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

Systems

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

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

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

Geothermal Systems: We can’t control the temperature within theearth, but we can use it to our advantage. Geothermal systems, likethe American Standard Heating & Air Conditioning Environwise System, taps into the even, steady temperaturesunderground to regulate your home’s indoor comfort. These systems useless 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 forcertain types of homes.

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

Breathe Easy

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

As we’re able to regulate the temperature of our homes, we should beable to regulate the quality of the air we breathe, as well. AnAmerican Standard Heating & Air Conditioning AccuClean Whole-Home Air Filtration System can remove up to99.98 percent of airborne particles and allergens from the filteredair that your family breathes. Say goodbye to dust, dander, pollen andharmful bacteria with a filtration system that outperforms HEPA and is100 times more effective than a standard 1-inch filter. Now you canspend less time worrying about the air inside your home and more timecelebrating the indoors.

Energy Use and Efficiency

When it comes to purchasing an HVAC system, cost is one of thebiggest concerns. When you work with an American Standard Heating& Air Conditioning Customer Care Dealer, you can get the comfortthat’s right for you for less than you think. When you install ahigh-efficiency product that meets or exceeds ENERGY STAR ® guidelines, you’ll reduce your energy billand 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 helpyou get the most for your money. For most rating systems, keep in mindthat the higher the number, the higher the energy efficiency and thehigher the lifespan of your system.

AFUE: Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) is a measure ofa gas furnace’s efficiency in converting fuel to energy, butprojecting the average thermal efficient for a complete heatingseason. A higher AFUE means greater energy efficiency. If your systemis more than 15 years old, an AFUE rating may not be available. Simplyfind the serial number on the unit and contact themanufacturer—chances are they’ll be able to give you the informationyou’re looking for.

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

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

EER: Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) of a cooling unit isdetermined by the output cooling divided by the electrical powerinput. As opposed to Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER), which iscalculated over a range of outside temperatures, EER is typicallydetermined by a set outside air temperature, a set inside airtemperature and 50 percent relative humidity. For reference, 11 EER isroughly 12 SEER.

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

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

Questions about what these HVAC basics mean for your home? Contactan American Standard Heating & Air Conditioning Customer CareDealer to learn more.

Additional HVAC Resources

Emergency ReplacementChecklist Find DIY tips to keep emergency air conditioningrepair at bay.

HVAC Safety Tips Learn more aboutHVAC safety with these furnace and air conditioner safety tips.

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