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If you’re a new homeowner, you’re living the American dream. But being a homeowner means you have new responsibilities to care for–and sometimes replace–your home-comfort systems. There’s no apartment maintenance crew to take care of your heating and cooling problems anymore. To feel more confident when you’re talking about your cooling and heating systems, familiarize yourself with a few terms.  

  • SEER: The seasonal energy efficiency ratio is a rating given to air conditioners. All new air conditioners must have a minimum SEER of 13. High-efficiency air conditioners have SEER ratings that can go into the 20s. These systems tend to cost more upfront but pay for themselves in terms of energy savings. 
  • HSPF: The heating season performance factor is an efficiency rating given to heat pumps to convey heating efficiency. (Heat pumps also have SEER ratings.) Look for an 8 HSPF or higher for the best efficiency possible.
  • AFUE: The annual fuel utilization efficiency is a furnace rating that conveys heating efficiency. If you’re buying a furnace, look for a unit that’s as close to 100 percent as possible. 
  • Load calculation: Whenever you’re getting a new cooling or heating system, your HVAC tech should do this calculation to determine your home’s precise needs.
  • BTU: British thermal unit is a measurement of heating and cooling capacity. One BTU is the amount of heat needed to raise the temperature of a pound of water by one degree. It’s about the amount of heat given off by a birthday candle. One ton of cooling capacity is 12,000 BTUs.
  • Refrigerant: This is the cooling medium in air conditioners and heat pumps that absorbs heat and expels it. Old refrigerant is called R-22, or Freon. This chlorine-containing refrigerant is being phased out for more environmentally friendly R-410A refrigerant, or Puron.
  • IAQ: Indoor air quality is crucial to your home’s comfort and health. Aim to make your home as free of airborne contaminants such as volatile organic compounds, dust, pollen and dander as possible.  
  • NATE: North American Technician Excellence is a nonprofit organization that tests and certifies HVAC technicians.
  • Energy Star: This is branding that sets the most efficient HVAC equipment apart from the rest. Energy Star is run jointly by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy. 

Now that you’re familiar with these HVAC terms, contact Senica Air Conditioning, Inc. for quality residential heating and cooling services. We have convenient locations in Spring Hill and Crystal River. 

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