Like many other appliances, the cost of your indoor comfort system includes not only its initial price but also the ongoing costs of operation and maintenance. The heating and cooling of your home and hot water systems typically accounts for more than 70% of a home’s annual energy use. This means that the heating and cooling equipment and controls that you select today will continue to impact your finances for as long as you live in your home. That’s why investing in a high-efficiency comfort system and water heater can make great sense.
The type of fuel used by a system is a major contributor to its operational cost. This graph shows the comparison cost of common fuel sources and system types.
Furnaces are rated by the Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) ratio, which is the percent of heat produced for every dollar of fuel consumed. The higher the AFUE rating, the lower your fuel costs.
Cooling systems are rated by SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio). Every $100 you spend to cool your home using a 10 SEER system, you would spend considerably less using a system of 12 SEER or higher. For example, if your annual cooling costs were $1,000 with a 10 SEER system, they could be reduced to $710 with a 14 SEER system.