Updated 7/26/21

A popular method to compare different HVAC equipment is their overall energy efficiency. Rating systems were established to determine what models are more efficient than others. Heating and cooling use different ratings, which are typically measured over the course of the relevant seasons. In other words, the AFUE standard rating for heat energy efficiency is established during the winter, while SEER ratings are concerned with summer temperatures.

The Department of Energy updated these standard ratings in 2011. Over a number of years, the standards would gradually apply to more types of HVAC equipment. The standards are divided into regions, based on what is considered energy efficient in different parts of the country. This means a furnace meeting the standard in one region would fail to meet it in another. The three regions are the North, Southeast and Southwest.

The Southwest region consists of California, Nevada, Arizona and New Mexico. The Southeast region makes up the other southern states with the exception of West Virginia. Any remaining states are included with the North region.

How Can Consumers Take Advantage of Standard Energy-Efficiency Ratings?

You can use the regional HVAC standards to determine what equipment is the most energy efficient to use. Make sure you know what your regional standard is before comparing SEER and AFUE ratings. You’ll also want to check when the specific make and model was manufactured. Any furnace, air conditioner or heat pump constructed after January 1, 2015, is required to meet the new regional standards. Older equipment, however, can still use the old standards.

The minimum standards for Omaha are as follows:

  • AFUE: 90%
  • SEER: 14

The DOE will update the standards again in 2023. Until then, the 2015 regional HVAC standards should be used to compare energy-efficiency ratings. The heating and cooling experts at A-1 United Heating, Air & Electrical can help you find quality HVAC equipment that meets or exceeds these standards. High-efficiency systems often perform better, and can reduce your monthly energy bills by a large margin.

When it’s time for furnace installation in Omaha, NE, or air conditioning installation in Omaha, NE, we’re always happy to help you navigate energy-efficiency ratings and anything else you need for ideal climate control. Don’t hesitate to call us at 402-593-7500 to make sure your HVAC equipment is always at peak energy efficiency.