Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE)

November 26, 2013

When it comes time to replace your old furnace, the selection of makes and models may be daunting—how do you know you’re picking the right new furnace for your home?

On top of which brand of furnace you select, you will also have to decide which series you’d like and determine just what exactly that “AFUE” number listed on each description is. Well, we are here to help!

What Is AFUE?

AFUE—Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency—is a rating that measures how efficient the furnace unit is in converting fuel energy into heat.

For example, a furnace with an AFUE of 90 percent means that 90 percent of the energy in the fuel (gas or oil) goes directly into heating your home, while the other 10 percent escapes (usually up a chimney or used to run the unit).

The Department of Energy sets a standard that the minimum AFUE rating for furnaces is 78 percent. It also sets the standards for products with the ENERGY STAR—which indicates that the unit is independently certified to save energy without sacrificing features or functionality.

AFUE for Oil & Gas Furnaces

If you’re looking at AFUE when selecting a new furnace (as you should), it’s important to know how it differs between gas and oil furnaces. According to the Department of Energy, most new oil furnaces rate between 80 – 90 percent AFUE, while comparable gas furnaces have AFUE ratings of 89 – 98 percent.

To earn the ENERGY STAR distinction, gas furnaces must have a 90 percent AFUE in the South and 95 percent AFUE in the North*. Oil furnaces throughout the United States must have an 85 percent AFUE or more.

In the future, the Department of Energy plans to set different minimum ratings of AFUE based on fuel type (oil, gas, or electricity).

While it is clear that gas furnaces are typically more energy-efficient than oil furnaces, other costs (including the new unit and cost of fuel) can even out the expenses. Gas furnaces are more popular across America, but be sure to talk to a heating technician to make the best choice for your home.

*For our Rick’s Heating & Cooling customers in Morrow or the Cincinnati area of Ohio, you are considered to be in the North category

Install a New Furnace in Ohio

If you’re looking to replace your current heating system with a new, more energy-efficient furnace, contact the heating technicians at Rick’s Heating & Cooling of Morrow, Ohio. Our HVAC experts can help you select a new heating system with an appropriate AFUE rating. We can determine what the best choice for your home is—we won’t upsell you on a more efficient model if your home size and heating needs doesn’t require it.

At Rick’s, we offer furnaces with great fuel efficiency for your home. Check out our range of furnaces you can select from following Armstrong Air models:

Ready to schedule an estimate with a licensed heating professional? Contact us today!