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Do You Know Your Heating System Efficiency Rating?

Written on: March 7, 2022

What AFUE means for you

If you are thinking about replacing the furnace or boiler in your home, you’re making a big investment. But you’ll begin getting a return on that investment from the moment you turn it on thanks to improved efficiency.

How much of that return on investment you get depends on how efficient your new heating system is. Johnny Prescott’s trained and experienced equipment experts will provide you with a FREE quote to choose the best quality, most cost-effective heating system for your needs. We also aid with rebates and discounts to make your new boiler or furnace more affordable.

You may hear the acronym AFUE when discussing your new heating system. It’s actually an essential thing to look for when you’re buying a furnace or boiler.

Why AFUE matters

AFUE stands for Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency. This is a statistic that measures how well and efficiently a furnace or boiler uses its fuel each year. It’s comparable to the MPG rating on cars. The AFUE represents the ratio of fuel consumed by your heating system to the amount of heat it produces over a year. The AFUE imprint is often seen on the faceplate of a boiler or furnace.

When you’re shopping for a new heating system, the AFUE helps you make comparisons.

Here’s an example of how you’d use the AFUE if you’re shopping for a propane furnace. You see one that has an AFUE rating of 80. That means that 80% of the propane it consumes is goes towards heating your house. The other 20% is lost in the combustion and conversion process. For every dollar you spend on propane, 80 cents of it is used for heating.

The U.S. Department of Energy has a guide on common AFUE ratings for heating systems. The current minimum AFUE standard for new heating systems is 80.

Low efficiency: This is mostly seen in older, outdated, and poorly maintained heating systems. The AFUE ratings fall between 56 and 70.

Medium efficiency: AFUE ratings are between 80 and 85. These are either new systems, or older systems less than 20 years old. Features include an exhaust fan controlling the flow of combustion air and combustion gases more precisely than older, low-efficiency systems, electronic ignition and not a pilot light, smaller size and weight that reduces cycling losses, and a small-diameter flue pipe.

High efficiency: This is most seen in furnaces and boilers that are new or less than 10 years old. AFUE ratings are between 90 and 98.5. Their features include condensing flue gases in a second heat exchanger for added efficiency and sealed combustion.

When it comes to heating system installation and service, you can count on the pros at Johnny Prescott! Contact us when you need service.