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Energy Efficient Terms

Serving Vancouver WA | Clark County Washington

HVAC units outside of home. Vanport Mechanical serving Vancouver WA talks about common energy efficient terms.Your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems account for nearly half of your energy expenses. Fortunately, you can reduce these costs with an energy-efficient HVAC system. But with so many energy-efficient terms used in the market today, it can be confusing to understand the difference. At Vanport Mechanical, our HVAC technicians have developed this guide to help you understand what each energy efficient term means. If you have any questions, we are always happy to help! Contact Vanport Mechanical of Vancouver WA today!


If you’re searching for an energy-efficient cooling system for your home, there are four letters you should keep in mind: SEER. This stands for “Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating.” Seasonal is a keyword in this term because the rate is based on how efficiently a cooling system will operate over the course of a season. SEER is equivalent to the gas mileage in your vehicle. Current regulations require at least a 13 SEER system, but SEER ratings reach as high as 21. The higher the SEER rating, the better.

It’s important to keep in mind that tests on these units are often performed in fixed indoor and outdoor temperatures of 82°F and 80°F and a relative humidity of 50%. When the humidity and outdoor temperature rise, the system’s efficiency will reduce. So you’ll want to check the extended ratings data to make sure the unit’s capacity reflects the conditions in your area. A Vanport technician can always help you with that as we understand the region as well as the ratings.


“Heating Seasonal Performance Factor” (HSPF) is a measure of heating specific to heat pumps. A heat pump’s HSPF rating comes from comparing a system’s output to the watt-hours of electricity consumed for an average heating season. The higher the rating, the more efficient the system. And because heat pumps provide cooling and heating, they have both a SEER rating and an HSPF rating.


“Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency” (AFUE) is a measurement of combustion efficiency for boilers, water heaters, and gas furnaces. AFUE provides a ratio of nominal energy output relative to fuel consumed. In today’s market standard/mid-efficiency furnaces have about an 80% AFUE ratings, while Energy Star-certified furnaces have between a 90% to 98% AFUE rating. The higher the AFUE rating, the more efficient the system.

Current regulations require homeowners to have a minimum of a 90% AFUE-rated unit if they live in the north, and a minimum 80% rating if they live in the south.

Heating & Cooling Experts in Energy-Efficient Terms

There are hundreds of energy-efficient HVAC systems out on the market, but these systems will only be effective if they are installed correctly and serviced regularly. This is why it is important to work with an HVAC company that specializes in these systems, like Vanport Mechanical of Vancouver WA. If you need help finding a unit that’s right for your home, contact us today. One of our technicians will inspect your home’s current system and provide you with a new system that will work with your needs and your budget!

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Energy Efficient Terms in Vancouver WA

Serving The Greater Vancouver WA and Clark County WA Areas

Longview | Kelso | Kalama | Battle Ground | Hockinson | Washougal | Camas | Salmon Creek | La Center | Orchards | Mill Plain | Brush Prairie | Woodland | Ridgefield | Cascade Park | Hazel Dell | Felida | Yacolt