Russell's Heating & AC
Jul 17 2018

Why AFUE Is Important

If you’ve taken the time to consider your options for a new heating installation in Redlands, CA to prepare for the winter, you’ve probably come across these letters: AFUE. You should know what they stand for and why it’s important to understand what they mean.

The initials AFUE stand for “annual fuel utilization efficiency.” AFUE describes how effectively a specific heating system uses the energy from fuel to provide heat. It’s important to understand this because it translates into how much you can expect to spend warming your home during the time the heater works for you. Although an AFUE rating isn’t the only criteria to use as a basis for purchasing a heating system, it is among the most important.

We’ll explain a bit more about how AFUE is measured. When you need professional help to navigate the options available today for residential heating, contact Russell’s Heating and Air Conditioning, where we’ve served Redlands since 1980. We’ll help you select the best heater for your home and install it so it provides you many years of comfort.

An AFUE rating is measured as a percentage, which denotes how much fuel a heating system converts to heat. For example, if a heater has an AFUE rating of 90%, that means for every 100 units of fuel it consumes (for example, burning natural gas) it return 90 units of heat (measure in BTUs, British Thermal Units). As a benchmark, conventional wood has a 45%-55% AFUE rating. The Department of Energy requires that all furnaces sold in the U.S. must have a minimum AFUE rating of 78%. Some high-efficiency gas-powered furnaces can have ratings of 96%. Boilers score in the range of 85% to 95%, and are among the most efficient of all home heating systems.

When you’re trying to select a heater type and model for your house, you will have to weigh various factors against the AFUE ratings of your top choices. A furnace with an AFUE of 96% will offer large energy savings—but it will cost more upfront to install, and you may prefer the cleaner air heating from a boiler. If you don’t plan to use your heater often, perhaps a less expensive model with a lower AFUE rating will work better for you.

Also keep in mind that AFUE measures energy efficiency, not how well the heating system will warm your home. Just because a heater makes the best use of its energy source does not mean it will provide you with the level of warmth you want.

If this all sounds a bit overwhelming, try not to worry. If you have professionals helping with your Redlands, CA heating installation from the start, you will have every step of the process explained to you. The staff at Russell’s Heating and Air Conditioning has many years of heating installation experience in Redlands, CA; we will help you narrow your choices to the ideal units. Contact us today to get started on the path toward superb home heating.

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