What is AFUE?
Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency or AFUE, is a standard measurement used to calculate the efficiency of gas or oil-fired furnaces. AFUE simply measures how much of the heat generated by your furnace is actually used to heat your home and how much of the heat is wasted. The higher the AFUE percentage, the more efficient the furnace is at producing and suppling heat – and not to mention, the lower the enviornmental impact of it’s emissions.
To put it in a realistic perspective, if a furnace has a rating of 85% AFUE, that means that 85% of the heat produced was used to heat your home, the other 15% was lost somewhere throughout the process. From a financial point of view, if your electricity bill was $100.00, your home only needed you to spend $85.00 to heat it, the other $15.00 was money thrown out the window.
What is a Good AFUE Rating?
Furnaces have changed dramatically over the years in terms of efficiency. In the 1970’s, a typical gas furnace had an AFUE rating of roughly 65%. Today, the lowest rated AFUE furnace you can purchase by law is 78% and the highest, most efficient furnace you can purchase is rated 96.7% AFUE. As you can imagine, when the AFUE ratings increase, so does the cost of the system. Anything over a 90% rating can cost over $1000 more than a similar system with a rating of 80%. Honestly speaking, the best rating for you depends on the surrounding weather conditions. If you live in the Northeast, Midwest or any place with harsh winters, it may be economically practical to spend more on a system because you will make up the extra cost with savings on your electricity bill.
A simple answer to this question without taking outside factors into play- a 78% AFUE is the minimum you can purchase, a 80% – 85% AFUE is considered mid-range efficiency and a high efficiency unit has a rating between 90% – 97%.
If you have any additional questions please contact our customer service team at 855.932.4822, they will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have!