it operates more efficiently, it can maintain a more consistent temperature in your home, without the fluctuations that can occur with standard-efficiency equipment. For the same reason, consistent operation can also provide better humidity control, which can make your home feel more comfortable and significantly improve your indoor air quality.
Increased Home Value
Upgrading to high-efficiency HVAC equipment can also increase the value of your home. According to the National Association of Home Buyers, 86% of potential home buyers rank Energy-Star Appliances as “essential” or “desirable,” while 49% of people in the NAHB study said specifically that they would be interested in Geothermal Heating & Cooling.
Rebates and Tax Credits
Last but not least, efficiency benchmarks are typically a requirement of receiving Federal Tax Incentives or Utility Rebates for HVAC equipment. Depending on equipment availability and eligibility, the net investment for high-efficiency equipment can actually be less than standard-efficiency equipment, even before considering the long-term operational savings. During the replacement quote process, your JK Comfort Consultant is available to help you compare and contrast different investment options, and discuss how different efficiency ratings will affect your short- and long-term costs.
From lower energy bills to reduced carbon footprint, improved comfort to increased home value, high-efficiency HVAC equipment installed by your trusted professionals at JK Mechanical provides numerous advantages that can make a big difference in your home and your wallet. Beat the summer heat and request your complimentary, no-pressure estimate with one of our experienced comfort consultants today.