Remodeling an existing home or condo, or planning new-home design in the Tampa area often involves a host of choices to consider, including finding the right HVAC equipment for the warm and humid climate. A premium is placed on energy-efficient air conditioning and balancing humidity, but what’s the best system for efficient heating on a chilly day?
Use this guide to decide which HVAC system suits your needs by learning to compare efficiency ratings and exploring advanced features and options.
Understanding HVAC Equipment Efficiency Ratings
Strict government regulations mandate that all HVAC equipment for heating and cooling must be tested to measure energy efficiency. The ratings and correlating systems are as follows:
- Seasonal energy efficiency ratio, or SEER, reflects cooling efficiency for air conditioning systems and electric heat pumps. Old air conditioning and heat pump systems may deliver 10 to 12 SEER. New standard systems with advanced features offer 15 to 16 SEER, and high-efficiency air conditioners and heat pumps exceed 20 SEER.
- Heating seasonal performance factor, or HSPR, is the heating efficiency for electric heat pumps. In addition to SEER, heat pumps are rated for heating. If you’re shopping for a high efficiency heat pump, it should be around 13 HSPF (and 21 SEER).
- Annual fuel utilization efficiency, or AFUE, conveys fuel efficiency for gas, oil and propane furnaces and boilers. New high efficiency furnaces deliver 98.5 AFUE, which is a substantial leap in performance compared to very old furnaces that deliver between 60 and 70 AFUE.
The efficiency ratings are displayed on the yellow EnergyGuide label for all HVAC equipment. Moreover, look for the Energy Star logo on the EnergyGuide label, and you’ll know that the cooling or heating system meets strict energy-efficiency guidelines.
Heat Pumps: a Hometown Favorite
The Tampa area, and Florida in general, provides an ideal climate to maximize cooling and heating performance by refrigeration principles—moving heat energy from one place to another by placing refrigerant under temperature and pressure changes. This is how heat pumps provide efficient and convenient cooling and heating.
- In the cooling cycle, the refrigerant inside the indoor heat exchanger becomes extremely cold.
- As warm air is pulled across the heat exchanger, the heat energy transfers to the cold refrigerant.
- The cooled air is forced through the air ducts to the living spaces.
There have been several cutting-edge developments in recent years which make heat pumps exceptionally smart HVAC equipment choices for your home, condo or business.
- On-board computer diagnostics and electronics monitor and regulate everything from coil temperature, refrigerant flow, compressor speed (variable-speed compressors), air velocity, zoning systems and more.
- Variable-speed compressors and variable-speed air handlers are quieter, last longer, remove moisture from the air and maintain indoor temperatures near exact thermostat setting, all while using substantially less electricity.
- High-efficiency heat pumps are compatible with smart climate controls for remote access and indoor climate management via WiFi-enabled devices, such as smartphones, tablets and other items with Internet connectivity.
Gas furnaces are the most popular heating systems in the country, but not so much in the warmer climate of the greater Tampa area. This doesn’t mean that a new high efficiency furnace isn’t worth consideration. New furnaces are capable of delivering nearly 100 percent fuel-to-heat conversion, offer variable-speed blowers for exceptional heating comfort with minimal electricity usage and are designed to last for decades.
Cold A/C: Standard HVAC Equipment In Florida
Ice cold air conditioning practically comes standard in Tampa area homes, condos and businesses. If you’re simply interested in upgrading to a new high efficiency A/C system, you may enjoy all of the advanced features and components that heat pumps offer when you select a high efficiency A/C from the company that invented modern air conditioning.
Carrier A/C systems may be paired with a new furnace or can be installed to share the blower of your existing furnace. Your HVAC professional can help you with home preparation, which should include sealing air leaks, boosting insulation and inspecting the ductwork to ensure maximum performance from whichever HVAC equipment you choose.
If you would like more expert advice about choosing HVAC equipment for your Tampa area home, condo or business, contact Senica Air Conditioning, Inc. today.