If you’ve been furnace shopping lately, you’ve probably at least heard the term AFUE. But do you know what it means?
An AFUE rating (one of the numbers you’ll find on the yellow sticker on your equipment) represents the amount of fuel that is consumed by your equipment compared to the amount of energy (heat) it produces, expressed as a percentage. For example, in an 85 AFUE furnace unit, 85 percent of the fuel it consumes directly results in heat for your home; the other 15 percent is lost somewhere along the way (usually up your chimney).
One way to think about AFUE is to consider it in terms of money: For every dollar you spend on fuel with an 80 AFUE furnace, 80 cents go toward heating your home’s air; In a 95 AFUE furnace, that number jumps up to 95 cents – a big difference on your monthly bills.
The AFUE rating for a furnace can vary quite a bit, depending on the model and on how old your unit is. Older furnaces were held to lower efficiency standards than they are today, and any furnace will lose efficiency over time – especially if your equipment is not properly maintained by a heating professional.
Here are some efficiency ranges for typical furnaces according to the U.S. Department of Energy:
As of 2015, the minimum standard AFUE for new furnaces is 80 percent.
Of course AFUE doesn’t tell the whole heating efficiency story – the airtightness of your home, the condition of your equipment and ducts, and how well your heating equipment was installed all come into play when determining how much heating bang you get for your buck. For these reasons and more, it always pays to hire a professional to install, maintain, and repair your furnace.
Looking for an energy-efficient replacement for your furnace? Contact Pioneer Oil and Propane today for a FREE, no-obligation estimate on a furnace installation in Rhode Island.
Please note: At Vaughn Oil, your safety and comfort are always our priority. Please see our Covid-19 Service Update Page to learn more about how we are working to keep your family and our crew safe and your home cooling and heating systems working through this challenging time.