Why You Should Consider Upgrading to a High-Efficiency HVAC System

Posted: 2021-11-04

Are you tired of keeping up with your old, inefficient HVAC system? Are you looking for brand-new, high-efficiency equipment that delivers the utmost comfort at the lowest possible costs? If so, this article is for you. If you’re on the lookout for new HVAC unit, you are about to make a major home comfort investment and you need all the information you can get to ensure you’re making the right choice.

Your furnace, heat pump, or air conditioner is likely the largest energy consumer in your home (especially during peak seasons) and they account for about half of your monthly utility costs. That’s why we recommend you think about having a high-efficiency HVAC system installed in your home as a replacement for your old unit.

Four Seasons Air Specialists is your preferred HVAC company in North Oaks MN. We offer a wide range of high-efficiency HVAC systems designed to give you the greatest comfort with the least energy usage.

Understanding an HVAC Systems Efficiency Level

HVAC systems have different levels of efficiency, and the government has set standards to measure how effective they are in using energy to perform their intended purposes.

For example, an air conditioner’s or a heat pump’s energy efficiency is measured by its seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER). In ideal cases, the higher the SEER rating, the more efficient the equipment. The minimum SEER rating for air conditioners today is set at 13 SEER and they can go as high as 28 SEER.

Contrarily, a furnace’s efficiency in converting fuel to energy is measured by its annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE). The minimum AFUE rating for household furnaces today is 80 and the highest is 99. A mid-efficiency furnace typically has an AFUE rating between 80 and 85 percent. A furnace that is rated at 99 percent AFUE transforms 99 percent of every into heat. The remaining 1 percent escapes up the chimney or elsewhere.

While HVAC systems come with higher efficiency ratings, they do have a higher price tag than others (as expected). However, these models give you optimum comfort levels and cost less to operate. In other words, the system will essentially pay for itself as you use it through the years.

The Federal Trade Commission demands manufacturers display the AFUE on their furnaces and SEER on air conditioners and heat pumps. This way, consumers can compare the heating efficiencies of different models.


High-efficiency HVAC systems come with several energy-saving and safety features. To understand how they help you save money while staying comfortable at the same time, we’ll give you some of the special components of a high-efficiency HVAC system.

For Furnaces:

Two-stage Heating

Temperatures in certain areas of the country can change significantly depending on the season and time. For this reason, many high-efficiency gas furnaces are designed with two-stage heating technology. The lower stage uses less energy and is used most of the time. It runs when the unit has reached your desired temperature and only needs to maintain that level of comfort. On the other hand, the higher stage only starts when it’s very cold outside and more heat is needed.

A Secondary Heat Exchanger

Any high-efficiency gas furnace with an efficiency rating of at least 90 percent AFUE is also called a “condensing” furnace. What this term means is that the system uses a secondary heat exchanger to draw out heat from the exhaust gas that would otherwise be released out of your home if you had a less efficient system. This technology allows condensing furnaces to provide more heat with less fuel consumption.

For Air Conditioners and Heat Pumps

Auto-fan Delay Switch

If your AC’s air handler shuts off at the same time as your compressor, some cool air is likely left sitting in your ducts. With an automatic fan delay switch, the system runs for a short amount of time after each cooling cycle to make use of that remaining cool air by moving it into your home’s living spaces.

Thermal Expansion Valves

A thermal expansion valve adjusts the flow of the refrigerant through your AC or heat pump depending on your home’s cooling needs at any given time. When more cooling is needed, the valve raises the flow of the refrigerant. When less cooling is needed, the valve holds back the flow of the refrigerant. This way, your HVAC unit minimizes its energy consumption while still keeping your home snug.

Connect with the HVAC Pros

For more information on high-efficiency HVAC systems, call Four Seasons Air Specialists, your reliable White Bear heating and air conditioning company.