What is AFUE and why does it matter when shopping for a new furnace?
August 1, 2020Back to All Articles
AFUE is an acronym for Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency and it is a measure for rating thermal efficiency of furnaces. All models are legally required to display the AFUE rating in order to allow customers to make an accurate and well-informed decision before buying.
The lowest AFUE rating for furnaces is 78%, which creates a stream of combustion gases and has a constant pilot light. Mid-efficiency furnaces tend to have a rating of 80-85% and have no pilot light (electrical ignition instead), and they are able to control the stream of combustion gases. A high-efficiency product has a rating of 90–97% and has no pilot light with sealed combustion.
The AFUE measures a furnace’s performance in changing fuel to energy – so the higher the rating the greater the energy efficiency, which can save you money on bills. For example, if a model is 85 AFUE means 85% of the fuel’s energy is converted into heat, and the remaining 15% escapes.
Before Purchasing a New Furnace, Check the AFUE Rating!
Before purchasing a new furnace, it is important to check the AFUE rating on each model and to compare different models on this basis. Higher AFUE ratings have a higher price initially, BUT years of low running prices, which will actually save you money! Especially during icy Alberta winters, when the furnace is used constantly and your bills are sky high, you will notice the difference between payments. Therefore, a higher AFUE rating is a long-term investment.
In addition, AFUE matters when shopping for a new furnace as it must meet legal requirements that have been laid out by the Department of Energy. All in all, AFUE is a vital factor when choosing a new furnace and comparing models to each other. Whilst an initial high price, it will pay for itself over time and save you money on utility bills. Sounds like a win-win to us!