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HVAC Basics from American Standard Heating & Air Conditioning

Shopping for an HVAC system can be pretty daunting—after all, an HVAC is one of the most expensive purchases most families will make. At American Standard Heating & Air Conditioning, we want to make sure that every part of the purchasing process is comfortable, and that starts with getting familiar with the HVAC basics - and that means answering all of your questions from, "What is a heat pump?" to, "How does central air work?" so you know how HVAC works with your home.


Much like finding the home that works for your family, you’ll want to find the right fit with your HVAC system, too. There’s no one size that fits all when it comes to HVAC systems, but working with an American Standard Heating & Air Conditioning Customer Care Dealer will allow you to make the right choice for your home.

Communicating Systems: Stay in control of your comfort with a system that communicates when to use either the heat and air system. Communicating systems, like the AccuLink™, provide a superior level of HVAC home automation with convenience and efficiency throughout its long system life.

Ductless Systems: Made for homeowners who want the same reliable heating and air conditioning as larger homes but with the flexibility to do it in spaces where ductwork is not an option. With ductless systems, an outdoor unit is connected to an indoor unit mounted on a wall or ceiling to provide you and your family the reliable comfort you deserve.

Geothermal Systems: We can’t control the temperature within the earth, but we can use it to our advantage. Geothermal systems, like the American Standard Heating & Air Conditioning Environwise™ System, taps into the even, steady temperatures underground to regulate your home’s indoor comfort. These systems use less energy and allow you to reduce energy costs and your carbon footprint.

Packaged Systems: Everything in one easy package. Single-cabinet systems contain all of your heating and cooling needs, from central heating and air-cooling systems to heat pump systems for certain types of homes.

Split Systems: A split systems means that your HVAC system is placed both in and outside of your home, allowing for more room inside of your home.

Breathe Easy

Everyone deserves some fresh air. With an HVAC system outfitted with air-purifying components, you can remove the mold, dust mites and mildew that all contribute to seasonal allergies, discomfort and poor air quality. An air exchanger, like the American Standard Heating & Air Conditioning AccuExchange™, freshens your home’s air by removing stale indoor air and replacing it with an equal exchange of fresh outdoor air. It also recovers heat and moisture from the exchanged air, enhancing the efficiency of your heating and cooling system and keeping humid or dry air out.

As we’re able to regulate the temperature of our homes, we should be able to regulate the quality of the air we breathe, as well. An American Standard Heating & Air Conditioning AccuClean™ Whole-Home Air Filtration System can remove up to 99.98 percent of airborne particles and allergens from the filtered air that your family breathes. Say goodbye to dust, dander, pollen and harmful bacteria with a filtration system that outperforms HEPA and is 100 times more effective than a standard 1-inch filter. Now you can spend less time worrying about the air inside your home and more time celebrating the indoors.

Energy Use and Efficiency

When it comes to purchasing an HVAC system, cost is one of the biggest concerns. When you work with an American Standard Heating & Air Conditioning Customer Care Dealer, you can get the comfort that’s right for you for less than you think. When you install a high-efficiency product that meets or exceeds ENERGY STAR® guidelines, you’ll reduce your energy bill and your carbon footprint.

Getting started can be a bit intimidating with industry jargon, acronyms and myriad rating systems, but rest assured it’s all to help you get the most for your money. For most rating systems, keep in mind that the higher the number, the higher the energy efficiency and the higher the lifespan of your system.

AFUE: Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) is a measure of a gas furnace’s efficiency in converting fuel to energy, but projecting the average thermal efficient for a complete heating season. A higher AFUE means greater energy efficiency. If your system is more than 15 years old, an AFUE rating may not be available. Simply find the serial number on the unit and contact the manufacturer—chances are they’ll be able to give you the information you’re looking for.

BTU: One British Thermal Unit (BTU) represents the amount of heat that is required to raise or lower the temperature of 1 pound of water by 1 degree Fahrenheit. Most air conditioners are measured using BTUs.

BTUh: Some systems measure their energy by British Thermal Units per Hour (BTUh). The energy that is extracted from your home by an air conditioner is measured in BTUs, while the cooling and heating capacities are referred to in BTUh. For reference, 12,000 BTUh is equal to 1 ton of cooling.

EER: Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) of a cooling unit is determined by the output cooling divided by the electrical power input. As opposed to Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER), which is calculated over a range of outside temperatures, EER is typically determined by a set outside air temperature, a set inside air temperature and 50 percent relative humidity. For reference, 11 EER is roughly 12 SEER.

HSPF: The Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF) is used to measure the efficiency of a heat pump. The HSPF is a ratio of the heat output to electricity use over an average heating season. The higher the HSPF, the greater the energy efficiency.

SEER: Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) measures air conditioning and heat pump cooling efficiency, which is calculated by the cooling output for a typical cooling season divided by the total electrical energy input during the same time frame. The higher the SEER rating, the greater the energy efficiency, and, in turn, the lower your energy cost.

Questions about what these HVAC basics mean for your home? Contact an American Standard Heating & Air Conditioning Customer Care Dealer to learn more.