You’ve likely seen the miles per gallon (mpg) on a car, and possibly an ENERGY STAR rating on an appliance. Heating systems also have ratings that give you important information, and when it comes to heating systems that generate heat from either combustion fuel or electricity, this rating is AFUE. If you are in need of a replacement heating system this winter, or want to upgrade to a more energy efficient heating system, you are going to want to take a close look at the AFUE rating.
The Meaning of AFUE
First, let’s talk about the acronym. AFUE stands for annual fuel utilization efficiency. AFUE is a percentage that tells you how efficiently a particular heating system will be converting fuel into energy. While this sounds complicated, it really isn’t. For example, a gas furnace with an AFUE rating of 85% means that it will efficiently burn 85% of the fuel it uses and 15% of that fuel will become waste. By “waste” we mean combustion byproducts (gases and soot) that are vented to your outdoors.
How to Use AFUE
If you are looking to have a very energy efficient heating system, you’ll want to look at a heating system with a very high AFUE rating, somewhere above 90%. Keep in mind that the higher the AFUE rating, the more expensive the initial costs will be. The key is determining how much money you’ll save versus the initial costs. You want to reach a breaking point somewhere around 4-6 years after installation. Another thing to keep in mind is that a specific heater with an AFUE higher than the same heater with a lower AFUE doesn’t heat better than the latter unit. What it does is use less energy. It is important to understand this distinction.
If you are shopping for a new heating system in Eugene, OR and need assistance, give the experts at Comfort Flow Heating, a call today!