In order to drive safely, people must learn basic traffic laws and understand terms like, “right of way,” “interchange,” and, “on ramp/off ramp.” While these phrases are most likely commonplace to you now, there was probably a learning curve when you first began driving.
The same goes for the HVAC industry. Unless you eat, sleep and breathe HVAC, you might not know what MERV, AFUE and SEER mean; however, as a homeowner, it’s important that you get to know them.
MERV is an acronym for Minimum Efficiency Rating Value. It refers to an air filter’s efficiency (or its basic capacity to remove dust, particles and organisms from the air). Furnace, A/C and air quality monitors (as well as vacuums) use MERV-rated filters. Filters are rated from 1-16, with MERV 1 filters trapping the largest of particles in size (ten microns) and MERV 16 filters catching the smallest (.03 microns). Essentially, the higher the filter rating, the better it performs.
AFUE stands for Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency rating. It lets consumers know what they can expect from a furnace. High efficiency furnaces, like those with a 90 percent AFUE rating, lose just 10 percent of the energy used in the heating process; that is, such a furnace uses a full 90 percent of the energy consumed by the furnace to release heat into the home. The Canadian government recommends using a furnace that is 80 percent AFUE rated or higher.
SEER refers to the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, which signifies the effectiveness of an air conditioner. The highest SEER rating is 23. The SEER number is established by dividing cooling output by the energy used. The government suggests that split-system air conditioning packages begin at SEER 13.
Armed with the terms MERV, AFUE and SEER, you’re now driving like an HVAC pro. Arpi’s Industries, LTD. is an expert in the fields of heating, plumbing, air conditioning, ventilation and air quality. The company offers discounts and promotions on a regular basis, and technicians are available to answer your questions or help with HVAC installation, maintenance or service.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information, click here to download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.