When it comes to HVAC know-how, there are a lot of terms and information out there. That’s why technicians receive years of training! For the average Florida homeowner, it’s not possible or practical to retain all this knowledge. There are, however, some terms consumers can greatly benefit from understanding. Conditioned Air has three HVAC terms that can help every Florida homeowner get the best equipment, the best service, and the best savings: SEER, MERV and NATE.
SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. It measures the efficiency of air conditioners based on how much energy they consume and how much cool air they produce. Units with a high SEER get more “miles per gallon” than units with a low SEER. A low SEER would be around the number 8 or 12. High efficiency units can get up to 19.5 SEER or even higher, meaning that the air conditioner uses very little electricity to produce a high quantity of cooled air.
MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. This measures the effectiveness of air filters. The higher the rating, the more airborne particles they trap. The U.S. Department of Energy recommends using a filter with a MERV 13, reported to trap irritants and allergens that travel through the air in our homes.
However, don’t run out for a high MERV filter without matching it to your system. Higher MERVs are more restrictive, which could lead to inhibited airflow in your system and, possibly, a system malfunctions. Check with the technician who provides your routing A/C maintenance for the best filter possible for your system.
NATE stands for North American Technician Excellence. NATE is a national non-profit organization that tests and certifies technicians in areas of the HVAC industry. Some areas of testing include air conditioning, heat pumps, air distribution. The work of NATE certified technicians is up to national standards and ensures you won’t play a guessing game with your contractor. NATE certified technicians deliver quality installation and expert service.
Knowing these three simple terms can help save you money by allowing you to make an educated choice when deciding on the right equipment and the right contractor. Call Conditioned Air for further HVAC information. We’ll be happy to answer your questions!
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, click here to download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.