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AFUE Ratings: Everything You Need to Know

When it comes to furnaces, homeowners know the basic idea of how they work. A gas furnace burns fuel to create heat that transfers from a heat exchanger to the air duct system of your home. This heat is then distributed through your home, effectively heating your home and keeping each room to the temperature specification you set on your thermostat. Sounds simple enough, right?

Well, not exactly. Efficiency plays a huge part in how well your furnace is functioning. Having an inefficient furnace might function in a similar way to an efficient heating system, but you’ll have much more trouble being able to tell the difference. That’s why we’d like to talk about AFUE ratings, the surefire way to tell how efficient your gas furnace in Columbia City should be running, and the guideline for homeowners who are shopping for a new system. Having basic knowledge about AFUE ratings can give you a leg up when trying to figure out how much money you’ll spend on heating.

What Is the AFUE Rating?

AFUE stands for annual fuel utilization efficiency, which is a measurement for understanding how much fuel converts to heat in your gas furnace. This is important because the lower your heating system’s AFUE rating, the more expensive it will be to run and the more fuel you’ll be consuming for the same amount of heat. You’ll always want to look for a high AFUE rating that signals energy-efficiency and low costs for you.

What Heaters Have the Highest AFUE Rating?

Well, AFUE ratings only apply to furnaces, boilers, and stoves, which means you’re going to have to sue SEER ratings when comparing costs to heat pumps and other, less conventional heating systems.

However, as far as furnaces go, condensing natural gas furnaces typically have an AFUE rating of 90% to 97% which is incredibly efficient when compared to other systems. Standard fuel efficiency ratings of gas furnaces can range anywhere from 78% to 84% which is still rather good when compared to wood-burning systems that run below 50%. Basically, natural gas furnaces are some of the most efficient heaters in use today. Contact a professional HVAC technician if you’d like to know the AFUE rating of your model.

What’s the Limit of an AFUE Rating?

Theoretically, an AFUE rating can only theoretically reach 100%. This means that there is a 1:1 ratio from fuel burned to heat extracted, which would be the most affordable type of system to run. It’s practically impossible to have a heating system reach total fuel efficiency, but there are models available today that get exceptionally close. Certain natural gas furnaces can reach a 97% AFUE rating which is basically a 1:1 ratio of fuel to heat. So, if you’re looking for efficiency in a new gas furnace, investigating systems with ratings like those is a great place to start!

How Can We Help?

The truth is that you’re only going to get so far when investigating the most efficient heating systems available. A well-trained and experienced HVAC technician can answer your specific questions and can also point you in the right direction when discussing efficient heating solutions.

Let our team at Collier’s Heating & Air Conditioning steer you in the right direction. Collier’s—a company you’ve grown to trust.

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