Posted by: Cooper MechanicalTuesday, December 03, 2019
What is a SEER Number? What is an HSPF Number?
If you are shopping for a new HVAC system, you’ll encounter two acronyms and associated numbers that you may not be familiar with: SEER and HSPF. SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio and is a value that ranks a system’s efficiency in cooling. HSPF stands for Heating Season Performance Factor, and it’s commonly understood as a comparable score for a unit’s efficiency in heating during cold weather months.
What is a SEER Number?
The SEER number is the ratio between the cooling system output in BTUs and the amount of electric energy a unit consumes in a given period. The lower the number, the more electric energy a cooling system consumes. Conversely, the higher the number, the less energy a cooling system consumes.
The SEER number listed with an HVAC system is always the maximum efficiency, which means the unit is capable of reaching that efficiency, but that it may not always operate at that ratio.
What is an HSPF Number?
The Heating Season Performance Factor, commonly referred to as HSPF, is a heat pump’s efficiency rating. According to Energy.gov, the HSPF is the “total space heating required during the heating season, expressed in BTUs, divided by the total electrical energy consumed by the heat pump system during the same season, expressed in watt-hours.” In essence, it’s a SEER rating for your heating in winter.
Like older AC systems, heat pumps older than 10 years likely have an HSPF number lower than 7.7, which is the current minimum. A system with an HSPF number over 9 can drastically improve efficiency and lower monthly heating costs.
SEER Matters Most in Myrtle Beach
Since we have more hot weather than cold in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, we tend to work our cooling systems more than our heating systems. As a result, consumers should be more concerned with the cooling efficiency of a unit than the heating efficiency, since the system will spend a majority of its time cooling.
SEER numbers on new HVAC systems range from 13 to 20+. The higher the SEER number, the more efficient the unit will be. While high-efficiency systems with large SEER numbers cost a premium, they can offset their costs with lower monthly cooling costs. Considering how much we rely on air-conditioning in Myrtle Beach from Spring-Fall, a high SEER rating can be worth it in the long run.
Call Cooper for Honest HVAC Service
SEER and HSPF numbers are not the only thing to consider. It’s important that your unit is properly sized for your home or business. In many ways, this is a more important consideration as a unit that is too small for your square footage often leads to mechanical problems from the strain of trying to cool too large a space.
As Winter Approaches, Take Stock of Your Home's Heating System
There are always a handful of days between seasons that are wonderful in South Carolina. Neither too hot nor too cold, they are days we open the windows and relish the fresh air. These between season days are also a good time to inspect your HVAC system to identify issues that may need attention. Now that Fall and Winter are in sight, take a few minutes to inspect your thermostat, vents, and HVAC unit to see if you are prepared for days when home heating is required.
Check Air Filters Around the House
If you haven't run your HVAC in a while, take a moment to check and replace HVAC air filters around your house. As long as no one suffers from severe allergies, most homes are fine with a standard 1" pleated or non-pleated air filter. As long as they are changed when they are dirty, the standard air filter does a good job of separating impurities and particulates from the air you breeze.
It is important to stress that filters should be changed regularly. The frequency really depends on your home, its occupants, and your lifestyle (whether you have pets, kids, etc).
Check Heat Pump and Thermostat
Now that your air filters are checked, take a look at your thermostat. Test your heat by turning the setting from Auto to Heat. See if your outdoor unit turns on and then if you notice warm air from the vents. If nothing happens within 30 minutes or an hour, you may need to call a professional to take a look at your system.
Around this time of year we get calls of a faint "burning smell." This can be a common experience when your heat is turned on after being unused for most of the year. Typically, this smell is just dust heating up after it has accumulated during the warmer months. The burning smell should go away. If it persists, or more importantly, if it smells like gas or oil, call a professional.
Take a Look At Your Condenser Unit
In Myrtle Beach, most residential HVAC condensers are located outside your home. Remove debris and dirt from around your HVAC unit. It's perfectly fine to use a hose to spray out anything lodged around the fan or housing.
As your HVAC runs, inspect it with all of your senses. Listen for unusual sounds and rattlings, observe the fan and visible parts, and take note of any sensory details that just don't seem right. These can provide clues to an HVAC professional and help them troubleshoot before they even arrive at your home.
Schedule Regular Clean and Service
Cooper Mechanical Services encourages homeowners to invest in their HVAC system with regular service and cleaning. Our Clean and Service agreements help homeowners avoid some of the large repair costs that can surprise homeowners in the middle of winter or summer. Regular maintenance also extends the life of your unit.
Product Spotlight: iWave Air - Delivering the Latest in Home Health and Air Purification Technology
iWave for Premium Indoor Air Quality
If you suffer from allergies, respiratory conditions, or an autoimmune disease, then you know the importance of high indoor air quality. While a high efficiency HVAC system coupled with a quality filter can help reduce particulates in the air, there may be some instances when an air purifying system may be needed.
Air purifying systems are installed within the duct of your HVAC system. The iWave is one such purification system that is able to eliminate particulates, pathogens, and allergens so you can breathe cleaner, fresher air.
Who is the iWave For?
If you are reading this post, you probably care about your indoor air quality. People that are susceptible to severe allergies, asthma, and virus-causing bacteria are those who benefit the most from an air purification system.
The iWave air system has made some headlines for what they claim is its ability to kill SARS-CoV-2, also known as COVID-19. Independent testing lab ALG conducted the tests with COVID-19 and Human Coronavirus. In both simulations, the virus was exposed to an ionization process mimicking the iWave air purifier. In the tests, the iWave ionization process killed up to 99.4% of COVID-19 pathogens.
Though the tests have not been verified by the EPA or other governmental agency, the ALG survey appears promising.
How Does the iWave Work?
The iWave system attaches to your HVAC ductwork so all air must pass over it and a blast of positive and negatively-charged ions. When charged ions come in contact with pathogens, allergens and other particulates, they latch on and strip pollutants of the hydrogen the need to survive.
Lacking hydrogen, pathogens die, fall, and become trapped in your HVAC's filter.
Breath the Cleanest Air in Myrtle Beach
If you are interested in the iWave or an in-duct air purification system like it, let's chat. Cooper Mechanical Services provides the Myrtle Beach area with the best heating, cooling, and ventilation services.
If you are susceptible to airborne contaminants and pathogens, take this step to make your home a healthy and safe place.
Stay Ice Cold with Ice Machine Sales, Installation, and Repair Services
Hot Temperatures and Cold Ice
Whether you like your tea sweetened or unsweetened, one thing is certain: South Carolinians want it ice cold and with plenty of ice in it. Ice machines, cold display cases, and other refrigeration appliances need to be able to beat the heat. For food service businesses in Myrtle Beach, this means standing up to some heavy use during a long and hot summer season. When your ice machine and refrigeration appliances need repair or replacement, Cooper Mechanical Services has your back.
Ice Machines for Customer Satisfaction and Safety
How about a warm beer? A glass of lemonade without ice? Some foods and beverages need to be served cold or they lose all enjoyment. Sure, you may be able to "get by" with an ice machine that isn't working at maximum effectiveness, but are your guest happy? You don't want lackluster service to be a point on your next Yelp review.
Additionally, a bad ice machine or cold display case can be a health and safety hazard. SCDHEC requires all businesses serving food and beverages to meet very specific holding temperature requirements. An old and broken display case may not be keeping foods at required temperatures. Not only do you risk a bad grade from the health department, but more importantly, you risk the health and safety of the public consuming your products.
One of the most common repair issues with refrigeration appliances like ice machines: leaks. Puddling and pooling water around your ice machine quickly turns your business into a liability. Taking care of refrigeration and cooling leaks is important to the health and safety of your customers and employees.
Lastly, a dirty ice machine can be a dangerous ice machine. Moist and damp places are breeding grounds for bacteria and mold, which can pose significant health threats to workers and customers. A professional ice machine cleaning from Cooper Mechanical Services is one way to get your ice machine back in safe, working order.
Ice Machine and Refrigeration Services
Cooper Mechanical Services is Myrtle Beach's one-stop solution for HVAC, Refrigeration, Ice Machine, Electrical, and Power Generator sales, service, and repair.
The Cooper team has worked closely with Myrtle Beach restaurant, hotel, and service businesses since 1989. If you need ice machine, cold case, or refrigeration service, Call Cooper today.