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How Is Heating Efficiency Measured?

Trying to understand the features of the different types of heating systems now on the market can make many consumers feel overwhelmed. The technical information available on each of the units adds to the trouble in deciphering just exactly what you are getting when make a choice for installation.

For example, how can you tell how efficiently a heating system uses energy? This is an important concern for homeowners who want a unit that won’t put an unnecessary strain on their bank account. We’ll give you a short guide to the measurements of heating efficiency in this post.

Keep in mind, the best way to navigate the labyrinth of heating choices and reduce the stress is to turn to the advice of professionals. Envirotech Air Quality Services will help you make the best choice for heating in West Palm Beach, FL.


AFUE stands for “annual fuel utilization efficiency,” and is the rating used to determine the energy efficiency of the majority of heating systems, such as boilers and furnaces. AFUE is expressed as a percentage, which tells you how much fuel the system converts into heat, measured over a year. So a heater with an AFUE of 90% generates 90 units of heat for every 100 units of fuel it consumes. Most modern heating systems score over 78%, and many attain the 90s.


Heat pumps use a different rating system than other heaters, because they operate in a manner similar to air conditioners and need a rating for both heating a cooling. Instead of a percentage rating, they have a ratio: HSPF, “heating seasonal performance factor.” Expressed as a whole number, it is the ratio of total amount of heat required to the energy consumed in watt-hours, as measured over a single season. The higher the HSPF, the more efficiently the heat pump runs in heating mode. You can expect the best heat pumps to have an HSPF close to 10. (A heat pump’s cooling rating is SEER, “seasonal energy efficiency, and is also a ratio. Most heat pumps will have a SEER of 14 or above.)

Understanding a heater’s energy efficiency is only part of deciding what system you want installed in your home. Although energy efficiency is a key factor in making this choice, there are other considerations, such as your available fuel source and how effectively the system will heat your home. After all, a heating system that efficiently uses energy won’t mean much to you if it can’t get that heat out to all the rooms in your house.

This is why having professionals assisting you in the installation process from the beginning is crucial. Envirotech Air Quality Services will steer you toward the system that will give you the optimal heating in West Palm Beach, FL. Contact us today when you want to get your home on the path toward efficient—and effective—warmth for the colder months.

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