Most homes in the United States are heated with either furnaces or boilers. Furnaces heat air and distribute the heated air through your home using ducts. One of the biggest investments a homeowner will make is on a new furnace. Since this investment will last for at least a decade, it’s important to know as much as you can about it before you purchase it. One of the most important things to look at when purchasing a new furnace is the AFUE rating.
What is an AFUE Rating and What Does it Say About a Furnace?
An AFUE rating for a furnace is like a SEER rating on an air conditioner. AFUE stands for Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency. It measures the amount of heat a fuel-burning appliance produces in relation to how much energy it consumes in a year. Every new furnace and boiler must have an AFUE rating displayed on them. This makes it easy for consumers to compare the energy-efficiency of different units they are considering. An AFUE is calculated as a percentage, with heat over energy consumed. For example, if a furnace has an AFUE rating of 80%, it can turn 80 percent of the energy it consumes into heat. The other 20 percent is lost through the process somewhere. AFUE ranges from 30-100 (anything less than 30 is considered useless). The more efficient your furnace, the more heat you will get per unit of fuel. A new gas furnace must have an AFUE rating of at least 78 percent. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states that a mid-efficiency unit has an AFUE rating of between 80 and 83 percent, and a high-efficiency unit will have a rating between 90 and 97 percent. But AFUE can’t be used for everything. Learning how to use AFUE properly is essential when purchasing a new furnace.
High Efficiency Furnace VS Conventional
You can save a lot of money with a high efficiency furnace because they consume much less energy than lower efficiency units. On top of saving money every month, you will leave less of a carbon footprint. The disadvantage of a furnace with a high AFUE rating is the amount of money you will have to spend upfront. You will make up for the initial investment but depending on where you live it or how often you use it may take longer. You will see an even bigger savings it you are upgrading from an older furnace with a low AFUE rating. When you decide that it’s time for a new furnace, choose one that has the highest AFUE rating to fit your budget. The higher the AFUE rating you can afford, the more value you’ll get out of your investment over the 15-20 years it will last you.
Furnace & Boiler Heating Maintenance, Repairs, Replacement, Emergency Repairs & More in Springfield, Granby, Holyoke, South Hadley, Monson, Chicopee & Agawam, Massachusetts
What is the AFUE rating on the furnace in your home? If you have any questions about AFUE ratings, or you would like a heating system serviced or installed in your home, contact Ambient Heating & Air Conditioning. We’re here to help!