Feb 13 2016

questions concernedWhat does AFUE have to do with your League City, Texas, home? Discover how AFUE — a furnace efficiency measurement — details how much fuel your furnace uses for heating your home and what this measurement means for your HVAC system.

What Is AFUE?

AFUE refers to Average Fuel Utilization Efficiency. An AFUE measurement tells you about a gas or oil furnace’s efficiency. The HVAC industry measures AFUE in percentages; higher percentages indicate more efficient systems. For example, a furnace with an 80 percent AFUE rating uses 80 percent of its fuel for heating, while 20 percent goes toward heat exhaust.

AFUE percentages are average measurements of a furnace’s efficiency throughout the season. These figures differ from thermal efficiency in several ways. First, thermal efficiency is measured once, but AFUE figures are averages. Second, AFUE accounts for the energy lost to run the furnace and does not include that energy loss in the percentage reported. Thermal efficiency, however, is a total measurement of a system’s heating efficiency.

Consider AFUE Values When Selecting a Furnace

Since a higher AFUE value means higher operating efficiency, you may think you’d logically want a furnace with the highest AFUE possible. Today, gas furnaces exist with 97 percent or better AFUE percentages, according to Consumer Reports. However, the higher the AFUE value, the more the model costs.

In the northern U.S., homeowners generally use their furnace for months. The savings they generate from a new furnace with a high AFUE rating eventually offsets the cost of a new system.

In Texas, however, you may use your furnace less. Depending on how often you use your furnace, you’ll spend more time trying to recoup the savings. Texas homeowners should consider energy efficiency, up-front costs, and environmental factors when selecting a new furnace, not AFUE values alone.

When choosing a new furnace, a qualified HVAC technician is your best resource. Our Maxx A/C & Heating professionals can help you find an energy-efficient model that fits within your budget and lowers your energy costs. Call us at 281-409-3890 to learn more.

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