Shopping For A New Furnace? Learn About AFUE

When shopping for a new furnace, it is a good idea to do your research. The more you learn about the qualities and features of the various furnace models, the better able you'll be to pick the right one for your home. One concept that is especially important to understand is AFUE. Keep reading to learn what this abbreviation stands for and what AFUE really means in terms of furnace performance.

What is AFUE?

The initials AFUE stand for "annual fuel utilization ratio." Basically, this is the proportion of fuel that is actually converted to heat energy within a furnace. The value is measured over the span of a year. You'll generally see AFUE measured as a percentage. For example, if you see a furnace with an AFUE of 95%, that means that it converts 95 percent of all fuel to heat — which is very good! Only 5% of the fuel is wasted.

What AFUE do you want to look for?

The higher the AFUE is, the more efficient the furnace is. So, if your goal is to choose an energy-efficient furnace, you want to look for one with the highest AFUE available. 

Energy Star requires that furnaces have an AFUE of 90% in the U.S. south or 95% in the U.S. north in order to award the product with their label. This is a pretty good guideline to go with. If you don't feel like looking at furnace AFUE ratings in detail, look for a furnace with an Energy Star label. You can be confident it meets or exceeds these AFUE standards.

Do you pay more for a furnace with a high AFUE?

Yes, furnaces with a high AFUE generally cost more than those with a lower AFUE. There are a few reasons for this, but the key one is that high-AFUE furnaces need to be manufactured more precisely. Keep in mind, though, that you will usually save money in the long term by choosing a furnace with a higher AFUE. You'll pay more upfront, but the energy savings will really add up over time.

If the time has come to replace your furnace, AFUE should be one of the core factors you consider when selecting a new model. Talk to your HVAC contractor to learn more. They should be able to suggest some high-AFUE models that will suit your needs, keep you warm, and fit your budget.

For more information, contact a company like Bud's Plumbing, Heating, Air Conditioning & Electric.