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AFUE Ratings: Know How Well Your Furnace Holds Up

We reckon if you’re a homeowner with an adequate furnace, you’ve probably heard the term AFUE before. While many homeowners don’t know what this means or don’t really care what information it describes, if you’re ever looking to rate the efficiency of your system compared to other heaters, then the AFUE rating is the primary way to do so.

So, today we’re going to talk about everything you need to know in regards to the AFUE rating of a furnace, what it means and what to pay attention to when you’re looking at a furnace installation or replacement. HVAC in Aubrey, TX isn’t all about just buying the cheapest furnace you can get your hands on—you’re going to want the cheapest, most effective, and most efficient heater that you can get your hands on. That’s where we come in.

The Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency

As we just mentioned in the title, AFUE stands for the annual fuel utilization efficiency, which is a long-winded way of saying the efficiency of a furnace or boiler. This isn’t just a one-time measurement, but rather a representation of the season-long, average efficiency of the specific piece of equipment.

How Is the AFUE Measured?

This is an easy one for any math or science geeks out there. Basically, you’ll notice that your furnace has an AFUE rating that’s a percentage, like 86% or 93% for example. This is measuring the BTU, or British thermal unit, of useful heating output against 100 BTUs of natural gas or other fuel input. Therefore, a 93% AFUE ratio means that for every 100 BTUs of natural gas that’s burned, 93 BTUs of useful heat is produced. That’s a pretty efficient appliance since it’s almost at a 1:1 ratio!

To put this into perspective, back when homes used to be heated with wood fireplaces or stoves, these had efficiency ratings of anywhere from 15% to 70%, which means that these systems can be real energy hogs. High-efficiency furnaces mean you’re getting more bang for your buck!

How Can You Use an AFUE Rating?

This is the most important part! AFUE ratings are a great way to compare furnaces and boilers when you’re trying to decide on a replacement heater. There’s really no point in investing in a heater that’s got a lower AFUE rating than the one you currently have, particularly because you’ll be paying more in fuel costs for the exact same amount of heat you enjoy today. This is usually unacceptable because when homeowners are investing in a replacement or upgrade, they want an upgrade in fuel efficiency as well.

When you’re working with a professional HVAC technician, don’t be afraid to ask about the AFUE rating of your heating system. Make the calculations for yourself, based on the fuel input and the heat output. If your system says its functioning at a 95% AFUE rating but your fuel bills are high and you’re not feeling the heat you really want, then you might be witnessing a clear sign that something is seriously wrong with your heater.

Have any questions about your heater’s AFUE rating? Contact our team at Hutchins Plumbing & Air Conditioning today. Get it done right… Right now!

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