How Improving Your AFUE Rating Will Save You Money

Heating appliance with an arrow changing from red to blue indicating the recovery of calories from the air with in the background the 3D symbol of energy efficiency classification.

What AFUE Stands For

Have you ever heard of an AFUE rating? If not, you're not alone. AFUE stands for Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency. It measures how efficiently a furnace, boiler, or any heating system converts energy to produce warm air in your home. Like miles-per-gallon (MPG) ratings, an AFUE rating can help consumers save money on energy costs while optimizing indoor comfort.

The AFUE rating can reveal how much fuel energy is actively lost to ineffective burners, chimneys, ductwork, vents, etc. If you’re looking to save money on your heating bills, understanding AFUE can be a beneficial tool. Harris Aire Serv is committed to helping our clients lower their energy waste and boost their AFUE scores. Understanding the implications of an AFUE rating is a great way to stay up-to-date on a furnace’s condition.

How an AFUE Rating Works

An AFUE rating measures the percentage of fuel used to heat a building compared to how much heat energy goes to waste during operation. To calculate your heating system's AFUE rating, our technicians can divide the amount of fuel used for your furnace/heating system by the amount of heat generated. The heat generated is typically measured in British thermal units (BTU).

An AFUE rating of 80% means that 80% of the fuel is converted into usable heat while 20% is lost somewhere along the way. The higher the rating number, the more efficiently the furnace converts fuel into heat. Generally, homeowners are satisfied with AFUE scores over 80%. Any number above 90% indicates a high-efficiency unit.

Furnace Efficiency Options

If your furnace has a low AFUE rating, it might be a wise time to make an upgrade. There are a few options when confronted with an inefficient furnace. The first option is to replace your unit with a newer model with a higher efficiency rating. Some modern furnaces have AFUE ratings as high as 98%, meaning only 2% of their fuel is lost during operation. Owning a furnace with a 98% rating can save you hundreds, if not thousands, annually – depending on the size of your property and the frequency of your furnace usage.

Another option for dealing with an inefficient furnace is to install aftermarket parts that improve efficiency. Popular add-ons and improvements include variable-speed blowers and newer, more efficient burners. These parts can be costly depending on the size and complexity of your system. However, they may save you money by reducing energy costs over time.

Finally, regular professional maintenance will help a furnace continue to run efficiently. An experienced technician will rely on seasoned techniques and state-of-the-art tools/technologies to keep all the components working fluidly. Regular furnace inspections can also determine if there are any leaks or blockages.

Tired of a Low AFUE Score? Consider a Furnace Upgrade Today!

It pays to be savvy about your home’s annual fuel utilization efficiency. Understanding an appliance's AFUE rating can help you determine how much money is unnecessarily spent each month heating your home. Higher-rated heating appliances will use fuel sources more efficiently, resulting in significant savings.

At Harris Aire Serv, we are committed to maximizing furnace performance and energy efficiency. We believe a properly working furnace is the best way to lower energy bills and avoid untimely breakdowns. We designed our full-service HVAC system inspection, cleaning, repair, and maintenance services to keep furnaces running smoothly.

We can conduct an annual furnace tune-up. Our Total Comfort Tune-Up includes:

  • Control adjustments
  • Detailed safety checks
  • A thorough examination of all furnace components
  • Professional furnace cleaning

Our tune-up services improve AFUE ratings to the highest score possible. At the same time, it might be wise to consider an upgrade if your furnace is deteriorating or more than 10-15 years old. Nobody wants to waste money maintaining an older unit with diminishing returns. A newer furnace will likely offer a much higher AFUE rating. Investing in an efficient, environmentally friendly heating unit will cut down on energy costs and mean fewer repairs down the road.

We recommend checking out your current heater system’s model numbers/AFUE rating to compare them against other options available on the market. Our HVAC specialists can help calculate the energy savings you’ll enjoy with a new furnace boasting a higher AFUE rating. We can even estimate how long it will take to recoup your upfront expenses over time and perform an expert furnace replacement.

Are you looking for a furnace tune-up or replacement? Call our team today!

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