Your furnace needs to do a good job heating your home, but it needs to be efficient too. Both are important and it’s important to understand what AFUE means. AFUE is an acronym for Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency. This is the measure of how efficient your furnace is at using its fuel. This standard furnace efficiency rating will help you determine which new furnace will best suit your efficiency requirements. If you have an efficient furnace, you’ll get more heat per unit of fuel. The AFUE rating is a percentage of fuel the furnace can convert into heat that is usable. The scale ranges from around 30-100 with anything less than around 30 pretty much useless. For example, if a furnace has an AFUE rating of 85 it means that 85% of its fuel is translated into usable energy that can be used to provide heat to your home and the other 15% is lost through the exhaust.
Type of Furnace Fuel & Cost
AFUE is important, but if the price is what you’re concerned about, the type of fuel will have a bigger effect on your yearly costs. Different fuels can combust at different efficiency rates. The only way of getting an AFUE rating of 100 is with electricity. Different fuels have different levels of efficiency. The easiest way to put it is that AFUE is the percentage of fuel that your furnace uses. If the number is high, it means that your furnace is better at converting fuel into heat. This efficiency has a price attached to it though. The more efficient your furnace is the more expensive it will be. Therefore, efficiency is not the same as cost. High AFUE ratings don’t mean the furnace will be cheaper to operate. For example, electric heat is the most efficient of fuel and has an AFUE rating of 100 but it also happens to be the most expensive way to heat your home! The AFUE rating of your furnace is not the largest factor that will affect you yearly heating costs, rather the type of fuel will be.
Warning about Using the AFUE Calculated Rating
Be careful not to make the mistake in thinking that AFUE can be used to directly compare how much it will cost to operate two different types of furnaces. As mentioned previously, the type of fuel you’ll be using is way more important to look at in lowering your yearly energy bills during the cold months. Again, electric heaters will far outweigh the efficiency over a natural gas furnace, but will not compare at all in heating it in the cost to operate. Natural gas furnaces are always less expensive than an electric heater. AFUE has a very small effect when it comes to comparing the cost to operate. It’s only a means of comparing two of the same type of furnaces. So, go ahead and use AFUE to compare two different furnaces, like two different electric furnaces, but don’t use it to compare the cost to operate two different types of furnaces, like fuel oil vs. propane, for example.
Heating Installation, Repair & Replacement in the Las Vegas Valley, Summerlin, North LV & Henderson Nevada
Higher energy costs may be an indication that your system is getting old and that the purchase of a new one is coming up. Call Air Supply Heating & Air Conditioning to have your system inspected. We are knowledgeable on all the new models and the ratings associated with them and can make sure your hard earned-money stays in your pocket. Contact us today!