Are you shopping for a new furnace or boiler?
This is a great time to do so. Many equipment installation and service companies have more open times because this tends to be a quiet time of year. That means you can get your new furnace or boiler installed faster and at a more convenient time for you.
As you’re shopping, you’re going to be looking at different models, reading reviews, and looking online. But in the end, what you’re looking for is pretty simple: the most energy-efficient furnace or boiler that you can afford.
When you’re doing your shopping and comparisons, you will come across the acronym AFUE. This may be the most important thing you check when choosing your furnace or boiler. It stands for Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency.
The best comparison is that it’s like your car’s MPG rating. The higher the AFUE number, the more energy-efficient the furnace or boiler is. The AFUE represents the amount of heating oil, propane, or other fuel the furnace or boiler uses compared with how much heat it produces over a heating season.
Here’s an example: The furnace or boiler you’re thinking about buying has an AFUE rating of 80. What that figure means is that 80% of the fuel it uses is converted to heat. The other 20% is lost in the conversion process. That translates to 80 cents of every dollar you spend on fuel goes towards actually heating your home.
There is some good news when it comes to AFUE when it comes to shopping for a new furnace or boiler. Today’s high-efficiency furnaces and boilers can reach AFUE ratings of 95 or higher. You’ll be reaping some big energy cost savings!
The United States Department of Energy gives common AFUE ratings for heating systems. The current minimum AFUE standard for a new heating system is 80.
56% – 70%. Mostly seen in older and outdated heating systems.
80% – 85%. Can be either new or older systems under 20 years old.
90% – 98.5%. This is found in most new or newer (meaning 2010 and later) heating systems.
If you want to know the AFUE rating of your current furnace or boiler, check on the faceplate. That’s where the rating is usually located.