How efficient thinking adds up to big savings.
Heating and cooling can account for more than half of your home’s total utility bill.* So when looking for ways to cut your energy costs, be sure to think about a high-efficiency system. How do you know if a heating or cooling system is efficient? Take a look at the yellow-and-black EnergyGuide label, which displays efficiency ratings for the product.
To see how efficiency ratings impact your annual energy costs, use the Energy Calculator below:
- Click on the “Heating” or “Cooling” arrow.
- Use the drop-down menu next to the arrows to select the area where you live. This helps determine fuel and electricity rates, which vary by region. (Canadian provinces are listed at the bottom of the menu.)
- Click on a number on the blue screen to select an AFUE or SEER rating. The efficiency rating you select will be compared to a base heating or cooling system.**
Potential dollar savings are shown at the top-right portion of the screen, and the percent of annual savings is displayed at left.
The measure for the efficiency of air conditioners and heat pumps is the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER), which compares cooling output to electrical consumption over a range of temperatures. The higher the SEER, the less the unit will cost to operate.
*Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Network, U.S. Department of Energy
**Air conditioner calculations are based on every $100 spent to cool a home using a 3-ton, 10-SEER unit. The criteria base for furnaces is a 60% AFUE unit, with a 50,000-Btuh heating load. Fuel rates and heating hours are factored into the calculation upon selection of a state or region. If a state is not selected, the calculator defaults to the US national average for fuel and electricity consumption. Actual costs and savings will vary depending on weather conditions, usage, location and local utility rates. This information is intended as an example for comparison purposes only.