It won’t be too long until cold weather is back to the greater Cleveland area, and that means it’s the perfect time to think about upgrading your furnace. If you want to get the most out of your investment, you need to understand AFUE, or annual fuel utilization efficiency ratings.
In general terms, the AFUE rating tells you how efficiently the model converts the energy it consumes into heat for your air. However, you need to go beyond that vague description to truly grasp how and why the ratings affect your new furnace’s performance.
Here are the things you need to know:
- What it means – AFUE ratings can be understood easily because there are no calculations or conversions to do. A rating of 90 percent, for example, means that 90 percent of the consumed energy is converted to heat and 10 percent is lost to waste or used to operate the equipment.
- Your current equipment’s rating – It’s a good idea to have an HVAC professional come in and measure the efficiency of your current model because that gives you a good idea of how much you stand to gain by upgrading.
- Baseline requirements – Currently the lowest accepted AFUE rating for new furnaces is 75 percent for gas-fueled units, 78 percent for warm-air and 80 percent for fossil fuel models. Because our climate can get relatively cold, you want a significantly higher rating but you need to know the baseline to keep everything in perspective.
- Put it in perspective – Consider that heating the air in a typical home is responsible for nearly 30 percent of annual energy bills. That should help you decide which furnace model is worth the investment.
Now that you have a good idea of the benefits of higher AFUE ratings, contact Stack Heating & Cooling for the finishing touches. With over 35 years of experience in greater Cleveland, we can help you size, install and maintain your new furnace correctly so that you get the promised levels of performance and efficiency.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Cleveland, Ohio about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about AFUE and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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