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High-Efficiency Furnaces Depend on the AFUE Rating

Posted on: May 1st, 2013 by

High-Efficiency Furnaces Depend on the AFUE Rating If you’re in the market for a new furnace, high-efficiency systems are worth a second look. While most homeowners in the Dallas-Fort Worth area know that high-efficiency cooling is a must, they may not know the immediate value of that high-efficiency heating offers. Learn how the AFUE rating dictates a furnace’s efficiency, and the value that higher AFUE ratings afford — even for homeowners living in milder climates.

What is AFUE?

Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) is a measurement of a system’s fuel consumption to heat production ratio. All furnaces hold an AFUE rating, which must be clearly documented on the packaging or labeling for homeowners to see. In general, the higher the AFUE rating, the higher the energy savings. Many of the features that high-efficiency heating systems employ are features that significantly advance home comfort and safety, too.

How does AFUE work?

The government has outlined minimum efficiency ratings for all types of heating and cooling systems. The minimum standard for furnaces rests at 78 percent AFUE. If you were to install a system with this AFUE rating in your home, it would mean that the unit would use only 78 percent of the total energy consumed to generate heat for the home, with the other 22 percent being lost up the flue. That’s a lot of energy lost, even if the heating season is shorter here in DFW.

High-efficiency furnaces begin at 90 percent AFUE, using 90 percent of the fuel they consume to produce heat, and losing only 10 percent of the energy. It’s possible to purchase a furnace rated as high as 98.2 percent AFUE, delivering a loss of less than 2 percent.

What benefits do systems with high-efficiency ratings deliver?

While experts generally advise homeowners living in colder climates to invest in high-efficiency systems, just as homeowners living in warmer climates should invest in high-efficiency cooling, purchasing a high-efficiency heating system offers other advantages — no matter where you live:

  • Improved comfort through even distribution of heat
  • A longer-lasting system, with components that cycle on and off less frequently–a process that is very hard on system components
  • A higher return on investment
  • Lower lifetime costs
  • Safety, with components like sealed combustion and direct-air intake vents improving indoor air quality

When it comes time to upgrade your heating system, look to high-efficiency furnaces as one solution worth exploring. For expert advice, contact AirRite Air Conditioning Company today. We serve DFW homeowners.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Dallas/Fort Worth area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about high-efficiency furnaces and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

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