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How To Pick The Right HVAC System For Your Home

The relentless Texas heat is here which means HVAC replacement season is in full swing. Investing in an HVAC system is a big decision, and you don’t want to pick the wrong one for your home – so how do you know which system is the right one? 

First, get familiar with the following equipment and efficiency ratings:

The table below shows efficiency ratings for good, better and best heating and cooling equipment.


  • SEER means Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio and provides an annual measure of the efficiency of the air conditioner. Higher numbers use less energy.
  • AFUE means Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency. Higher numbers use less energy.
  • HSPF means Heating Seasonal Performance Factor. Higher numbers use less energy.

There are 3 types of ratings that you should be aware of [1]:

  1. Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) – This is the rating used to measure the efficiency of heat pumps and air conditioners. Higher ratings indicate that the system uses less energy. Brands with the highest efficiency are rated at 22+. Air conditioners and heat pumps with a rating of 14 and above have Energy Stars affixed.
  2. Average Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) – This is the standard measurement that is used to indicate the level of efficiency of oil-fired and gas furnaces. A high rating is an indication of greater heating efficiency. For example, a 60% AFUE rating indicates that the furnace converts up to 60% of the fuel (gas or oil) to heat your home. The remaining 40% goes out the flue. Choose a furnace with an AFUE rating of not less than 78%. The most efficient furnaces are rated at 98.5%.
  3. Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF) – This measurement gauges the energy efficiency of heat pumps. A higher HSPF rating indicates that your heat pump uses less energy, meaning it is more efficient to run. The most efficient heat pumps are rated at 13+. Heat pumps with a rating of 8.2 and above have Energy Stars affixed to highlight their efficiency.

Why it’s important to have the right sized system.

Now that you understand the types of equipment and their efficiency ratings you can look at what size equipment is right for your home.

One of the biggest mistakes people make when selecting an HVAC system on their own is they tend to get a larger system than what they need which can lead to multiple problems.

Humidity is a key factor when talking about cooling a home – which Houston has plenty of. A cooling system that is too big will cool down the temperature in your home quickly, but it will not run long enough to remove the amount of humidity necessary from the air. This will result in your air feeling cool but clammy, yuck. To get rid of the clamminess, you’ll end up turning down the thermostat even more which makes the unit run longer and increases the energy bill. Other disastrous results can occur from not ridding your home properly of humidity like mold and mildew growth along with other moisture related damage.

A properly sized unit will run just long enough to remove the necessary amount of humidity from the air allowing you to sit comfortable in your home at a higher thermostat setting which ultimately saves you money on your energy bill.

Photo: Mold and mildew growth along with other moisture related damage.

How to calculate the right system for your home.

To understand which system is a perfect fit for your home whether installing from scratch or upgrading an existing unit you’ll need to calculate the load of your home.

The load of the home is partly dependent upon the home’s square footage. However, a true load calculation goes beyond that. An accurate load determination includes building construction; orientation to the sun; “R” value of the insulation; number, size, and placement of rooms; number, size, and placement of windows and doors; types of windows and doors (thermal efficiency); number and arrangement of floors; and the climate. [1]

Sounds like a lot to consider, right? It is! Which is why relying on a professional is usually best for fitting a new system to your home.

Hiring a professional.

Country Air will take the headache out of choosing the perfect HVAC system for your home. Our experts will work with your budget as well as the needs of your home to find the perfect fit. We offer free estimates, second opinions and financing options on HVAC replacement. Call us with your list of questions today and we’ll be happy to get you back to cool comfort fast in your home. 281-356-8564

[1] https://www.servicechampions.net/blog/how-to-select-the-right-hvac-system-for-your-house/

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