Did you know that the efficiency rating for your heating system will help you figure out how much it will cost you to heat your home? A higher rating is ideal — it means that a greater amount of heat is provided for the amount of energy used.
The Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) rating indicates how much heat the furnace produces compared to the amount of energy required to produce the heat. For example, if a furnace is rated at 80 percent AFUE, 20 percent of the energy used is lost, and 80 percent actually becomes heat.
By finding out this information you can decide if it may be time to upgrade your system. Contact the manufacturer or search on their website to find your model.
Here is how the efficiency ratings for systems break down:
- 56-70% efficiency (typically older models)
- 80-83% AFUE- mid-efficiency
- 90-98.5 AFUE- high-efficiency
Keep in mind that the AFUE rating does not account for potential heat loss through duct work. Ducts can lose a lot of heating efficiency.
High-efficiency furnaces use two heat exchangers. Condensing units remove water from exhaust gas and then send the gas through a second exchanger. The combustion units are sealed. Condensing furnaces are generally about 10 percent higher in efficiency ratings than non-condensing units. These systems are more expensive initially, but you can save a great deal of money over the long term in fuel costs. An HVAC professional can help you decide what is best for your home and lifestyle.
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