DB Heating & Cooling, Inc. Blog : Posts Tagged ‘AFUE’

AFUE: How Furnace Efficiency Is Measured

Monday, January 6th, 2014

You are ready for a new furnace in your Emerson, NJ home. However, trying to decode and navigate all the statistics on your various choices for heating installation can be bewildering, and without help you have a good chance of purchasing a furnace that will not only give you inadequate warmth, but will also perform inefficiently.

In this post, we’ll explain one of the most important stats to know about when picking a furnace: AFUE, which measures how efficient the heater uses burns a fuel to heat your home. However, you’ll need even more information than this to make the best choice, so call on DB Heating & Cooling for the assistance you will need.

AFUE = Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency

AFUE stands for “annual fuel utilization efficiency,” and it is a measure of how effective combustion devices like furnace and boilers operate. Unlike a steady state, peak measure of heating efficiency, which is done over a short period, AFUE measures the average heat output over a full year.

AFUE is expressed as a percentage. The percentage is a measure of how much energy the furnace converts into useful heat. The higher the AFUE percentage, the less fuel the furnace wastes during the conversion. For example, for a mid-efficiency furnace that has an AFUE of 84%, the furnace creates 84 BTUs (British Thermal Units) for every 100 BTUs of natural gas put into it. This means a waste of only 16% of the available fuel.

Modern furnaces, especially natural gas furnaces, score high AFUE ratings. Older furnaces used to have only AFUE of 55-65%, but today many can score in the 90s. This is one of the reasons furnaces remain popular today for heating homes.

AFUE and selecting a furnace

Having a high-fuel efficiency furnace can means large energy savings. However, AFUE only measures the direct production of heat, and does not account for heat loss from other sources, such as from ducts and home insulation leaks. Therefore, although AFUE is an important factor in picking a furnace, it should not be the only factor. A high-efficiency furnace may save money with efficient heat, but that heating may not actually be effective. This is why you should have professional installers assist you in picking a furnace so that you get a model that will deliver you the combination of effective heating and efficient energy use that will work the best for you.

DB Heating & Cooling works on jobs both large and small when it comes to furnace installation in Emerson, NJ. We will help you find the furnace that will match your home and your family, and give you pleasant winters for many years to come.

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What Is AFUE and Why Should I Care? A Question from Hackensack

Wednesday, October 12th, 2011

If you’ve been shopping for a furnace in Hackensack, chances are you’ve noticed that each furnace has its own annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) rating. These generally range from 80% to the high 90% s and the higher the number, the more fuel efficient that particular furnace is.

But what does this number really mean and just how much should you care? Well, the AFUE rating should actually have a significant impact on your furnace purchasing decision, but that doesn’t mean that you’ll always choose the furnace with the highest efficiency rating either.

For one thing, you’ll have to recognize that not every type of furnace is capable of running at the highest efficiency levels. Oil furnaces, for instance, can’t compete with the super high efficiency gas furnaces on the market today. That’s not to say that an oil furnace might not be the best choice for you under certain circumstances, but it does mean that you should take a close look at your furnace usage before you make a decision.

If you do choose a gas furnace, you will of course have the option of getting one that can reach up to 97% or so efficiency. However, that may not always be the best choice either. If you live in a place where with very harsh, long winters and you’re going to be using your furnace heavily, then it’s definitely worth investing in a higher AFUE furnace that can save you considerable amounts on your monthly heating bills.

But if you don’t use your furnace too often as your area has more mild winters it’s probably not worth it for you to invest in such a high efficiency product. That’s because the higher the AFUE of the furnace, the more expensive it is to purchase and install. Certainly you’ll save money every month because you’ll be getting more heat out of the fuel you’re paying for. But if you don’t use your furnace all that much, the savings really won’t be that substantial.

Don’t forget that a furnace with an 80% AFUE rating is still quite energy efficient. If you have any questions, talk to your HVAC contractor.

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