AHRI - The Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) is the trade association representing manufacturers of air conditioning, heating and commercial refrigeration equipment. They are an independent company who rates the efficiency and capacities (SEER, EER, AFUE etc.) of the equipment.www.ari.org
AFUE - (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) is the most widely used measure of a furnace's heating efficiency. It measures the amount of heat actually delivered to your house compared to the amount of fuel that you must supply to the furnace. Thus, a furnace that has an 80% AFUE rating converts 80% of the fuel that you supply to heat -- the other 20% is lost out of the chimney.
EER - (Energy Efficiency Ratio) is a measure of how efficiently a cooling system will operate when the outdoor temperature is at a specific level (95f). The higher the EER, the more efficient the system.
ENERGY STAR - the trusted, government-backed symbol for energy efficiency helping us all save money and protect the environment through energy-efficient products and practices. www.energystar.gov
ESSA - (Energy Saving Service Agreement) is an annual service/maintenance contract to come out 2 times a year (1 visit in the spring & 1 visit in the fall) to keep your A/C & heating working in peek condition and saving on your utility bills.
HSPF - (Heat Seasonal Performance Factor) is the most commonly used measure of a heat pumps heating efficiency. The higher the HSPF, the more efficient the heat pump.
NATE - (North American Technician Excellence), headquartered in Arlington, VA, was founded in 1997 and is the nation’s largest non-profit certification organization for heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration technicians. NATE is the only technician certification organization governed, owned, operated, developed and supported by the HVACR industry. NATE is an independent, third-party non-profit certification body for HVAC and HVAC/R technicians. NATE tests technicians; others train. NATE’s certification tests represent real world working knowledge of HVAC and HVACR systems. Consumer Reports said, “It’s a plus if a technician is NATE-certified.” EPA tells consumers to ask if a contractor’s technicians are NATE-certified. www.natex.org
R-22 - Refrigerant is the refrigerant in your current air conditioning system. As of Jan 2010 manufacturers cannot make air conditioners using R-22 and must use the new R- 410 refrigerant. R-410 is not compatible with old air conditioning. Manufacturers can continue making R-22 until 2020 for repair & service.
R- 410 - Refrigerant is the new refrigerant in all new air conditioning systems. R- 410 is more sensitive, special training and procedures are required.
SEER - (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) is most commonly used to measure the efficiency of a central air conditioner. The higher the SEER, the more efficient the system. SEER measures how efficiently a cooling system will operate over an entire season.
TAX CREDIT - up to a $500 tax credit on qualifying air conditioning and heating systems. Only one $500 tax credit per household in 2009-2011. Systems must have a minimum 16 SEER and 13 EER to qualify. Partial tax credits are available on a furnace only (variable speed furnaces). Use IRS tax form 5695