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What AFUE Means for a Furnace


Improving energy efficiency is always at the top of a homeowner’s list, but you can’t improve your energy efficiency without knowing how efficient a particular product will be. To help consumers understand how energy efficient a particular product is, many products come with some kind of rating. When it comes to furnaces, this rating is known as AFUE. It is important to understand what AFUE means so you can choose a furnace for your Pearl River home that meets both your heating needs and your energy efficiency requirements. If you are having trouble understanding any aspect of energy efficiency in regard to your furnace, call the people who can help: Design Air, Inc.

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What AFUE Stands For

AFUE is an acronym that stands for annual fuel utilization efficiency. AFUE is given in a percentage; this percentage represents the ability of your furnace to turn fuel into energy. The higher the AFUE rating, the more efficient the unit.

What AFUE Tells You

All furnaces create combustion byproducts that have to be vented to the outside via the flue. This exhaust is seen as a loss of fuel. When you look at an AFUE rating, the rating tells you how much energy you are losing from exhaust. For example, an AFUE of 90% means that 90% of the fuel your furnace uses is turned into heat energy for your home; the other 10% becomes combustion byproduct, which is expelled from your home. Understanding how much energy is lost to combustion is a key aspect of determining energy efficiency.

What AFUE Doesn’t Tell You

There is a common mistake made with assessing AFUE ratings and it’s this: that a higher AFUE rating on a furnace means it will heat your home better than a same-sized furnace with a lower AFUE rating; this isn’t true. What the higher AFUE rating tells you when comparing furnaces is that the furnace with the higher AFUE will heat your home the same as the one with the lower AFUE, but the furnace with the higher rating will do it for less money.

A furnace’s AFUE rating isn’t the main item by which to choose a furnace for your Pearl River home, but it should be one of the key considerations. Have more questions about AFUE and energy efficiency? Call Design Air, Inc. today and schedule an appointment with one of our installation experts.