Russell's Heating & AC
Jul 16 2018

AFUE: The Furnace Efficiency Rating

When you are looking to have a new furnace installed for your home, you’ll have a lot of different stats to consider. Perhaps the most important to examine is the efficiency rating, which gives you an idea of how much a furnace will cost to run during the year. The efficiency rating for a furnace is AFUE, and we’re going to look a little closer at what it means and how to make a choice when picking a replacement furnace.

AFUE = Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency

The acronym A.F.U.E. stands for “annual fuel utilization efficiency.” It is listed as a percentage, and that percentage is how much of a furnace’s fuel supply it converts into heating power when it’s running. So a furnace with an AFUE rating of 85% will output 85 BTUs of heating for every 100 units of fuel it burns. The higher the percentage, the more efficienct the furnace is at turning energy into the warmth you feel inside your house.

What AFUE Rating Should You Look For?

You’ll probably think that the best furnace for your home is the one with the highest AFUE. However, higher efficiency furnaces, such as condensing furnaces, are more expensive to purchase. You also need to remember that simply because a furnace has a high AFUE doesn’t necessarily mean it will actually save you money. If the wrong furnace is put into your house (such as one that is under-powered or over-powered) then the efficiency rating won’t mean anything—the furnace will be an energy-waster.

The best way to target a furnace’s AFUE rating is to first look for a system that meets the ENERGY STAR requirements: a gas furnace needs to have an AFUE greater than 95% in California. It’s best to go no lower on energy efficiency than this. Your professional installer will help you pick a furnace that meets other qualifications so that you’ll receive the most cost-effective new system.

Russell’s Heating & Air Conditioning installs heating systems in Palm Desert, CA and throughout the Inland Empire and the Desert Communities. For exceptional customer service, please give our office a call.

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