Understanding The Ratings For Furnace Efficiency

April 21, 2016

If you’re in need of a new furnace, one factor to take into account when weighing options is the Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) rating of each unit. That rating explains how much heat the furnace will produce, in comparison to the amount of energy it requires to produce that heat. Understanding the AFUE rating If a furnace is rated at 85 percent AFUE, that means that 85 percent actually becomes heat, while 15 percent of the energy used is lost. It’s important to know that the AFUE rating does not include the potential heat loss that can happen through ductwork, because ductwork in homes varies. Ductwork can lose up to 35 percent of their heating efficiency. How to figure approximate AFUE ratings on older equipment While the Federal Trade Commission requires manufacturers to include AFUE ratings on all new furnace systems, older systems may not have a rating or it may be difficult to find that information on older units. Low-efficiency furnaces can be identified by the use of a continuous pilot light. Typically, these units are between 56 and 70 percent efficient. Older models that use a fan to control airflow and have an electronic ignition fall between...

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