Have a heating, cooling, or plumbing problem, but no time to wait for a repairman? Need a second opinion on an existing quote?
We’ll give you free advice about your question or problem. In many cases, you’ll get an estimate or the help you need during the video call.
“Winter is coming.”
Every fall, Hoosiers across the state brace for the impact of winter and increasing energy costs set by gas and electric companies. This year alone, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) is projecting a 30% increase in the price of natural gas from just last year (2020). With the uptick in energy pricing, wouldn’t it be nice knowing that your home’s furnace is running as efficiently as possible? A tune-up of your existing system or an install of a new, 2021 unit could save you from the shell-shock of your next electric bill.
“They don’t make them like they used to.”
Throughout the 75 years Commercial Service has been serving Central Indiana, we’ve seen significant changes in HVAC technologies— for the better. The old HVAC systems were workhorses, but they weren’t designed with maximum-efficiency in mind. With the cost of energy prices consistently rising over the years, these major strides toward industry-efficiency is to each homeowner’s benefit.
Bringing the real issue to light
Everyone knows that one person who always forgets to turn off the lights when they’re not in use. Sure, turning off unused lights will always save more money than leaving them on. But, according to the Department of Energy (DOE), overhead lighting accounts for an average of 6-11% of Hoosiers overall utility bill. If you were to leave every light off in the house, you would still feel the sting of the remaining 89-94% of your bill. Here’s the average breakdown from the DOE:
SEER, AFUE, and YOU
It’s clear that heating and cooling are the largest components of the average utility bill. So, how can you measure the efficiency of your heating and cooling systems? It’s not quite as transparent as a teenager leaving the hallway light on, but it is possible to track.
Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) is the DOE’s rating of your air conditioner’s efficiency, measuring the amount of energy –and money– it takes to sustain your desired temperature. The SEER scale ranges from 1 to 27 and is graded on annual energy output. The higher the SEER, the more efficient the air conditioning unit is. The SEER rating system was developed and implemented to help consumers make informed decisions on their unit’s efficiency. Most systems installed prior to 2006 have a 10 SEER or lower, while today’s industry efficiency standard requires a minimum of 13 SEER.
Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) is quite similar to the SEER rating, but AFUE measures your furnace’s efficiency on a scale of 30% to 100%. The higher the AFUE percentage, the more energy –and money– you save. In 1992, the DOE required a minimum of 78% AFUE for electric furnaces and in 2015, the minimum was raised to 80% AFUE. Gas furnaces (82% AFUE) and oil-fired boilers (84% AFUE) have slightly higher minimum efficiency requirements to their electric counterpart.
Your Own Understanding (YOU) won’t be tested on any of this. Our trusted technicians are subject-matter-experts when it comes to energy efficiency. Beyond SEER and AFUE, there are other variables factored into energy efficiency such as insulation, ductwork, windows, doors, and thermostats. Unlike some of our industry counterparts, we aren’t interested in blindly selling the most expensive unit with the highest SEER or AFUE; at Commercial Service we’re more concerned with providing our customers with high-quality, efficient, money-saving solutions. Installing a new furnace with 99% AFUE is a huge waste of a customer’s money if the ductwork is 40 years old and failing.
If you’re ready to end the cycle of constantly turning of lights, buying space heaters, or telling your family to layer up— give us a call. Making Hoosier homes more energy efficient is one of our passions.