AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) is a rating used to evaluate the efficiency of gas-fired and oil-fired boilers and furnaces. It is expressed as a percentage and represents the amount of fuel converted into heat, with the rest lost through exhaust and other processes. Furnaces and boilers with higher Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency ratings are more energy-efficient.
The History of the Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency Rating
The Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency rating system was established in the early 1980s by the US government. The initial standard set by the government was 78%. Over time, the minimum standard has been raised; it reached 80% in 1986, 82% in 1992, and 90% in 2013. This was done to motivate the use of more energy-efficient equipment and decrease the overall energy consumption of buildings.
The current minimum standard for new furnace installations is 90%, but today’s models can have an Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency rating as high as 98%. This means that 98 cubic feet of heat will be generated for every 100 cubic feet of natural gas or oil used, and only 2 cubic feet will be lost.
It’s important to note that the Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency rating represents the performance of the equipment in a lab setting, and the actual performance may vary depending on factors such as the building envelope’s tightness, the quality of ducts and vents, etc. However, the Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency rating is still a good indicator of a furnace’s energy efficiency.
What to Look For When Shopping For a New Furnace
When selecting a new furnace, look for models with higher Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency ratings for increased energy efficiency and lower heating costs. These high-efficiency models can have a higher upfront cost, but can ultimately lead to significant savings over time with lower energy bills and potential rebates from the utility company.
Additionally, modern high-efficiency furnaces are typically equipped with advanced features such as a two-stage burner, variable-speed blowers, and programmable thermostats that not only improve efficiency but also provide better comfort and air quality.
When choosing a new furnace, it’s important to take Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency ratings into account, as it is one of the most crucial factors. By picking a high-efficiency model, you can decrease your heating costs, reduce your environmental impact, and improve the comfort of your home.
The team at Air Comfort of KY is ready to help you find the right furnace to meet your comfort needs. Call us today to schedule an appointment!