Gurnee, IL, families rely on their heating and cooling systems to counteract the diverse weather conditions that hit the area. Installing efficient HVAC equipment is critical to maintaining high comfort levels and controlling energy costs. Here are four terms to know when choosing heating and cooling equipment for your home.

SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio)

SEER ratings measure the capability of central air conditioners to cool a home. A higher rating means greater efficiency. Starting in 2023, newly manufactured AC systems must have a SEER of 14 or higher. Because testing procedures also changed, you will also see a SEER2 rating on systems manufactured after January 1, 2023.

Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER)

The EER ratio looks at the cooling capacity a system can deliver based on the amount of energy consumed. Unlike SEER ratings, which look at energy efficiency over an entire cooling season, the EER only measures efficiency at 95 degrees. Systems manufactured after January 1, 2023, must also conform to new testing standards and carry a designation of EER2.

Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE)

AFUE calculates the amount of heat your furnace produces and turns into fuel. As with SEER and EER, a higher AFUE rating means increased efficiency.


The ENERGY STAR seal is the federal government’s designation for energy-efficient HVAC equipment. It eliminates the guesswork because the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has verified the products carrying the seal are high-performing and deliver the energy savings that homeowners like you have come to expect.

Heating and cooling terms, in general, are a bit confusing. But a qualified HVAC company will be able to break down the differences between each term, so it makes more sense. At Herchenbach Mechanical Inc., our service technicians are happy to go over all questions related to HVAC systems and point you in the right direction. Whether you need a furnace replacement or new AC installation, we’ll work hard to deliver total home comfort.

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